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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 27, 1979

TELEGRAPH AGENCY OF THE SOVIET UNION ANNOUNCEMENT, ATTACHMENT TO CPSU POLITBURO PROTOCOL #177

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    The USSR and Afghanistan formed a permanent relationship to combat counter-revolutionaries who attempt to undo the April Revolution. This relationship began with the Treaty of Friendship in 1978.
    "Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union Announcement, Attachment to CPSU Politburo Protocol #177," December 27, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, F. 89, P. 14, D. 32. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111548
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For a long time interference in the internal affairs of a neighboring state friendly to the Soviet Union, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, has been taking place from abroad, including the direct use of armed force. The goal of such interference -- and this is evident to everyone -- is the overthrown of the democratic system established as a result of the 1978 April Revolution. The Afghan people and its armed forces are actively repelling these aggressive acts and rebuffing attempts on the democratic gains of recent years, the sovereignty and national dignity of the new Afghanistan.

However the acts of external aggression have not ceased and have acquired every greater dimension; armed formations and weapons continue to be sent from abroad to Afghanistan.

In the face of gross foreign interference, including armed interference, the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan has repeatedly turned to the Soviet Union in the last two years with a request to help the Afghan people repel aggression.

The Soviet Union expected that the enemies of people's Afghanistan would all the same listen to the warnings of the Afghan and Soviet sides, manage to heed the voice of reason, and cease further attempts to suppress the freedom and independence of the Afghan people by force of arms. However, this did not happen. The foreign interference and aggression started to take on all the more intolerable forms and dimensions for the Afghan people.

Under these conditions the government of Afghanistan again turned to the Soviet Union with an urgent request to give aid and assistance in the fight against external aggression. The Soviet Union, proceeding from a commonality of the interests of both countries on security issues, which were also recorded in the 5 December 1978 Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness, and Cooperation, and the interests of preserving peace in this region, has responded favorably to this request of the government of Afghanistan and decided to send limited military contingents to Afghanistan to perform missions which the government of Afghanistan is requesting, that is, missions of an exclusively of assisting in repelling foreign aggression. The Soviet Union thereby also proceeds from the corresponding provisions of the UN Charter, particularly Article 51, stipulating the right of countries to individual and collective self-defense in order to repel aggression and restore peace.

Of course, when the necessity and the reasons which occasioned this action of the Soviet Union pass, it will carry out a complete withdrawal of Soviet military contingents from Afghan territory. As before, the desire of the Soviet Union is to see Afghanistan independent and sovereign, following a policy of good neighborliness and peace, and firmly respecting and fulfilling its international obligations, including those according to the UN Charter.

Reference point 151 of Minutes N
o 177