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Feature Story June 10, 2004
How to Survive the Russian Army
Page 3 of 6
"Don't even think about 'fighting fair.' Hit first, before he expects it, and use any weapon you can find. Stools, for example, make excellent clubs. Be like a cornered rat, that will fling itself at a grown man without hesitation, and I never saw anyone who'd stand and face a crazed rat.

"So think of that rat as your model, and hit first without any hesitation. If you do this, the others will fear and respect you. But then again, don't try to take on everybody, because you can easily be beaten to death. I remember five guys who were stomped to death in my two years.

"If you have time, take up sports. The most useful one is boxing. Don't listen to the suckers who do karate -- it doesn't work. Real fights aren't like some stupid Van Damme movie. It happens in a matter of seconds. Two or three punches and that's it: one guy is still standing, the other is on the ground.

Hi Everybody,

Well I'm pretty much fine. Exchanged the size 40 boots for 41's. And my hands are all covered with cuts that are all infected. The doctor says it might be dropsy, and there's no ointment, at the First Aid station they use this green paint to treat everything, and it doesn't work. Anyway the doctor always says if you're not dead, don't come.

Sorry for not writing sooner, but the Dyedii want you to do something all the time. I haven't seen TV for 2 months. The Dyedii go to bed around 1 or 2 am and want us to bring them things or fry potatoes for them all night. And we get up at 5 am.

One guy drafted with me ran off, he was found two days later 30km from base, he got into somebody's house and the cops found him. He ran off from the Sergeant who beat another boy too, he was all in bruises, so the Sergeant got 10 days in the guardhouse....


That's why boxing is best -- it teaches you to hit hard and to endure being hit hard. Get used to being hit, being beaten. Strength helps too, that goes without saying. I don't mean that pumped-up nonsense -- just become friends with a barbell.

"You have to get used to meanness, too. Real hardcore sleaze, cruelty for its own sake. Never forgive anybody for anything. Anybody fucks with you even once, he has to pay. Letting him get away with it is a sign of weakness -- nobody will see it as generosity or nobility, believe me.

"That doesn't mean you have to terrorize the hopeless weaklings. There's a class of scum who love doing that. You don't have to sink that low, and it won't win you any respect anyway. Try to be a man at least.

"You need to find friends, quick. People who'll stand up for you, guys you can trust. You should follow the example of the "blackasses" [Caucasians] here -- they know how to stick together.

Greetings to everyone!

...They found my hiding place and took away the ointment, cough pills, the pens and the razor. Thank God, they didn't notice the bandage.

On Sunday, 18 guys were allowed off-base. I stayed. Then five of them came back drunk and they had to write a letter explaining their conduct and then to march around headquarters for six hours, and right now they're washing the toilets, and they were also shaved bald and most of them got their heads cut up while it [the haircut] was in the process of being done. Everybody else is getting punished for them too, including we had to do pushups and squats and hold chairs out at the end of your arms....

I got the package. Thank you. I don't like that the sergeant took away the chocolate and the money you put in. He took other guys' money also, for example out of $50 he takes $30. The Dyedii took all the rest anyway, so you shouldn't send money yet....


"Forget everything you ever heard about the brotherhood of man and the friendship of peoples. If you go into the army believing that, your asshole won't heal up for seven years after you get out -- if you survive at all. Stick to your own kind, and damn few of those."

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