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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 1984

REPORT OF A SOVIET MINISTRY OF DEFENSE OPERATIONS GROUP HEADED BY MARSHAL S. L. SOKOLOV ABOUT THE RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Report on combat operations over five months in Afghanistan and resulting improvements in the military situation.
    "Report of a Soviet Ministry of Defense Operations Group Headed by Marshal S. L. Sokolov about the Results of Operations," June, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, A. A. Lyakhovskiy, Plamya Afgana (Flame of the Afghanistan Veteran) (Moscow: Iskon, 1999), pp. 284-5. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117269
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The military situation as a result of conducting a whole series of operations against counterrevolutionary forces has notably improved.

During the five months there were 85 operations, of which 51 were joint operations of the 40th Army and Afghan army units, and 34 independent operations by Afghan units.

The Panjshir operation and combat operations in Herat had especially great importance for the improvement of the military situation…

A serious defeat was inflicted on the enemy in the course of combat operations in the Panjshir and Andarab Valleys and to the north. His main base was destroyed…

Secret documents seized in Panjshir by our forces on 18 May 1984 permitted us to uncover and destroy a broad IOA agent network existing in Kabul (in the central Party and government bureaucracy, including in the SGI [Government Information Service], tsarandoy [police], and Ministry of Defense) and other regions of the country…

In May and especially in June the number of groups entering into talks ready to recognize the DRA government and cease armed combat increased and the surrender of a number of groups (in Panjshir and Andarab not counting the band of the leader Jumakhan ((700 men)), 8 groups totaling 600 rebels surrendered)…

At the present time in accordance with the decision approved by you, measures are being taken in the Panjshir and Andarab valleys to consolidate government authority. To this end, pressure has been put on the DRA government to increase its activity…

Recently the enemy has displayed activity in the southeast and the south of the country in the areas of Khowst and the provinces of Kunar, Kandahar, and in individual sectors of lines of communications.

Considering this, besides Panjshir and Andarab, at the present time troop combat operations are being conducted in the area of Khowst (25th Infantry Division, 666th Regiment “K”, 2nd PGBR [trans. note: some kind of brigade; note that these are all Afghan units]; in the area of Kandahar (70th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade, 15th Infantry Division, and the 466th Regiment “K” of the 2nd Army Corps); in the area of Farah (21st Motorized Infantry Brigade with the 4th Tank Brigade); in the area of Gurian, west of Herat (17th Infantry Division with the 5th Tank Brigade).

Combat operations will soon begin in the area of Jalalabad and Asadabad, in the provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar [with] the 66th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade, and the 11th and 9th Infantry Divisions.

The closing of possible routes for the movement of caravans and groups from Pakistan continues using three “spetsnaz” [special forces] battalions…

The 40th Army continues to remain a decisive factor in stabilizing the situation in the DRA and takes on itself the main burden of the fight with the counterrevolutionaries...The Army is combat ready. Combat operations in the Panjshir and Andarab valleys have shown the capability of the troops of the Army and aviation to carry out combat missions in difficult mountainous conditions without special equipment at altitudes of 4,000-5,000 meters and where there are glaciers.

The personnel have operated selflessly and bravely. The overwhelming majority of combat mission carried out by aircraft have been at low altitudes.  The Su-25 ground attack aircraft have displayed their good combat capabilities…

The operations of the troops permit several conclusions to be drawn about further improvement of their combat training and technical supplies not only of the 40th Army, but of the Armed Forces as a whole…

Several individual conversations have been held with DRA Minister of Defense Cde. [Abdul] Qadir and Chief of the Main Political Directorate Cde. Sadeki. In them the need was stressed for greater activity and regular visits to the troops to analyze the results of combat operations and to take steps to increase their effectiveness; to step up political educational work with personnel, combat desertion; and to give other necessary aid to the formations and units of the Afghan army…