I was born on July 3, 1983, in the big metallurgical city of Krivoy Rog, in the small town of Military Aviation. My mother worked as a nurse in a kindergarten, then as a nurse in a military hospital. My father was a mechanic of military transport planes on aircraft type IL-76 and IL-76M. Our 363rd Cherkasky Orders of Suvorov and Bogdan Khmelnitsky VTAP (a / d 22527), is a third squadron of the 6th Guards Military Transport Aviation Division Regiment was one of the best regiments of military transport aircraft in the Soviet Union and was based here since the mid 50s.

After reconstruction in 1985 there were planes from the IL-12 ending with An-12 and IL-76. During the war in Afghanistan, some flights were operated by crews from Kryvyi Rih, including my father. After Afghanistan - Ethiopia, after Ethiopia - Sierra Lyons, after Sierra Lyons - Angola, after Angola - Yugoslavia. Endless chain of hot spots around the world. My mother always looked out, waiting for him to come back. And thank God, he always came back with a lot of gifts as a reward for a long months of expectation. My father said that they went through everything, they landed on 3 engines instead of 4, and were fired during takeoff, and all sorts of other nasty stuff. He hides as he says "pieces of iron" from the grateful nations of different countries in a small duralumin box in a closet. He never wears these medals and didn't open that box, because and I'm sure for him it is much more than "pieces of iron."
I distinctly remember my first and last time flying on IL-76, which flew into the air from this airfield. We made a circle around our dying military units and went to the last landing. When the engine stopped it was absolute silence at the airfield, and dozens of pairs of eyes filled with tears. The last turn and roar of the engines sounded as the last cry of flying off into the sky, the soul of an iron bird that was born and killed by man.

In 2000, the regiment was disbanded and in 2004 was finally relocated. Airfield and military town are abandoned. Part of the buildings turned into ruins. Two IL-76 military airplanes in parking lots are waiting for their turn to be cut to the metal.

Part I : Personal Archive

Part II : Past Present

I don't know if life got better after the USSR collapsed and Ukraine gained independence or not, but I can say for sure that we lost something very important and meaningful, something that made us enjoy our life ... or we just grew up...