Alavdi Ustarkhanov was born on December 27, 1918 in the Achkhoy-Martan district of Chechnya into a simple family. He received a fairly good education. After finishing school in Grozny, he went to the regional courses of the Soviet apparatus at the North Caucasus Regional Executive Committee, where senior secretaries were trained. In 1936 he became the head of the Achkhoy-Martan district of the VLKSM committee. Ustarkhanov moved up the party ladder very successfully. His biography indicates that he was fluent in French and German.
Alavdi Ustarkhanov was drafted into the military service in 1939 and a year later he joined the ranks of the OO (special department) of the NKVD. His military career went uphill, in 1942 Ustarkhanov received the position of company commander and became a member of the CPSU (b), but not for long. He was captured on May 25.The Germans sent him to a concentration camp. Unsuccesfully, he escaped from the concentration camp several times, but the camp guards caught him with the help of specially trained dogs.
Finally, Alavdi succeeded in escaping from captivity on his third try, moreover, not alone, but with a wounded Frenchman. French sources report that Ustarkhanov carried a friend practically on himself through the Alps.Alavdi and the French soldier managed to reach the fighters of the anti-Nazi Resistance (Maki).
In the end, they got to France, where Alavdi joined the resistance movement led by Charles de Gaulle. And since it was difficult for the French to pronounce the name “Alavdi”, he received the nickname “Commander André." At first, he became the commander of a partisan detachment, then the commander of the 8th company of the 1st Soviet order-bearing partisan regiment in France. After the war ended, Commander André personally received the Legion of Honor and other awards from De Gaulle.
The French persuaded the commander to stay in their country forever. But Alavdi really wanted to see his relatives back home in Chechnya. Alavdi returned to the USSR and seems to have begun a peaceful life, however later on was arrested and declared traitor to the Motherland because he was once captured by German troops. This was told by Yahya Ustarkhanov. The French hero was exiled to Kazakhstan, and then to Magadan for 10 years. Returning to his native village, Alavdi refused to join the party again, as he was offended by the authorities and said that he would not join its ranks until he was given the well-deserved title of a hero.
Alavdi worked as an excavator driver and did not expect changes in his fate. But in the spring of 1960, Nikita Khrushchev met in Paris with Charles de Gaulle, where the head of France asked: "How is our commander André?" The Soviet leader did not even understand who he was talking about, but replied that everything was fine with him. Then De Gaulle asked to tell Commander André that his fellow soldiers wanted to visit him. Returning to the USSR, Khrushchev issued the necessary instructions, and Alavdi’s house was repaired. In 1964, French guests came to Ustarkhanov. And they arrived not empty-handed, but brought a motorcycle as a gift - the same one on which Commander Andre fought in France. Evil rock. The day the guests left, Alavdi went to Grozny ride his motorcycle. And returning home, he lost control of the motorcycle and fell into the river, where he died.
After the death of Ustarkhanov he was titled the hero of the Soviet Union, yet never received the star. The name of this man is better known in France, than in in his homeland. In Cannes, for example, there is the Commandant André Street.Also his name is one of the first carved into the monument for the veterans of "La Resistance” - the French resistance.
In Addition to that that ,the street in Achkhoy-Martan, on which Alavdi grew up, is named after him. His only son still lives on this street - Yahya, an elderly man, who for many years tried to preserve and increase the memory of his heroic father.