The Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan by 15 February 1989, with their commander General Boris Gromov leading the last units across the Friendship Bridge over the Amu Darya river.
What they left behind was an Afghan government of Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai. The ISI and the CIA expected it to fall within weeks. It didn’t.
Continuing from where we left off during the previous episode — Panjshir, Afghanistan: Resistance then and now — this week Sudarshan and I take a look at the last days of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and its immediate aftermath.
If you’d like to find out more about this period, Sudarshan and I recommend the following books:
Massoud an intimate potrait by Marcella Grad
The Bear went over the mountain and its companion piece, the other side of the mountain both by Lester Grau
The great gamble by Gregory Fiefer
Ghost Wars by Steven Coll
On Afghanistan's plains by Jules Stewart (on the British wars in Afghanistan)
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