January 29, 2011
From Peter Pomerantsev at the LRB blog:
This is how they met. He was alone and bored at his post, a little brick hut high in the Caucasus. It was night and he was drunk. He wanted to find a girl away from the front. He looked down at the serial number on his gun. Just for the hell of it he took out his phone and dialled the Moscow area code followed by the serial number. A sleepy girl answered.Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how this story ended.
'Who is this?'
He told her. She slammed down the phone.
'I just liked her voice,' he said. 'So I kept on phoning.'
He called every day. Slowly she caved in. They sent each other photos of themselves on their mobiles. Two weeks before our shoot he had some leave and came to visit her. She was from a traditional family from the Caucasus, and he asked her father’s permission to marry her. He agreed. Now they both wore rings. The wedding was planned for when he returned from the Chechen front in six months time.
(And, yes, I'm being more than usually irrelevant.)