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Sergey Sharapov in the AK: Nonfiction Stories

Sergey Sharapov in the AK: Nonfiction Stories

Combat veteran, reserve Guards lieutenant colonel Sergey Sharapov stars in the next story under the AK: Nonfiction Stories special project. According to him, the Kalashnikov rifle twice saved his life by serving as a dependable support. The first time happened in the Far East during training when the officer fell through a hole in the ice and was dragged under by the mountain river's current. Using his AK to clinge to the hole's edge, he was able to hang on until help arrived. The second incident occurred in the North Caucasus mountains, where the reconnaissance trooper found himself sliding down a precipitous mountainside covered in gravel. Only the rifle buttstock, which he used as a support, allowed him to slow down his fall and avoid dropping down the chasm.

In some instances, an AK has taken the possibly fatal blow intended for a man. According to Sergey Sharapov, such an incident happened during the first Chechen campaign: as Russian soldiers stormed a building, a shot rang out from the shadows of the stairwell. One of them was holding his AK at chest level when an enemy bullet struck the weapon's receiver, bounced off, and flew high. Should it follow its initial trajectory, it would land in his chest, near the heart. The serviceman now remembers both his fallen friends and the Kalashnikov rifle that saved his life every time he raises his third toast at a gathering.

The reserve Guards lieutenant colonel also mentioned a good tradition of issuing young soldiers their first combat weapon. If the man who served with this weapon before had performed any feat or otherwise distinguished himself in service, the story of it is told that the young soldier should cherish and strive to add to.

Sergey Sharapov in the AK: Nonfiction Stories

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