An expert on extreme situations, GRU special forces officer Alexander Musienko gives some advice on survival, self-defense and countering chaos.
- Alexander, today political uncertainty is clearly superimposed on the weakness of state institutions. If the so-called Orange Revolution wins, the prospect of a social explosion cannot be discounted. Chaos is looming over us in one form or another. We must be prepared for all its manifestations, even the most extreme ones. As an Emergency Situations Specialist, please tell us about the community's methods of dealing with chaos.
Alexander MUSIENKO: The danger of a social explosion exists even in a region like Moscow, where there are many police and internal troops capable of extinguishing a major conflict. A situation is possible when a distraught crowd will overturn or burn everything in the street without asking whether it is a Mercedes or a 20-year-old "six" disabled from the war in Afghanistan, who happened to be nearby.
Experience shows that such a situation is used primarily by the criminal element. Ordinary criminality, homeless people, drug addicts, etc. come to the fore. Due to their aggressiveness and dissatisfaction with the situation, they are the first to grab a weapon - a stick, a baseball bat, a piece of armature - and start their dirty work. Their goal is the same - enrichment. They will run not to poor neighborhoods, but to well-equipped areas. Their potential victim is the so-called middle class. Because cottage settlements or government buildings have their own security system, security guards, fences, etc. it is not easy to get there. And the middle layers, it turns out, are the most unprotected.
- Assuming such a negative scenario, we must orient ordinary people towards self-defense and self-preservation. We are talking about a culture of adaptation to new difficult conditions …
- If the power structures are not able to influence the situation, then ordinary citizens will all the more not be able to do this. This means that you need to adapt, to adapt as much as possible to the existing situation.
Therefore, it is necessary, without hesitation, without shamefully hiding your eyes, to openly say what needs to be done at the "X" hour, how to secure your life, the life of your loved ones and the property acquired by overwork. Because in our world a person himself without material resources, without a roof over his head, without sources of livelihood and income means little. Unfortunately, our state does not provide any social guarantees, even in a peaceful, calm time. And during the escalation of the internal political situation, it is likely to be completely eliminated. Therefore, it makes sense to identify the priority areas of social adaptation in a period of chaos.
First of all, you need to clearly understand: you can't do anything alone. When the situation gets out of control in a particular settlement, the unification of citizens at the place of residence comes to the fore. It is good if there are so-called "driveway committees" in the houses. When, in day-to-day circumstances, volunteers take on the responsibilities of gathering tenants, determining the system of access for citizens, repairing the entrance, installing playgrounds, hiring concierges, etc., during a crisis, the same people are able to organize protection. These people are united, know each other, know the phone numbers of their neighbors.
- What should be done at the first sound of gunfire outside the windows?
- First of all, to restrict access to the entrance of unauthorized persons. You have to understand: a concierge alone will not cope with this task. Therefore, it is necessary to organize the watch of two or three people. Better than three, because two people, in the presence of a metal door, will restrain an attempt to get inside, a third, in the absence of mobile and telephone communications, can manage to run around the floors, mobilize all the men in the entrance and organize a rebuff.
So, we need a duty system, a warning system and a rapid response group. These are men, healthy and strong, who have officially registered hunting weapons or other means of protection - for example, gas and traumatic pistols. These are not the forces that can organize a rebuff to some kind of military formation with armored personnel carriers and machine guns. But we must understand that the military formation will not storm the entrance with the aim of robbery.
And against hooligans and criminal elements, such a primary defense is sufficient. Several shots from a gun into the air - and the criminal element abandons his intentions to enter the house …
On the first floors of the entrance, containers with water should be prepared: plastic five-liter bottles, buckets, basins … Because any bottle of Molotov cocktail that has flown in and any tracer bullet will lead to a fire.
In addition to the existing electric combination locks, it is imperative to have a deadbolt or a mortise lock with several spare sets of keys in the driveway. All these "little things" must be thought out and spelled out.
- In the future, you can even create a special memo …
- Exactly. Write a memo and organize quick courses on all this. We need a lecture hall, we need a story with specific examples. There are many nuances here. And it is difficult for a civilian person to foresee everything in advance.
Militia officers (active and dismissed), employees of special forces of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who worked at addresses and know the procedure for conducting special operations in the residential sector, can also be professionals in this area. Such people know the ways and means of entering the premises. This means that they can also take countermeasures.
- It is clear that the most effective defense is with firearms. But there is a psychological barrier in its application …
- In the initial period of instability, officially registered weapons - hunting and self-defense weapons - by the Ministry of Internal Affairs will be withdrawn from the population. In any case, law enforcement agencies will take all measures to take weapons from the civilian population.
On the one hand, this is good, but on the other, it is very bad. In the United States, there is still a debate about civilian weapons, which commit a huge number of crimes. We have recently been shooting from traumatic weapons wherever they hit. This indicates the low internal culture of people who have weapons.
It is another matter that on the territory of the post-Soviet space there is a huge amount of illegal weapons on hand - they were given by Karabakh, Chechnya, Dagestan, Ossetia, Abkhazia, etc. The arms turnover is enormous. I suppose there are more than 2-3 million small arms (rifled and smooth-bore) in Russia.
- That is, a law-abiding citizen finds himself in a deliberately losing position: he surrenders his weapon, and around there is a sea of illegal guns.
- This is true. But if we talk about the priority measures to protect your life - first of all, you need to think not about your own arsenal, but about barricading the first and second floors, creating a system that prevents entry into the house. Here you can apply the old-fashioned method, the method of defense of fortresses. After all, the invaders can be poured with boiling water on top or doused with gasoline. If a person realizes that one match will turn him into a torch, then, naturally, he will not take further part in the assault.
- As we know, during the period of unrest or active hostilities and anarchy, utilities do not work. How to survive without basic amenities, heating, water supply, sewerage?
- The first threat we are talking about is a social threat - more precisely, a criminal one. And the second - yes! - technogenic.
These are situations associated with the cutoff of gas, electricity, water supply, up to emergency emissions of caustic and toxic substances from neighboring enterprises, the same chlorine, for example. Accidents of this kind can be of both diversionary and purely man-made nature. If a leak occurs and the area becomes infected, what to do? Here, every sane person should provide for a number of measures.
Basic tips. First, you should check that there is enough water in the house: both for extinguishing fires and for water supply. The second is the tightness of the premises. It is necessary to protect windows and glass, especially in winter. If the glass breaks, then an immediate alternative is needed - plywood or polyethylene, and then a blanket. In any case, the temperature in the premises of a multi-storey building, if the heating systems are turned off, within a certain time will equal the ambient temperature. This will not happen so quickly in a brick house, but the walls in a reinforced concrete structure will freeze faster.
- What to do?
- It is necessary to insulate the outer walls with carpets, rugs. Even a wardrobe will play a role in insulating a blank outer wall and save a little heat. But, again, your efforts will be useless if the neighbors above or below leave their apartment with broken glass - the ceilings and the floor freeze faster than the walls, and nothing can be done about it.
Summer in the city: with uncleaned corpses on the streets, garbage and human waste, it's terrible, but winter is worse. In winter, home heating comes to the fore. No matter how we insulate the walls, there should be heating. Many autonomous power plants of several kilowatts are being sold now. But for this device, fuel must be prepared. And, again, efficiency is important here - to burn gasoline in the generator to generate electricity, to cook food on the electric oven and turn on the heater? Isn't it easier to have a gas stove, a liquid fuel or wood-burning stove?
- When it comes to survival, both furniture and a library can be used as fuel.
- Compared to wood, paper has a very, very low heat transfer coefficient. And individually stick pieces of paper - the skin is not worth the dressing. Now, if paper or sawdust is impregnated with diesel fuel, you get a completely different result.
A trained resident of a metropolis must have a supply of some kind of flammable substances, on which one can simply cook hot food. The presence of a kerosene lamp, gas primus with spare cylinders will partially solve the problem. This is especially true for those who have small children, and it is imperative to warm up baby food. All this also needs to be thought out. You need to understand that if something happens, you can't buy such devices in the store. Each person, realizing this, should create his own personal emergency supply at home.
- So we moved on to the third problem - the problem of material and technical means for adaptation to one or another critical conditions of the country's life.
- Our older generation is here: grandparents, especially those who survived the war, will give us all a head start. They always had a minimum supply at home. My parents always buy half a bag of buckwheat, a bag of sugar, a bag of flour. The villagers do the same. For some reason, the townspeople do not think about it, although nothing prevents them from buying a box of condensed milk, stew, pasta, flour, which can always be diluted with water and cook basic food. Cereals, salt, sugar, honey, canned fish are products that are stored for a long time.
There is no need to make a reserve of 2-3 tons, you will not be enough for a lifetime! We have set the dates. A social crisis can last from a few days to several weeks. In a political crisis, the main thing is to survive a month and a half of anarchy. Then, in any case, some kind of power will come, some kind of trade will begin. At most, the political crisis can last six months. Naturally, even for one person, it is not so easy to create a three-month supply. Even if he consumes on average 1 kg of food per day, you need to stock up on 90 kg for each. And it is physically difficult for a family of 4 to store 360 kg of food at home.
But here we are not talking about creating an autonomous reserve - we are talking about an additional reserve to what people will extract for themselves. After all, in any case, life will not end, everyone will not be able to barricade themselves.
So to the traditional question, where is it better to keep money in difficult times, I always answer - in banks! In cans of condensed milk, stewed meat, etc.
If a political crisis comes, the last can of condensed milk will not be sold even for $ 100. It will become priceless, but the dollar bill will turn into a piece of paper.
Everyone determines for himself how much he needs, but there should be a supply of food.
The next is a supply of combustible materials, this is gasoline-kerosene, which will provide cooking appliances. In Kurgan-Tyube in Tajikistan and Grozny, people cooked for themselves on the street, made a wood fire or burned a can of diesel fuel. You can pour diesel fuel into a tin can with sand and cook even on the balcony.
We in Afghanistan prepared tea for ourselves in such a way, secretly from the enemy. Such fuel smokes, but under certain camouflage conditions: in a gorge, ravine or in a dry bed, it can be used. But, again, this must be taught to people. You can tell a hundred times how to fill in diesel fuel and set it on fire, but it will not burn. It is necessary to show everything, teach that the sand is dry, so that the can is half or a third filled with it, not filled, but abundantly moistened with kerosene or diesel fuel, periodically stir the sand and so on … This is a whole culture with small nuances that must be taken into account.
- During a crisis, a drug problem will arise. What medications do you need to have in your home?
- Medicines for chronic diseases of family members come out on top. There should be a supply of drugs - the maximum that a person can only store. If the ulcer - "Almagel", etc., if diabetes mellitus - insulin-containing drugs, etc. Stored drugs should be used as soon as their shelf life expires and renewed again. That is, the necessary stock must always be present.
In second place are hemostatic drugs and dressings: tourniquets, bandages, brilliant green, iodine, etc. A person should know how to provide first aid for bleeding - arterial, venous and capillary, with fractures and bruises. In the first-aid kit, there must be gastric remedies, because switching to another food, poor quality or expired, can cause gastrointestinal upset.
The next group is sedatives, sedatives. Further - a huge group of medicines - anti-cold medicines, incl. antibiotics.
Don't forget about epidemics. There must be antiseptics. The same bleach. There is no bleach - domestic bleach will go: process the toilet, and the dishes, and fill in some pockets of sewage on the street near your entrance …
- The fight against unsanitary conditions then comes to the fore.
- Yes, this is a problem - what to do with waste, especially in summer. It is clear that now we are taking out the garbage in the trash bin. But if garbage disposal is not carried out, then in two or three weeks an extensive dump will appear on the site of garbage cans, and the area will become unbearable. We will take the garbage away, but someone will start pouring it from the balcony right at your feet. It is not joke. Therein lies the great threat of epidemics.
Ideally, you need a hole to dig. For my family, I can dig a hole meter by meter, and within a month this will be enough for me. But this pit will be filled during the day, because Ivanov, Petrov, Sidorenko and Akhmedov will not dig, but will pour their garbage into my pit. This means that it is necessary to dig a hole together with the neighbors and put a controller so that strangers do not pour garbage into it. This is a very difficult regulated mechanism if everyone thinks only of themselves.
By the way, your products should be stored in such a way that they give the minimum amount of food waste. If you have potatoes, you do not need to peel them, but cook them in their uniforms, like all other vegetables. And it's not just that waste decays. Thus, we save products by using them to the maximum.
The problem of sewage will arise in full growth - it will not be possible to use it in an apartment building. On the top floor, a person will still be able to use it, and on the first or second floors everything will be flooded. And if the resident in the house is irresponsible, the only way for people living on the lower floors to avoid flooding with feces is to install hard plugs on the sewer system. But all the same, the liquid will rise up the plastic pipes and they may not be able to withstand … If the pipe breaks, then the contents of this 20-storey pillar will flood the lower floors. This is a huge, unsolvable problem.
- If anarchy comes, the water supply will be cut off immediately …
- But people will still carry water upstairs, wash products, although it is easier to wash them on the street, boil tea, cook soup. The liquid will still end up in the sewer … In the same Kurgan-Tyube, people took water from ditches. In the conditions of Moscow, these can be natural reservoirs - rivers, canals, ponds, large puddles and snow. People will carry water from there on carts and sleds. The water will be boiled and drunk …
Hence another topic: we need serious supplies of drinking water in the apartment. If you use water from natural sources, it means that you need means for its disinfection: from boiling to filtration and disinfection using chemicals. One problem gives rise to another, and it is impossible for one person to solve them overnight … For this, we need a culture of adaptation, with the help of which we can determine the required amount of water, food, power plants, etc. All this is difficult, but solvable.
- But in any case, the metropolis is turning into a death zone … It is clear that such large cities as Moscow are in complete loss in advance.
- As soon as there is a threat of prolongation of the conflict, one should get rid of the big city. At worst - to the suburbs, or better - to a distant village, to urban-type settlements, to relatives and friends. The ideal option is when people unite according to their family, some kind of socio-professional characteristic or interests and leave for the countryside - for their historical homeland. 10-15 adult men plus neighbors create a self-defense squad. The same can happen in a cottage community where people live in mansions of 200 sq. meters per person. They alone cannot hold such space - especially since such villages are deliberately at gunpoint.
In order to keep such a settlement, it is necessary to create self-defense forces. One of the inhabitants in chorus will call a friend in the city and say: "Sanya, come to me to live with your family and take someone else!" In crowded but not mad!
Residents of cottage settlements should be ready for this, because the employees of the private security companies guarding them will flee to save their families during the days of the crisis. Money at this time will depreciate, turn into candy wrappers.
If the citizen has nowhere to run, let him run into the forest. We remember the summer of 2010, when peat bogs were burning and Moscow was choking on smog. I drove my pregnant daughter away from Moscow to the Tver region, to Lake Seliger. When we got there, all the shores of the lake were packed with Muscovites. People lived in tents, escaping the smoke. It is good that there is clean water nearby, that there are working shops … It is good that people looked after themselves and each other, followed sanitation, buried garbage in pits. Muscovites came in small groups, got to know each other and lived there, making household and household appliances for convenience.
Camp and camp life was organized there. And it begins, as you know, with … a toilet. Because if twenty people live without a toilet for a day, it will not be easy to leave the camp the next night … Plus, hygiene issues, etc.
Accordingly, you need to have a clear algorithm of what to do and where to go. You need to have one main evacuation option and two spare ones. Everything is like in special forces. The main route of movement and one or two backup. Let's say we live in a city, wait a week or two. The first option is to leave for the Tver region, the second - to visit relatives in Siberia, the Urals, the Voronezh or Kursk regions, even if the second cousin's grandmother lives there.
- Ideally, you should already have your own base away from Moscow.
- I have many acquaintances who have purchased real estate in the villages of Tver, Ivanovo, Kostroma regions precisely for such purposes. They got to know the locals and, if necessary, can move there. Getting to know the locals and making contact is important because we are newcomers there. The attitude towards Muscovites has not been very good lately. And here, in general, there may be aggression: they say, we are not sweet here without you, and you, parasites, have come in large numbers. Therefore, when people come, they must carry something positive. That is, to do something good not only for yourself. For example, if a specialist doctor arrives, it means that he should organize a first-aid post in this village. You can share clothes, food, medicine with local residents.
It is important to understand that in the event of force majeure, holding onto a city apartment or property is like death. Human life is the most precious thing. I was a witness when people in Grozny sat on things and bags. They sat in apartments and basements, and houses were hit by bombs and shells, houses were folded, and people were buried alive, saving a carpet, refrigerator or TV. This is how a lot of the Russian population perished in the winter of 1995. But you could hide more or less valuable things, make hiding places, or simply part with them, preserving your life and the life of your family and friends.
In such cases, the outcome with documents, money, jewelry, a minimum set of products will be the best option. Better to leave by car. And if it doesn't work out, then on foot, because even under normal conditions, huge traffic jams are built in Moscow and the Moscow region, and if something happens, a traffic collapse will occur. And then from Moscow, at least 70-100 kilometers, you will have to walk.
- A huge layer of problems arises behind all this. And here one family cannot cope, society is needed. We need a community. And here in the first place is the possibility of self-organization of society, the creation of cells-blocks.
- An optimally self-sufficient team is 70-100 people, where 20-30 strong and physically healthy men plus women and children. This is enough to autonomously adapt in the forest, anywhere. This is the so-called camp. It is already difficult to feed with a large number, it is difficult to ensure safety with a smaller one. And 70-100 people are optimal.
You have arrived in a rural-type settlement. It is necessary to organize self-defense - first of all, block all roads, simply dig them up, make blockages from trees and dig ditches, thereby eliminating detours in the forest and field. It is clear that a bulldozer or a tank will pass, but light vehicles, on which, as a rule, criminals, trucks, buses, will not pass. The bandits will need to stop, get out, clear up the rubble, and this is a won time in order to raise the alarm on a rapid response group. Men with pitchforks and stakes will come running and chase away the intruders.
Next is the notification system. Bell tower, rail hanging, empty gas cylinder. Rapid ringing is an alarm signal. Moreover, the bells should be in two or three directions - where the roads are. Whence the bell sounds, it means that there is a threat from there. People should know the order of notification and actions for the combat crew: who and what should be done.
Again, survival in the village is easier - there are sources of water, a waste disposal system has already been thought out, there is individual heating for dwellings. The best option is a rural settlement.
- With access to some kind of agriculture …
- As for the production of agricultural products, then this can be discussed if the situation drags on for years. How many years did the civil war that began in our country after the October Revolution lasted? The country was in a fever until 1924, then it began to improve more or less. This is a long period of history.
If the events took place in late winter or early spring, then a certain supply of seed must be left in order to grow something. It is necessary to grow crops that require the minimum expenditure of forces and resources. For Russia, these are potatoes, forgotten barley, the yield of which is much higher compared to other cereals. These are vegetables that do not require complex maintenance. Let's say that it is very difficult to grow the same tomatoes in the middle lane, cucumbers also require some care, and carrots and cabbage grow normally. But the vegetation period for cabbage is almost five months, and for potatoes it is 2, 5-3 months, and if you take the early varieties, then even less.
The forest can produce mushrooms and berries. In terms of game, resources will be severely depleted when the crowd rushes into the forest. At some time, something can be provided by large reservoirs - lakes, rivers, large reservoirs, coastal areas. Fish is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain protein products in nature. But, again, uncontrolled poaching, nets and dynamite, electric fishing rods - the fish will be knocked out.
- The main thing is information, knowledge and culture, and the second is the culture of communication with each other and the culture of interaction …
- For the last 20 years they have been trying to convince us that man is a wolf to man. And we won the Great Patriotic War with our friendship and solidarity of the people. Throughout the history of Russia, it was the people who determined the existence of the state, starting from the people's militia of Minin and Pozharsky. Even when Russia in the Time of Troubles lost its statehood, thanks to Minin and Pozharsky it was restored.
And if, God forbid, what happens, now there are also Minins and Pozharskys who will restore our statehood.
But we should know in advance, in peacetime, who we can rely on, and who we cannot contact, with whom we can eat a pood of salt, and with whom not … The time will come, and there will be no more salt. Therefore, now, first of all, the male half of the population must take responsibility, form a circle of people together with their friends and acquaintances, negotiate all these issues, engage in the exchange of information and mutual enlightenment in order to survive in a critical situation.
If we named a team of 70-100 people, it should be built in such a way that there are doctors, people who own weapons - former and current employees of law enforcement agencies, so that people with skills in land use, hunting, fishing get there, so that they have the appropriate tools and accessories.
- Crisis conditions will require answers - increased interaction between people, vigilance, the role and responsibility of men. A picture of society is being built that is different from the one we have today …
- Requires a society in which man to man is no longer a wolf. This is a different type of society and a different type of relationship, where envy is reduced to nothing, where women do not compete with each other with chinchilla fur coats and gold jewelry. This is a society in which there is nothing superficial, and people live the way a good ideal family lives, where loved ones behave naturally and do not hypocrite each other.