The following script is the abridged version of mini-series "Ghost of Avilovka " by Leo Gavrilovich. For post production review only and should not be publicised. All rights reserved by YIA Production
Episode 1: Motherland's Call
Director: Leo Gavrilovich Script Writter: Ruslan Kuritsyn Screenplay Writter: Edvard Krupnov
Vladik Porzinski as Stephan Revnik
Miroslav Sigayev as Anton Moltinov
Vinkenty Medvikov as Gennady Churkin
Alexander Gunnar Arstaad as Konrad Jarvinen
Slava Boyarov as Sergei Novoseltsev
Mikhail Zaporozhets as Vladimir Karpov
Runtime: 2 hr 11 min
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 HD
Camera: R3ality SIP (Stereoscopic Image Processor), TS5/2 Series Lens, ARB NLX Lens
Printed Film Format: Video HDTV 70mm Fenex (Premier Exclusive)
Filming Location: YIA Studios, Cinfilms Complex, Cinigrad.
Yuktobanian Army Training Ground, Pelevin, Kopyo YR
Cinigrad Officer Candidate Academy, Cinigrad.
“That day was like a recorded nightmare that kept repeating inside my head”
- Sound montage
“This just in just couple of hours ago, Yuktobanian Prime Minister Polchenoff ordered large scale evacuation from Avilovka…Emmerian authority reported that they detected highly radioactive clouds looming over Vitoze…I’d hope I could tell you something but honestly I didn’t notice anything till the siren went off…Attention all citizens of Avilovka this is Yuktobanian Army Civilian Affairs you’re ordered to immediately abandon your residents and proceed to checkpoints for evacuation…The problem concerning Avilovka right now is the question of why it took the government so long to issue the evacuation…We’re probably looking at the worst nuclear incident in history…”
This was a story of long before that day, I was once a passionate person looking to take down the enemies of the motherland. Perhaps, that’s why I joined the Army. My family struck this idea and as I entered that bootcamp gate. I have all communication with my family ceased. But, I didn’t regret that because I knew that I’d be serving a far greater cause.
I busted my butt throughout the basic military course, trying to excel and raise myself beyond others. In my times there I also took radio coding training, foreign language courses and many things you don’t get in regular BMC’s curriculum. I was a dead fit officer and nobody could say the otherwise. The advisor they provided in the BMC advised me to go onto the academy and dig my way up to be an officer. So after my graduation from the BMC I carried on and enrolled into Cinigrad Officer Candidate Academy.
Cinigrad Central Bus Station, January 6th 1982, 0800hrs.
It was a dark and stormy day, I rushed in with my backpack and sheltered myself. Another man in a military uniform followed suit. “Damn Taxi driver, he could’ve dropped my off closer so I wouldn’t have to freeze myself in this monsoon” he said. He looked at me and noticed I was also in uniform and so he asked “Hey, are you going to Cinigrad OCA as well?”. “Yeah” I answered. He offered his right hand and introduced himself to me “My name is Churkin, Gennady Churkin”. I followed “Revnik, Stephan Revnik”. “Attention to all cadets please proceed to Bus CA-12…” I seek upon that voice and found an officer with a megaphone. I told Churkin and he took his backpack. The bus was located on the most right of the bus parking lines and there we could see lines of people in military uniform. From the ranks attached to their arms I found out that none of them were higher than private first class. “Alright comrades, please mention your name and military ID number” said the officer who previously was calling at the cadets through his megaphone. Slowly the line got shorter and shorter and one by one people embarked into the bus. And then it was my time. “Name and ID comrade!” he asked. I answered “Cadet Stephan Revnik, 421179”. He looked carefully at the list in front of him and to my shock he said “I’m sorry comrade, you’re name is not on this list”. I plead him to look one more time and still he couldn’t find my name. But, then he asked “Comrade do you bring any letters to validate your enrollment in the academy?” I put my backpack down and took a letter and gave it to the officer “Here’s my letter of acceptance comrade”. He took it and few seconds later he gave it back to me “Well, up you go comrade and make sure you hold on to this letter”. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred when I entered the bus, no bully to pick on you like they’d show in Osean movies. But, I noticed a soldier gloated about his experience and his comrades were all around him listening to him. Unlike most of us, he already experienced combats. “…I remember when we patrolled this area alongside the Kalugan border, the rebels fired mortars and suddenly we were trapped in this steel rainfall. I jumped onto a small ditch on the side of the road and tried to crouch as low as possible but still shrapnel from the mortar shell hit my left leg…” he said. Though we were all soldiers and sooner or later would experience combats but still those stories fascinated us. I couldn’t help but to listen to his story.
After few minutes the bus was getting quiet, I looked around me and found most of them were already asleep, I looked outside and pinned my eyes on the landscape of downtown Cinigrad which was getting farther and farther as we went along. “good grace, the rain has died down” said Churkin. He then asked “So where do you come from comrade?”. “A small town just 45 minutes from Murska Air Force base and what about you?”. He looked out and said “Well, I’m from here. I finished my BMC in Zakat”. Churkin came from a long lane of military family, his grandfather served in the imperial army until the revolution where he sided to the Red Militia and his father served in the navy and was part of relief force during the great Sotoan earthquake in 68. “So, where are you looking to be stationed once you finish?” he asked. “Well I’m looking to be stationed in Kaluga” I said. He seemed to understand why I wanted to be stationed there. Perhaps most of us there wanted the same thing. Perhaps fear of death, fear of getting killed disappear when the feeling of patriotism and comradeship grow. As we passed the city limit I rested my head on the seat and closed my eyes.
- Sound Montage
“We shall continue our dedication toward peace and stability in Kaluga by pushing diplomatic means to end this conflict…Our troops in the area are merely to observe the situation so that the conflict won’t spoil across the border”
“…Revnik, wake up. We’re here” Churkin voice brought me up, the sun light upon my face and broke the clouds of darkness, the triumphant sound of drums greeted us as if we just came back from the battlefields. Several cadets stood up on a tribune nearby the academy’s fence and they waved on the flags of our glorious republic. Then my ears caught up the sound of this officer who shouted from his speakers. “Comrades, welcome to Cinigrad Officer Candidate Academy comrade cadets, you’re about to learn on how to be a great officers and how to properly serve your fellow comrades, your countrymen and the motherland as part of her armed forces. Comrade General Tranderkov once said when he led the great crusade onto the southern lands, Do not get to comfy when you are relying only on the numbers of troops you have on the field but feel free to get comfortable once you know those numbers of troops also came with outstanding abilities and remarkable skills…”. “I’m a bit tangled here” said Churkin “He makes it sound like we’re at war with Kaluga but hell, we’re sitting tight on the borders”. I looked at him and said “Well, they have reported several contacts between us and the rebels. Technically we’re already at war”. Another sound came from a far but it was more assertive and I could see everyone started to run forward with their green army backpacks. We then formed up in front of the academy’s main building, a Colonel then gave a motivation speech. Of course we all have experienced this before when we first enlisted and became soldiers. Though it wasn’t like in the BMC where they’d shout at you and artillery would create havoc right after the speech, but the kind of look they had toward you was kindda the same. 4 Officers the stepped up and pulled off the green fabric from a large board. “Comrades!” said the officer who just stepped up onto the tribune “Your names and classes are written on those papers, maintain in order”. I followed up the line and got near enough to see my name on the board. “Cadet Captain Stephan Revnik, 3rd Platoon…” it said. I found myself on the same platoon as Churkin and that soldier who has toured Kaluga as my Cadet Lieutenant.
“Cadet Captain and Cadet Lieutenant’s room is straight through that door and the rest follow up on your bunk’s number” said a soldier who was guarding the room. A cadet looked at a television set hanging right on the center of the room. They surely threaded officer candidates differently than an ordinary cadets, it wasn’t just the TV everything there was nicely furnished; clean bunks, good-scented bathrooms, and good air circulation. I carried on into my room and found my lieutenant sitting on the lower bunk with his backpack nearby. “Hi, we haven’t properly introduced ourselves” he said. His voice was so calm, I just couldn’t believe he already went close to the frontline. I put down my backpack and raised my hand “Revnik, Stephan Revnik”. “Jarvinen, Konrad Jarvinen” he replied. His name sound rather odd for a Yuktobanian so I asked “Are you Yuktobanian?”. He giggled perhaps because he have frequently heard the same question “Well, I was born in Sopu the most northwestern town in Nordennavic but me and my family were migrated when I was 4 to Ruchez, Glubina”. I noticed that someone turned the television set on, I quickly went outside and found everyone standing in front of it. “What’s happening?” I asked. Churkin pointed at the screen and the voice of news broadcaster came on my ears. “…Our field office at south Kazan YR confirmed that 2 hours ago Kalugan rebels bombarded a small border village of Shkara, so far no official statement has been released by Kalugan rebels or Kalugan Military regarding the number of casualties. On the other hand, Lieutenant Colonel Dima Telyanin Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion of 7th Combat Engineer Brigade of Yuktobanian Armed Forces claimed that some of the shells that came from the rebel mortars rained down the border’s barbed fences and suffered extensive damage…”.
That day everything was quiet, an officer walked in and hanged a framed paper on the wall that said “3rd Platoon night shift schedules”. They turned off the light barrack at precisely 10 o’clock at night and at that same hour I turned in for the night.
That night, I had this weird dream. In my dream, I was already an officer and found myself and what appeared to be my company walking on a road surrounded by trees and pile of smokes from far away towns colored the horizon. Nearby, a flag pole with the Free Republic of Kaluga’s banner waving on it. I couldn’t remember how far we walked until a soldier tapped on my shoulder hard and said “Captain, ambush!”. In the BMC, I led my platoon toward victory in a battle simulation. But, in that dream I froze, I couldn’t think of anything. I jumped behind a rock and tried to spot the shooters but I swear, I couldn’t see anyone, I watched as my company being slaughtered, a black figure appeared on the hill right in front of me, he had RPG on his shoulder. I tried to kill him but it was fruitless. He then aimed his RPG and fired. *sound of an explosion
I woke up quickly and tried to understand what just happened. I looked around and saw Jarvinen peeking out through the curtain. “Shhtt…” he said. He told me to came closer to the curtain. I peeked outside and found 2 officers standing right outside the barrack. “…I should go back, we will begin in 10 minutes” said one of the officers. I looked at Jarvinen and said “This is probably it, let’s go tell the platoon”. I went outside, one of the cadet noticed me, “Captain?” he asked. I walked slowly and told him to quietly prepare for immediate inspection. I went back to my room and put on my full gear, I tried to rest my head a little bit and waited till that barking come. Around 10 minutes afterward someone opened the door violently and shouted “3rd Platoon, wake up!”. All cadets then arose quickly and stood up in front of their bunks, I bet he was shocked to see how fast we arose from our bunks and already in a proper suit. I opened the door, Jarvinen was behind me and then we gave a salute. “Comrade Senior Warrant Officer Anton Moltinov…” I remembered his name from the paper they showed us yesterday. “…3rd Platoon has woken up as ordered and ready for duty”. He returned my salute and seemed impressive although no compliment was made. He looked at all of us and said “Comrades, time has come for your first part of training. Put on your gears and report back on the armory to get your weapons”.
We marched out, right into the mercy of a freezing night. My hands trembled and my feet were having a hard time to keep up with the rhythm. As we went on 3 trucks were already there with stacks of weapon crate. “3rd Platoon halt” I gave the command, an officer with a clipboard jumped off of the truck and said “Comrades keep in line, get your rifles and don’t forget to mention your name as you sign on the clapboard”. They handed us the same AK-47 rifle which was rather old compare to AK-74, Yuktobanian Ground Forces’ standard assault rifle at that time.
“Faster comrades” Those feelings were back, the exhaustion, the tiredness, the adrenalin that surged around your system. Believe it or not but I spent most of my youth life outside of what most people would call “comfort zone”, those camping trips with my father, The Youth League I attended and the Basic Military Course so that 10 miles running in freezing cold weather with full gear and a rifle was something I already got used to, though I didn’t always like it but in the military 10 miles running was the easiest part of the training package. We ran through a highway underpass that would lead directly to downtown Cinigrad. I couldn’t believe that everything was so quiet and felt like being in an isolated place even though we were still in range of the capital city.
Several hills and woods later, we arrived at a testing ground and firing range. I tried to catch some air into my lung when suddenly they began dividing us into smaller groups.
The sound of machine gun chattering suddenly replaced the silence of the night, several explosions followed up. “Move, comrades” said one of the trainers. My instinct kicked in and I ran toward the military obstacles in front of me. Just few steps later, as we went onto the balance logs several soldiers came out of the woods surrounding the obstacle and started to fire upon us. It took several blank rounds to shook some of the candidates and they fell off of the logs. Several minutes later I jumped onto this high wall, the sound of gunfires still rang in my ears. I looked behind and scanned some familiar faces, Jarvinen was still 1 obstacle away and his team was trailing behind him. “Help me up” said Churkin. I offered him my hand and boost him up. “Thanks” he said “I was expecting something more officer’ish than these stupid basic courses”. We then jumped off of the wall and finished the course.
We ended that night fully exhausted, but surely we had to hold it off and stay on the edge. It probably wasn’t that hard for those who went through the BMC but it was extremely difficult for those who just enlisted and met up with military life most of them were students who just graduated.
The torture then went on and lost track of time because of it. Time flew by alright, but it flew slowly because of it. Times gone pass and we were getting closer and closer. Many people would say that it is easier to find comrades in times of hardship and apparently they were right we shared every burden as a platoon and determined to graduate and become an officer. I bonded quite well with everyone on my platoon, Differences were no longer matters. But then, that day came.
The weather was freezing at that time and tick fogs covered the entire academy.
Call for Strike and Support Class, 1500hrs.
“Comrades” said the instructor “You have learnt how to call for artillery barrage against concealed targets while navigating a unit of tanks and now you are going to learn how to call for an aerial assault against hardened targets” he carried on “Luckily for you, the air force are training their new pilots in their fully armed MiG-21”. He divided us based on the assignment group and sat us down in front of a small whiteboard and explained “3 transmissions must be sent by the sender to the receiver before the receiver could send in a strike against the designated targets. The first transmission that should be sent by the sender is a request for airstrike. This is essential to ensure that friendly aircrafts are already in position to assist you, the second transmission is about the target’s position on the grid and the third is about target’s description and method of fire” “Make sure to confirmed whether the strike is successful or not and if it miss wait for the aircraft to prepare and repeat the transmissions”. He then gave us codenames and a map.
The first group did the job successfully. Their target, a BMP-1 wreckage was destroyed into pieces. The instructor then called for my assignment group and we went to our position, Churkin stationed himself at the telescope, a candidate on Istochnik stationed himself on the map and I stationed myself on the radio. Though we were in this hardened bunker I still feel unease. The problem was the range wasn’t wide enough for aerial strike practice. “This is Sierra Charlie 15 in position of airstrike” said a voice over the radio, I took the paper which given by the instructor earlier and responded “This is Sierra Charlia 15 this is Charlie-Tango-Golf -2 to Sierra-Charlie 15 we’re ready”. Churkin was focused on his scope and he identified the target’s position and shouted “Target grid CF12345, BMP-1 below a black…correction, silver shed RCL in effect”. I relayed the information and the aircraft perfectly destroyed the target. We went out of the bunker and joined with the rest of the platoon. But, somehow I was driven to return to the bunker. I didn’t believe in supernatural crap so it might be my interest toward aviation that driven me. I went in and saw the whole process. The third team did everything correctly and their target was a wreckage of military truck and it was the closest target to the bunker. Then one of them relayed the information and something odd kicked it. I’ve seen the map and believed that he gave the wrong coordinate. I took the map and realized that the airstrike would fall meters further from the target. I didn’t react quick enough because I knew that they’d usually strike at precision but then I forgot that they were also under training. A MiG-21 dived down from the north and launched its rockets but then something occurred and forced the pilot to pulled up and immediately 2 rockets were coming in. “Get down…!!” shouted the instructor. I pruned and cover my head and braced for impact. Seconds later I got up and gazed everything surround me. I only felt 1 vibration which means only 1 missile stroke the bunker. Shouting the came from the outside, I rushed immediately after I heard that and when I opened that, horror.
1 of 2 missiles hit right outside the bunker where my comrades were, I saw some of them lying on the ground and some were injured. “Revnik, help” said a familiar voice, it was Jarvinen. I sat him down on a chair and immediately assisted the other. Then I found Churkin, he was standing near the explosion area and it immediately took half of his body off. 2 others were killed and those were my best friends too. Trucks then came and immediately took everyone who was wounded and killed including Churkin. Once the trucks left I felt that I got no more power on my foot. The foot that took me through miles of grounds and hundreds of military obstacle were weakened by this incident. Later, a friend handed me with a blanket and took me back to the platoon’s barrack.
A week after that a ceremony was held to honor the dead. All of them were from my platoon. Later we learnt that the MiG experienced some control and weapon malfunctions. The MiG eventually crash landed on a farm 75 miles east of the academy, the pilot and his instructor survived.
4 days afterwards the academy held a tribute to the deceased, all families came and for the first time ever I saw Churkin’s family. The Battalion commander addressed “Today, we gather here to mourn the death of our comrades, warriors, and sons who died after an unfortunate accident…” “Mind if I sit here” asked Jarvinen as he approached me. He escaped with several broken bones and minor injuries. “Sure” I replied. “…and I would like Cadet Captain Stephan Revnik, to give a word or two as commander of 3rd platoon”. I went up from my chair and all eyes were going straight toward me as if they were judging me on my failure to protect my men. That kind of officer of 3rd Platoon where Officer Candidate Gennady Churkin, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Slavik Gurevich were assigned to. They are good and dedicated candidates. This isn’t a consolation but fact after those moments together. And that unfortunate incident occurred guilt that turned your stomach inside out, “My name is Cadet Captain Stephan Revnik, commanding and changed everything. I’d personally apologize to families of our comrades, my failure to keep them safe can never be repent and I willing to receive all consequence due to this negligence…” I stepped off the stage and just went away, I didn’t even have the courage to stare at Churkin’s family.
3rd Platoon’s barrack, 1600hrs, “…Fuck, I can’t believe Igorovski could throw a punch like that” said Jarvinen as we entered the barrack. We just went back from martial arts class when the letter guy arrived, he said “Alright, keep in lines comrade”. I carried on toward my bunk because I knew I wouldn’t get any letter. No one in my family liked or approved my presence here in the military but to my surprise “Capt Candidate Stephan Revnik?”. I turned my back, and took the letter. “CINIGRAD MILITARY SCHOOL’S SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE”. I quickly brought the letter in and opened it but surely after what happened you’d know what to expect.
“Cmrd Capt Can Stephan Revnik…you have been summoned by the SIC for hearing regarding the training accident…the hearing will be held on Level 3, Building A2, Hearing Room 2”.
On the next day I put on my uniform and went to the hearing, there I saw 6 high ranking military officers, from their uniforms I could tell that 4 were from the army and 2 were from the air force. My heart pounded hard as I walked toward a booth right in front of them. “Officer Candidate Stephan Revnik reporting as ordered” “At ease” said one of them “My name is Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Sazonov, lead investigator in this accident and next to me are my fellow investigators and Major Bukharin and Monuts from Air Force’s Aviation Safety Bureau”. He then asked “Comrade Officer Candidate Revnik, could you please explain to us in detail of what happened that day?”. It took me a while to answer the question because I simply hate to relive those memories but eventually I calmed myself down and told them the whole story. As words came out from my mouth, time reversed and took me back into that bunker. As I told them of what happened right after the rocket hit the ground I started to remember little details that slipped from my mind. Apparently just half a minute before the rocket hit the ground the air force’s flight instructor warned his trainee about several faulty gauges and that conversation was broadcasted on the radio. When I told the investigation board about the thing that I heard on the radio, the one of the Air Force investigators suddenly whispered to his comrade and interrupted “Comrade, due to this new founding we have to conclude this hearing at this point and conduct an immediate re-check on all evidences we already have”. Sazanov nodded in approval and said “Due to new finding that require immediate attention this hearing is dismissed and Comrade Revnik is allowed to return to his post”. And just like that the hearing was over. I returned to my barrack and as I went in, Jarvinen and the rest of the platoon were standing there in silence. I didn’t know what they were expecting so I just walked pass them and went into my quarter.
Days flew and we were getting closer to graduation day, we simply couldn’t wait to be part of the action in the southern borders but then shocking news struck the nation. Since the start of the civil war in Kaluga, the government forces were winning in all fronts and they were inch from total victory but then it all changed. Republic of Romny’s military invaded the eastern coasts of Kaluga, more than 4000 troops landed on the beaches alongside heavy equipments. Aided by Romny Armed Forces, the rebel power tripled and the future of the conflict was gloomy for the government force. Romny excuse for the invasion of Kaluga was to protect the fraternal people of Kaluga from the violation of human rights committed by the Kalugan government. Yuktobanian government responded harshly for the first time. Yuktobanian ships were dispatched from its home port in Zenograd bound for Tamudian Gulf.
March 26th 1982, today was family day, the day when the candidates’ families visit the academy just a day prior to graduation. For the first time I saw the academy full of civilians. The field where we held parades and ceremonies became parking lot extension for buses and cars. The smaller field next to it became playground for kids. Everyone was happy and cheerful. “Families of the candidates please proceed toward Hall A for buffet” said the academy administrative officer. My family didn’t come so I had no reason to join in. So I went to the firing range. I took an old SVT-40 with a scope and couple of mags. “Why aren’t you in the academy with your family candidate?” said the weapon registration officer. “Nah, they couldn’t make it” I grabbed the rifle “Thanks”. I put a dime on the target marker and stepped back, I inserted the magazine and ready to shoot. I missed my first and second attempt, somehow my hands trembled and I couldn’t aim properly and to make things worse, rain started to fall. “So, the platoon’s best candidate just lost his marksmanship?” a voice came from behind me. I turned my back and found Moltinov standing behind me. “No, Sir I was distracted slightly”. He walked closer and closer toward me and asked “aren’t you supposed to be in the academy with your family?”. “No sir, my family can’t come today” I answered. He then diverted his eyes toward the dime I put on the target marker. He had a Makarov pistol on his waist. he drew it and fired a shot, It was a hit, the dime disintegrated into pieces. He looked at me, I thought he was going to brag about the shot he just did but instead “You remind me of someone I met years ago” he said “a person who had all the requirements to be a perfect officer, loyal to his comrades and his country. Much like you, he had no moral support but he prevailed because he knew that he was serving as an officer, he knew that his duty was to inspire and to lead”. “Where is he now sir?” I realized his expression changed when I asked that question. He took his visor cap off and answered “He’s dead, he worked as our military attaché for Karabastan and that day he went to the embassy to renew his documents, at the same time a car bomb exploded right in front of embassy and he was killed by the explosion”. He continued “In my years as an instructor, I’ve seen many candidates in and out of this academy and I always wonder whether the trainings I’ve given to them are good enough to keep them alive on the fields of battle, and to prevail in hardships alongside their comrades. Perhaps, you can’t understand this right now but one day, you will”. He saluted me and left the firing range. I noticed that he left his Makarov on the table nearby the firing booth. I took that pistol and noticed that it wasn’t just a regular Makarov, the marking that says “Vpered Na Pobeda” was printed on its side the proud slogan of the tank corps.
- Meanwhile later that day a letter arrived to the Colonel Karpov’s office, it came from the Chairman of AGB Nikolai Kovalenko and it was a personal request to reinstate Stephan Revnik to a city called “Avilovka”. The letter that’d seal Revnik’s fate forever.
That morning when I woke up, was the most crowded morning I have ever been. “If only they’d get up this early during the training weeks” said Jarvinen as he giggled, I tried to look at my watch but eyes were still too blurry to do that so and so I asked “What time is it?”, “Uhm…” Jarvinen grabbed his watch “03:50 AM”. 35 minutes later, I was fully dressed. Surprisingly, the parade uniform plus all the parade-related gears was more uncomfortable for me compare to the combat uniform and all its gears. Later afterwards I joined up with the rest of the candidates outside of my room and simply waiting for the call.
0900hrs, there we were, standing in the middle of academy’s field for the graduation parade. My heart was pounding like crazy because I knew that soon enough the Colonel Vladimir Karpov, Commandant of the academy alongside Comrade Defense Minister Sergei Novoseltsev would pass right in front of me as he inspect the troops. Colonel Karpov who stood on a open convertible car appeared on the right side of the field and at the same the bells on top of the academy’s main building chiming. And after the chiming ceased, Karpov began the ceremony “Attention!, Comrades officer of the armed forces of the Union of Yuktobanian Republics, for the minister of defense, rifle in position, look to the left!”.
And there he was, Sergei Novoseltsev, Yuktobania’s defense minister. His car strolled to the middle of the field as the military band played. The 2 cars met up in the middle of the field. Colonel Karpov saluted “Comrade Defense Minister, the troops are ready to be inspected. Inspector of OCA graduation parade Colonel Vladimir Karpov”. The 2 cars then moved to the right before turning back to the left and stop right in front of me. “Greetings comrade candidates” said Novoseltsev. We immediately replied “Greetings to you Comrade Defense Minister”. “I congratulate you comrades, who have done your training to be officers of the glorious Yuktobanian Army” he replied back. “URA” our words echo throughout the academy and the music played by military band followed. Novoseltsev then went to a prepared tribune where he gave a speech. “Comrades” he said “today you’re standing upon your countrymen as officers of our glorious army. You have shown incomparable spirit, will and unity. You have successfully undergone some many hardships yet able to maintain comradeship and brotherhood among candidates in joy and in sorrow…” “Comrades, admire your courage and brace for the future where your glorious destiny awaits. As you have all realized, this country is in its perilous hours, enemies are observing us any moments and waiting to strike where it hurts. But, comrades with the comradeship and unity you have shown, undefeatable shall we be. From today onwards you’re going to carry on your duty as officers of Yuktobanian Army, you’re going to lead your men as you enforce order and peace not only in our country but also in the world, shan’t you yield to the enemy and must you be the creators of victory…” He went silent for few seconds then he looked back at us and said “Glory to you Officers of the glorious Yuktobanian Army, Ura”. “URA…URA…URA” That fiery soldier spirit, that willingness to fight and sacrifice for the motherland were burning in our hearts as we shouted those words out loud. The master of ceremony then carried on right after the band played the national anthem Colonel Karpov summoned all platoons’ captains to step forward to take an oath and pledge of allegiance as officers.
“Comrades” said Colonel Karpov “You’re about to take the oath and pledge of allegiance as officers of Yuktobanian Army”. An officer next to him then handed a blue map with Yuktobanian Army crest printed on its cover. “I” his voice echoed throughout the field “citizen of the Union of Yuktobanian Republics and Officer of its Armed Forces, do hereby take the oath of allegiance and do solemnly vow to be honest, disciplined and courageous fighter, to protect strictly, all military and nation’s secrets, to obey implicity all Army regulations and orders of my commanders, commissars, and superiors.”
“I vow to study the duties of a soldier conscientiously, to safeguard Army and National property in every way possible and to be true to my people, my motherland, and the workers’ and peasants’ government to my last breath”
“I’m always prepared at the order of the workers’ and peasants’ government to come to the defense of the motherland-The Union of Yuktobanian Republics and as a fighter and officer of the Yuktobanian Army, I vow to defend her courageously, skillfully, creditably, and honorably. And if through evil intent I break this solemn oath, then let the stern punishment of the Yuktobanian law, and the universal hatred and contempt of the working people, fall upon me”.
After the oath, they prepared us for a parade and so after few minutes we were already in line for parade. And as the song started we marched all the way through the center of the field.
Proudly we marched right in front of the minister and the commandant, my heartbeat echoed the beating of the drums and there was no other feeling beside the sense of pride.
The ceremony ended and once again the families now flooded the field to hug their sons and brothers but out of nowhere, Moltinov grabbed my hand and took me back to the barrack. He told me to sit down on my bunk and handed me a piece of later “This just came” he said. I opened the letter and read every words in it.
The latter came from the Liaison office of the Yuktobanian Army.
Comrade Lieutenant Stephan Revnik
We’re aware that Colonel Vladimir Karpov as the Commandant of the Officer Candidate Academy have assigned you in the army’s 103rd Rifle in northern Kaluga. But, due to recent development and a top priority request, you’re hereby reassigned to the 33rd Motorize Defense Brigade and you will be stationed in Avilovka…"
The letter devastated me, I looked at Moltinov in disbelief “I’m sorry comrade” he apologized “but I can’t do anything about it”. Moltinov pat me in the back and walked out of there. I was all alone, my legs were frozen and my brain was numb. While the other candidates were celebrating outside, I was standing there all alone with that piece of letter still hanging on my hand.