Afghanistan commemorates 35th anniversary of Soviet withdrawal

Feb. 15, 2023, marks the 35th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, concluding a 10-year occupation.

This day has been annually commemorated by successive Afghan governments and regimes, including the Taliban, who held a meeting in Kabul on Thursday to observe the occasion.

In a statement, the Taliban urged people to remain vigilant “against any types of conspiracy.”

Abdullah Abdullah, former head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, referred to the day as an unforgettable moment in Afghanistan’s history in a social media post.

The Soviet withdrawal, which took nine months, led to the rise of the mujahedeen, a civil war, and eventually, the Taliban’s ascendancy to power. This marks the Taliban’s second rule in Afghanistan in over two decades.

The Soviet invasion initially involved deploying about 120,000 troops, supported by heavy weaponry.