Afghanistan: Feb. 15 marks 34th anniversary of Soviet withdrawal

Feb. 15, 2023, marks the 34th anniversary of the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan after a 10-year invasion.

The day has been celebrated every year by all governments and regimes that have ruled Afghanistan afterward. Taliban also commemorated the day at a meeting in Kabul on Wednesday.

Many have bitter experiences from the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the incidents that followed, changing the country’s political history.

Ahmad Alighur Darwazi, a resident of Herat in the west of Afghanistan, said he was part of the forces fighting the soviet troops back in the 1980s. He was 18 years old at the time, he said.

“In those days, all the people of Afghanistan were under the fire of the Soviet forces. It was the same as the current war in Ukraine. Afghanistan was the same at the time. But the Mujahideen defended their country with the least facilities in their access,” said Ahmad.

“Solidarity among Afghans and love for the country and faith in victory led to the defeat of the Soviet army,” he explained.

The withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan took nine months. It was followed by the emergence of mujahedeen, civil war and the emergence of the Taliban which is ruling Afghanistan for the second time in two and a half decades.

Ordinary Afghans said the Soviet invasion and the following incidents opened the way for disunity among the people and killed tens of thousands of Afghans.

“When the Soviet Union attacked us, we had a good government. But after that, we all became enemies and terrorists came to our country and made us miserable,” said Abdallah Mohammadi, a resident of Herat.

“Russia invaded Afghanistan with arrogance, but it failed and left miserably. The countries of the world should all understand and not invade our country anymore and leave us alone,” said Faiz Mohammad a Herat resident.

The Soviet invasion happened by deploying at least 120,000 troops to Afghanistan, equipped with heavy weapons.