Sniper: A Novel
Nicolai Lilin, Jamie Richards
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Poised to stand among the great war novels, the harrowing chronicle of a sniper during the Chechen War.
“The saboteurs? Holy Christ, what happened? What did you do to deserve that?” a fellow soldier responds when he hears that Nicolai Lilin has been assigned to an unconventional, ultra-high-risk paramilitary unit of the Russian army. Also nicknamed the “para-bats” for the black parachutes that dropped them behind enemy lines at night, Lilin and his fellow “saboteurs” soon find themselves fighting Islamic insurgents armed with American weaponry in the breakaway province of Chechnya.
In vivid, harrowing detail, Lilin relays how, under the mind-bending dangers of heavy fire, on unknown terrain, in unpredictable small villages, the only goal is survival. Under the leadership of corrupt generals profiting from the war, his unit develops a camaraderie that is their best hope for staying alive―and staying human. Ultimately, the return to the bland normality of an impersonal society at “peace” might be the hardest struggle of all.
Writing with unhindered directness and power, Lilin combines his own experiences as a sniper in Chechnya together with the stories of those he fought beside to forge an autobiographical novel unique in the literature of war. A bestseller in Europe, this novel will remain an unforgettable account of one of the ugliest conflicts of our time.
arm with the plastic band. ‘Shit, just when I was starting to have fun . . .’ Shoe commented. We set off down the hill; it was very steep and at some points we were in danger of slipping. To keep our balance we went almost on all fours, hanging on to every stone, every patch of grass, every little root poking out of the ground. Some of the OMON team came with us, while the others had stayed; their task was to respond to the fire, to make the enemy think that all of us were still there,
my leg off!’ one of the OMON boys started screaming in desperation. His screams were so loud and high-pitched that they almost drowned out the sound of the shooting. I tried to spot the place where the Arab with the grenade launcher was hiding, but the trees were obstructing my view. So I fired a few shots at random, near a clump of bushes that seemed to be moving. I immediately heard a bullet fly over my head – they had a sniper too. ‘Let’s go down lower,’ I told the other man. It was an
reconnaissance and found themselves surrounded by a large group of terrorists. The infantry night scouts who went to recover the dead that day said that Nosov’s and Moscow’s bodies had been mined. Evidently one of the two, before he died, hadn’t wanted to leave the enemy the chance to commit dishonorable acts on their remains. I visited their grave, in the military cemetery of the city of M***. According to army tradition, friends who fall together are buried together. Shoe was wounded, but
and the major of general command was outside, with a bulletproof vest on and a Kalashnikov in his hands. He had a lit cigarette in his teeth, and when he saw us, he rushed over to our car: ‘So you did it! My God, you’re lunatics!’ He walked around the BTR looking at us one by one, as if we were objects on display in a museum. The car came to a stop and we all got out. The infantry sergeant approached the major and saluted: ‘Comrade Major, permission to report!’ The major stared ahead as
anaesthesia and he wouldn’t have felt a thing. With my hand trembling, I very slowly extracted the bullet from my friend’s leg. It was a 5.45 caliber, it had definitely come from a model of Kalashnikov that has a short barrel, which had not put much force on the bullet. If it had been shot from a long-barrelled rifle, that same bullet would have entered the body but wouldn’t have stopped, it would have traveled, slicing through the flesh, leaving little hope. . . . A bullet like that could go