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I didn't even know there were tweeps whitewashing the Soviet-Afghan war until @suraiasahar tweeted/rt some stuff. Afghan historians worked too hard to push back on US narratives only to have ppl who found communism 2 days ago try to rewrite history. So let's do this:

Taraki’s govt a group of disaffected academics, young military commanders, and other elites. And it was deeply repressive. They purged any disagreement, even from their allied Parchami
Yes, they tried to make strides in women’s education, labor rights, and land reforms. But they were also wildly cruel. Imprisoning, disappearing, and murdering any dissidents. Even the Soviet Union acknowledged their repressive tendencies
On 3/20/1979 Brezhnev broached the subject and warned Taraki that his repressive measures were alienating potential allies. Taraki rejected this and said repressive measures were warranted.
There are Afghans alive today that still don’t know what happened to their family members. They were disappeared with no record. Others were imprisoned in Pul-i- Charkhi Including my own grandfather. Many were tortured. PDPA forced conformity through imprisonment and violence
Recently, a massive grave was uncovered outside the prison with thousands of bodies. They still haven’t all been identified. Both Taraki and his usurper Hafizullah Amin were blood-soaked tyrants.

Mujahideen = Al Qaeda is as false as the US’ attempt to paint them all as heroes. They were complex. The Islamist factions were made up of university-trained scholars importing a Muslim Brotherhood-style concept of jihad +
rural Mullahs. They were also Maoists, & Shiites who faced the brunt of Taraki’s repressive measures because he accused them of being sympathetic to Iran and China, and local kids who joined a popular uprising. They also included—surprise—Taraki’s own military commanders.
On 3/18/1979 in a telephone conversation between Soviet Premier Kosygin, Taraki admits that military officers had joined the popular uprising against his government. Young military commanders who were originally part of the Saur coup eventually joined the Mujahideen.
The Soviets themselves were aware the Mujahideen had popular support. They noted that its rank and file were just ordinary people. In the Politburo discussion held on 3/17/1979, Kirilenko worried that if USSR invaded they'd fight ordinary Afghans siding with Mujahideen
The Soviet Union outright told Taraki that his repressive measures were creating the Mujahideen resistance. In a communique on 10/17/1978 w/ the Hungarian govt, the Soviet Union said they warned Taraki that he was alienating the population with its repressive tactics.
In a 4/1/79 memo Soviet leadership noted that it was Taraki’s own actions that was fanning the resistance. Foreign Minister Gromyko also reported on December 27 1979 how the PDPA used false rumor to arrest & repress Afghans, including their own allies and Soviet-backers.

This claim exposes an ignorance of the methods of empire. It is no more a justification than was US’ claim it was resp to Iraqis in the invasion of Iraq. Both were acts of imperialism.
It is true that Taraki had requested military aid. It is also true that the Soviet Union was reluctant and declined early on. But when the Soviet Union intervened, it was not to help the PDPA, but as a corrective measure. The Soviet Union felt the PDPA was failing
In fact, they ended up assassinating Hafizullah Amin, his son, his mistress, and every single Afghan in the palace by sending the KGB as noted by Major General Alexander Lyakhovsky. The Soviet Union replaced Amin with Babrak Karmal
The Soviet invasion was not a benevolent extending of aid, it was a takeover. Their justification was to correct the errors of the PDPA. It’s “civilizing” mission is not much different from the “white man’s burden” civilizational mission of European colonialism.
Specifically, they cite fear of US gaining a foothold in the region. December 1979, Alexander Lyakhovsky states the invasion is to keep the US “Ottoman” plan from coming to fruition/keeping uranium deposits in their hands and ensuring Afghanistan doesn’t become a US missile site
Outwardly, the Soviets made great pains to say they were just responding for aid, but as documented conversation proves, internally their reasons were otherwise. They felt the PDPA had failed, the US & foreign powers were going to gain a foothold and needed to respond harshly
Now the US, for its part, was hoping to induce an invasion as admitted to by Carter's National Security Adviser Brzezinski: "The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war."
The Soviet invasion was brutal. Russian records indicate 270,000 mines were planted while other estimates put it closer to 10 million. The most common tactic was scattering “butterfly” mines from helicopter around villages leading to indiscriminate killing of Afghan civilians.
Then there were the “toy” mines which resemble balls or pens scattered by helicopter and picked up mostly by children. Use of these cruel mines were attested to by 100s of eye-witnesses recorded in a report by the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Bombing of villages and use of mines targeting children were part of a systematic campaign by the Soviets to sap the popular support for the Mujahideen. By displacing Afghans or depopulating territories they could sap the resistance of their base of support.
Former Soviet soldier Nikolay Movchan admits to the target of women and children and systematic rape of Afghan women. All to demoralize an Afghan population. Felix Ermacora's report for the UN documents hundreds of rape cases just in one small region.
The Soviet war in Afghanistan killed upwards of 2 million civilians with nearly 10 million being displaced and about 3 million non-combatants maimed. The subsequent warlords and Taliban were just as horrendous, but no one can or should erase the Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan
Fact is there were no good guys in the Afghan-Soviet War. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan was tyrannical. The Mujahideen started out as a coalition of forces, quickly became warlords, and the US & Soviet Union used Afghanistan as their personal battlefield.
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