Russian Soldiers Defecting and returning to Russia

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Tawahi-50, Feb 22, 2009.

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  1. Has any post-Glasnost information ever come out on the fate of the two Russian soldiers who defected in Afghanistan, were given asylum in UK and then were enticed to return of their own free will, to Russia?
  2. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer


    I remember the two lads you are referring and have often wondered myself. I recall a statement by a Soviet spokesman at the time assuring that there would be no negative repercussions for them as they had just found a way back home via the West.

    Your post spurred me into doing a bit of digging and I found that there had been an amnesty in 1988 offered by the USSR to all Soviet soldiers who had defected whilst in Afghanistan. This article in the New York Times relates how six such defectors in North America rejected the offer.

  3. If a Russian pisses off the authorities (or a wise guy) over even a fairly minor matter, then their life can end up being fnucked quite quickly - loss of housing/ job/ passport and/or other vital documents, good shoeing by the militsia (cops) on a regular basis, etc. I have not heard about the fate of returning deserters, but I'd wager they and their families have not had much fun since they got back...
  4. As far as I know there were more than one amnesty.

    If you are really interested, you can post your inquiry to
    Russian Union of veterans of Afghanistan
  5. Many thanks for the feedback, guys.

    I believe the return was in 1984, and well before any amnesty
    as far as I'm aware.

    To the best of my recollection, the two, who had defected to the Mujahideen, disappeared in London where they had been granted permission to stay. They ended up in the Russian embassy and were subsequently escorted back to Russia. UK Foreign Office staff were allowed to interview them at Heathrow but the two insisted on returning, saying that they had been given assurances that they would be treated lightly.

    I did hear quite a while later that the sgt, Sgt I. Rykov, had been court-martialled and executed but I don't know how true that is.

    If true, what a bummer, standing in front of the firing squad thinking, "Why did I believe them?"
  6. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    Resurrected this thread because I stumbled onto this BBC item on Aleksandr and Gennady. Two Soviet soldiers from the Ukraine who stayed on in Afghanistan. Aleksandr defected, but Gennady was captured and converted to save his life and obviously wants to go home.

    Her's another account from a Red Cross official who tracked down and tried to repatriate Soviet POWs.

    Mountains never meet
  7. engr172

    engr172 Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Bizarre.....never knew any of that. Makes you wonder whats going on with that US para that walked out of his base.