3 days of my life in war time:

© Magamed 15 September 2000

I will tell you about 3 days of my life in war time. It was the 6th august of 1996. I lived on the outskirts of Grozny ( the capital of our republic) in a village.My family is not large, mother, father and sister, she is one year younger than me, that time she was 23. The village is in 5 miles from Grozny.That time Grozny was occupied by russian forceses. Hostilities were far from us in the mountains.
That day chechen fighters surrounded and attacked Grozny. Early morning I was woken up by shots and exploisions. I looked out of the window and saw people running aroud in panic. In our village nothing was happening and we thought that nothing would happen in our village. We just waited for the hostilities to cease but from day to day the situation went from bad to worse.
The most terrible day ( the 10th of august) had come .It was eventful day. The weather was dreary. It had been raining since morning. The morning was quiet, relatively quiet of course. In war situation one gets used to exploisions, shots if they are not so close. The morning I spent outside talking to my neighbours, discussing the situation, then I went home.
In the afternoon we were all at home.We lived on the second floor. My mother and sister were cooking in the kitchen, my farther was sleeping in the living room and I was learning french. ( Even war can not stop me studying and I do not like waste my time on useless things). Of a sudden, a strong blast was heard. That moment I did not realized what happened. Our house was shaken the windows were blown out, the rooms were filled by smoke, the walls were riddled, the furniture was damaged. My first thought was what happened to my mother and sister. The smoke cleared up quickly. When I ran into the kitchen I saw my mother and sister lying on the floor faces down. When I called them they did not hear me and when I touched them they got up. They were frightened and deafened. Fortunately, nobody was hurt by some miracle. Then we all went out and came down a shelter because we expected the next blast. All the people were outside expecting the same. But nothing happened. Maybe it was an errant shell.
Some time later we got out of the shelter and came up to the house to examine it. There is a big tree in front of our house. The shell was flying right into our window but the shell hit the tree and broke it. I loved that tree, how many times I climbed it and played under the tree in my childhood, every morning I watched it and admired and now it saved our lives. That day we did not know that it was just a beginning.
In spite of the bad weather all the people of our village were outside to be ready go down their shelters. It was about 5 o'clock when three airplanes appeared in the sky.
We thought they were flying somewhere but they began to circle our village and they were flying very low. We got used to such flyings and most people ignored them.
By 6 o'clock I droped in to my friend who lived in my neighbourhood to listened to news by radio. By that time we did not have electricity, water, and gaz. The airplanes were still flying. Sharply at 6 o'clock when we settled to listened to the radio we heard a sound which was getting louder and louder. Instinctively we lay on the floor. I did not even think it would bomb there were not fighters in our village and the pilots knew it. I kept telling to myself: -No, they will not bomb us.
But it was useless. A terrible blast followed after my thought. Then there were severals blasts.
W hen I ran out I saw clouds of smoke not far from us. My parents were at home and I ran to call them to go to the shelter. When we came up to the shelter there were many people hurrying to descend. I helped to my parents to go down, I stayed outside. I realized that the next attack was a matter of time. Me and those who stayed outside were watching the airplanes. They released several rockets not far from us. While we were watching them we did not noticed another aircraft which appeared out of the clouds and quickly swooped down. We hardly got down several explosions were heard near us. That was the last attack. The consequences were horrible.
Many houses, buildings were destroyed . There were many wounded and dead bodies scattered in the streets. One of the airplane dropped a heavy bomb on a 5-stored house where people were in the shelter. The bomb went through all the stores and exploded in the shelter. All the people who were there were buried alive. They remained there for a long time because it was very hard to get them out.
That rainy cold night many people of our village left their houses. The people of our house and my family decided to go early morning. It was too dangerous to go by day. There was the only way to leave our village, through the forest. Sometimes russian helicopters circled there and shot everything what moved. Few people stayed in the village. Mostly old men to guard their houses from marauders. We did not sleep that night. Most people passed the night in the cold wet shelter. High in the sky airplanes were heard and no one could dare to ignore them now.
We dressed warmly, took our bags, some food and started off before sunrise. Many people joined us on our way to the forest. When we were passing through the forest we saw burnt cars and buses. We walked for 5 hours and when we went out of the forest we saw a village a mile away from us. When we made a half of the way to the village we heard bullets whistling over our heads. We had to get down. We lay in the mud and waited what would happen. We did not know who fired and whether they wanted to kill us or to frighten. Then we all got up and ran. My mother tripped up and fell she got tired and could not walk She cried to me : Run, run. I came back and lay myself near her. She pooled her efforts together and ran with me. She told me later that if she had stayed there and something had happened to you because of me I would have never forgiven myself. Luckily we reached the village and we were out of danger.
In three monthes the russian army left Chechnya and we came home. We lived for 4 years without war and now the war has come again and Iím out of Chechnya now and trying to find any place for myself on this earth. My parents are still in Chechnya and Iím very much worried about them.
I do not know when will be the end of this war.


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