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On This Day… The Russians Attempt To Seize Control Of Afghanistan!

Written by: George Chittenden : 23 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 27th December back in 1979 when Babrak Karmal, was installed as Afghanistan’s new head of government following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan days earlier. On Dec 24th the Soviets performed a massive military airlift into Kabul, involving hundreds of aircraft and tens of thousands of soldiers.

Initially the Soviets were successful in their attempt to stabilize the turbulent political situation, crushing the Afghan army who were loyal to Hafizullah Amin, but the situation was about to worsen. Leaving their strongholds, the Soviets met the resistance fighters, the mujahidin, who considered the Soviets governing Afghanistan as a violation of Islam and proclaimed jihad, making it a holy war.

Eventually in 1987 the mujahidin began using U.S. shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles which allowed them to shoot down Soviet planes and helicopters on a regular basis. Enough was enough, and Mikhail Gorbachev decided it was time to get out. Soviet forces started withdrawing in 1988.

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