Free Fall is a brutal but engrossing memoir of the Second Chechen War, told through the eyes of a young Russian soldier. Nicolai Lilin was conscripted and then trained as a sniper in an unorthodox Russian Special Forces regiment called the Saboteurs. Together, this elite band of men, which operated outside the purview of traditional military codes, fought their way through multiple assignments, including guerilla warfare in inhospitable mountainous terrain and intense hand-to-hand fighting in urban areas. Along the way, they faced mercenary fighters, anti-personnel mines and torture of the most extreme kind. Both an immediate sequel to the author's previous book, Siberian Education, and a remarkable stand-alone memoir in its own right, Free Fall offers a unique perspective on one of the most controversial wars in living memory. Lilin writes with honesty and extreme cynicism, and with a sharp eye for the banality of evil. It is an unflinching, unforgiving and unputdownable read.

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