I promised to write about survival during the civil war. I was a little busy, so it took a long time. I would be glad if I can help people who want to survive during the crisis. You can answer me at the following addresses firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. I like your site! Good luck.
Survival during the civil war in Tajikistan (former USSR)
The Soviet Union this is not Russia. And Russia is not only Saberia, balalayka,vodka and very cold climat. But it seems many people in the world (particularly in the U.S.) think so. Recently I saw a clip on MTV, where it all happened. Vodka, balalayka, bears, snow, and a Russian general in the tank :) See this clip - Basement Jaxx - Take Me Back To Your House (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLeOiDF99Yo).
USSR was Federation of the 15 republics. Many republics of the USSR were also federations. For example, full title main republic of USSR was Russian Federal Socialist Republic. Of course, many issues were resolved only central government in Moscow. But there were many issues, in which the central government did not intervene. Tajikistan was the smallest Soviet republic. But a little republic - does not mean backward republic. I lived in the city of Dushanbe, the Tajik capital. This is a large European city (about 1,000,000 inhabitants), which is home to 1 / 5 the population of Tajikistan.
All this I wrote that in the Soviet Union lived by ordinary people. Like you. They little was thought about politics. They little was think about religion. Not because people were not allowed to think about politics or religion. Not at all. Just a few people interested about it. Even now in the former Soviet republics, now independent states of the people are indifferent to religion. But things quickly changed. Very strange that yesterday you were living in one country, but today this country is not. But there are 15 new independent countries. At first time, nothing has changed. The Sun just shone. The sky remained blue. On the streets riding the same cars, buses. Nothing has changed. But suddenly on TV, radio and newspapers began to talk a lot about Islam. On TV started showing news and films from Iran. In the news on TV women were dressed in black hijab. Only black hijab. Only identical black clothes. The Iranian films is were only on a religious theme. In the streets began
to appear strange young men. They dressed like people in Afghanistan. And these people to spoke: don't wear European clothes. On lampposts in streets have been established loudspeakers, which 5 times a day transmit appeal for a Mohammedan prayer. It seemed to me that I am in Afghanistan or Iran. Russian on the streets began to cry - you go to Russia. Or do not go away, to be our slaves. But this is my city. I was born here! And my parents were born here. I do not want to go anywhere.
Can not say that these situation liked everything. While the streets were quiet, and the government preferred to do nothing against these people. But it was not very smart idea. Many people were against a secular government. These people wanted Islamic government. Islamic government as in Iran. Or as in neighboring Afghanistan. And these people have organized a big demonstration in the city center. Thousands of people were shouting - freedom! We do not want communism! We need democracy and freedom! And we want Islamic government. The government could not suppress the antigovernment demonstration. In another place, it organized a demonstration of his supporters. Almost a month thousands of people were on the two main squares. In islamic square the idea of democracy and freedom have forgotten. And only shouted - islam, the Islamic Republic!
In another square the people shouted - not an Islamic republic! But what about the other people in the city? They also gather in the square. And on this square the people shouting - islamists, go away! The Communists, go away! All go home! But reasonable people no one heard. The government gave weapons to its supporters. The Islamists have distributed weapons to its people. To understand, who the enemy, islamic militants used on clothes and cars white tapes, and their opponents used red tapes. For example, the militant in clothes with a red tape is the communist, the militant in clothes with a white tape is islamic militant. All people in two squares go crazy. On the streets stolen cars were traveling at high speed, in which armed men were sitting. On islamist cars - white flags. On communist cars - red flags. The police do nothing. The government is silent. On the streets only people with red or white flags. And they kill each other. On the streets of the puddles of blood,
lying dead people. And on TV only Indian films. And the concerts of national music. On radio - only music. No information in TV and radio, only films and music.
Why the government was powerlessly? Simply nobody in government and in police was not ready for real independence. Soviet Union has broken up very quickly and unexpectedly for all. In soviet time was low crime level, therefore the local police struggled with small crimes. Serious crimes - the murders, the armed robberies, large contraband of drugs was happened very seldom. Antigovernmental demonstrations in soviet time never was not. But the situation quickly changed. If the police cannot stop riots in the streets, the army will need to help government.
If the police cannot stop riots in the streets, the government need help army. Armies in this new state too were not. Those few parts of the former Soviet army which were in independent Tajikistan, were on border with Afghanistan. They obeyed commands from Moscow. The famous KGB was mightily only in Hollywood films.
Groups of Islamites have grasped my city. The government began to be supervised by them. But they did not supervise all country. Later the city was stormed the militants from the Popular Front of Tajikistan (so communistic groups later began to be called), some time later the city again was grasped by insurgents from United Tadjik Opposition (so began to be called islamist group). So was some times, while the Popular Front definitively has not won.
The situation in Dushanbe remained relatively calm in all time. Large shooting was not, but little shooting happened constantly. But for this situation all have become accustomed. Excluding the time when militants from both sides stormed city.
When I write - Islamites or communists, all not absolutely so. Both parties were not against Islam and not against ideas of communism. In many respects it was struggle of clans for the power. It was war between well developed industrial North and poorly developed agrarian South. Besides, even in such small country there were separatists. Mountain areas tried to create independent state. The leaders of both parties were not real communists or real islamists. One of leaders of Islamites - Shodmon Jusuf, held a high post in Communist Party. In a Soviet period he spoke about friendship between the people. During civil war he on TV declared hostages of all russian people in Tajikistan. And if Russia intervenes in war in Tajikistan all hostages will be killed. This statement was supported by other leader of Islamites - Otahon Latifi. In a Soviet period he was the known journalist of the central Moscow newspaper. One of main leaders of Peoples Front - Sangak Safarov has spent 23 ye
ars in prison. Sangak precisely not was the communist. But this person has stopped Islamites. Without Sangak Safarov Tajikistan was to become the second Afghanistan.
Now to business. How to survive in the country where there is no order?
How it is possible to get used to firing, to death in streets? It is possible. If you are in this situation, you get used to this faster, than you think. I will result an interesting example. My father's friend - the fan of a distant radio communication on short waves. It has contacted the radio fan from Belfast, Northern Ireland. During conversation he heard a strange sounds.
- What is this sounds?
- All is simple. In the next street shoot insurgents out of IRA . When these insurgents will finish the shooting , and I will go to grocery shop.
When the father to me has told this story, I could not understand, how it is possible to get used to death. How it is possible not to pay attention to sounds of shooting in streets? But when all it happens in streets of my city, I have understood all. People can get used to all troubles. Or nearly so to all troubles. At first you very much are afraid of shooting . You are afraid to leave the house. But it is impossible be in house constantly. At your home can will end foods, and you will be compelled to leave the house. You will need to work, or you will die of hunger.
At the very beginning of civil war belligerent parties try to avoid unnecessary victims. They try not to kill civilians. Militants will don't kill civilians specially. Civilians will be in relative safety. But it does not mean that you can easy walk on a city during street firing.
Certainly, it not always so. This situation was not in each civil war. At disintegration of the USSR there were some more civil wars. For example, war between Armenia and Azerbaijan began as civil war. During this war civilians have been killed by militants from both parties. Only later both parties have created the present armies, and these armies tried not to kill civilians.
The weapon. It is a complicated question. All depends on a situation. If crowd of furious people break door in your house, the weapon is very necessary for you. With an automatic rifle in hands, or with something serious, you can protect yourselves. Some shots - and militants will understand that you is the real hero. As in the American films. One good guy against bad guys. The problem in that, in a life all will be not so. At cinema one good guy kills it many bad guys. In the real life much bad guys kill one good guy. Remember this, your main task is to survive! You not the hero. Heroes die the first. At threat of an attack you will need very strong metal door. If fight goes nearby, and you houses, do not leave the house. It is not necessary to look from a window to look who there shoots. Steer clear of windows. Find as much as possible closed place where the casual bullet will not get you.
And this door should open outside, not to inside your home. The strong door is your rescue. Now you do not need to be the hero. Let militants try to break your strong metal door. Let shoot through your door. Let them screaming: open a door! Do not shoot at the answer, and do not answer them. You not the idiot, and you will don't open a door. Sit silently. They will not try long to open your door. Also they will not use dynamite. What for this to waste time? Around many other doors. Yes, I has absolutely forgotten. Strong lattices at windows too are important, if you live on the first or second floor. And dense curtains or jalousie at windows.
Your salvation is the strong door, lattices at windows, and a large supply of water and canned food. About the decision of a problem with water and meal well wrote by Ferfal. I will not repeat again about it.
But I will return to a question on the weapon. Perhaps you think, what I against the weapon during civil war? This is not true. Don't think that if you have a weapon, you in safety. The pistol or a rifle only will help you to survive. Or will help quickly to die . The weapon is useful, if you or your house are attacked by robbers. Several persons you can neutralise. And if it is more, 10,20,50,100? Militants will be too much. And at them other problems. They kill each other. While you without the weapon, you are not too interesting to them. But if you are armed, all militants will shoot at you.
It seems that this is madness - to be on the streets without a weapon when the street many armed militants.
But my opinion - to be with the weapon in the street during disorders - is equivalent to suicide. What weapon you take? A rifle? You will hide it in a pocket? Will try to hide under clothes? It is good, if in the street it is cold, and the person in a coat will not cause special suspicions. And if you go in the street in long, free clothes, but the weather in street is very hot? It will be very suspicious. Well, all of you wish to go with a rifle, having hidden it under clothes. You were surrounded with some people with weapons. They will wait for you, while you will use the rifle? OK! You killed them. In next second another militants killed you.
Maybe, You will need the weapon which easily can be hidden. For example, a pistol or Israeli UZI. With this weapon you have more chance, but still you will not be a winner. The armed people surrounded you again. You quickly killed your enemies. And in next second another militants killed you again.
Maybe, the weapon is not necessary for you. No, I so have not told. It can to you it is required, when civil war starts to come to an end. While there is no new government. In streets already there are no militants. But there is a lot of weapon. At this time the armed robberies in streets become an everyday occurrence. Here then the weapon is required to you. Gangsters will be afraid with you to communicate, if at you in hands an automatic pistol or UZI.
In many countries the weapon freely is on sale. You can buy any weapon if you have money. But there are countries where weapon sale is forbidden or strongly limited. In the USSR there were strict rules about weapon purchases. In soviet time legally possible to buy only a fowling piece. And only under the special permission. After disintegration of the USSR rules have changed, but all the same remained very strict. Now in Russia resolved the pneumatic weapon, shooting by balls from a steel (it is possible to buy exact copy áë-47), electric shock gun and other means for self-defence, but legally possible to buy only a fowling piece. But the rifle is very inconvenient for the latent carrying! Recollect history. During the Russian Revolutions and Civil War partisans cut down the butt and barrel of rifles to create a "hand made pistol" known as an "obrez" (see http://homepage3.nifty.com/LAMPOPO/Foto1/Obrez.JPG). A sawn-off shotgun very convenient weapon for the latent carrying. A
TTENTION! In Russia manufacturing and storage of sawn-off shotguns is forbidden. This criminal offence. I do not urge you to do it! Think, can, in your country it is forbidden. If it is forbidden, do not do it!
That is still important. You should will learn to use the weapon. Otherwise, what for it to you? Think well, can to you it is necessary seriously wound or even to kill the person. Or even several people. If you are not ready to this, you do not need the weapon. If you have decided to get the weapon, you must ready to shoot. If you scream to the armed insurgents: stop, I will shoot, insurgents will long not think. They will simply shoot you, take your weapon, and will go further. Think of it. And always remember that murder this serious criminal offence!!!
But what if you were on the street during the riots? Or you urgently need to get from one end of town to another, or leave the city?
Explore your city. For example, the majority of people can all life in a city, but know only its small part. They know only habitual routes. From the house before work, and back. The majority of people well know only several districts. . Also it is all. It is enough for a normal life. If you have appeared in unfamiliar district, you can always ask the help for passers-by. Or you look a map if it at you is. Probably, it is impossible to know on 100 % all streets in a big city. But you should at least roughly oriented in every district of your city. Without the aid of maps, without a GPS navigator. Only your eyes, ears and head. Think, if you find yourself in an unfamiliar area during the fighting? Who you ask about the road? You go to militants and ask road for insurgents? Well, you understand me.
Clothes. Don't use military style clothes, don't use clothes reminiscent of the military. You must use comfortable clothes, use clothes in dark colors. Remember - you are not militant, you are just ordinary civilians.
One more important question. You must to go on foot, or to go by the car? Certainly, to go by the car it is easy, convenient and safe. But only not during street disorders in a city. The car is very convenient purpose for militants. Besides, all basic roads to a city will necessarily reliably are blocked.
If firing has found you in the street, do not panic. You must hide. Find shelter. Wait for the firing termination, not important, how many will pass time. Simply wait. When the firing termination you must to think, do you really need to go further?
If you were noticed by the armed people, do not try to run. A bullet all the same faster. The running man will be guaranteed killed. Wait, while militants will go to you. You must be not afraid and worry. You must answered to questions relaxed. Tell the truth. You the civilian, you must urgently to leave a city. Or you urgently should go to in other city district. Without a panic. If you will beat, do not resist. Insurgents are armed, and they can kill you. Demand to conversation with their commander. Tell to commander, what for and where you go. Try to convince insurgents that you not the spy, you the civilian. You need go to further. Perhaps, it will work. I hope, to you will carry and militants will not kill you.
Documents. Passports. Identification cards. If you have to get out of a city during street disorders you should think of it. Look, you go away of the country where there is a civil war. But in your new country documents will be necessary to you. Will interest nobody that your passport is destroyed together with your house. The passport, the driver's licence, other documents are very important! Keep them in your pocket.
About electric power. With an electricity you will have big problems. It is good, if you have a portable generator. But if you live in an apartment house, you will be very difficult to use it. It very strongly rustles and allocates smelly exhaust gases. Certainly, if you absolutely don't have the electricity, you must have the generator. But if the electricity in your home have at least some hours per day it is possible to try to use ordinary computer's UPS. Or try to use car's accumulator and AC/DC converter 12 V -> 220 V. For a desktop luminescent lamp, for portable TV or a radio receiver energy will suffice at 5-6 hours. And if use LED a lamp energy will suffice at 8-10 hours or even more.
Communications and News. In the time of civilian war very important know current situation in your country, in your city. Local radio or TV can be under control of militants and broadcasted false news or broadcasted only music. Wired and cell phones can be not work. Access to Internet can be blocked. You don't nothing know. How to be in such situation? For example, you must go to another district in your city. How you know about the situation in this district? You need independent channel for communications and information. It is good, if you have satellite TV, satellite phone, and satellite Internet. But this is expensive things. Optimum choice is radio on battery with range short waves and handheld radio transceiver (as know walkie-talkie).
Fuel and the stove. You will be need fuel or electricity to cook food. But if there will be no electricity and the magistral gas how it to make? Certainly, if you live in the country near to wood or near to a coal mine, fuel for you not a problem.
But if you live in a city, gasoline, kerosene or gas will be the most accessible fuel. You will be needed the stove, which will work on this fuel. Modern stoves, such as Primus OmniFuel it's very good stoves. See this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdja7UCIt0Y. I read this comment about this stove: "I used the titan - version of the omnifuel as reliable stove during a long stay in the high mountains between Hinudkush, Pamir and Karakorum in the northeastern most region of Afghanistan as a ISAF - soldier participating reconnaissance - patrols near the tajik or pakistani border. I had no problems with that stove and will hopefully use it again in similar situations. I used white gas from our rescues-center as well as propane/butane....." Very nice recommendation!
Modern stoves work well on any liquid fuel or gas. But these stoves have one problem. Fuel for these stoves must be high quality (white gas). In time of civilian war you will needed simple classic stove. The stove for any bad fuel. I think, old classic stoves may be better than, modern stoves (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fYj0f0Lu04&feature=related).
Money. During the civil war money will faster depreciate. Hyperinflation will start. Each day begins with the new prices. Forget about the stability of money! The money will be printed by any local government. So always was and be during civil war. After falling of the USSR the money has printed all new recognized and not recognized states. There was the most different money, some governments on old Soviet roubles pasted local mark (look the reference - money of not recognized Dnestr Moldavian Republic http://fotki.yandex.ru/users/s30051959/view/109787/? page=1). Independent Tajikistan too has printed the money very similar to old Soviet roubles (http://www.kcshop.com/imagegallery/Tajikistan.htm). Look money of the former republics USSR - http://pulman.livejournal.com/111070.html? thread=403166. Money during civil war In Russia (1918-1920) - http://bb.1asphost.com/banknotes/gallery_1.htm. It's not money, it's simply paper. How to save the money in crisis time? I totally agree
with Ferval, instead of money you need gold. Gold is easy to store, its price remains stable. But in addition to gold's nice to have a stable foreign currencies. During the civil war I would divide the money on 3 part. 50 % of my money I has translated in euro and I will store these money in reliable European bank. I think, to store large amounts of money in dollars it's too much risk. 25 % of money I would translate in gold. 25 % of percent I would translate in cash U.S. dollars and euro. Now I would recommend cash American dollars and Euros. Despite the inevitable collapse of the U.S. (I think the U.S. will disappear as the USSR), the U.S. dollar for a long time will remain the primary currency. Euro is still too new currency, and many people don't know about euro. I think, your need for cash money on 50% in dollars, 50% in euros. Other independent stable currencies, such as the Swiss franc, British pound, Japanese yen, for too many people is unknown money. Many people si
mply do not know how to look like such banknotes.
The House. The house in time of civilian war. On this site I read interesting letter about civilian war in ex-Yugoslavia. In this letter author wrote very smart ideas about anti crisis house. I fully agree with these thoughts. If You have money and time, You must build such house. In this house will be safe, it's ideal house for civilian war.
But if You don't have money and time for building ideal house or your house is destroyed, You can build simple, cheap and warm house. This is house in earth or dugout (in East Europe this house know as "zemlyanka"). In properly constructed dugout enough comfortable. In classical dugout for you will be cool in summer and warm in winter. In addition this house very difficult to detect. To my regret, I don't find references in English language about building dugout. But on sites in Russian language is photos and pictures that will help you understand, how to build this house (how to build the dugout (in russian http://www.vrazvedka.ru/main/learning/obmundirov/varenishev_04.html and http://www.fortification.ru/library/gerbanovsky/009.html).
I found site of people group, that build the perfect ecological village (they believe in crazy ideas, but their experience can it is useful). On the first step they built the dugouts (http://www.zunigor.narod.ru/Zemlynka/zemlynka.html). They made very good dugouts but in next year these dugouts has flooded groundwater (one year later http://www.slavnoe2006.narod.ru/may.html). If You decide to build this, You must remember about this problem.
See these links about modern dugout in United Kingdom. This man ready for bad times! (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/03/287791.html, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/jul/26/ethicalliving.lifeandhealth)
Original idea for anticrisis home in Poland (http://www.obrazky.pl/schron). Even the dugout can be very comfortable (http://funlog.ru/pics/samaja_komfortabelnaja_zemljanka:10179.html).
The car. About the car during the crisis is well has written Ferfal. My main recommendation - this car must easy to use and repair. Let this car outside look as garbage, but this car must be have is very reliable engine. The diesel engine or the gasoline engine? What engine to choose? The diesel engine is arranged easier, than gasoline engine. The diesel engine is more economic. Maybe, You must to choose diesel car, after all diesel fuel more cheaply and less flammable, than gasoline. But the car with diesel engine very exacting to quality of fuel. And the diesel engine is very difficult to repair. Therefore, it is better to choose a car with gasoline engine. And this car must work on any bad gasoline, after all the quality of gasoline will be disgusting. Little advertising. For bad roads, I recommend 2 automotive brands. This is a classic model of Lada Niva and classical models UAZ. Of course, these cars were designed more than 30 years ago and not very comfortable. They are
difficult for manage, these cars has no steering booster. See this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk7zqSLwewk suzuki samurai vs. lada niva, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUHHANKAOQo lada niva (LADA vs HUMMER),
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIpRju_pJAM real russian OFF ROAD).
Of course, there are still many other important issues, but I wrote about the most important. Good luck!
Dmitry B*****, Moscow, Russia
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Posted by FerFAL at 5:23 PM