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The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. Kyle Mills . What led to the Soviet invasion?.

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What led to the soviet invasion
What led to the Soviet invasion?

  • In April 1978 Afghanistan’s centrist government, headed by President Mohammad Daud Khan, was overthrown by military officers led by NurMohammad Taraki. Power was then in the hands of two Marxist Leninist political groups, the People’s Party and the Banner Party, which had earlier emerged from a single organization, the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan).

  • After the government reunited, with little support, they began creating and enforcing reforms left and right. Afghanistan created tight connections with the Soviet Union and joined together against a newly formed anti federalist group of rebels call the Mujahedeen.

  • The Mujahedeen began attacking the government and military of the communist Afghanistan, throwing the nation into a civil war. The Soviet Union in support of the communist government invaded with more then 30,000 troops.

While in afghanistan
While in Afghanistan

  • The Afghan War quickly settled down into a stalemate, with more than 100,000 Soviet troops controlling the cities, larger towns, and major garrisons and the mujahedeen moving with relative freedom throughout the countryside. Soviet troops tried to crush the insurgency by various tactics, but the guerrillas generally eluded their attacks. The Soviets then attempted to eliminate the mujahedeen’s civilian support by bombing and depopulating the rural areas (Invasion of Afghanistan)

  • This caused nearly 4 million Afghans to abandon their homes and flee to neighboring countries. 1.5 million fled to Pakistan and 2.8 million fled to Iran.

  • Eventually the rebel group was about to neutralize the air attacks with their antiaircraft missals given to them by the United States.


Soviets in afghanistan
Soviets in Afghanistan

  • By 1982, the Mujahedeen controlled 75% of Afghanistan despite fighting the might of the world's second most powerful military power. Young conscript Russian soldiers were no match against men fuelled by their religious belief.

  • Though the Russian army had a reputation, the war in Afghanistan showed the world just how poor it was outside of military displays. Army boots lasted no more than 10 days before falling to bits in the harsh environment of the Afghanistan mountains. Many Russian soldiers deserted to the Mujahedeen.

  • Russian tanks were of little use in the mountain passes(Russian Invasion of Afghanistan)

After the withdrawal of the soviets
After the withdrawal of the Soviets

  • The Soviet union occupied and allied with the communist Afghans for a near ten years, claiming about 2 million lives before they signed a document; in the presence of the U.S President, the ruler of Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s President, stating that would remove all of their troops.

  • After the Soviets left, Afghanistan was left with a week communist government and unhappy civilians/citizens. The Taliban later was formed and over threw the Afghan government and were in control until the U.S. stepped in and kicked the Taliban out of power. The U.S. established a democracy within the nation.,r:2,s:0,i:102,r:1,s:0,i:138

Afghans after the soviet invasion
Afghans after the Soviet Invasion

  • When the USSR left, the US also left very abruptly. Afghanistan was ruined. Few standing buildings, fields were torn up, villages barely standing, few paved roads. No commitment to helping Afghanistan recover, because we had no interests there. No commitment to nation-building

  • Result was a power vacuum the mujaheddin broke up into factions, largely along ethnic lines. Many Pashtuns became members of the Taliban, a group of Islamic fundamentalists who had studied in the madrasas of Pakistan.

  • Widespread support for Taliban, because they promise ORDER.

    (Afghanistan under Soviet rule),r:3,s:0,i:157&tx=113&ty=29

Afghans after the soviet invasion1
Afghans after the Soviet Invasion

  • Felix Ermacora, the UN Special Rapporteur to Afghanistan, said that heavy fighting in combat areas cost the lives of more than 35,000 civilians in 1985, 15,000 in 1986, and around 14,000 in 1987. Ermacora also noted that armed attacks by anti-government forces, such as rocket attacks on Kabul's residential areas, caused more than 4000 civilian deaths in 1987. R.J. Rummel, an analyst of political killings, estimated that Soviet forces were responsible for 250,000 democidal killings during the war and that the government of Afghanistan was responsible for 178,000 democidal killings.

  • Along with fatalities were 1.2 million Afghans disabled and 3 million maimed or wounded.

Society people of afghanistan
Society/People of Afghanistan

  • The population of Afghanistan's second largest city, Kandahar, was reduced from 200,000 before the war to no more than 25,000 inhabitants, following a months-long campaign of carpet bombing and bulldozing by the Soviets and Afghan communist soldiers in 1987. Land mines had killed 25,000 Afghans during the war and another 10–15 million land mines, most planted by Soviet and government forces, were left scattered throughout the countryside. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimated in 1994 that it would take 4,300 years to remove all the Soviet land mines in Afghanistan (Afghanistan under Soviet rule),r:3,s:0,i:157&tx=113&ty=29


  • The United States and Pakistan were already providing token support for Afghani rebels prior to the invasion. Afterward, this support grew to enormous proportions, turning Afghanistan into a festering Soviet ulcer. The subsequent Afghan War proved to be one of the major elements in bringing the Soviet Union to a state of collapse.

  • The invasion and subsequent war also proved to be the training ground for many of the mujaheddin, who would metamorphosize into today's transnational Islamic terrorists. When the war ended, the United States and Europe largely abandoned Afghanistan, leaving it to Pakistan to create a settlement. Pakistan did this by creating the Taliban and helping it to take over the country. The Taliban, in turn, proved welcoming hosts for former mujaheddin sponsor Osama bin Laden, who brought his Al Qaeda followers there. The ultimate result of the Soviet invasion, war and years of neglect that followed was the attacks of September 11th, 2001(About the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan)

Afghanistan today
Afghanistan today

  • Nearly two years have passed since the U.S. led a military force to attack Afghanistan and help replace its harsh government. Despite new leaders and efforts to rebuild, Afghans still do not live in peace.

  • Bombs still explode near villages, and the nation's Vice President was assassinated. President Hamid Karzai was the target of another killer.

  • "Afghanistan is a nation made of the bits and pieces no one else wanted," said Mohammad Abdul, who helped rebuild the historic mosque in his city, Kandahar. "For this reason, it will always be difficult to have real peace here.” (Afghanistan Today)

  • "Afghanistan Under Soviet Rule." Afghanistan Under Soviet Rule. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

  • "Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan (1979)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

  • Thomas, Edwin. "About the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan." EHow. Demand Media, 28 Oct. 2008. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.