Veterans of Afghanistan - PhMuseum

Veterans of Afghanistan

Margarita Khatmullina

2020 - Ongoing

My project is dedicated to veterans of Soviet Army who had served during years (1979-1989) of so-called “Afghan war”. Particularly my story is about soldiers who returned or did not return to their hometown of Sterlitamak (Russia).

In the early years of the Afghan war, soldiers were not allowed to tell parents about their service in Afghanistan, all letters were censored. Soldiers wrote that they were serving in some of the former Union republic. Even when some information about military service in Afghanistan was allowed, most often the guys did not report their whereabouts not to worry their mothers. In my project, I use letters from soldiers who were killed in action. Usually it was a daytime when military official came to parents to inform that their son had perished in action and in night parents got a closed zinc coffin with sons body, the so-called “cargo 200”.

To date, 4 mothers are still alive in Sterlitamak. Like all veterans of Afghanistan, parents receive rewards for their perished sons. In my project I, present photos of these military and memorial rewards on the background of mother’s dresses.

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  • Alexey Osipov born in 1967, served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1985 to 1987.

  • Fanil Khismatullin born in 1968, served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1986 to 1989.

  • Yuri Smirnov, born in 1962, served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1982 to 1984.

  • Sergey Larionov, born in 1961 served in the army from 1979 to 1980 in Afghanistan, was seriously wounded in the head. He is a disabled war veteran.

  • Alexander Vorobiev, born in 1968 served in the army from 1988 to 1989 in Afghanistan, was seriously wounded in the head, lost his left arm. He is a disabled war veteran.

  • This is an excerpt from Gainullin Askat's letter to his mother and younger brothers.

  • Fanil Bukharov was born in 1967, served in the army in Afghanistan with 1985 to 1987.

  • “Hello, my dear, dear mother, brothers Ahmet and Albertik!
    With warm greetings to you Askat!
    Also, huge greetings, to all relatives and my friends.
    I am now lively and healthy, my mood is good, the service is going fine. I decided to write another letter to you, without waiting for an answer from you…
    Once again, I congratulate you, dear mom with 8th March International Women's Day!
    I wish you, mom, in this beautiful day a lot of joy and laughter, fun and festive mood, and especially good, good health, and never, never get ill.
    28.02.1979. goodbye!
    from Askat.”

  • Mikhail Trifanov born in 1959, served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1981 to 1983.

  • Igor Osipov was born 1968 in the city of Sterlitamak. He was drafted into the Armed Forces on March 17, 1987, and served in Afghanistan. On December, 1987, Igor was mortally wounded in the head.
    Mom, Valentina Serafimovna Osipova, lives in Sterlitamak.

  • Oleg Dmitriev was born in 1966 in the city of Sterlitamak. He was drafted into the Armed Forces in 1984, and served in Afghanistan. On September 9, 1985, Oleg was mortally wounded.
    Mom, Dmitrieva Valentina Fedorovna, lost her only son.

  • Venus Fakhreev was born in 1966, served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1986, received a shell shock.

  • «Hello my mom and dad !!
    With a big warm greetings to you, your son Oleg.
    First, I want to inform you that I am alive and well, which is what I wish for you. Thank you mom for sending me a package, but I do not know if the package will reach me in time, because on February 2, I am being transferred to another place. You will no longer have to write to this old address. And when I arrive at the place, I'll write right away. Only mom I ask you, do not worry, everything will be fine, I will return alive and well, I am not the first, I am not the last… What's the news at home. Do the two girls who accompanied me come to us? How is the «Ruta» tape recorder still alive, playing? How are you, mom, aren't you sick?
    Don't worry, everything will be fine.
    Wait for the letter! Goodbye, Oleg»

  • Evgeny Kuvalov was born 1968 in the city of Sterlitamak. He was drafted into the Armed Forces in 1987, and served in Afghanistan. While carrying out a combat mission, Eugeny was seriously wounded. Evgeny died of the received wounds on November 13, 1988. Sister Elena Aleksandrovna lives in Sterlitamak.

  • Samat Kagarmanov, born in 1966, served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1986.

  • «Hello Mom, Sergey, Lilya.
    Mom 2 days ago I received 5 letters from you at once ... You have asked what kind of money they give us here, we are given 22 checks and, to your regret, I haven’t quit smoking, and there’s no problem with smoking, they give out as much as you want for free, but in general one pack a day.
    Well, I’m finishing writing a letter with this for now I have to get to do my duties.
    Goodbye, I am looking forward for new letters and news.
    See to it not get sick.
    I give you tight hug and kiss, your Igor.
    Say hello to everyone from me.»

  • Askat Gainullin was born on February 4, 1959 in the city of Sterlitamak. He was drafted into the Armed Forces on November 2, 1978, and served in Afghanistan. On August 14, 1980, Askat was mortally wounded in the head.
    Mom, Gainullina Zakira Abdulkhalilovna, lives in Sterlitamak.

  • Vladimir Egorov born in 1965, served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1983 to 1985.

  • Evgeny Koshelev, born in 1963. served in the Army in Afghanistan from 1983 to 1985. He was blown up by a mine, lost his leg. He is a disabled war veteran.


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