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Russia retains a Veteran’s Committee committed to tracking down missing veterans of past wars and invasions. Just recently, the Committee executed a yearlong search in the Afghan region and tracked a Soviet veteran thirty-three years later after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan of 1980.
According to the Huffington Post, Bakhretdin Khakimov was discovered sustaining a semi-nomadic lifestyle. After having been severely wounded in battle, he took shelter with the locals of Herat, a western province of Afghanistan, espoused the name Sheikh Abdullah and lived under the cover of performing herbal medicinal remedies.
“His memory is sound and he quickly gave the names of his parents, brothers and sister. He wants to meet his relatives,” a spokesman commented according to the Daily Mail UK. He also disclosed that he had taken a wife while concealed in Herat but has since been deceased and bore no children.
Bakhretdin Khakimov is not the only veteran to be discovered. Seven years ago, Ukrainian soldier Tseuma revealed himself to the public after starting a new life in Afghanistan. And within the first decade of the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, the Committee retrieved 29 missing soldiers, a handful requesting to remain in Afghanistan, according to BBC UK. The Committee continues to seek the fate of the 264 Soviet soldiers who went missing in the Afghan region.