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History of Afghanistan: 1978-1989 The Soviet Occupation Era.

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1 History of Afghanistan: The Soviet Occupation Era

2 1978: President Mohammed Daoud, ruling since 1973, is assassinated by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, a communist coup. Taraki is named the new president, and issues occur immediately as increased tortures, arrest, and other abuse against citizens occur. Taraki signs peace treaties with the USSR, asking the Soviets for economic aid.

3 1979: The Soviet Union gives massive economic and military aid to the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The US stands still on the matter, after the murder of their own ambassador. Later, Taraki is assassinated, and the Soviet Union orders troops into Afghanistan in order to secure the communist regime there, beginning the Afghan occupation.

4 1980: The map on the left shows the 40th Army of the USSR move into Afghanistan for a swift invasion. The map to the right shows the areas of Soviet influence and control within Afghanistan throughout occupation. Within a year, Soviet troops occupy Afghanistan, leading the US to boycott the Soviet Olympic game. The US also supply arms to the mujahideen, the rebel force in Afghanistan.

5 : The war becomes a massive guerilla war with the mujahideen. Almost four-fifths of the Afghan countryside is not in Soviet control, guaranteeing the war to last for a prolonged period of time. The United Nations pushes the Soviets to withdraw from Afghanistan. Because of the war, people in Afghanistan became refugees to nearby Pakistan and Iran, causing an international discussion.

6 : While the Soviets attempted to raid mujahideen areas only, they would return as soon as the Soviets cleared the area. This caused much disruption to nearby civilians, and as such over three million refugees fled to Pakistan by Estimates of mujahideen bases were placed at over 3000, making it nearly impossible for the Soviets to win this war in Afghanistan.

7 1985: Five million refugees from Afghanistan have fled to either Pakistan or Iran. Furthermore, the new Soviet leader Gorbachev mentions to end the war as soon as possible, which begins to turn the morale of Soviet soldiers. Because of the desperation of some troops, this year is the bloodiest year in the Afghanistan occupation.

8 1986: The Soviets began talks and plans to withdraw; however, the United States starts supplying Stinger missiles to the mujahideen groups to shoot down Soviet aircraft and helicopters. The population of Kabul doubles as Pakistan restrict movement and refugees have no where to go, while the international community push the USSR to withdraw. The Soviets pull out 6% of their 120,000 troops in Afghanistan at the end of 1986.

9 1987: Talks between the Soviets, Afghans, and the rest of the world continue, but there is no agreement on when and how to withdraw the remaining 115,000 Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The Soviet-allied army, however, has shown desertion, showing that the war will come to an end with a loss for the USSR.

10 1988: The peace accords are signed between the U.S., Soviet Union, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and the 115,000 remaining Soviet troops start their leave. However, as they leave, a new problem begins. The Afghan communists and Islamists begin to fight among themselves for control of Afghanistan in the power gap of the Soviets. This ensured that civil war in Afghanistan would continue despite the Soviet departure.

11 1989: The last of Soviet troops leave Afghanistan, marking the end of a nine year and 50 day war. Over 20,000 Soviet troops and 1 million combined Afghan troops, rebels and civilians are killed as a result of the war. Unfortunately, this allowed the next phase of war in Afghanistan, where communists began fighting the extreme Islamists, setting the stage for Taliban rule of the nation in the next decade.

12 Works Cited “Afghanistan History Timeline.” Country Reports. Print. “The Afghan War.” Cold War Museum. Web. 12 Nov Mohammed Daoud Khan. Photograph. Soviets in Afghanistan. Photograph. Taraki. Photograph. Assoc. Press. Taraki Photograph. “Timeline: Soviet War in Afghanistan.” BBC News., 17 Feb Web. 12 Nov Wafa, Abdul Waheed. Afghanistan. 17 Mar Photograph. Reuters.


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