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The Ministry of Defense spoke about a soldier involved in the feat of the crew of the Alyosha tank: he saved the commander

Another hero of the Northern Military District, indirectly involved in the famous feat of the crew of the Alyosha tank, was told by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Soldier Sergei Solenov with the call sign “Prickly”, shortly before the heroic duel of our tank with six armored vehicles and two tanks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, saved crew commander Alexander Levakov from a grenade explosion. Thanks to this act of Solenov, the tank commander remained in service and was able to lead the famous battle. By decree of the President of Russia, Solenov was awarded the Order of Courage for the courage shown in the performance of his professional duty.

According to Sergei, the first meeting with platoon commander Levakov, call sign “Laska,” took place in the rear area of ​​one of the key directions of the front.

“I didn’t know him then.” He walked into the location and immediately asked: “Who will go to the front?” I was one of the first to respond. A group was formed, and we went to the front line to carry out a combat mission,” said “Prickly.”

Already on the spot, the soldier recalls, the commander showed the best qualities of an officer: he took care of the personnel, constantly moved between positions, and personally checked the equipment of the shelters. At some point, Levakov found himself next to the trench in which Solenov was located. Suddenly, the fighter heard the characteristic buzz of an approaching quadcopter. The military tried to hide in a forest belt under a tree to make it more difficult to detect them from above.

“Then I heard a dull sound next to me, and immediately saw a fallen grenade. He only managed to turn his face away from her and cover the platoon commander with himself. After the explosion I lost consciousness for a moment. I woke up from the words: “Prickly,” how are you?” I came to my senses and examined my arms and legs. The body was covered in blood.

The commander, who was also wounded, tried to encourage the fighter: “Hold on. You saved the commander’s life, now they will give you a Hero of Russia.”

However, “Prickly” took the words of support solely as a joke and just laughed.

“A colleague ran up to me, cut my trouser leg, treated the wound, and bandaged my leg. The second leg was also covered in fragments and bleeding. They cut my second leg, injected me with painkillers, treated my wounds and prepared me for evacuation,” Solenov said.

However, due to the ongoing mortar shelling by Ukrainian nationalists, it was not possible to immediately evacuate the wounded man. “Prickly” was dragged away on a raincoat for subsequent evacuation, and later taken to a field hospital and then to an inpatient hospital.

As the soldier said, thanks to the competent actions of his colleagues, he did not lose much blood, so he remained conscious until the operating table.

“After the operation, the doctors said that there were a lot of fragments and that I was born in a shirt,” the fighter said.

Already in the hospital, “Prickly” tried many times to find “Laska”, but apart from his call sign, he knew nothing about him. One day a mobile phone rang in the ward. Solenov did not immediately recognize the caller’s voice.

“When at the other end I heard: “I am Laska,” my joy knew no bounds. We exchanged contacts and keep in touch with each other. Recently, the military commissar of the Preobrazhensky district of Moscow, Sergei Trigilev, called me and said that he was inviting me to an award ceremony. At first I didn’t even understand where and why I was being called. And when I arrived, I learned about the Decree of the President of Russia on awarding the Order of Courage.

The fighter admits that such a high reward is pleasant and unexpected. After all, the fighter himself did not consider his actions a feat, he was simply fulfilling his military duty.

“I think everything was natural,” says the fighter. “The commander could not have been harmed, otherwise he would not have shown his commanding character as part of the crew of the Alyosha tank.” It was especially pleasant that Alexander came to my award ceremony and personally shook my hand and said that the award was absolutely deserved.

The crew commander of the Alyosha tank shared some details that Solenov kept silent about.

– Sergei took all the fragments upon himself, I only got one. He just gave me life! My wound was not as serious as that of “Prickly”. I didn’t leave the battle. All thanks to him… When I woke up, I saw that we were already lying with “Prickly”. I asked how Sergei was feeling, and out of the darkness he told me: “Sanya, I’m the 300th.” Well, I think it’s good that I’m alive…

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 29239 dated March 20, 2024

Newspaper headline:
“He gave me life”

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