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Afghan resistance fighters return to a village destroyed by Soviet forces

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

Documents on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that began in December 1979. The documents begin before the war, spanning from 1968 to 2004. They come from various sources, though a large number are from Russian archives. The collection contains many different types of documents, but a large number of them are memos, cables, and Politburo decisions. Hafizullah Amin, the then president of Afghanistan, was the main target of the Soviet invasion, which successfully assassinated him on December 27. The later documents include commentary on the later stages of the war and the Soviet withdrawal.

Afghan resistance fighters return to a village destroyed by Soviet forces

Popular Documents

March 11, 1980

Letter to the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Chairman of the Socialist International, Willy Brandt

A letter from Brezhnev to Willy Brandt before their meeting in Madrid. Discusses detente and the disarmament.

January 8, 1986

Czechoslovak Translation of the Soviet Summary of Conversations Between Mikhail Gorbachev and Li Peng in Moscow

This report summarizes the consultations between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his Chinese counterpart Li Peng in December 1985 with a focus on divergent positions towards international problems. Li Peng declines to pursue a common policy with the Soviet Union and demands that the Soviet Union cease its interference in Afghanistan, as well as a Vietnamese troop withdrawal from Cambodia.

January 17, 1980

CC CPSU Politburo transcript (excerpt)

CC CPSU Politburo transcript of a meeting on the situation in Afghanistan and its impact on relations with the West

September 16, 1979

Information from CC CPSU to GDR leader E. Honecker

Information from CC CPSU to GDR leader E. Honecker regarding the tensions in Afghanistan between Taraki and Amin and the ineffectiveness on Soviet pressure for greater Afghan unity

December 29, 1979

Excerpt from the Minutes of the CC CPSU Politburo Meeting, 'Reply to an appeal of President Carter about the issue of Afghanistan through the direct communications channel'

Soviet letter to US President Jimmy Carter responding to the US position on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The CC CPSU Politburo informs the White House that the Soviet leadership desires to maintain detente with the US and that the intervention of Soviet troops was done at the request of the Afgan leadership, under Article 51 of the UN charter.