Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan
INTRODUCTIONAfghanistan isn't a country. And half a year has gone by since it's been a war. For those who were there, Afghanistan is more like a prayer. Others believed that Brezhnev himself was the chief cause of the war. Brezhnev, the theory goes, made the decision to invade Afghanistan because... show more
INTRODUCTIONAfghanistan isn't a country. And half a year has gone by since it's been a war. For those who were there, Afghanistan is more like a prayer. Others believed that Brezhnev himself was the chief cause of the war. Brezhnev, the theory goes, made the decision to invade Afghanistan because he was infuriated by blatant insolence on the part of Amin. During Taraki's brief stay in Moscow (on his way from Havana to Kabul), Brezhnev had hugged and kissed him. Only a few days later, Amin ousted Taraki from the post of president and ordered his assassination. A. A. Gromyko, the former minister of foreign affairs of the USSR, recalled, "The assassination of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the PDPA Taraki, whose government was asking us for help, brought the situation to a critical point. This brutal act was a terrible blow to the Soviet leaders. L. I. Brezhnev was especially shaken by his death." The punishment was not long in coming. According to Amin's widow, a crack team of Soviet commandos stormed the palace and killed Amin after his cook, a Soviet agent, had tried unsuccessfully to poison him. Babrak Karmal, who arrived in Kabul in a Soviet armored car after Amin's death, immediately declared himself the new ruler of Afghanistan and accused Amin of having been an agent of the CIA. He went so far as to demand that the U.S. government hand over secret documents that would confirm this. The Soviet press actively supported this version. There is little question that KGB higher-ups were genuinely worried by Amin's activities. They were concerned about his extremist internal security policy, including the terrorization of clergy, intelligentsia, and party workers, as well as his increasing contact with representatives of the United States and Pakistan. Several times Amin had offered to meet with Brezhnev at any time and in any place, but Moscow remained silent. Indeed, it may have been the Soviet Union's failure to respond
Publish date: 28-04-2001
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English