9th Company – the film that haunts you

Still shaken after watching the 9th Company. If you have not seen it and are interested in history, particularly Soviet war in Afghanistan, I highly recommend it (available as instant play on Netflix, with English subtitles). It’s loosely based on an actual battle that took place at the height of 3,234 meters in Afghan mountains.

No army, never, never ever, had successfully conquered Afghanistan.
– Army instructor teaching soldiers about Afghan history and culture

I was a small kid growing up in Soviet Union when the conflict in Afghanistan took place, so I don’t really recall how it was portrayed in the media. But I do remember boys playing guitar and singing those “street songs” about young guys giving their lives because “they were told to charge forward and die”. All kids kept quiet when those songs were played, listening to the simple sad melodies and lyrics about this strange unknown place.

Now, after witnessing the collapse of my former motherland (or fatherland?) the mighty Soviet Union, and living in the US for almost 9 years, I’m trying to gather facts and paint a clearer picture of what happened. It’s complicated, of course, and crazy incredibly sad, that wars like this had to take place, and there’s still instability in Afghanistan and people are still dying.

Additional reading:
Two Steps to Heaven, which I’m reading now. Russian version, epub. English translation, incomplete, epub (original HTML text courtesy of ArtOfWar)
Khaled Hosseini books: the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I read both and loved them
– The Afghans by Rybakov (link to a PDF in Russian) – have not read yet

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