Donated by SergeiK
I'm Yermakov, Ivan. And he was John.
So we're kind of namesakes.
We met in the summer of 2001.
For two months I'd been locked up in the village of Verkhny Iskhoi
by Aslan Gugaev.
Backthen, none of our lot had heard of him.
His detachment wasn't that big.
There were three of us there.
Me, Fedka and a Jew - a commercial.
A businessman from Vladikavkaz. Called Semyon, I think...
Me and Fedka were sawing up wood when they brought them in on a truck.
There were another two of our guys with them...
You killed my brother!
Yes, I killed your brother! And a whole lot more!
I whipped your sorry black arses and I'll keep whipping them
because you're enemies...
Did they pay you well?
Don't kill me! Please!
I just arrived, I'm not guilty! Please!
My mum's all alone...
- What's he want? - Something in English.
Take the bucket - it stinks!
- Who was shooting? - They killed two of ours.
Give me your hand.
Take the jug.
It'll be us next!
I didn't like her at first - full of herself. Wouldn't even look at you.
I didn't understand that she was just embarrassed.
We all crapped in the same bucket.
And I thought ginger was a right weed.
In the hole, it's every man for himself -
you're always hungry and they beat you the whole time.
He wasn't too bad, though. He looked after her.
And from the start with me... because of my English, no doubt.
Back in Tobolsk I finished computer school
and in Chechnya I'd get the news by Internet for Aslan.
...and a whole lot more besides.
I whipped your sorry black arses and I'll keep whipping them
because you're enemies...
Did they pay you well?
Don't kill me! Please! I just arrived, I'm not guilty! Please!
My mum's all...
I'm worn out. Can't get any relaxation. There's a war on...
When will it end?
When all the Russians will live in the North.
You're white. You've got the White Sea.
We're black. We've got the Black Sea.
Why did you kill the lads?
It took me three years to find that Lieutenant.
I paid thirty grand to get him.
He shot my brother.
I found him in Rostov.
He killed a lot more good Muslims besides...
And the youngster?
Who needs someone like that?
He goes off to get some vodka.
There's a war on, and he leaves his post.
Is that any way to carry on, Ivan?
You're either a shepherd or a sheep.
Those who let themselves be skewered - they're the sheep.
There are people amongst you.
I saw one in jail near Virkhayansk.
A hardcore convict, strong, like a Chechen.
If people like him led Russia, you could win this war.
But you've got too few of them.
You're stupid and weak. And you're led by half -wits.
You've given back the Ukraine, Kazakhstan.
You've just given away half the country for free.
Soon the Chinese will take the Far East.
You're fighting us
while in Moscow I've got a hotel, three restaurants, four brigades
in Petersburg, Moscow and Samara.
I milkthe Russians like cows
but we still get money out of the state budget.
Do you know...
why you fight badly?
You don't know?
Because you're not fighting for your Homeland!
You fight because you've been herded out here like a sheep.
I know my ancestors going back seven generations.
I'm a descendant of the Murid, Hadji Kazi.
A hundred and fifty years ago he was already cutting you lot up.
This is my land
and I'll clear it of unbelieving dogs
until there's not a Russian from here to Volgograd.
So, what are they writing about us on the Internet?
The satellite's gone, we'll catch another.
Aslan, tell your men not to beat me round the head.
This is the Internet, you've got to use your brains
and there's a lot in English.
And the foreigners asked if they could have a wash.
I'll pay! I'll pay!
In accordance with the Shariat
taking money from Jews for military actions
is considered legitimate.
And while you won't pay us
we will cut your fingers off.
I tried to translate what Aslan had said,
but John didn't understand.
So I just said they don't like Jews.
Can I have another cigarette?
He got it immediately about Jews,
but that it was all a put on for him, that they were getting him ready...
What did the Jew's seventy grand matter to Aslan?
They didn't mention a ransom to John for a month.
They beat one guy to frighten the others.
The main thing for them is to break a man, so that he'll pay the money himself.
And they certainly know how to break a man.
Then they took us away.
Where're they taking him?
You just worry about yourself.
Shut up, bitch!
- What's he want? - Something to drink.
He can wait.
Been in long?
Captain Medvedev. Give a proper report.
- What? - Give a proper report.
Take it easy!
Who are you?
Captured on May 10th, 2001, during a battle on the road
from Alkhan Yurt to Urus Martan, while carrying supplies.
They're commercial. Actors from England.
They were doing a theatre tour in Georgia.
Well, they're actors...
We mustn't let things slip, lads. There's a war on.
Is it your back, Comrade Captain?
Contusion and shrapnel round the vertebrae.
Let me take a look. Fedka!
How did it happen?
How? We were on a transporter.
A rocket went straight through Kit, a guy in my platoon.
I only worked it out when I came round.
Whoever was inside the transporter bought it.
So we were lucky...
You may have been lucky...
But what about your platoon?
I got concussed just like you, Comrade Captain.
And the bullet's here...
How long had you served?
Two weeks to go before my tour was over.
Still wet behind the ears. His first year.
Captain Medvedev was a tough nut, no doubt about it.
Everyone worked that out straight away.
You can't break a guy like that, can't wear him down.
If we'd had more like him, what an army we'd have had!
We all felt his strength, his confidence.
He's lying there, can't even get up, but he's got this calm inside him.
And Margaret fell in love with him - I new straight away.
- I think we're somewhere here. - Here?
It seemed to me they took us further.
No. We didn't go faster than 25 to 30 an hour.
And up into the mountains.
No, it's a mountain pass.
With machinegun placements.
I thinkthey're guarding the road to Georgia.
If only we knew what that river is...
What's the difference?
Well, I'm getting hungry.
She says you have to exercise...
Says they can't come up with two million, even if they sell everything.
Says the government won't pay.
They're in negotiations with the Russians.
He says they'll do everything.
Same thing over and over for half an hour!
What's she to him?
He's not lying?
Ask him if he could get two million together.
Yes, he says he can.
Tell him the woman stays with me.
In exactly two months he gives me two million.
If he doesn't, the whole lot of us will fuck her
and then I'll cut her fucking head off.
Why're you using foul language? Allah forbids it.
Speaking Russian is the same as using foul language.
To Allah, all your words are the same. Translate.
I didn't believe they'd let us go.
It wasn't the Chechen way. Too smart for them.
And they like to play with you:
tell you you're going to be released.
Let you wash in the river.
Then you sit and wait for two days, get ready...
Well, I expected a trick...
Come on, what's the hold up?
It's not an order. Just a favour...
- Comrade Captain! - You know the address?
I'll do everything, if I get out before you.
I can't decide whether to let you go or not.
The baksheesh for you is rubbish.
They're paying nothing.
And who'll get on the Internet for me?
I know you put the wrong address on the letter you wrote.
Alright, tell them about the Captain.
I'm tired - be a shame to kill him.
I paid fifty thousand for him.
If they don't let my nephew go, who'll give me that money back?
Tell them I'll wait another month and that's it.
Will he get the money together?
I think so. He wants to get married.
We're counting from today. He's got two months.
0r he won't have anyone left to marry.
Alright. Don't come back.
I won't let you go a second time.
How should he pass the money on?
If he wants to, he'll find a way.
Tell him to give his number and I'll phone.
Give him this. He can watch it later.
No, they're not taking us to Grozny.
No, definitely not to Grozny.
Don't get worked up. They'll stop the car...
take us out and shoot us. You know Aslan.
He let us go. I don't know why.
No one paid for us, that's for sure!
If it had been Khattab or Basaev, that I'd understand...
there's politics involved.
But who's Gugaev?
Maybe it was a trade -off with the local security service.
Someone told me it happens all the time.
The FSB swap a gangster, then get the credit.
They said they'd carried out a secret service mission
to free us. Well, the usual nonsense.
It didn't make any difference to me who did what.
Could I have some more water?
Yes, they should have.
No, they won't.
I don't know, cheap.
They don't pay a lot for a soldier.
We're not commercial,
just slaves really.
How much for a commercial?
There's a market in Shatoi. The prices go up and down there.
Buy one, order another...
Well, how do you 'order' a murder? Are you just off the moon?
But you're talking about gangsters!
Chechens are gangsters.
- All of them? - Yes.
That's the anger in you talking.
Well, you know best. Listen, can I have a cigarette?
We were slaves. We had to earn our food.
And what did you do?
Everything. In the fields, sawing wood. All sorts.
Was it hard?
Not really. Anything's better than sitting in the cellar.
0nly the nutcases used to beat us.
They'd get high and have some fun kicking us.
We wanted more food. And there was no salt.
You coming to Petersburg?
No, I'm going home.
I want to be in time to get into the Linguistics University
on the interpreter's faculty...
You don't know any English, and the exams have finished.
My Mum was at school with the rector.
And the military board will help.
Mum said I have to be quickthough.
Tobolsk, via Petersburg.
Listen, if you're ever in Nizhny, here...
Ivan, you know, I...
Alright, Fedka. Maybe we'll meet again...
Before going to the Medvedev family
I told everyone in Chechnya about the Captain
then managed to phone the Interior Ministry.
Told the cops about Gugaev's nephew in prison.
Just the way Aslan wanted.
When I went to see the Medvedevs, I knew there was nothing doing.
They're good people, spoke with me, gave me tea.
I just worried about my socks making a stink...
- Please, help yourself. - Thank you.
And what's he doing there?
Nothing. Waiting for a prisoner exchange.
- Why don't they exchange him? - Mother!
The Chechen was sentenced to execution,
then the sentence was reduced. He's a danger to society,
so they won't to let him go, and it s taking forever.
But why's it taking forever?
Mother, put the tea on.
Why take forever? Why keep a Chechen they...
wanted to execute anyway? I don't understand.
I always said about those men in their caps.
I never used to buy my oranges from them in the market.
Tell me, is he really in good health?
Yes. What can I say? Do I look healthy?
Well, he's healthier than me
and he asked me to tell you not to worry.
Asked me to tell... asked me to tell...
My Dad's a hero. He's defending our Homeland against gangsters.
He'll come back soon, and we'll go to the zoo like we used to.
And then I went home to Tobolsk. And John went to look for the money.
Ivan? Is it you?
I thought you were at the war!
Don't you remember me? I'm Simakov, Stepan.
- So, all over then? - What?
Well, the war!
We'll have to get them in! I'll tell the lads.
- How's your dad doing? - What about my dad?
Well, he's in hospital, up on the hill.
Unfold it, and then put it through...
Nothing had changed at home. In a word, Siberia.
Two years had passed - it was like I'd never left.
Sliva still a bandit, same as he was at school.
His parents got him out of being conscripted.
It's a shame - would've seen the world, worked some things out.
Most of the people there haven't been further than Tyumen.
Mum had aged a lot though, and Dad...
Hi, Zinka. My dad's here...
Ivan! We saw you on TV!
Zin, my dad's here...
Have you seen Katya?
Zin, my dad's here!
Eh, yes, yes...
Why do I drink, son?
Because life's become boring.
I lived until I was about forty
and that was it.
Misery, all of it.
No love, son.
It's good that you were at war.
War makes a man of you.
And that's what you should be.
A man has strength. It's all held together by that strength.
I had strength, but it's gone.
If I could be up and on my way to war now!
Don't be angry with me about your mother
she's a good woman
but I've just fallen out of love with her.
You'll understand later.
if you fall out of love, walk away!
You can't live without love. You mustn't, son!
Everyone says they saw you on television, but I missed it.
It's no big deal...
To our brothers, Sapek, Uvar, Taran and Tolka
who are no longer with us.
They hadn't been at war. 0ur own Siberian lads killed them.
We all went to the same school. Some my age, some older.
I didn't know Taran at all, but Sashka Uvarov was a friend of mine.
Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs
The position of the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Putin
is that we mustn't pay ransoms to terrorists for hostages.
So I apologize.
I wanted to work with computers - nothing doing.
You say you were in Chechnya, and they start scratching their chins.
'We're using new technologies here,' they say.
So I got knocked back everywhere.
The military board were no use either.
I could get work loading trucks without them.
Ivan, let's get married.
Where will we live?
Dad will be out of the hospital soon, then what?
Ivan, you asked me to wake you!
I'm up Auntie Val!
Put the tea on.
- Why aren't you at worktoday? - Because it's Saturday.
I bought some good tea, 'Akbar'!
Aren't you from round here then?
'No -speaka -di -Russian'...
Ah, you want Ivan!
Should have said, instead of mumbling away.
How did he get there? I don't know.
Doesn't speak a word of Russian.
Alright, in Moscow they put him on a plane, but in Tyumen?
He found the station, bought a bus ticket
then on the ferry, then he found me. Good going.
As soon as I saw him, I knew.
What was going to happen.
...into the mountains to hunt goats.
Let's see the documents.
And the cartridges?
As they should be by law, officer. They're stored separately.
Alright. Good day.
- Can we have our own compartment? - Not shy, are we?
I can't make any promises.
Take Compartment Six for now and we'll see.
Anything you say, my lovely! I'll be hoping...
Be off with you, my 'Iovely'.
Why did I go? Not for money, that s for certain.
But why? I don t know.
Maybe to get Aslan.
Probably because of the Captain though.
I asked our commander about him, I asked for help.
He's got connections from back in Afghanistan.
He said, 'What're you worried about, be happy you got out.
'It's not your war, we'll manage without you.'
I got angry about it.
And I felt sorry for Ginger. Where'd he be without me?
And why not ride to Vladikavkaz and back for free?!
What were the gun and the ammunition for then?
But we were going to the Caucasus!
And the stuff was good, I could always use it for hunting.
And he was paying!
Hi, guys. I'm Alexander Matrosov! Where to?
I got it. I'll put the case away, alright?
This is John, and I'm Ivan.
Guys, I'm Alexander Matrosov!
No free compartment, so I'll have to cramp your style.
Soon the scum will clear off. But, for now, I'll play host!
- Anything else? - Take it easy for the moment.
They're reliable guys. They're responsible,
you say the word, and that's it! No going back!
0f course, they're black -arsed scum,
but they deliver the goods bang on time and never screw you!
And you know some major players down there?
Come on, Ivan!! I'm Alexander Matrosov!
Well, I might have some business for you, Matrosov.
Get us some more vodka, and get us some nibbles...
Look, skinny's conked out.
He was a funny guy, Alexander Matrosov.
He was buying heroin from the Chechens and taking it to Russia.
We got very drunk in the restaurant car.
I saw straight away he was a con -artist.
I didn't tell him anything, just checked him out...
Arriving in Vladikavkaz! Do you want the ticket receipts?
Hello? Can I speak to Alexander Kardanov?
They'd talked a lot of rubbish to John in Moscow.
There was no big shot ex-KGB guy who exchanges hostages.
The guy said he was an FSB Major.
He knew we were coming and was waiting.
When I met him I knew we'd landed in a right mess.
But what was I supposed to do - turn round and go home?
You were prepared to kill, even then?
Journalist, you go off to play pool back in Moscow.
What's your goal? To pocket some balls, in order to win.
Well, this is war, this is...
Sergeant, what're you getting so worked up for him about?
Comrade Major, it's not my money, so I couldn't care less.
But ten percent is steep. He hasn't got much as it is.
Gugaev knows how much we've got - any less and he won't let her go.
He'll either rape her or cut her ears off - I know.
And we're late - only four days left.
The ten percent isn't for me.
There's my people, the people in Chechnya.
It's a big operation - an illegal operation, Sergeant.
What if we said 50,000?
I wouldn't be sitting here, Sergeant. What are we haggling for?
You ve got the money with you?
Who carries that kind of money, Comrade Major?
What guarantees can you give?
Serious people in Moscow gave you my number, Sergeant,
and I don't give out l0Us.
You've no choice, Sergeant. Without me you're screwed, got it?
Day after tomorrow, we meet here. I'll bring the money.
There s one condition - I go with you.
We'd got tails everywhere.
I noticed when I got our bags from the station.
Guys watching, gangster faces, harder than our Siberian guys.
They weren't looking for me - they didn't need me.
And John was in the tram. So the game was on...
Listen, where're you from?
Almost my neck of the woods. I'm from Tobolsk.
- In for much longer? - Five months.
- Conscript? - 0n a contract.
Been to Chechnya?
What do you think we're doing here?
What do you want?
I really need to get into Chechnya. Give us some help...
I'm here for the first time, we never went in from this side.
Always through Mozdok. I've got no idea here.
If I got over the border, I'd find my way from there.
Leave something behind over there?
I was captured over there.
I've been in civvies for a month, but I've got a debt to pay.
Tell me who I've got to talkto, and whatever I've got I'II...
- Well, what have you got? - What do you need?
What size do you take?
What've you got in here?
Nothing worth thieving!
That's a joke, right? What're you looking at?
Is that it then?
Stay down! We'll be going through their border now.
Don't sweat it - they're our guys on the post.
See you round, guys!
You guys are totally fucking mad!
I'd noticed that he was filming everything
mumbling to himself, but so what?
When he spoke to me, I understood, but otherwise...
But shooting a film? You've told me, but I never would've guessed...
They're about to kill his woman, and he's filming.
It's funny - in English 'to film' and 'to shoot' are the same word - 'shoot'.
I didn't know. He told me later.
Anyway, we went on, just the two of us.
Shit, the map's too small!
You're working well.
Where's your owner?
Are you deaf?
He was nearly broken then.
I didn't go near him for the rest of the day.
He mumbled into his camera, I had a bit more to drink and slept.
I thought, if he keeps moaning, I'll hand myself in to our guys.
The bastards had all our military locations on their maps.
I even knew where I'd go.
But the next morning he's as fresh as a cucumber. 'Come on,' he says, 'let's go.'
Waiting for a bus?
End of the road, darky.
Russian! I'm just a shepherd! I've been tending my flock!
Listen, scum, I know a lot. 0ne word of bullshit and I'll shoot.
If you hear the word 'three', you're no longer living.
- Name? - Ruslan Shamaev!
- How many slaves? - No slaves, I just tend a flock...
0K! Two, ages ago, but my brother tookthem for a debt I owed him!
When did you shave the beard off?
Two weeks ago! They made me! I'm a simple fellow, I live in the mountains!
Where's Aslan Gugaev?! 0ne, two...
- He was in Katan-Yurt... - Three...
Russian! I know! I'll show you! Whatever you want!
Careful, scum. You're my slave now.
And if you screw up, I'll blow your head off.
0n the pass! Protecting the mountain pass!
Now we're talking!
Get up and show me on the map.
If I have any doubts about what you say, it's over - I've counted to three.
I don't know Russian so good. You speak fast.
I shoot even faster!
We're here. Where's Aslan?
You've passed the first test. Let's try the second.
0ver there. My hand's tied, I can't point.
- Here? - No. There!
There, you've passed the second test.
Just the third one left.
Now, my shepherd friend, you show us how to get there fast and safe.
And so that you don't think I'm joking, I'll tell you straight:
me and the Lone Ranger are finished anyway, same as you! Got it?!
But, if we complete our NAT0 mission, I give you my word as a Russian paratrooper:
I'll let you go! You can go tend your flock!
But, you know how difficult these things can be...
Ruslan Shamaev. Nizhny Alkun. Check his identity and report back.
If I'm not on the wire tomorrow, kill all his relatives. All of them. 0ver.
This is Beslan Khatuev's jeep.
His brother's disappeared. Everyone's looking for him.
We won't get there in this jeep. We have to go across the glacier.
Faster that way.
Ruslan believed us, especially when we dumped the Landrover.
Get up! Move it!
Get a move on!
I said move it!
I've told them to leave your family for now. But they're fierce...
I'll do everything, Russian!
Let's take a break.
I know a way through the ravines.
There's no one round here. All the villages are deserted.
After the deportations, the Chechens didn't come back.
- You're from Moscow, yes? - Yes.
- You have a university there? - Yes.
You studied there?
Everyone in Moscow studies there.
My uncle lives in Moscow. He didn't study there.
But he's not Russian, is he!
My eldest son is very clever. I want him to study in Moscow.
Have you got contacts there?
Yes, but it's expensive.
I've got money. I want our clan to have a politician!
But he's not very good at reading.
That's not important anymore. You just need contacts.
You'll help, yes?
No problem. If your son survives.
Come on! Hold on John!
Who did the jeep belong to?
What's his call-sign?
I don't know Khatuev's - honest!
Who's do you know?
Loads. Who's do you need?
Salaam, Aslan! How's the Internet doing without me? It's Ivan.
Salaam, Ivan. What do you want?
Just to say 'Salaam'...
I heard the Englishman is bringing the money.
He's late. I'm waiting, for now...
How are my friends?
I'm sure they are. He's bringing the money.
But first you promise before Allah that you won't trick us.
0K. Who'll hand over the money?
'0K' isn't good enough - promise before Allah!
I've got a witness here. A Muslim believer.
I swear before Allah! When?
In four days time. 0ver and out.
We'll see how faithful you are to Allah.
We have to get there in two days. Got it?
We got there in a day and a half. Ruslan took us across some goat-tracks
in from the Georgian side which was totally unguarded.
All we had to do was make the exchange.
Russian, he won't keep his word.
I heard how he spoke. All Gugaevs are lying dogs!
0ur families have always lived close together
on either side of the mountain pass.
He's our blood enemy! They always stole our cattle through the pass.
0ur grandfathers fought, even made peace.
In the second war they took 60 sheep from us.
'I'm a fighter, you're a shepherd,' he says.
'Your father's brother wanted to kill my grandfather.
But he got scared, and you're just the same!' he says.
Why're you telling me all this?
Tomorrow he'll kill the American, then you, and then he'll kill me.
You won't answer the radio, so my family will be killed too.
So, proud Chechen shepherd, can you use thing?
Not all Chechens can tend a flock, but all Chechens can shoot.
You have a chance to save the honour of your clan.
Russian, tell yours to leave my family alone. They'll kill you...
I'm your family now, got it?! Protect me, and you'll save them.
If I see it's all over for us, then I'll tell them.
In his book and film, John says you were beating the Chechen shepherd...
...and then you just give him weapons.
Weren't you afraid he'd shoot you in the back?
0f course not, I had his family as hostages.
You're a mountain man, Ivan.
I live on the plains.
We brought the ransom. Let's go.
- Where're the keys? - There.
No! 0bey your orders!
You won't get out of here!
Then you won't get the money. Tie his hands!
What about your oath, Aslan?
Go to the machinegun.
Tell your people already.
It's still too early!
Morning, Comrade Captain!
Hello, Sergeant. Give us a smoke.
We'd landed ourselves right in it. We couldn't use Aslan for cover.
No way backthrough the pass with the Captain.
We could go down through the village, but there were a lot of beards down there.
The Captain said it: climbing a tree is easy, getting back down's the hard part.
He's a great guy. He thought of using the river.
They weren't expecting that.
Comrade Captain, we need air support. We're finished without it.
We're too far off to use the radio.
Let's try the satellite phone.
You're well-stocked, Sergeant!
How does it work?
Simple - we need to catch a satellite.
I'll tune it in.
Hello! Give me HQ chief, Colonel Malykhin!
Captain Medvedev! Move it!
Great line! If only we had these...
It's Captain Medvedev. Hi, Kolya.
Listen, we're surrounded - send some air support!
There's five of us, two English.
The Shatoi region, south of Itum-Kali, coordinate 34.
There's an abandoned village with a big old tower! We're in the tower.
Yes, they're firing at us!
I think we can hold out for an hour.
There's nowhere to land.
So? Are they coming?
Lads, give us a cigarette.
- Long to go? - Seven months.
- Just back from Chechnya? - From Grozny.
Here. It's a bonus from NAT0
for the fight against international terrorism.
It s English money - almost two thousand dollars.
You know the rest.
John made a film and became famous.
I'm being prosecuted for killing citizens of the Russian Federation -
I was a civilian, after all.
John put it all in the film, about the woman in the jeep
and the old man with his kid at Aslan's.
How did he shoot it all?
He wrote a book as well - 'My Life in Russia'.
He didn't come to the court case, of course. Gave evidence over there.
But the brave shepherd Shamaev turned up, detailing how I tortured him
how I cynically slaughtered Chechen women and children.
He lives in Moscow now. His son's at university there.
Margaret never did marry John.
I gave the Captain all the money -
I knew what was waiting for him back home.
His wife wrote, said they'd done some expensive operations.
He's stuck up for me. He's a good man.
I don't thinkthey'll put me away, but who knows.
0ur lot in Tobolsk keep looking to Moscow:
what will Putin say, will there be legal reforms?
Still haven't seen that film. It'd be fun to watch it now.