Bakhredtin Khakimov, an ethnic Uzbek, was tracked down by a team from Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a nonprofit, Moscow-based organization that leads the search for the former Soviet Union’s MIAs in Afghanistan. He was a soldier for the Red army when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1980. He received a head injury and was rescued by Afghan tribesmen almost 33 years ago.
He is now living under the name of Sheikh Abdullah and working as a traditional healer in the Shinand District of Afghanistan.
The organization found him about two weeks ago. Although he had no papers, he was able to identify the names of soldiers he served with when he was shown their pictures.
“He could understand Russian a little bit, but spoke it poorly, although he remembers his Uzbek language,” the organization said. “The effects of his wounds were clearly manifested: His hand trembles and there is a visible tic in his shoulder.”
He was nursed back to health by a tribe elder who practiced herbal medicine. From him, he learned his trade.
He said he was “happy he survived”. He married in Afghanistan, but is now a childless widower. He is anxious to see his relatives in Russia.
The organization is attempting to find a total of 263 missing men who served in the bloody 9 year war. 29 have been located. 22 chose to return to their native country and 7 decided to stay in Afghanistan.
About 15,000 of the 600,000 Soviet soldiers who served in the near decade-long war were killed.
Columnist-The Guardian Express