Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89

Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89

by Rodric Braithwaite

Paperback(New Edition)

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The story of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is well known: the expansionist Communists overwhelmed a poor country as a means of reaching a warm-water port on the Persian Gulf. Afghan mujahideen upset their plans, holding on with little more than natural fighting skills, until CIA agents came to the rescue with American arms. Humiliated in battle, the Soviets hastily retreated. It is a great story-but it never happened.

In this brilliant, myth-busting account, Rodric Braithwaite, the former British ambassador to Moscow, challenges much of what we know about the Soviets in Afghanistan. He provides an inside look at this little-understood episode, using first-hand accounts and piercing analysis to show the war as it was fought and experienced by the Russians. The invasion was a defensive response to a chaotic situation in the Soviets' immediate neighbor. They intended to establish a stable, friendly government, secure the major towns, and train the police and armed forces before making a rapid exit. But the mission escalated, as did casualties. Braithwaite does not paint the occupation as a Russian triumph. To the contrary, he illustrates the searing effect of the brutal conflict on soldiers, their families, and the broader public, as returning veterans struggled to regain their footing back home.

Now available in paperback, Braithwaite carries readers through these complex and momentous events, capturing those violent and tragic days as no one has done before.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199322480
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 734,242
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Rodric Braithwaite was British ambassador in Moscow from 1988 to 1992, and is now chairman of the International Advisory Council of the Moscow School of Political Studies. He is the author of Moscow 1941 and Across the Moscow River.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Road to Kabul
1. Paradise Lost
2. The Tragedy Begins
3. The Decision to Intervene
4. The Storming of the Palace
5. Aftermath

Part 2: The Disasters of War
6. The 40th Army Goes to war
7. The Nationbuilders
8. Soldiering
9. Fighting
10. Devastation and Delusion

Part 3: The Long Goodbye
11. Going Home
12. The Road to the Bridge
13. The War Continues
14. A Land fit for Heroes

The Reckoning

Annex 1: Timeline 1747-2001.
Annex 2: Leading Personalities
Annex 3: Order of Battle of the 40th Army
Annex 4: The Alliance of Seven and its leaders
Annex 5: Indochina, Vietnam, Algeria, Afghanistan: A Comparison

Sources and Bibliography

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