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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 04, 1980

    Meeting of Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko and Afghan Foreign Minister Shad Mohammad Dost, 4 January 1980

    Gromyko and Dost discuss the situation in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and foreign relations between Afghanistan and Western countries.

  • January 04, 1980

    Meeting of Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko and Afghan Foreign Minister Shad Mohammad Dost, 04 January 1980

    Meeting of Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko and Afghan Foreign Minister Shad Mohammad Dost on how to deal with negative opinions of the DRA by the West.

  • January 07, 1980

    Memorandum on the discussion with the Afghan side concerning the building of a radio broadcast station

    Confirming the decision to build a medium-wave broadcasting station, this CC CPSU includes information about station's construction site, its time frame for being built, and the economic credits which will be used to finance the project.

  • January 10, 1980

    Telegram from GDR Embassy in Moscow to Socialist Unity Party (SED) Central Committee Secretary Hermann Axen et al.

    Based on conversations with the Soviet Foreign Ministry, the situation in Afghanistan is stabilizing.

  • January 17, 1980

    CPSU CC Politburo Decision, On the Situation in Afghanistan

    CPSU CC Politburo decision on measures to be taken regarding the situation in Afghanistan

  • 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

  • January 20, 1980

    'Some Ideas About Foreign Policy Results of the 1970s (Points)' of Academician O. Bogomolov of the Institute of the Economy of the World Socialist System sent to the CC CPSU and the KGB

    Summary of the affects of Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.

  • January 23, 1980

    CPSU CC Memo with excerpt from Protocol #180/64, 23 January 1980

    Concerns orders to Soviet troops.

  • January 23, 1980

    Report on the talks of Gyula Horn, representative of the HSWP CC Foreign Department in The United States and Canada

    This document provides a summary of the main points covered in a meeting of Hungary, the United States, and Canada. The US expresses concern about the Soviet's offensive in Afghanistan, how it may lead to a preponderance of Soviet power in the region. The US contends it needs to maintain its influence in the Middle East-despite additional Soviet influence-as it is important for raw materials.

  • January 25, 1980

    CPSU CC Memo with excerpt from Protocol #181/2 and attachments, 25 January 1980

    Concerns Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

  • January 28, 1980

    CPSU CC Politburo Decision, with Report by Gromyko, Andropov, Ustinov, and Ponomarev, 27 January 1980

    CPSU CC Politburo Decision, with Report by Gromyko-Andropov-Ustinov-Ponomarev, 27 January 1980 regarding the strengthening of the Afghan position and how to counteract Western positions on Afghanistan

  • February 05, 1980

    Andropov Report to CPSU CC on Talks with Afghan Leaders

    Andropov Report to CPSU CC on Talks with Afghan Leaders including issues of Party unity in Afghanistan

  • February 07, 1980

    Extract from CPSU CC Politburo Protocol #182, On Andropov's discussions with the leaders of Afghanistan

    CPSU CC Politburo Decisions on Afghanistan regarding the improvement of infrastructure including construction of the Amu Darya bridge and planning a railroad connection in Afghanistan

  • February 07, 1980

    CC CPSU Politburo transcript (excerpt), On Andropov's Conversations with Afghan leaders

    CC CPSU Politburo transcript discussing the improvements in the situation in Afghanistan and potential withdrawal of troops

  • February 13, 1980

    Ciphered Telegram No. 26, Embassy of Hungary in Pakistan to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Short report on Indian diplomatic overtures to Pakistan in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

  • February 16, 1980

    Ciphered Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in India to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    A report from the Hungarian Embassy in India explaining that in the view of the Indian government, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan threatens regional stability as it could invite American and/or Chinese intervention.

  • February 16, 1980

    Ciphered Telegram No. 43, Embassy of Hungary in India to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    A report from the Hungarian Embassy in India explaining that in the view of the Indian government, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan threatens regional stability as it could invite American and/or Chinese intervention.

  • February 19, 1980

    Assisting the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in Strengthening the Mass Media

    A plan to build a pro-Soviet, anti-counterevolutionary media campagin, in Afghanistan. The plan includes an intenship program for the "Bakhtar" Afghan News Agency in Moscow.

  • February 29, 1980

    Report on the Meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of the Socialist Countries in Moscow, 26 February 1980

    This document explains the views of the cooperating Socialist countries relating to Afghanistan. The USSR perceived the US attempt to line up NATO support against the Soviets as an aggressive action, designed to counter Soviet influence. The Soviets, by contrast, viewed their involvement in Afghanistan as increasing their sphere of influence around the Warsaw-pact countries, making such actions defense, rather than offensive. The USSR's leadership states that it should increase its ties to NATO countries to counteract the foreign policy of the US.

  • March 10, 1980

    Politburo Decision on Soviet Policy on Afghanistan, with report on Proposal by Fidel Castro to Mediate between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and approved letter from L.I. Brezhnev to Fidel Castro

    CPSU CC Politburo Decision on Soviet Policy on Afghanistan, with report on Proposal by Fidel Castro to Mediate between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and approved letter from L.I. Brezhnev to Fidel Castro