Former Soviet Soldier Missing Since 1980 Found Alive

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A former Soviet Army soldier, who has been missing since 1980, has been found alive.

Former Soviet soldier Bakhredtin Khakimov, was was an ethnic Uzbek, was found living in the Shindand district of Herat Province in western Afghanistan.  He lives under the name of Sheikh Abdullah and works as a traditional healer.

Khakimov had gone missing in action in 1980 during the Soviet invasion of Aghanistan.  He had been tracked down by a team from Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a nonprofit, Moscow-based organization that searches for the former Soviet Union’s MIAs in Afghanistan.

In a statement released by the organization, they revelead that, “He received a heavy wound to the head in the course of a battle in (Shandand) district in September 1980 when he was picked up by local residents.  He now leads a seminomadic life with the people who sheltered him.”

The organization was able to make contact with the man two weeks ago, and while he has no identity papers, he was able to identify photos of other Soviets he served with.  He hardly remembers any Russian, but is still fluent in Uzbek.

Khakmov also has visible effects from his wound, including a trembling hand and tic in his shoulder.

The former soldier, who married in Afghanistan, but is now a childless widower, is apparently keen to meet his relatives.  The committee is currently working on arranging the meeting.

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