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My War

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    Перевод Екатерины Туревич (

   My War.
   Only lazy people don't write about the war now. We are silent. Everything we could say or do, we already said and did.
   Every one of us got his share of honor and acknowledgement. Strange that I got a medal for mass murder.
   From the speech at the conferring of honor: `... to confer `The Honor of a Red Star' for putting 24 targets down, providing a free and unimpeded attack for his battalion at the targeted village'.
   From the Method Manual: `In conditions of field fighting snipers have to remember that mortal targeting does not lead to the loss of immobility of the company on the whole. That's why it is better to aim for heavy or light-to-heavy casualties. These casualties tie the enemy to a spot and do not let the enemy get far away, even when it has an advantage of better familiarity with the terrain.
   There is an inter-dependence between wounding (one or another organ or part of the body) and the reaction of the target. Utilizing this knowledge, the sniper knows how and how heavily he wounded his enemy, without examining the body'.
   On the second month of this war my habits start changing. I don't hear the sound of leaves rustling, but I clearly recognize the sound of a bullet hitting a human body at a distance of three hundred steps. It sounds like a spoon hitting the solidified surface of porridge.
   From the Method Manual:" `The most effective method of killing from the front is targeting the heart. Its first outer manifestation in a standing target is a fall like a `bag', vertically downwards onto the bent knees. In movement the person targeted in such a way falls onto the head - at the bullet. Death is instantaneous.
   Wounding the lungs is less effective, the target retains the ability to move. Manifestation of such a wound is a light bloody foam. In a little while the lungs fill up with blood, and death follows.
   With targeting the waistline, a sign of a good aim is the doubling of a target downwards - a sharp bend at the waistline. The liquids contained in the abdominal cavity do not condense, and the hydro turbulence kicks the contents of the stomach or duodenum into the peritoneum. The speed of infection of such a wound is frightening. After twenty minutes the wounded person can not be saved'.
   What do you think the field of fighting stinks like? Of gunpowder? It smalls of burned tСlite, gunpowder and sweat. And right after an armed conflict one can go crazy from the smell of shit. That same shit that flies around after a successful aim.
   In one more month one doesn't notice this smell either.
   From the Method Manual: `Traces of blood give a more detailed analysis of the spot where the bullet went in. As opposed to lungs which spill outside only from a buck-shot at small distance or a close explosion, parts of lever or clots of dark-red blood can be always be found on local objects. Liquid green substances testify to a hitting of the peritoneum.
   Surface hits leave superficial blood traces, even when the bullet goes through the tissue. Especially doubtful are the cases where the bullet goes through soft tissue or limbs, and blood excretions are light colored without any foam. It is only after 12 hours that one can hope for an inflammation of the wound infection, sepsis.
   Wounds of large superficially located vascular organs, such as carotid artery, subclavicular or femoral vessels constitute an exception. The blood coming from such a wound may even exhibit a fountain effect.
   Modern bullets with a large kinetic force, will have mortal outcomes, due to a traumatic quality even when hitting a limb.'
   The last war which required a study of blood traces was described by Fennimore Cooper. Who will look at these traces now, and then follow the running enemy? Even a badly wounded wolf should have a chance to go, lick its wounds and die by itself. A company sitting in a dead-end ambush is more frightening than a helicopter with fire support. That company has nothing to loose.
   From the Method Manual: `With shooting at the back or neck, the rupture of the spinal cord happens as a result of a `temporary pulsating hole', the diameter of which can be much bigger than the bullet and can potentially become the size of an adult man's fist. Bullet, going through the cervical vertebra, causes an absolute paralysis of arms and legs and an instantaneous death'.
   Back or neck wounds do not happen in an armed conflict. Snipers shoot sometimes in the back while hunting.
   There is also death by shooting.
   At home, as far back as I remember myself, we always kept a blue box from a set of some old spoons. There were medals in it brought by my grandfather from the war. First my grandfather, and then when he died, my grandmother told me how, where and for what heroic action these medals were earned. I was little and did not remember much.
   My father put three medals `Honorary Donor' in it. He was a surgeon, told many interesting stories about his work, and was very proud of his honors.
   My son grows up unknowing. In the old newspapers he will read many generalizing words about this war, he will read, if he wants to, books published on the dirty foam of agitation, but he will never know the truth. I won't be able to tell him anything. My medals were given to my wife, I didn't get enough time to receive them myself.

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