SHTF: views from outside US

Translated from a Russian/Ukranian site dealing with survival issues. Neat read to get an outside the US view of things.



This is an interview with ALEXANDER Musienko – GRU colonel. He was born on March 16, 1964.

He was awarded the Order of the Red Star, “For personal courage “, ” For Service to the Motherland in the USSR Armed Forces ” third degree “For Service to the Fatherland”, 4th Class with Swords and the Order of Courage.

He fought in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya ( second campaign ). In Afghanistan for two years in command of a group of the 1st Company of the 154th Special Forces detachment GRU and was deputy commander , company commander of Detachment 334 , led ambushes on convoys with weapons coming from Pakistan, and raids on the strongholds of the Mujahideen.

In Tajikistan Musienko led guerrilla movement “Popular Front”. In Chechnya and Dagestan developed the operation to eliminate the three commanders from the most odious and took them most directly involved. In the nearly 20 years of military life participated in more than 150 combat operations.

– Alexander , today the political uncertainty is clearly combined with weakness of government institutions. If so-called “Orange Revolution” win, the prospect of social unrest cannot be discounted. In one form or another, chaos is coming for us. We must be ready for all of its manifestations , including the most extreme. As a specialist in extreme situations , please tell us about the methods to counteract such chaos.

Alexander Musienko : Risk of social unrest exists even in a region such as Moscow, where many police and internal troops can theoretically suppress a major conflict.

The situation when the frenzied crowd will smash or burn everything on the street, without asking if it’s a “Mercedes” or a 20 year old “Hyundai” of a disabled war veteran, who just happened to be nearby. Experience shows that criminal element takes advantage of such a situation. At the forefront are ordinary criminals, the homeless , drug addicts , etc. Because of their aggressiveness, and dissatisfaction with their lives they first grab the weapons – a stick , a baseball bat , a piece of rebar – and begin their dirty work. Their goal is the same – enrichment. And they will loot not poor neighborhoods but well-to-do ones. Their potential victim – the so -called middle class. Because the gated communities or government buildings have their own security system , guards, fences , etc – it’s not so easy to penetrate them. It turns out the middle classes is the most vulnerable.

– Assuming such a negative scenario , we need to target ordinary people to self-defense and self-preservation. It’s about adapting to a new culture, difficult conditions…

– If the security forces will not be able to influence the situation, the ordinary people will not be able to do it either. So, we will need to adapt as much as possible to the current situation. Therefore it is necessary to speak what to do at “Hour X», how to protect their lives , the lives of their loved ones and property. Because in our world, the man who has no money, no shelter, no livelihood and income is worthless. Our state , unfortunately , has very limited safety net even in the best of times. And during the escalation of the political situation, it is likely to eliminate what little it has. So it makes sense to identify priority areas in the period of chaos.

First of all, we need to clearly understand that one person alone cannot do anything. When the situation gets out of control in a township, the most important thing is to unite people into a local communities. It is good if the houses form so-called “stairwell committees”. When in everyday circumstances, volunteers take on the responsibilities of the collection of dues from tenants, control access to the building, carry out repairs, install playgrounds, hire concierges , etc. , during the crisis , the same people are able to mount a defense. These people together, know each other , know the phone numbers of neighbors.

– What should be done at the first sound of shots outside?

– First of all , to limit access to the entrance of unauthorized persons. You have to understand : one guard cannot cope with this task. Therefore it is necessary to organize a guard detachment of two or three people. Preferably three , because while two people behind a metal door can deter attempted break-ins, the third (even if mobile phones don’t work) can run around the floors , to mobilize all the men in the stairwell and organize resistance.

So , we need duty system , the system of notification and rapid response team. These are men , healthy and strong, who have officially registered hunting weapons or other means of protection – such as gas and pneumatic guns. These are not the force that can organize resistance to some army units with armored personnel carriers and machine guns. But we must understand that military formations will not storm the entrance to rob the apartment buildings. And against hooligans and criminals a primary defense is enough. Several shots from a gun into the air – and the criminal element decides not to enter the house.

On the first floor entrance you should prepare containers with water: five-liter plastic bottles , buckets , basins… because any ” Molotov cocktail ” and any tracer will lead to a fire. In addition to the existing electric code locks , be sure to have an access door deadbolt or mortise lock with several spare sets of keys. All of these ” little things ” should be thought out and spelled out.

– In the future, you can even create a special booklet with directions.

– That’s right. Write notes and organize training courses for to speed up the whole thing. You need a lecture , you need a story with specific examples. There are a lot of nuances which for a civilian is difficult to imagine in advance. Professionals in this area can be police officers (active and laid-off ) , special forces of the FSB and the Interior Ministry, who worked in this field and know how to perform special operations in the residential sector. These people know the ways and means of entry to the premises – which means that they can propose countermeasures.

– It is clear that most effectively defend themselves with firearms. But there is a psychological barrier to its use…

– In the initial period of instability officially registered weapons – hunting and self-defense weapons – will be confiscated by the police from the population. The police will take all measures to collect weapons from civilians. On the one hand, this is good, but on the other – very bad. In the United States there is still a debate about the civilian weapons , which are used in a huge number of crimes. Here, people are shooting from gas pistols wherever they want. This suggests a low degree of civility in people with guns.

Another thing is that on the territory of the former Soviet Union there are a huge number of illegal weapons – from Karabakh , Chechnya , Dagestan , Ossetia , Abkhazia , etc. Arms trafficking is huge. I believe in Russia tjere are more than 2-3 million illegal small arms ( both rifled and smooth-bore ).

– That puts the law-abiding citizen in a difficult position : he hands over his weapon , but around him there is a sea of illegal guns.

– That’s right. But in terms of priority self-defense measures – first of all it is necessary to think not of one’s own arsenal , but of barricading of the first and second floors , creating a system that prevents the penetration of the house. You can apply the method from antiquity – pour boiling water or gasoline on top of the looters. If a person understands that one match will turn him into a torch , then, of course , he will not take further part in the assault.

– As we know , during the period of disorder or active warfare and anarchy , utilities do not work. How to survive without basic amenities, without heat , water, sewer ?

– The biggest threat is the threat of the criminal. And the second – yes! – manmade.

This is a situation related to the shutdown of gas, electricity , running water up to accidental release of toxic and corrosive substances from neighboring businesses – like chlorine , for example. Incidents of this kind can be both accidental and on-purpose. If there is a leak and the area becomes affected, what to do? Here, every sane person should provide for a range of measures.

Top tips. First, you should check whether the house enough water : for extinguishing fires , and for water supply. Second – sealing of premises. It’s necessary to protect windows and glass, especially in the winter. If glass is broken, then it needs to be immediately replaced by an alternative – plywood or polyethylene, and then a blanket.

In any case, the room temperature of a multistory building will equal that of the surrounding environment, once the heating system is shut off. It will not happen so quickly in a brick house , but the walls in a reinforced concrete structure be chilled quickly.

– What to do?

– It is necessary to insulate the exterior walls with carpets, rugs. Even a wardrobe will play the role of an exterior wall insulation and save a little bit of heat. But, again , your efforts will be futile if neighbors above or below leave the apartment with broken windows – ceiling and floor freeze faster than walls, and there’s nothing you do about this.

Summer in the city : uncollected corpses in the streets, garbage and human waste – awful, but winter is worse. In the winter, the most important thing is home heating. No matter how we insulate the walls , you need heat. There are many generators capable of generating several kilowatts. But for this device you fuel. And, again , efficiency is important here – burn gasoline in a generator to produce the electricity to cook food on electrical stove and turn up the heat ? Is not it easier to have a gas stove or a furnace?

– When it comes to survival , in the course you can use your library and furniture as fuel .

– Compared to wood, the heat transfer coefficient of paper is very, very low. But if the paper or sawdust are impregnated with diesel fuel , you get a completely different result. A prepared resident of the metropolis should have some combustible materials, which can be used to easily cook a hot meal. The presence of a kerosene lamp , kerosene stove with spare gas cylinders will partially solve the problem. This is especially true for those who have small children, for whom it is necessary to heat up baby food. You will need to think ahead. We have to understand that if something happens, you will not be able to buy such devices in the store. Everyone has to create their own personal home emergency supply.

Now – the third issue: the problem having the means to adapt to the different conditions of the country.

– Here our older generation : grandparents, especially those who survived the war – will give us all a head start. They always had a minimum stock of food in the house. My parents always buy half a sack of buckwheat, a bag of sugar , a bag of flour. City-dwellers don’t think like this , though nothing prevents them to buy a box of condensed milk , canned meat , pasta , flour, which can always be diluted with water to prepare elementary food. Cereals , salt , sugar, honey , canned fish – are products that are stored for a long time. You don’t have to make a store of 2-3 tons, to last you your whole life – you can’t save enough for that anyway.

We have identified possible. Social crisis may last from several days to several weeks. A political crisis can cause a month and a half of anarchy. Afterwards – somebody will come in, trading will resume. At most, such political crisis could last six months. Of course, even for one person to create a three-month supply is not easy. An average person consumes 1 kg of food per 90kg of body weight. For a family of 4 people, it’s physically difficult to store 360 kg of food at home. So the traditional question where to store money in hard times, I always say – in cans ! In cans, condensed milk , canned meat , etc.

If there will come a political crisis , the last can of condensed milk will not sell for $ 100. It will be priceless , but the dollar bill becomes a piece of paper.


2 thoughts on “SHTF: views from outside US

  1. And an interesting take on this read:

    “Speaking for myself–I didn’t get anything out of Alexander’s theories, except to note how political differences influence “survival” discussions.

    Americans concerned with prepping tend to be individualistic, and strive for independence. The Russian’s ideas tend to lean towards collectivism.

    While I see the benefits derived from group dynamics in survival situations…this only works if you’ve made the conscious choice to share.

    Here, ants tend to want to share with other ants…and we plan accordingly.

    When everybody is a grasshopper, survival strategies differ. I found his ideas notable only for a glimpse into that mindset”

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