Chechnya, Summer of 1996. 1/7

Uploaded by mishacol on 02.11.2009

I'll tell you what happened
Alexey Bavin, my tank driver
was sitting on the gun barrel
just like this
When they hit the tank there was a huge impact
he flew away on that side
and fell down behind the tank
right here
The crew chief lance sergeant Grankin
was on his place
Him and Bavin they were burning
I was on the gunners place
I grabbed Grankin pulled him out
and threw him behind the tank with all my force
Still Burning he fell down behind the tank
After we dragged Bavin
Injected him some trimeperedine,
extinguished Grankin and Bavin
after that extinguished the tank
All this side was burning
Turrets right side and driver hatch were burning
The mantel burned off
There was a little rug on the driver seat
It burned off too
After the tank was extinguished
And guys were replaced in a safe spot
I pulled tank to the right
and made 4 shots
After that the gun got stuck
And I didn’t know what to do
I had sick headache
I was yawing from gunner place to commander
maybe 5 times, I don’t remember
After that pulled tank behind that hill
where I examined the tank for more damages
Here is the SPG-9 shell hit
This is the core
It passed through a couple of reactive armour boxes
The boxes exploded and sidetracked the shell
right to the thickest armor layer
It helped us but the impact was too heavy
It destroyed the fuel tank
instead of crew compartment
The tank was full of diesel fuel
so everything just blazed up
I’m staying up the tracks
Well, boxes helped us a lot
What boxes?
Reactive armour boxes
Here they are
two of them exploded
I’ve already set them up again
It’ll protect us the next time
I got you
All right
This is the SPG shell core, right?
Yes, SPG-9
The guys saw as something black run by
Something like a crow or a black ball
But it is the SPG-9
Which injured my driver
And burned my crew commander Grankin
Here was a lamp
It helped too
You see the burned cables
I didn’t find anything of it
Only lamp holder and that’s it
What was the drivers name?
Bavin Alexey Vladimirovich
And gunner?
The gunner was charged as the crew chief
Because he is the platoon commander
Lance sergeant Grankin
Were you instead of gunner?
Yeah, I’m lucky I survived
Just shocked
Here I was
I don’t remember whether I was getting out or in
when they hit
Our dear “Cheburashka”
We call the gun “Cheburashka”
It fired 5 or 6 complete rounds
That’s it
I don’t know what to say
Thanks to God
He saved us
I don’t know what could happen if…
Grankin was crying
“I’m burning!”
I won’t forget it
I got you
I’ll never forget his crying
He arched his back so badly
That I got scared
I don’t understand how could I pull him
out of the hatch
He weighs about 80 kilos
He is a big boy
I pulled him out and he flew behind the tank
I don’t know…This will stay with me forever