In 1988, I was able to grab a seat in the Decascoop cinema where Kevin Reynold's The Beast of War premiered, at the Ghent International Film Festival. What I have never forgotten was the mesmerizing intro music composed by Mark Isham. It don't say that much on a small youtube screen, nevertheless I'll post it here because if not for the music, the movie is worth a see. Of course there's the usual multiculti nonsense, but all in all the story ain't that bad. Afterwards, I had a quick chat with George Dzundza, who plays the character of the evil sergeant Daskal. Reynolds was there too. The subject came, of course, to the tank. I asked Dzundza how it was possible they had obtained a genuine Soviet tank. He answered via the Israeli Army - turned out the IDF had captured it in some war with the Arabs and pressed it into service. Of course Reynolds had then filmed in an Israeli desert. I asked, captured from the Egyptian Army? "No. Syrian". End of story. This was Dzundza's only chance to have a conversation with the famous Outlaw Mike, and he blew it.
Quiz: what Russian tank type do you see here, a T-55 or a T-62? Hint: the former sports a large gap between the first and second pair of wheels, an ingenious feature meant to be able to reassemble a damaged track across a smaller set of wheels. Take it to the bank from me, though not to Lehman Brothers: Ruski injuneers are no fools.
One last note: we all know that when the USSR liberated Afghanistan in 1979, Brezhnev had his move sanctioned by the UN. Nevertheless, in spite of the authorization of this high moral authority, millions of caring people in zhe west took to the streets to protest with banners reading "War is not the Answer" and called that great democrat Brezhnev Hitler. The father of Phil Jones organized a scientific committee named "Afghanistan Body Count", and this despite the Soviet's best attempts to win hearts and minds (see the scene above), kick-start the Afghan economy and install democracy there.
P.S.: just kidding.