One Soldier's War
An outstanding dispatch from the frontline of war unsparing, unsentimental, blackly comic and brutally beautiful by and ordinary soldier who tells it like it is. Arkady Babchenko was still a naove 18-year-old when he and his fellow teenage conscripts arrived in a camp just north of Chechnya. Fresh off the truck, the new recruit rapidly learned the meaning of savagery and fear, before he'd even been near the front line. By the time he started his active duty, he had developed a tough skin against the harsh treatments meted out by his seniors and grew hardened and cynical. With unblinking honesty, Arkady Babchenko traces his journey from innocence to experience, taking the raw and mundane reality of war and twists it into compelling, chilling and eerily elegant prose.
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Alkhan-Kala Alkhan-Yurt Andy Argun Arkasha armoured arms army asks barracks bastard battalion beat block post blood body boots boys bullet burst carrier Chechens Chechnya cigarettes cold crawled dead death dedovshchina diesel and dust drink empty everything eyes face fear feel fighting fire Fixa flak jacket floor grenades Grozny guys hands head helicopter hell Igor infantry inside Khankala kick killed Kisel Kombat lads launcher legs live look Loop machine-gun marsh metres Moscow mountains Mozdok night no-one officer Oldie Osipov Pincha platoon platoon commander pulled recon regiment rifle runway Russian Sanya says sergeant-major Shamil Basayev Shatoi shell shoot shot shouts shrapnel side silence Sitnikov sleep smoke sniper soldiers someone stand started stop tell tent there's thing Timokha tracer rounds truck turned vehicle Ventus village vodka Vovka waiting watch what's window wounded Zyuzik