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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 02, 1989

LETTER FROM AHMAD SHAH MASOUD TO SOVIET FIRST DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER AND SPECIAL AFGHANISTAN ENVOY YULI VORONTSOV

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

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    Afghan opposition leader Ahmad Shah Masoud sends a defiant letter in response to Soviet overtures.
    "Letter from Ahmad Shah Masoud to Soviet First Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Afghanistan Envoy Yuli Vorontsov," September 02, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, A. A. Lyakhovskiy, Plamya Afgana (Flame of the Afghanistan Veteran) (Moscow: Iskon, 1999), p. 523. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117376
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Mister Vorontsov!

In reply to your letter of 31 July 1989 I want to say that the past support of the PDPA [People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan] by your government has been the reason for the deaths of more than 1,500,000 citizens of our country. About 5,000,000 people have left their homes, become refugees in neighboring and other countries, and Afghanistan has been turned into ruins. In exchange for this support you have received only shame and thousands of young Russian men have been killed in the mountains and deserts. As a result you have suffered a military defeat and considerable economic loss.

With the ascension of a new leadership in the Soviet Union and the admission of past mistakes it was expected that the USSR would pay attention to the incorrect policy and reject a continuation of a similar policy in regard to Afghanistan, as a result of which peace and quiet would be restored in a country exhausted by war.

However, an analysis of the actions of the Soviet Union during the last six months forces us to conclude with regret that it has not changed its position in regard to the Afghan conflict and intends to attain its goals only by another means, that is, by using Afghans to murder Afghans.

Recognizing the Soviet Union as the chief culprit in the continuation of the war and the bloodshed in Afghanistan we would like to again stress the fact that in the first stage of the revolution a majority were thinking as though the Afghan people were in no condition to resist in the face of the tanks and aircraft of the Soviet superpower and that the Red Army would resolve all the issues in several days. However with the passage of time it has turned out that it was impossible to break the will of the people by force of arms. And before still more blood is shed, before the burden of responsibility on the Soviet leadership before God and history grows even more, and the fissure which has arisen between the Muslim people of Afghanistan and the Soviet people becomes wider, we would like to again remind you that the war in Afghanistan will not fade out until Soviet interference in Afghan affairs ends completely and the PDPA, which is impeding the implementation of the just aspirations of our Muslim people, leaves the political arena. As I believe, you and all the peoples of the world are again witnesses to the intensification of the fire of war on this Earth, which is not in accord with the interests of either the freedom-loving Muslim people of Afghanistan or the Soviet people.

Respectfully, Ahmad Shah Masoud

 2 September 1989