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Saturday, 21 April 2018


Budennovsk and Tskhinval: common past

2010-08-10 21:34


The bloody August 2008 in South Ossetia did not leave Russians untouched. People in the southern regions of the country especially took the tragic events to heart. Dozens of thousands of people from Tskhinval and nearby villages fled there; it was from there that soldiers set out to defend Ossetian people against destruction. Battle-planes flew from Budennovsk to help the peacemakers. One of the pilots, Major Vladimir Yedamenko never returned to his wife and son. An exhibition at the regional studies museum of Praskoveya village of Budennovsky region is dedicated to the war that took his life.


A dusty steppe town with the life stilled by forty-degree heat and traditional draught turned into a hot spot all of a sudden for several days in June 1995. Budennovsk was attacked by Shamil Basayev's gang. The Chechen field commander and his henchmen captured a thousand and a half hostages and kept them in a regional hospital for five days.

 The bandits assured that their terroristic KAMAZ raid was aimed at the airport in Minvody and a plane for Moscow. However, it came to terrorist acts in the Russian capital only a few years later. As many local residents guessed it right, at that time Basayev was avenging on the quiet multinational town on the bank of Kuma for having accommodated the helicopter and assault regiment that had fought the bandits in Chechnya.

 6611.jpegIn 2008, planes from Budennovsk supported the operation on forcing Georgia to peace from the air. Again, they had to fight an enemy who treacherously broke peaceful agreements and was going to eliminate and expel the people from the territories he thought to be "initially his own".

 Not all the planes and pilots returned from battle-field. Major Vladimir Yedamenko, whose SU-25 was shot down by a ground-to-air missile in a gorge under Dzhava, ejected himself too late. He drew the burning plane away from Russian military elements on the earth and these seconds cost him his life. His wife and three-year-old son never saw him again.

 His fellow soldier Colonel Sergey Kobylash was luckier. After the enemy planes were destroyed at Marneuli airdrome he was also shot down while returning to the base. However, he managed to jump out and landed safely in the Georgian village of Kekhvi. The owner of the garden, an old Georgian woman, scolded him for the trampled tomatoes in broken Russian and showed the way to the Ossetians. She did not support the Georgian president and her sons lived in Russia.


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