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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-1989


Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-1989 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The story of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is well known: the expansionist Communists overwhelmed a poor country as a means of reaching a warm-water port on the Persian Gulf. Afghan mujahideen upset their plans, holding on with little more than natural fighting skills, until CIA agents came to the rescue with American arms. Humiliated in battle, the Soviets hastily retreated. It is a great story-but it never happened.

In this brilliant, myth-busting account, Rodric Braithwaite, the former British ambassador to Moscow, challenges much of what we know about the Soviets in Afghanistan. He provides an inside look at this little-understood episode, using first-hand accounts and piercing analysis to show the war as it was fought and experienced by the Russians. The invasion was a defensive response to a chaotic situation in the Soviets' immediate neighbor. They intended to establish a stable, friendly government, secure the major towns, and train the police and armed forces before making a rapid exit. But the mission escalated, as did casualties. Braithwaite does not paint the occupation as a Russian triumph. To the contrary, he illustrates the searing effect of the brutal conflict on soldiers, their families, and the broader public, as returning veterans struggled to regain their footing back home.

Now available in paperback, Braithwaite carries readers through these complex and momentous events, capturing those violent and tragic days as no one has done before.

About the Author

Rodric Braithwaite was British ambassador in Moscow from 1988 to 1992, and is now chairman of the International Advisory Council of the Moscow School of Political Studies. He is the author of Moscow 1941 and Across the Moscow River.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Road to Kabul

1. Paradise Lost

2. The Tragedy Begins

3. The Decision to Intervene

4. The Storming of the Palace

5. Aftermath

Part 2: The Disasters of War

6. The 40th Army Goes to war

7. The Nationbuilders

8. Soldiering

9. Fighting

10. Devastation and Delusion

Part 3: The Long Goodbye

11. Going Home

12. The Road to the Bridge

13. The War Continues

14. A Land fit for Heroes

The Reckoning

Annex 1: Timeline 1747-2001.

Annex 2: Leading Personalities

Annex 3: Order of Battle of the 40th Army

Annex 4: The Alliance of Seven and its leaders

Annex 5: Indochina, Vietnam, Algeria, Afghanistan: A Comparison

Sources and Bibliography

Product Details

Braithwaite, Rodric
Oxford University Press, USA
null, Rodric
Europe - Eastern
History, World | European | Eastern Europe
World History-Eastern Europe
Military-General History
Publication Date:
16 illus.
6.6 x 9.4 x 1.5 in 1.6 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Russia » Post Soviet Republics
History and Social Science » Russia » Soviet States Post 1985
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Eastern Europe
History and Social Science » World History » General

Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-1989 New Hardcover
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