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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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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. (Image, abandoned Soviet tank)

  • January 08, 1974

    DECREE of the Secretariat of the CC CPSU - An Appeal to the Leaders of the PDPA Groups 'Parcham' and 'Khalq'

    This document illustrates Moscow's fear regarding the instability and infighting among Afghan political parties, and its corresponding consequences for Soviet involvement in the Middle East.

  • June 02, 1974

    Top Secret Attachment, by KGB cipher Kabul

    This document emphasizes Soviet support for Afghanistan. The Soviets pledge to help with domestic and international policy, and state the cooperation between these two countries is in the interests of world peace.

  • June 21, 1974

    CC CPSU Information for the Leaders of the Progressive Afghan Political Organizations 'Parcham' and 'Khalq' Concerning the Results of the Visit of Mohammed Daud to the USSR

    This document discusses how infighting among Afghan political parties threatened to de-stabilize the country. This report comes after a visit by Mohammed Daud to the USSR.

  • June 26, 1974

    Decree of the CPSU CC - Information for the Leaders of the Progressive Afghan Political Organizations 'Parcham' and 'Khalq' Concerning the Results of the Visit of Mohammed Daud to the USSR

    This document provides information for the leaders of the progressive Afghan political parties; and results of the CC elections.

  • 1978

    Instructions to the Soviet Ambassador in Kabul

    Strengthening the ideas of the April Revolution through increasing DRA and PDPA party ties to foster an intra-party democracy is the basis for an upcoming meeting between H. Amin and senior Soviet policy makers in Moscow.

  • May 31, 1978

    Political Letter from USSR Ambassador to Afghanistan A. Puzanov to Soviet Foreign Ministry, "About the Domestic Political Situation in the DRA," (notes)

    Political Letter from USSR Ambassador to Afghanistan A. Puzanov to Soviet Foreign Ministry, "About the Domestic Political Situation in the DRA," (notes) expressing the need to support the new Afghanistani government in order to strengthen it

  • June 18, 1978

    Record of Conversation, Soviet Ambassador A.M. Puzanov and Taraki

    Record of Conversation, Soviet Ambassador A.M. Puzanov and Taraki on possible disunity within the Afghan Communist Party, rebutted by Taraki claiming that the party is unified

  • July 11, 1978

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador Puzanov, Memorandum of Conversation with N.M. Taraki and Delegation of the Soviet Academy of Sciences

    Ae delegation from the USSR Academy of Sciences meets with Taraki to discuss scientific development in Afghanistan and future collaboration with the Soviet Union.

  • July 11, 1978

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador Puzanov, Memorandum of Conversation with Hafizullah Amin and Delegation of the Soviet Academy of Sciences

    Soviet Ambassador Puzanov introduces Hafizullah Amin at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a delegation from the USSR Academy of Sciences, headed by the President of the Academy of Sciences of the Tajik SSR, M.S. Asimov. They discuss the state of scientific research in Afghanistan and future scientific cooperation with the Soviet Union.

  • July 18, 1978

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to Afghanistan A.M. Puzanov and Taraki

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to Afghanistan A.M. Puzanov and Taraki about the situation in Afghanistan and Taraki’s meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State David Newsom

  • September 12, 1978

    Minutes from Conversation between Babrak Karmal and the Head of the Diplomatic Protocol Tucek

    A summarized conversation between Babrak Karmal and the head of Diplomatic protocol regarding Karmal's request for political asylum in Czechoslovakia, following then end of his ambassadorship.

  • September 12, 1978

    Memorandum of Conversation between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dusan Spacil and Soviet Ambassador Novikov

    A discussion of Babrak Karmal's status in Czechoslovakia--as to wether or not he is still the amabassor from Afghanistan--is the primary focus of this document. Additional discussion occurs regarding locations for Karmal's possible defection from Afghanistan.

  • September 28, 1978

    Dispatch from the Head of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPCz) Central Committee’s International Relations Department M. Stefanak to the Czechoslovak Embassy in Kabul

    Report that Afghan politician Babrak Karmal was undergoing treatment for heart problems in Czechoslovakia.

  • October 13, 1978

    Information from CC CPSU to GDR leader Erich Honecker

    Information from CC CPSU to GDR leader Erich Honecker regarding widespread repressions in Afghanistan and the general comradeship between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union

  • October 17, 1978

    Soviet communication to the Hungarian leadership on the situation in Afghanistan

    This document discusses Hungary’s role in Afghanistan in terms of solidarity between the USSR and Afghanistan, and the impact of divisions within Afghan's political parties.

  • November 09, 1978

    CC CPSU Concerning the appeal to the Czechoslovak Communist Party about K. Babrak

    This document discusses how the former to Ambassador the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in Prague, Karmal Babrak, seeks asylum in Czechoslovakia so that he can stay abroad and continue criticizing the PDPA. In response to such activity, the CC CPC proposes to talk to Babrak about the need to end his subversive criticisms.

  • November 15, 1978

    Decree of the CC CPSU Secretariat Concerning an appeal to the Czechoslovak Communist Party about K. Babrak

    The Soviets condemn subversive activity against the PDPA, the primary Afghan and pro-Soviet political party. Such actions, according to the Soviet leadership, cause significant instability and political unrest in the region.

  • December 04, 1978

    Information about the visit of the Afghan party and state delegation, headed by Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan Nur Mohamed Tarakhi to the USSR

    A collection of the Soviet and Afghan leadership's statements and intentions. The Soviet leadership highlights the improvement of economic, political, and moral support for Afghanistan.

  • January 07, 1979

    CPSU CC Politburo Decision on Draft Telegram to the Soviet Embassy in Afghanistan, 07 January 1979

    CPSU CC Politburo approves a draft telegram to be sent to the Soviet ambassador in Afghanistan, instructing him to inform the Afghani leadership on the nature of Soviet assistance to the Afghan armed forces.

  • March 13, 1979

    Diplomatic Note of the Afghan Embassy in Sofia

    The Afghan embassy in Sofia submits a list of diplomatic personnel who have been dismissed and had their diplomatic passports revoked.