Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 2013-03-08
A Soviet war veteran Bakhretdin Khakimov who went missing in action 33 years ago during the Soviet Union’s ill-fated Afghan War in Afghanistan has been found alive and living a semi-nomadic life under the name Sheikh Abdullah.
Khakimov an Uzbek from Samarkand who served in a motorised rifle unit, adopted an Afghan name, Sheikh Abdullah, married a local woman, who later died, and now practices herbal medicine in the province of Herat in western Afghanistan. He was rescued by Afghans after being wounded in the first months after the Soviet Union's invasion in 1979, was tracked down by a Moscow-based group of war veterans.
The committee's deputy chairman, of the Afghan war veterans' committee Alexander Lavrentyev said Abdullah, mostly had forgotten the Russian language and never tried to contact his relatives after suffering severe head trauma in the fighting.
He said Abdullah, was 20 years old when he went missing bore the scars of his war wounds - a shaking hand and shoulder and nervous tic. “The ex-soldier, from the city of Samarkand, was able to name his former place of residence in Uzbekistan and the names of his relatives,” Mr. Lavrentyev said.
A reunion is expected within the next week. His brother, Sharof, said: ‘It is very sad our parents did not live to see today. I can’t wait to see him.’
The Soviets invaded Afghanistan on December 27, 1979. They wanted to make Afghanistan a modern socialist state and were supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The official result was a 'military stalemate' and they left, largely defeated, on February 15, 1989.