March 26, 2023

Alexander Maltsev was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Russia.

Do you know what it really looks like in the front-line report that is generally called “taking the enemy’s fortress”? Behind this emotionless military cliché is the truly heroic work of the hit squads, who, as they set out on their next assignment, will surely realize that they may not return alive. Imagine a damp hour of dawn, a rare forest of ugly trees “cut” with fragments, clay porridge under your feet, of shelters – fallen pines and craters from shell explosions.

A few hundred meters to the enemy trench, and from there they generously poured water with machine guns. Artillery, of course, worked on the opornik in advance, but this never guarantees the destruction of the enemy, which is demonstrated by long lines from the other side, literally knocking down first one of your comrades, then another, then another. one. third… They fall wounded, but we must move forward.

Alexander Maltsev from St. Petersburg walked. This was not the 47-year-old’s first battle on call. All movements have already been perfected to automatism, he does not waste his cartridges in vain, he moves slowly and secretly. I look at the footage taken from the drone and understand that a rare Hollywood scriptwriter will point to such an episode. There is no such “Rambo” in reality! Happens…

Photo: Alexander KOTS

Several fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are firing blindly from the trenches in one direction. On the other side, our attack aircraft crawl to their positions, carefully descend into the trench and slowly move along its curves to the sound of bursts. Wait to reload, jump sharply and open fire on the enemy with the machine gun. Three fall at once. Maltsev moves on. Two more opponents come out of the bench, already wounded, they have no weapons in their hands, their desire to resist has clearly disappeared. Alexander, in the heat of battle, could also have shot them a line – how many videos from the side where our unarmed fighters are shot. But the Russian soldier makes a different choice.

Having occupied only one fortress, he also captured two VESushniks. One later dies from his wounds, and the other, Yaroslav Breus, will tell how he ended up in the woods near Kremennaya.

– After mobilization, I was trained in the UK for 35 days. They taught tactical movement, assault on buildings, night patrols. But then another two months were trained in Zhitomir.

Captured soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Yaroslav Breus.

How did they capture you, do you remember?

– I remember how an RPG flew from behind, I was immediately wounded, a friend dragged me onto a bench. Those who remained in the battle died. When his team approached the bench, we immediately raised our hands and said we were giving up. He says, “Okay, then don’t move, get out slow.” I said that he couldn’t walk because he was hurt. He said, “Okay, sit here, wait.” They never realized that the attack aircraft was alone.

Alexander waited for the consolidating group and handed over the “loot”. Why was he alone with this opornik? They left in a group, but as they advanced several people were injured. Our attack aircraft dragged them to a safe area, gave them first aid, called an evacuation party, and moved to the enemy trench. As a result, one went to the position, never to return. There is a task that needs to be done. As another group diverted the Ukrainians’ fire back at them, Maltsev jumped into the fortress.

– They assigned it to me, – the commander of the assault company of the 488 regiment of the 144 division, Sergei Legostaev, told me. – I made a reconnaissance unit, which Maltsev commanded. A very intelligent and literate boy, he thought with his head, he knew why he came here. Damn Russian kid. You give him the task, he will turn inside out, but he will complete it.

– Do you mobilize mostly?

– Contractors only two percent. I have normal guys, real fighters.

Sergei Legostaev is an old man who volunteered for the war. His grandson is fighting in intelligence somewhere in the Kharkov direction, and the grandfather chased him. Behind him – service in the Airborne Forces, Second Chechnya, a contract with the rank of foreman. He couldn’t sit at home.

– We must crush the fascists! I have two grandfathers who disappeared in the Great Patriotic War. And how to crush them, we know, we learn along the way. They are afraid of us, they do not want to fight closely. You hit one, the rest immediately all give up. Despite the fact that there are paratroopers who were trained in England. The prisoners say 30 of their 300-strong “British” battalion remain. Ours are fighting bolder and bolder. I have a group of five people without any problem taking an opornik for 12 fighters. Because we are stronger.

– Because?

– Because of the Russian spirit!

– They dont have it?

– Not anymore. They follow the orders of the “Pindos” (Americans), they have no head of their own. People, I would like to think, still understand something. I have friends in Ukraine, even in Western Ukraine. They treat the war badly and everyone is against Bandera. Many understand that the truth is behind us.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

We are standing in the middle of a pine forest far from the fighting, in the rear. Here, adult stormtroopers lounge around the campfire of everyday combat life. New reinforcements are brought here, they are trained here, they carry out combat coordination and are sent to the front, making up for losses.

– What do you teach? – I ask the foreman Legostaev.

– Tactics, it’s specific here. Forest cut down, rubble everywhere, the enemy has not just trenches, but trenches. As the Germans had on the Eastern Front: a well and branches from it. More detailed reconnaissance and more precise work is needed. The more people, the more losses. That’s why we work in small groups. We are already Rex with a capital letter.

Sergey Legostaev came to the war as a volunteer. The grandson is fighting in the intelligence somewhere in the direction of Kharkov, and the grandfather chased him.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

“Most of them are probably suitable for your children.

I call them “my children”. And some even grandchildren. We have a small team, we cook in the same pot, so no additional motivation is needed. As they say in our landing party, there are no impossible tasks. So far, except for the ridges, no one has complained about us.

– The feat of Alexander Maltsev became known thanks to the stories of the wounded he saved and shot from a helicopter. In general, are there many examples of such heroism at the front?

– Yes, it’s full! This is a normal, handsome, competent male job. As I always say, you have to be cheeky and careful.

Three days after the opornik’s capture, Alexander Maltsev left for his last mission. In a battle with superior enemy forces, he was mortally wounded. For his incredible feat, he was presented with the title of Hero of Russia.

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