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SUMMARY Afgantsy

In a timely and eye opening book Rodric Braithwaite examines the Russian experience in that most recent war in Afghanistan after Alexander's conuests and the many British imperial wars and skirmishes Largely basing his account on Russian sources and interviews he shows the war through the eyes of the Russians themselves politicians officers sold “Don’t advance on Moscow” is the first rule of warfare according to the late Bernard Montgomery a British Field Marshal and victory of the Battle of El Alamein The second is don’t go fighting with your land army on the mainland of Asia The time has come I think to reverse the order here history has only two examples of failure before Moscow compared with the many examples of disaster in Asia; of disasters in particular in Afghanistan the charnel house of empireI once wrote that it should be compulsory for ever new incumbent of the White House to read The uiet American the novel by Graham Greene set in Vietnam during the last days of the French occupation Now another book has been published which should be compulsory reading for every western leader every neo con and every moral imperialist – Afgantsy the Russians in Afghanistan 1979 1989 by Rodric Braithwaite Sadly it has come ten years too late Actually I have a slight ualification here a point I will come to a little later onThere are few better ualified to tell the story of the tragic involvement of the old Soviet Union in Afghanistan than Sir Rodric Braithwaite once British ambassador to Moscow He begins with an intimate knowledge of Russia the Russian people and the Russian sources He also writes with understanding and sympathy for the veterans of this hopeless conflict the Afgantsy of the title who fought and suffered under the most appalling circumstances often caught between the ruthlessness of the enemy and the negligent indifference of their own commanders Put out of your mind the Red Army of 1943 to 1945 Think rather of the Imperial Army of 1914 to 1917 Braithwaite’s has a tale to unfold whose lightest word harrows up the blood It’s a story of suffering the suffering of the ordinary Russian soldiers mostly ill educated conscripts some 15000 of whom lost their lives; the suffering of the ordinary people of Afghanistan over a million of whom lost theirs often in the most dreadful circumstances It’s also a story of incompetence the political incompetence of the Kremlin sinking into geriatric senescence and the military incompetence of the Russian central command The political and strategic incompetence goes wider goes so far as Washington to an administration so anxious to avenge the humiliation of Vietnam that it was willing to offer support to the most antediluvian and obscurantist forces the mujahideen that was to morph into al aeda and the Taliban As late as 1998 ten years after the conflict ended Zbigniew Bzrezinski former security advisor to President Jimmy Carter continued to justify American support for the insurgents; What is important in the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet Empire? Some stirred up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the Cold War?Here we have the same kind of blindness that led Francis Fukuyama to announce the ‘end of history’ just before history leapt up and bit him and Bzrezinski on the arse It’s the blindness that caused Congressman Charles Wilson to describe Jalaluddin Haani the mujahideen commander as “goodness personified” This incarnation of goodness is now number three on America’s most wanted list The Soviet road to hell was paved with good intentions Although reluctant to intervene in the affairs of the country – contrary to Western perceptions at the time – they came hoping to make a difference to bring this medieval society into the modern age But the Afghans in the main have only ever wanted one thing to be left alone The British know this or should know this after some fairly disastrous interventions in the nineteenth century In fact soon after the Soviet invasion the Foreign Office helpfully provided the deputy Soviet foreign minister with an account of past involvements only to be told that this time it will be different But it wasn’t; it never could be Afghanistan is easy to occupy but impossible to hold a lesson that needs to be repeated time and again; the lesson that the Soviets ignored the lesson that George Bush and Tony Blair also ignored There might be some excuse for Bush smarting in the aftermath of 911; there is none for Blair given the Foreign Office warning given our history So hence my ualification above even in Afgantsy had been published years earlier it is doubtful if it would have made any difference to the strategic blindness of this stupid man We are now where we are where the Soviets once were the wolf is being held by the earsjust How to let go that’s the problem The Russians wanted out years before their final exit The problem was always to do so while retaining a degree of credibility the nightmare beueathed to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 Obama and Cameron would do well to pay heed to this brilliant and superbly researched account of a multi faceted tragedy In the end Afghanistan will be left to its own devices at a waste of so many lives and so much effort History speaks; it’s such a pity that we fail to listen Taming the Alphas opening book Rodric Braithwaite examines the Russian experience in that most recent war in Afghanistan after Alexander's conuests and the many British imperial wars and skirmishes Largely basing his account Die Matty Sinclair Trilogie (Matt Sinclair, on Russian sources and interviews he shows the war through the eyes El enroque. ¡Uy, qué miedo! of the Russians themselves politicians Super Late Bloomer officers sold “Don’t advance Fake Fiancée on Moscow” is the first rule Ramayana of warfare according to the late Bernard Montgomery a British Field Marshal and victory Wake Me Up! of the Battle Insoluble mais vrai ! of El Alamein The second is don’t go fighting with your land army The Fast Metabolism Diet on the mainland Uncle Mame of Asia The time has come I think to reverse the The Centre of My World order here history has Sueños de cristal only two examples The Dove (The Villain Duology, of failure before Moscow compared with the many examples El deseo de lo imposible of disaster in Asia; Wicca Herbal Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Practicing Wiccan Herbal Magic, with Simple Herb Spells of disasters in particular in Afghanistan the charnel house The Confessions of Augustine of Hippo of empireI Confessions of a Sinner once wrote that it should be compulsory for ever new incumbent Alguien Bajo Los Parpados of the White House to read The uiet American the novel by Graham Greene set in Vietnam during the last days The Vault of the French For the Love of Cockroaches: Husbandry, Biology, and History of Pet and Feeder Blattodea occupation Now another book has been published which should be compulsory reading for every western leader every neo con and every moral imperialist – Afgantsy the Russians in Afghanistan 1979 1989 by Rodric Braithwaite Sadly it has come ten years too late Actually I have a slight ualification here a point I will come to a little later On World Peace onThere are few better ualified to tell the story Camino de las hormigas, El of the tragic involvement Pathfinder Adventure Path of the Invasion 1940 old Soviet Union in Afghanistan than Sir Rodric Braithwaite Highlander Found: A Scottish Time Travel Romance (Highlander In Time Book 1) once British ambassador to Moscow He begins with an intimate knowledge Méthode de français. 1 ESO. Promenade - 9788467562644 of Russia the Russian people and the Russian sources He also writes with understanding and sympathy for the veterans Taina. O nouã incursiune în irealitatea imediatã of this hopeless conflict the Afgantsy The Truth about Crocodiles of the title who fought and suffered under the most appalling circumstances Never give up: Secretos de una muser (Hobbies) often caught between the ruthlessness How the Universe Got Its Spots of the enemy and the negligent indifference In the Beat of a Heart of their Arriesgar lo imposible own commanders Put Cocinología: La ciencia de cocinar out Fratele mai mare of your mind the Red Army Catching Hell of 1943 to 1945 Think rather Bajo El Sol de Satanas of the Imperial Army Idiotizadas: Un cuento de empoderhadas (Moderna de pueblo) of 1914 to 1917 Braithwaite’s has a tale to unfold whose lightest word harrows up the blood It’s a story Lea este libro si desea fotografiar buenos retratos of suffering the suffering Good People of the High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World!, Vol. 2 (manga) (High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World! (manga) (High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World! (manga)) ordinary Russian soldiers mostly ill educated conscripts some 15000 Matemáticas orientadas a las Enseñanzas Aplicadas 3. Trimestres. (Aprender es crecer en conexión) - 9788467852165 of whom lost their lives; the suffering El Jeque of the Shadows of the Dark Crystal (Jim Hensons The Dark Crystal, ordinary people DROPSHIP MASTERS of Afghanistan La última llamada over a million Interface of whom lost theirs Kuća u Puertu often in the most dreadful circumstances It’s also a story Timekeeper (Timeless, of incompetence the political incompetence Hajónaplók of the Kremlin sinking into geriatric senescence and the military incompetence Cant Hide From Me of the Russian central command The political and strategic incompetence goes wider goes so far as Washington to an administration so anxious to avenge the humiliation Nackt unter Nackten of Vietnam that it was willing to Mounted by the Minotaur offer support to the most antediluvian and East in the Light of the West obscurantist forces the mujahideen that was to morph into al aeda and the Taliban As late as 1998 ten years after the conflict ended Zbigniew Bzrezinski former security advisor to President Jimmy Carter continued to justify American support for the insurgents; What is important in the history The Final Confrontation of the world? The Taliban The Encyclopedia of Jewelry-Making Techniques or the collapse The Three Legions of the Soviet Empire? Some stirred up Muslims Asesinato en Mauthausen or the liberation Room on the broom of central Europe and the end Seducir y Cautivar Con Pnl of the Cold War?Here we have the same kind El Secreto de la Caja de Sándalo: Sherlock Holmes of blindness that led Francis Fukuyama to announce the ‘end New Table for two. Inglés para cocina y restauración 2.ª edición of history’ just before history leapt up and bit him and Bzrezinski Momentos estelares de la ciencia (El Libro De Bolsillo - Ciencias) on the arse It’s the blindness that caused Congressman Charles Wilson to describe Jalaluddin Haani the mujahideen commander as “goodness personified” This incarnation Unseen Forces That Can Affect Our Lives of goodness is now number three Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes on America’s most wanted list The Soviet road to hell was paved with good intentions Although reluctant to intervene in the affairs Deathtrap Dungeon (Fighting Fantasy, of the country – contrary to Western perceptions at the time – they came hoping to make a difference to bring this medieval society into the modern age But the Afghans in the main have Chernobyl 01 only ever wanted Avikar one thing to be left alone The British know this Partially Ionized Gases or should know this after some fairly disastrous interventions in the nineteenth century In fact soon after the Soviet invasion the Foreign Office helpfully provided the deputy Soviet foreign minister with an account Vercoquin y el plancton of past involvements Honey West and T.H.E. Cat only to be told that this time it will be different But it wasn’t; it never could be Afghanistan is easy to Moon Centaur occupy but impossible to hold a lesson that needs to be repeated time and again; the lesson that the Soviets ignored the lesson that George Bush and Tony Blair also ignored There might be some excuse for Bush smarting in the aftermath Anthony Adverse (Anthony Adverse, of 911; there is none for Blair given the Foreign Office warning given Baby-led weaning: 70 recetas para que tu hijo coma solo (Embarazo, bebé y niño) our history So hence my ualification above even in Afgantsy had been published years earlier it is doubtful if it would have made any difference to the strategic blindness This Fiery Splendor of this stupid man We are now where we are where the Soviets Matthias Thulmann once were the wolf is being held by the earsjust How to let go that’s the problem The Russians wanted Poems of a Penisist out years before their final exit The problem was always to do so while retaining a degree Anthony Adverse (Anthony Adverse, of credibility the nightmare beueathed to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 Obama and Cameron would do well to pay heed to this brilliant and superbly researched account Snatch! of a multi faceted tragedy In the end Afghanistan will be left to its The Dreamwork Manual own devices at a waste Fuego griego, flechas envenenadas y escorpiones: Guerra química y bacteriológica en la Antigüedad (Historia Antigua) of so many lives and so much effort History speaks; it’s such a pity that we fail to listen

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Afgantsy

Iers advisers journalist women As former ambassador to Moscow Rodric Braithwaite brings his uniue insights to the Soviet war in Afghanistan The story has been distorted not only by Cold War propaganda but also by the myths of the nineteenth century Great Game It moves from the high politics of the Kremlin to the lonely Russian conscripts in isol A fascinating and educational read Before I Wake only by Cold War propaganda but also by the myths Conceptos De Relatividad Y Teoria Cuantica of the nineteenth century Great Game It moves from the high politics Vanished Kingdoms of the Kremlin to the lonely Russian conscripts in isol A fascinating and educational read

Rodric Braithwaite Þ 8 FREE READ

Ated mountain outposts The parallels with Afghanistan today speak for themselves 'A superb achievement of narrative history sensitive writing and exciting fresh research' so wrote Simon Sebag Montefiore about Rodric Braithwaite's bestseller Moscow 1941 But those words and many others of praise that were given it could eually apply to his new boo Spoiler alert The Soviet Politburo was not keen to get directly involved with Afghanistan's political turmoil other than supporting the pro communist government who took over the country But got involved they did and Afghanistan became yet another piece in the Cold War chessboard Afgantsy is about the Russian soldier engineer translator nurse who served in that conflict and the legacy they left behind rise of the Taliban yet another occupation this time by the United States Will that country ever find peace? La casa que arde de noche outposts The parallels with Afghanistan today speak for themselves 'A superb achievement Black woman black life of narrative history sensitive writing and exciting fresh research' so wrote Simon Sebag Montefiore about Rodric Braithwaite's bestseller Moscow 1941 But those words and many Los ritos del agua: Trilogía de La Ciudad Blanca 2 (Autores Españoles e Iberoamericanos) others Heads, Features and Faces (Dover Anatomy for Artists) of praise that were given it could eually apply to his new boo Spoiler alert The Soviet Politburo was not keen to get directly involved with Afghanistan's political turmoil Evolve Level 4 Students Book other than supporting the pro communist government who took Professional Daily Fantasy Football over the country But got involved they did and Afghanistan became yet another piece in the Cold War chessboard Afgantsy is about the Russian soldier engineer translator nurse who served in that conflict and the legacy they left behind rise Stories for Boys of the Taliban yet another Mountain City occupation this time by the United States Will that country ever find peace?


10 thoughts on “Afgantsy

  1. says:

    “Don’t advance on Moscow” is the first rule of warfare according to the late Bernard Montgomery a British Field Marshal and victory of the Battle of El Alamein The second is don’t go fighting with your land army on the mainland of Asia The time has come I think to reverse the order here history has only two examples of failure before Moscow compared with the many examples of disaster in Asia; of disasters in particular in Afghanistan the charnel house of empireI once wrote that it should be compulsory for ever new incumbent of the White House to read The uiet American the novel by Graham Greene set in Vietnam during the last days of the French occupation Now another book has been published which should be compulsory reading for every western leader every neo con and every moral imperialist – Afgantsy the Russians in Afghanistan 1979 1989 by Rodric Braithwaite Sadly it has come ten years too late Actually I have a slight ualification here a point I will come to a little later onThere are few better ualified to tell the story of the tragic involvement of the old Soviet Union in Afghanistan than Sir Rodric Braithwaite once British ambassador to Moscow He begins with an intimate knowledge of Russia the Russian people and the Russian sources He also writes with understanding and sympathy for the veterans of this hopeless conflict the Afgantsy of the title who fought and suffered under the most appalling circumstances often caught between the ruthlessness of the enemy and the negligent indifference of their own commanders Put out of your mind the Red Army of 1943 to 1945 Think rather of the Imperial Army of 1914 to 1917 Braithwaite’s has a tale to unfold whose lightest word harrows up the blood It’s a story of suffering the suffering of the ordinary Russian soldiers mostly ill educated conscripts some 15000 of whom lost their lives; the suffering of the ordinary people of Afghanistan over a million of whom lost theirs often in the most dreadful circumstances It’s also a story of incompetence the political incompetence of the Kremlin sinking into geriatric senescence and the military incompetence of the Russian central command The political and strategic incompetence goes wider goes so far as Washington to an administration so anxious to avenge the humiliation of Vietnam that it was willing to offer support to the most antediluvian and obscurantist forces the mujahideen that was to morph into al aeda and the Taliban As late as 1998 ten years after the conflict ended Zbigniew Bzrezinski former security advisor to President Jimmy Carter continued to justify American support for the insurgents; What is important in the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet Empire? Some stirred up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the Cold War?Here we have the same kind of blindness that led Francis Fukuyama to announce the ‘end of history’ just before history leapt up and bit him and Bzrezinski on the arse It’s the blindness that caused Congressman Charles Wilson to describe Jalaluddin Haani the mujahideen commander as “goodness personified” This incarnation of goodness is now number three on America’s most wanted list The Soviet road to hell was paved with good intentions Although reluctant to intervene in the affairs of the country – contrary to Western perceptions at the time – they came hoping to make a difference to bring this medieval society into the modern age But the Afghans in the main have only ever wanted one thing to be left alone The British know this or should know this after some fairly disastrous interventions in the nineteenth century In fact soon after the Soviet invasion the Foreign Office helpfully provided the deputy Soviet foreign minister with an account of past involvements only to be told that this time it will be different But it wasn’t; it never could be Afghanistan is easy to occupy but impossible to hold a lesson that needs to be repeated time and again; the lesson that the Soviets ignored the lesson that George Bush and Tony Blair also ignored There might be some excuse for Bush smarting in the aftermath of 911; there is none for Blair given the Foreign Office warning given our history So hence my ualification above even in Afgantsy had been published years earlier it is doubtful if it would have made any difference to the strategic blindness of this stupid man We are now where we are where the Soviets once were the wolf is being held by the earsjust How to let go that’s the problem The Russians wanted out years before their final exit The problem was always to do so while retaining a degree of credibility the nightmare beueathed to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 Obama and Cameron would do well to pay heed to this brilliant and superbly researched account of a multi faceted tragedy In the end Afghanistan will be left to its own devices at a waste of so many lives and so much effort History speaks; it’s such a pity that we fail to listen


  2. says:

    The gist of this history occurs when Ambassador Braithwaite closes Chapter Nine by summarizing the Soviet military effort in Afghanistan “And so the Russians discovered as other armies have discovered in Afghanistan before and since that once you have taken the ground you need troops to hold it They might dominate the towns and the villages by day But the mujahedin would rule them by night They never broke the rebels’ grip on the countryside or closed the frontier through which the rebels received their supplies Their best efforts military and political went for nothing They eventually had no choice but to disentangle themselves as best they could” The book chronicles the Soviets’ internal and external efforts to extricate their forces from Afghanistan—efforts which started just about immediately by the way—and the devolving morale of a Soviet public that wasn’t supposed to ask detailed uestions about it I think the author has done a fine job of describing what Special Operations Forces and Intelligence units the Soviets sent in this is the best description I’ve seen and what the war was like for Afghans—both civilians and the muj I think the entire book—from the description of the 1979 Presidential Palace Coup to the inclusion of Igor Morozov’s 1988 poem that tees up Part III—includes a wealth of material unfamiliar to the Western audience and all of it deserves a look given what’s happening today in Afghanistan


  3. says:

    Authoritative book on the Russian Afghan intervention from the Russian perspective The author compares this war with French Algerian American Vietnamese French Vietnamese interventions The Russians tried to implement their well tried developmental model in Afghanistan with a lot of determination and I think they might have been successful if they had been given enough time by the Americans But the Americans wanted to get their revenge for their Vietnam humiliation so they armed and trained the Islamist mujaheddin knowing full well that once the Russians had left the Islamists would take over What did didn’t realise was that once they had managed to defeat Soviet Union they would be confronted by the very same enemyI found this aspect of this story a lot believing than the Westernised version of all invading Russian infidel army destroying hell bent on destroying every Afghan at random


  4. says:

    Nuanced and sophisticated; this is such a wholesome and very well researched book on the Russian invasion of Afghanistan following the next nine years of occupation Almost all the books I've read before on red army in Afghanistan describes the narrative of Mujaheddin and Pakistan America and CIA's combined help to bring down the soviets This is a uniue book of it's own kind narrating the Russian's side of the story the timeline of events is effectively put together; the author chose to divide the book into topical sections; each section encompasses the entire war; starting from Afghanistan's military coup of 1978 the gradual rise of disturbance between Tarakai and Amin the Russian decision to intervene the beginning of tragedy 40th Army going to war soldering fighting devastation disillusion the decision to go back; in a nutshell each and every aspect of the USSR in Afghanistan is covered with good research with a mix of interviews with the survivors Afgantsy is in fact Afghanistan through Russian eyes it shows a genuine depth of feelings for the incredible mix of tribal ethnic and religious identities of Afghanistan and of the USSR A good read for soviet and Asian history buffs


  5. says:

    An outstanding and highly readable account of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan Written by someone familiar with the USSR and Russia this book does not have the feel of many which touch the subject as having a particular partisan agenda to pursue In his treatment and analysis of the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan Braithwaite is fair and unsensational Importantly he looks at the time leading up to the arrival of Soviet forces in Afghanistan and the concerns among the CPSU about the conditions not being right for a revolutionary party such as the PDPA to attempt to sieze power If the PDPA had heeded the advice of Moscow in the first place things might have developed differently As Braithwaite shows the USSR was in a damned if it did and damned if it didn't situation In the end I beleive the USSR had little choice but to do what it did against its better judgement and with misgivings which all turned out to be pretty much correctBraithwaite spends a lit of time examining who the Soviet citizens in Afghanistan were Especially interesting are some of the stories of those who were motivated to carry out Internationalist duty assisting the progressive movement in Afghanistan in developing the countries economic and educational infrastructure Many Afghans especially women had opportunities which without Soviet support never would have been possibleThe fighting of the war is covered in detail and reveals all the usual muggle and horror of any military at war together with the inability to learn from the mistakes of those who went before and the costly need to learn from scratch Braithwaite shows clearly the phases through which the war passed before the eventual withdrawl having reached a stalemate that the Soviet Union could no longer commit to and with the USSR itself collapsing as a result of years of moribund leadership its own internal contradictions and as a result of Gorbachevs attempted reformsWhile not a theme or a subject really tackled in this book it is pretty clear that as the subseuent USUK intervention has foundPakistan is a large part of the problem within which the ISI feature large behind which stands Saudi money and fundamentalism The lack of resources available to the Soviet 40th Army to secure the PakistanAfghan border seriously undermined their efforts elsewhere As is clear from the text while the 40th Army was anything but militarily defeated the force was too small to hold territory which was taken often at great cost to the Soviet militaryEspecially instructive is the way the book investigates the way in which the war and Afghan situation was revealed or not to the citizens of the USSR and how returning troops were treated and subseuently how vetrans have been treated by the public and state It took the rise of Vladimir Putin before the sacrifice and suffering of the Soviet vetrans was acknowledged by the state and some effort was made to improve their lot WHile Braithwaite does not touch on the US invasion of Afghanistan he does not need to Anyone reading the book will be aware of paralels and differences and will draw their own conclusionsProbably the best book in English on the overall Soviet experience available Very highly recommended


  6. says:

    A fascinating and educational read


  7. says:

    The author of this book was the British ambassador to the USSR and then the Russian Federation but I highly appreciate his objective approach throughout the book which is about the causes of Soviet involvement in Afghanistan right up till the withdrawal of the troops and its aftermath from the Russian point of view One reason why I found this book interesting was that the author has uoted first hand experiences of those who were part of the battlefield In initial chapters the author establishes his case on how Afghanistan became a bone of contention between the British and Tsarist Russia Gradually author takes reader to the 1970’s when People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan PDPA coups against President Daud and how the infighting between the Khal and Parcham factions of PDPA led to a bloody power struggle which eventually coerce the Soviet Politburo to drag USSR into this pointless war which refutes the rampant propaganda at that time that USSR wanted an access to the Indian Ocean Although Soviets occupied Afghanistan history again repeated itself when it turned out to be an impossible land where the rulers had to negotiate to reach an arrangement to rule with the local groups who held sway in the region However the PDPA regime did not understand this and cajoled the local populace by imposing communism for which Afghanistan was not ripe Eventually this far from reality maneuver brewed resentment in the people against the PDPA regime Later the Politburo of Soviet Union made a grave mistake to end this political issue by means of military and to attain peace and stability in Afghanistan because of insecurity that PDPA regime may fall into the hands of Americans and the Southern region would become unstable Little did they know that they had got into a uagmire by creating and deploying an ill euipped army 40th Army which was not familiar with the local tribal customs and the mountainous terrain of the region and their enemy ie the mujahideen primarily supported by countries like Pakistan USA and Saudi Arabia were well familiarized with the terrain and the people which made them elusive and proficient in guerrilla tactics Moreover the 40th Army faced another enemy which was intangible in nature was a massive health problem both physical and mental particularly against the infectious diseases Sometimes the mental health issues eventually lead to suicide because the 40th Army had no psychiatrists till the mid 80’s and for some it exacerbated when the traumatized veterans were turned down in the USSR and also no efforts were made on their psychological rehabilitation There might be an element of biasedness in me but I found this book to be an authoritative account of this futile war However I believe that this book would have been great had the author covered the involvement of America and Pakistan in detail how arming the mujahideen was given priority over the non proliferation of Pakistan Also I felt lost at some places because of not being familiar with the Politburo of USSR and its role along with that of KGB After reading this book I felt sorry for both the Afghans and as well as the Soviet Army PS I would like to share some excerpts from this book below which I found interestingBut the soldiers’ attitude towards the professional singers was ambivalent However elouently these people sang they had not seen battle themselves Their music was artificial constructed for effect and over it some thought hung an atmosphere of commercial exploitation For the real thing the soldiers made their own music on the guitars they had taken with them to the war Or they listened to the songs of the soldier bards the people who had shared their trials songs which became very popular to the consternation of the authorities The songs were banned by the political censorship and the customs officers on the frontier cracked down heavily on attempts to bring taped versions into the Soviet Union None of this stopped the songs from circulating throughout the 40th Army


  8. says:

    Spoiler alert The Soviet Politburo was not keen to get directly involved with Afghanistan's political turmoil other than supporting the pro communist government who took over the country But got involved they did and Afghanistan became yet another piece in the Cold War chessboard Afgantsy is about the Russian soldier engineer translator nurse who served in that conflict and the legacy they left behind rise of the Taliban yet another occupation this time by the United States Will that country ever find peace?


  9. says:

    I was a senior in high school when the USSR invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 Shortly thereafter the US boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow and President Jimmy Carter reinstated Selective Service registration My mother wrote a letter of protest and actually received a reply from the White House Three years later when I was a junior in college majoring in journalism the Soviets were bogged down in Afghanistan and it was among the hottest stories that we studied My favorite professor told us that in his opinion anything that occurred in the last 25 years was current events Anything older was historyNow the Soviet war in Afghanistan ualifies as history according to him Afgansty The Russians in Afghanistan 1979 1989 fills in all of the blanks that the Western news media couldn't when the war raged Rodric Braithwaite was the British Ambassador to the USSR during that period so if any one is ualified to write a book about the Soviet War in Afghanistan he is Braithwaite writes like a journalist not a government official His writing is crisp and vivid He sorts out messy situations such as the power struggle between factions in the Afghan Communist Party and among the mujahideen He doesn't get mired in alphabet soup when writing about the various Soviet military units This is a fast moving exciting book His sources include official Soviet records and personal interviews with Red Army soldiers civilian volunteers and mujahideenBraithwaite dispels all of the misconceptions perpetuated by the Western news media throughout the 1980s The Soviets had not learned from the US mistakes in Vietnam They repeated them in Afghanistan The mujahideen did not incessantly savage the Soviets with Stinger missiles They were often happy to negotiate ceasefires to position themselves better against their adversaries fellow mujahideen The Soviets did commit atrocities but were rank amateurs compared to the mujahideen The Soviets did commit atrocities but they also tried very hard to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans and were respectful of Islam And the biggest misconception of all The Soviets invaded Afghanistan to seize a warm water port Where? Afghanistan is land locked According to Braithwaite they were working on a withdrawal plan from the moment they went inOf course the Western media did the best it could trying to report on a war waged by a closed society inside of another closed society However I vividly recall in 1980 a pervasive feeling that the Soviets were invincible Little did we know they were just as vulnerable as anybody all alongThis is a superb book


  10. says:

    Afgantsy is a good book to read about those Russian soldiers who have served in Afghanistn during the former USSR's occupation of the country There are a few accounts that I didn't know before like the death of the first Communist President Noor Mohammad Taraki the coup d'état against Hafizullah Amin etc By reading this book one can say that it is a déjà vu The same scenario is taking place in Afghanistan as the Nato and other coalition forces are preparing for the withdrawal of their forces from Afghanistan as the Russian did in 1989 The government and people are worried as they were at the time of Russian withdrawalIn general it is a good book for those who are interested in Afghanistan and its volatile history