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December 27, 1979

Message to Soviet Ambassadors on the Invasion of Afghanistan, Attachment to CPSU Politburo Decree #177

Reference point 151 of Minutes Nº 177


Top Secret


Attachment 1





Immediately visit Cde. Hoenecker (Gierek, Kadar, Husak, T. Zhivkov, F. Castro, Tsendenbal, Le Duan) personally or a person filling in for him and, referring to instructions of the Soviet government, inform him of the following.


We consider it necessary with all directness to inform the leadership of our friends of the actions we are taking in the face of a sharp deterioration of the situation around Afghanistan.  The situation right now appears that the foundations of the April Revolution of 1978 and the democratic and progressive gains of the Afghan people are under great threat. The gross interference on the part of several powers into the affairs of Afghanistan is continuing, its scale is increasing, and armed formations and weapons are being sent into Afghanistan for counterrevolutionary elements and groups whose activity is being directed from abroad. The goal of this interference is completely obvious – the overthrow of the democratic and progressive system established by the people of Afghanistan as a result of the victory of the Revolution.


In spite of the fact that the people of Afghanistan and their armed forces have been repelling the armed interference of imperialist and reactionary forces for a long time now, the dangers that threaten them continue to grow. This to a considerable degree is connected to the fact that Amin and the narrow group on which he relies undertook a brutal and criminal removal of the leader of the Afghan revolution, Cde. Taraki and many other eminent figures, and subjected hundreds and thousands of Communists devoted to the ideals of the Revolution and the cause of socialist internationalism to massive repression, including Parchamites and Khalqis.


Thus, the intervention from without and the terror unleashed by Amin within the country have actually now created a threat to liquidate what the April Revolution brought Afghanistan. Under these conditions Afghan forces consisting of people committed to the cause of the Revolution who are now inside the country or due to well-known reasons ended up abroad, are taking steps at the present time to remove the usurper, preserve the gains of the April Revolution, and defend the independence of Afghanistan.


Considering all this and the request of the new Afghan leadership for aid and assistance in repelling foreign aggression, the Soviet Union, guided by its international duty, has decided to sent limited Soviet military contingents to Afghanistan which will be withdrawn from there after the reasons which occasioned the necessity of this action disappear.


In undertaking this temporary forced action we are explaining to all governments with whom the Soviet Union maintains diplomatic relations that are responding to the request of the newly formed leadership of the government of Afghanistan which turned to the Soviet Union for aid and assistance in a struggle against foreign aggression. The Soviet Union thereby is proceeding from a commonality of interests of Afghanistan and our country in issues of security recorded in the 1978 Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness, and Cooperation and the interests of maintaining peace in this region.


The favorable reaction of the Soviet Union to this request of the leadership of Afghanistan also proceeds from the provision of Article 51 of the UN Charter stipulating the inherent right of countries to collective and individual self-defense in order to repel aggression and restore peace.


Like our friends we of course think that both in the West and the East there will be found people who will raise a propaganda campaign against the aid and support which the Soviet Union is legally giving to revolutionary Afghanistan. But, as has happened in the past, the sudden attacks of our class and ideological enemies should not stop us from being equal to defending the broad interests of our security, and the security of our allies and friends, including such countries as Afghanistan, whose people express unswerving will to henceforth travel the path of cooperation with the countries of socialism and the path of revolutionary reforms of society on progressive and democratic principles.


We are confident that our friends will well understand the motives which dictated to us the need to give decisive aid to Afghanistan in the present situation and for their part will support our internationalist action. Our friends also understand, of course, that events have developed in such a way that they have not afforded an opportunity for a timely exchange of opinions.


Report by telegraph when this has been done.


The violent actions by the DRA, led by H. Amin, to de-stabilize the Afghan government, dissolving the gains made in the April Revolution, causes the Soviet Union to place military detachments in Afghanistan.

Document Information


TsKhSD, F. 89, P. 14, D. 32. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg.


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