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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 11, 1989

LETTER FROM CPSU GENERAL SECRETARY MIKHAIL S. GORBACHEV TO AFGHAN GOVERNMENT

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

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    Gorbachev discusses the necessity of intra-Afghan peace talks. At the same time, the Soviet Union will provide military assistance, weapons, and aircraft to Afghanistan to retaliate against opposition.
    "Letter from CPSU General Secretary Mikhail S. Gorbachev to Afghan Government," December 11, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, A. A. Lyakhovskiy, Plamya Afgana (Flame of the Afghanistan Veteran) (Moscow: Iskon, 1999); pp. 525-26. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117289
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It is absolutely obvious that while the irreconcilable opposition, warmed and encouraged by the US, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia holds to an extremist policy, military measures will remain an important method of action to “persuade” the enemy of the evidence of the truth: there is no alternative to an intra-Afghan dialogue and peace talks.

At the same time the positive aspect in the military field already achieved opens new domestic and foreign opportunities to step up the political process…

Retaliatory missile strikes doubtless have great importance in the matter of repelling the barbaric acts of the opposition with respect to cities and the peaceful civilian population and disrupting its attacks. The Soviet Union decided some time ago, as you know, to allocate an additional 500 R-300 missiles for our Afghan friends.  In this regard it is extremely desirable that the R-300 missiles being delivered be used in the most rational manner.  I want to stress that we have done this by removing missiles from Soviet military subunits. Deliveries of such effective equipment such as the “Luna-M” have been restarted. One hundred such missiles will be sent to the Afghan side between the end of November and the new year, 1990.

We confirm our readiness to deliver modern MiG-29 aircraft to you…

Mi-35 [attack] helicopters will be delivered in the first quarter of 1990. Other issues are being examined regarding the deliveries of weapons which you raise in your message…(The text of the letter was approved at a CC CPSU Politburo meeting, Protocol Nº P175/5).