Longest war of Soviet imperialism. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

Under the mentioned circumstances, taking into account the imperial ambitions of the aggressive regime of Putin, the Republic of Moldova should hasten to distance itself as much as possible from Putin’s Russia and the organizations of which this forms part, including the CIS. The integration into the European Union is the correct path, but this is insufficient to ensure the security of the Republic of Moldova. To resist the imperial claims, the cohesion of citizens is needed, but this is unfortunately lacking or is shaken for various reasons...

Reasons for Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

On December 25, 1979, the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan began. The war lasted for nine years, being the longest war of Soviet imperialism, which crushed its forces and predetermined its common end. There are various hypotheses about the causes of the Soviet leadership’s adventure in that war. There is no doubt that a key role in starting the war was played by the specific circumstances in Central Asia. But there is also no doubt that the Soviet military intervention was aimed at keeping a pro-Soviet regime that shared communist ideology at the helm of Afghanistan.

It is an indisputable fact that the USSR used to support pro-communist, puppet movements around the world, including their rebellions against legitimate governments. Obviously, priority was given to pro-communist movements near the borders of the USSR. Afghanistan shared borders with three Soviet republics in Central Asia, where Islamic culture and traditions remained very strong. That’s why the events in that country preoccupied the Kremlin elders. Respectively, at some point the political developments in Afghanistan saw a fulminant evolution. In just two years, between 1977 and 1979, allegedly communist pro-Soviet forces staged a rebellion against the government, followed by a clash between the leaders of the installed pro-Soviet regime, which resulted in the killing of one of the leaders. This actually prompted direct Soviet military intervention to take revenge and install another pro-communist puppet.

Most historians believe that the visit paid to Moscow on April 12, 1977 by the Afghan leader, Mohammad Daoud, the representative of the royal house, was the starting point of the series of events that led to the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan. During his meeting with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, Daoud reproached Brezhnev for the fact that Soviet agents in Afghanistan were working to reconcile the two rival groups, Parcham and Khalq, of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which considered itself Marxist and revolutionary and threatened Daoud’s rule. The latter, after his visit to Moscow, also paid a series of visits to states that maintained cooperative relations with the West. These visits made the suspicious Kremlin elders to presume that Afghanistan could change its foreign policy course.

Utilizing the terms used today by President Vladimir Putin, we could say that Daoud tried to promote an independent foreign policy aimed at strengthening Afghanistan’s sovereignty. Even more relevant would be to say that Daoud sought to promote a balanced policy between the East and the West, as the current leaders of pro-Russian parties in the Republic of Moldova prefer to express themselves. It turned out that the Afghan leader's desire to promote a sovereign and balanced foreign policy cost him his own life and plunged his country into chaos for decades. Why wouldn’t the current Moldovan politicians learn from the Afghan experience? Because they are naïve or worse...

April Revolution and its consequences

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is the last episode in a series of invasions by Soviet imperialism to spread communist ideology: Poland and Finland in 1939; the Baltic States and Bessarabia in 1940; the de facto occupation of Central and Eastern Europe after World War II by replacing fascist regimes with the communist one; suppression of reformist movements in East Germany  in June 1953, in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Therefore, the last episode, the Afghan one, is relevant for understanding the mechanisms and propaganda clichés used to justify all invasions of the past and, unfortunately, very possible invasions in the future.

It is noteworthy that Mohammad Daoud’s regime was established in Afghanistan in 1973 with the support of the tiny Marxist party – the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which was involved in organizing the coup against the monarchy, led by King Mohammed Zahir Shah, Daoud’s cousin. The transition from monarchy to republic, in a country where the relations characteristic of the feudal socioeconomic formation had not yet been overcome, resulted in the authoritarian rule of the National Revolutionary Party (NRP), founded over a year after Daoud took power. In only five years of the establishment of Daoud’s regime, on April 27, 1978, a rebellion organized by the same PDPA with the support of some of the units of the Afghan army took place. The murder of one of the leaders of the Parcham group on April 17 served as a pretext for the rebellion. This was followed by the accusation of the Daoud regime of committing the crime. Obviously, the rebellion, to sound nice, was baptized the April Revolution or the Saur Revolution (Saur is the name for the second month of the year, according to the solar calendar of an ethnic community in Afghanistan).

During the rebellion, Daoud and his family members were killed in the Arg presidential palace in the capital Kabul, and power was seized by the PDPA, which announced the creation of a socialist, USSR-affiliated government, headed by Nur Muhammad Taraki, General Secretary of the PDPA, chairman of the Revolutionary Council and chairman of the Council of Ministers. It would seem that there were all the prerequisites for building socialism and communism in Afghanistan, especially because a five-year agreement on the USSR’s assistance in building socialism was signed immediately after the establishment of Taraki’s government. But it was not meant to be. Hafizullah Amin, who also formed part of the PDPA leadership, felt offended by the fact that, although he had played one of the central roles in the April rebellion, he was left in secondary positions – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. He had reason to be upset because, while Taraki was under arrest after the start of the April 1978 uprising, he, Amin, had managed to convince a number of Afghan army officers to overthrow Daoud’s regime, and was entitled to claim supreme positions.

Relations between Taraki and Amin were not the only problem. The building of socialism in Afghanistan by the Soviet model met with resistance from influential circles of society and large segments of the population, which opposed socialist reforms, including the land reform. Consequently, just a year later, on March 29, 1979, another uprising broke out in Herat, which slowly turned into an open war between the Afghan government and the anti-regime resistance. It was in such conditions that Amin’s organizational talents came to light. Despite backstage games, he managed to impose the reorganization of the Council of Ministers and to become the head of this, but insisted on taking over also the post of Minister of Defense. Meanwhile, the Kremlin elders, based on information from the KGB, began to suspect Amin of revisionism, plotting his removal from his positions.

To remove Amin, Taraki had been instructed by Soviet intelligence services to convene a meeting in September 1979 as if to discuss organizational issues, but actually to remove Amin from all his posts, proposing instead the post of ambassador to the United States. Amin attended that meeting that degenerated into a trivial altercation. A few days later, Taraki invited Amin once again to the presidential palace, allegedly for lunch, setting a trap for him. When they entered the presidential palace, Amin and his companions were subjected to gunfire, which claimed the lives of the companions. Amin was only injured and managed to retreat from the trap set by Taraki. In response, as the Minister of Defense, Amin put the military on high alert, storming government buildings and arresting Taraki. After a discussion with Leonid Brezhnev, Amin allegedly misunderstood that it would not be a problem to physically liquidate his opponent and he ordered the killing of Taraki on October 8, 1979. This greatly saddened Leonid Ilyich and the other Kremlin elders, who, for their part. decided to liquidate Amin. That decision was the prelude to a catastrophe and, instead of turning Afghanistan into a kind of quiet and obedient Mongolia in Central Asia, turned this into a country of rebels which had been involved in a life and death war for nine years.

We see how the imperial ambitions of the Kremlin elders, their reckless intrigues, subsequently had to be camouflaged under the guise of the international duty, which involved hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers, deployed to fight against resistance detachments in a country that only communist did not want to be.

Introduction of Soviet armed forces into Afghanistan

The decision to launch the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was adopted by the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU on December 12, 1979. The very next day, on December 13, a task force for Afghanistan of the Soviet War Ministry was formed, which immediately began work in the Turkestan Military District. By December 25, the 40th Army was already equipped and prepared for intervention in Afghanistan, invading this country the same day. On December 27 already, Soviet special forces, disguised in the uniform of the Afghan army, stormed Tajbeg Palace, Amin’s residence in Kabul, cruelly killing the head of the sovereign and independent state. The official Soviet version stated that “Amin’s dictatorial regime was overthrown by the “healthy, patriotic majority of the PDPA, the Revolutionary Council and the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan’'. It allegedly happened in an armed uprising and Amin was shot by the decision of a revolutionary tribunal, and the presence of Soviet troops in Kabul at that time was sheer coincidence. All of Amin’ titles, on the very day of his liquidation, went to Babrak Karmal, who fled to the USSR after Amin came to power, fearing reprisals. Doesn’t anyone remember how the war in Donbas started in 2014, what arguments were put forward by Putin’s regime?

In the current terms, used by Putin’s regime, the intervention in Afghanistan was seen by the Kremlin elders as a kind of special military operation of a few days or weeks. No one took into account that, in fact, the population of Afghanistan had been in a war with the government for some time, since March 1978, and that war was being waged with greater or lesser intensity in 18 of the country’s 26 provinces. The irony of fate is that Hafizullah Amin expressed gratitude to the USSR leadership after the decision to invade Afghanistan, ordering the General Staff of the Armed Forces to assist Soviet troops that supposedly arrived to assist the Afghan regime to fight against the rebels. The Afghan leader did not understand that he himself had been the target of the special military operation, as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan would be now called. The longest war waged by the USSR to ensure the triumph of communist ideas all over the world started as a result.

Between 15,000 and 25,000 Soviet soldiers lost their lives in that war that also claimed the lives of about 2 million people of the resistance detachments and civilians in the invaded country. According to official data, over 12,000 natives of the Republic of Moldova participated in that unjust war and over 300 were killed. Evidently, the participants bear no blame as they were obliged to fulfill the so-called international duty, but in fact, to satisfy the adventurous and imperial ambitions of the Kremlin elders. This became clear to anyone in the process of dissolution of the USSR in 1991,in  about two years after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.


A maxim states that the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history. This truth seems obvious if we look at the uninterrupted expansion, over the centuries, of the tsarist empire that according to Lenin, created a prison of peoples. After the liquidation of the tsarist empire and its replacement with the totalitarian communist regime, the prison of peoples was replaced by a gigantic GULAG, which claimed the lives of millions. Currently, Putin’s regime claims the right to replace the aggressive communist ideological empire with what it calls the Russian World, starting the first war of the 21st century on the European continent, inventing all kinds of fairytales about the fight against Nazism, as if humanity did not know that Nazi are the regimes that start wars of aggression under all sorts of pretexts, causing hundreds of thousands of human casualties and colossal material losses.

Despite the dozens of wars and military interventions that the Soviet empire and Putin’s regime started and carried out in the 20th and 21st centuries, in the Republic of Moldova there are still political parties and party leaders who plead for balanced relations between the East and the West, as if they do not know what happened to the Afghan leader, Mohammad Daoud, who tried to play the balance maintenance game,  or what happened to one of his successors, Hafizullah Amin, who welcomed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, believing it went to the resolving of the conflict with the rebels of his pro-communist regime.

Under the mentioned circumstances, taking into account the imperial ambitions of the aggressive regime of Putin, the Republic of Moldova should hasten to distance itself as much as possible from Putin’s Russia and the organizations of which this forms part, including the CIS. The integration into the European Union is the correct path, but this is insufficient to ensure the security of the Republic of Moldova. To resist the imperial claims, the cohesion of citizens is needed, but this is unfortunately lacking or is shaken for various reasons.

Вы используете модуль ADS Blocker .
IPN поддерживается от рекламы.
Поддержи свободную прессу!
Некоторые функции могут быть заблокированы, отключите модуль ADS Blocker .
Спасибо за понимание!
Команда IPN.