The 9th Company

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The 9th Company
Film poster
Directed by Fedor Bondarchuk
Produced by Alexander Rodnyansky
Yelena Yatsura
Sergey Melkumov
Written by Yuri Korotkov
Starring Fyodor Bondarchuk
Aleksei Chadov
Mikhail Evlanov
Music by Dato Evgenidze
Cinematography Maksim Osadchy
Edited by Igor Litoninsky
Distributed by Art Pictures Group
Release dates
  • 29 September 2005 (2005-09-29)
Running time
130 minutes
Country Russia
Language Russian
Budget $9,500,000
Box office $25,555,809

The 9th Company (Russian: 9 Рота) is a 2005 Russian war film directed by Fedor Bondarchuk and set during the Soviet War in Afghanistan. The film is loosely based on a real-life battle that took place at Elevation 3234 in early 1988, during the last large-scale Soviet military operation (Magistral) in Afghanistan.


The film starts with a farewell ceremony in Krasnoyarsk, where a band of young recruits is preparing for their departure to their place of military service. On arrival at their bootcamp in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan they meet their drill instructor, Senior Praporschik Dygalo, a seasoned veteran of several tours in Afghanistan and a brutal trainer who treats the recruits very harshly and forces them to take part in extreme physical exercises everyday. During their harsh and brutal training, the recruits overcome their differences and build bonds. Between the harsh training sessions, they receive lessons in operating dangerous plastic explosives and how to conduct themselves in Afghanistan.

On their arrival at Baghram air base they greet a group of VDV troops who have fulfilled their military service and are due to return home. One of the departing soldiers gives one of the new arrivals, Lyutyi, a talisman that he claims has kept him safe through several tours and multiple firefights. Homeward bound, the departing soldier's transport plane is hit by enemy fire from the nearby mountains and crashes, giving the new recruits their first taste of the war.

Shortly thereafter, the soldiers are assigned to the 9th company, where their trainer and drill instructor, Dygalo, had previously served. The company is soon deployed to the front as part of Operation Magistral and is instructed to hold a nameless hill at all costs. After some preliminary skirmishes, the company's position comes under sustained attack by a large number of Mujahedin fighters and is nearly over run. In the end, the company holds the hill until reinforcements arrive, by which time only Lyutyi is still alive.

Historical parallel

In the film, only one soldier from the company is shown to have survived unscathed and the company is said to have been "forgotten" by command because of the Soviet withdrawal. In reality, the 9th Company, 345th Independent Guards Airborne Regiment was pinned down under heavy fire on Hill 3234 from 7–8 January 1988. They managed to stop three attacks by an estimated 200-250 mujahideen. The company lost a total of 6 men. Another 28 out of the total 39 were seriously wounded. Four of the killed soldiers were posthumously awarded the golden star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. The unit was in constant communication with headquarters and received everything the regimental commander, Colonel Valery Vostrotin, could provide in terms of rations, ammunition, reinforcements, and helicopter evacuation of the wounded.[1]



Critical reception

The film received a mixed reaction from the veterans of that war, who pointed to a number of inaccuracies, but nevertheless, judging by ticket sales, was embraced by the general public, and even by Russian President Vladimir Putin.[2] Although first released in 2005, and broadcast on TV in several nations, it was not released in the US until 2010 on DVD.

Release dates:[3]

  • Brazil 29 September 2005
  • Belarus 29 September 2005
  • Kazakhstan 29 September 2005
  • Russia 29 September 2005
  • Ukraine 29 September 2005
  • Estonia 14 October 2005
  • Finland 3 March 2006
  • France 20 May 2006 (Cannes Film Festival)
  • Sweden 11 October 2006 (DVD premiere)
  • Poland 12 October 2006 (Warsaw International FilmFest)
  • Poland 20 October 2006
  • Philippines 3 November 2006 (Cinemanila Film Festival)
  • UK 16 February 2007
  • France 17 February 2007 (TV premiere)
  • Argentina 18 June 2007 (DVD premiere)
  • Belgium 12 September 2007
  • Netherlands 26 February 2008 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 26 August 2008
  • USA 31 August 2010 (DVD and Blu-ray Disc premiere)

Box office

The film was released in September 2005 and became a Russian box office hit, generating $7.7 million in its first five days of release alone, a new domestic record.[4]


In 2006, Russia selected the film as its candidate for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film nomination. It was also given the Golden Eagle Award for Best Feature Film by the Russian Academy of Cinema Arts.

See also



  1. Schofield, The Russian Elite, Greenhill, 1993, pp. 120-125
  2. "Putin praise for Russian war film". BBC News. 8 November 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. IMDb
  4. "Afghanistan War Movie Breaks Russian Box Office Record". 2005-10-05. Archived from the original on 2006-11-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links