The non-profit Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, which falls beneath the Commonwealth of Independent States, found Khakimov after following a decades-old trail. He had fallen and cracked his head, he told them, and then a local village healer had found him and nursed him back to health.
Once he regained his health, he forgot Russian, picked up the local language, and took a wife, never seeking to reunite with his family. He has no children and is now a widower, and wishes to see his family, the report says.
The nonprofit which found him is dedicated solely to finding missing Russian soldiers. When they started, they had 271 to locate. Since then, they’ve found 29 alive in Afghanistan.–source
This is just incredible and I had no idea that the Russians were still finding folks in Afghanistan. I imagine that contractors and military folks have bumped into several Afghans over the years that were probably former Soviet Union soldiers. lol
If you think you have a good lead on one of those, be sure to contact Warriors-International Affairs Committee and let them know. Although you might want to Google Translate your message into Russian first. –Matt
The current photo of Bakhretdin Khakimov. Military photo of a younger Bakhretdin Khakimov.
Soviet Soldier, Missing for 33 Years, Found in Afghanistan
Bakhretdin Khakimov, the Soviet soldier who disappeared in Afghanistan for 33 years.
There is a traditional healer living in the Shindand District in Afghanistan, known as Sheikh Abdulla, an elderly-looking, impoverished widower with a wispy beard leading a semi-nomadic life with a local clan.
His real name is Bakhretdin Khakimov and he is a Soviet soldier who has been missing in action since the first months of a nine-year-long bloody war that began when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in late 1979.
Khakimov, an ethnic Uzbek, was tracked down two weeks ago by a search party of the Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a nonprofit, Moscow-based organization, operating under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), whose activists spent a year following the missing soldier’s decades-old trail.
That’s one down and 263 soldiers to go for the committee, which presented its latest findings in the search for Soviet servicemen in Afghanistan at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.
“Looking for missing soldiers is among our top priorities. And it’s a tough job,” said committee head Ruslan Aushev, who fought in Afghanistan and was president of the republic of Ingushetia in the Russian North Caucasus from 1993 to 2001.