Was rummaging through some drawers at home and found these retro photos of my dad, back in the 80s when he was serving in the Soviet military in Northern Yemen, where he was posted because of his fluent Arabic.
He was based deep in the desert in the biggest infantry brigade in the country. The brigade was part of the secret Communist 'Death Reserve' which was a little-known Soviet military practice that allowed for a certain number of troops to be lost without having to be accounted for under official government statistics; especially convenient where the work is of a classified nature.
It's strange that even though the photos were taken in the 80s, looking at them and knowing their context gives me a sense of understanding that's both alien and familiar. The names may have changed, but the world is still essentially fighting the same ideological battles. Western democracy against religion/repression or whatever you want to call it. Ironic that the defeat of the USSR resulted both directly and indirectly in the complex geopolitical landscape that we have today and that causes the West such a headache. No, I'm not a closet Commie. Merely speculating. Cause and effect can be a scary thing.