By Rodric Braithwaite
In a well timed and eye-opening e-book Rodric Braithwaite examines the Russian adventure in that the majority fresh conflict in Afghanistan (after Alexander's conquests and the numerous British imperial wars and skirmishes). mostly basing his account on Russian resources and interviews he exhibits the conflict during the eyes of the Russians themselves - politicians, officials, infantrymen, advisers, journalist, ladies. As former ambassador to Moscow, Rodric Braithwaite brings designated insights to the Soviet warfare in Afghanistan. the tale has been distorted not just through chilly battle propaganda but in addition through the myths of the 19th century nice video game. It strikes from the excessive politics of the Kremlin to the lonely Russian conscripts in remoted mountain outposts. The parallels with Afghanistan this present day communicate for themselves. 'A impressive success of narrative background, delicate writing and intriguing clean research': so wrote Simon Sebag Montefiore approximately Rodric Braithwaite's bestseller Moscow 1941. yet these phrases, etc of compliment that got it, might both practice to his new ebook.
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Additional info for Afgantsy - The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89
And when push came to shove, it was the views of the countryside that prevailed and derailed the best efforts of the reformers. Imperial Russia Moves South From the eighteenth century onwards new predators began to circle round the struggling Afghan state. 4 Their expansion was not unopposed. They clashed with the Turkish and Persian empires, and soon came to see the less sophisticated states of Central Asia as a threat, an opportunity, and a barrier to any ambitions they had towards Afghanistan and the riches of India beyond.
Once the coup had taken place, the Soviet government had little choice but to give the new Communist government their full support. The new leaders immediately set up a Revolutionary Council as the supreme political organ of the new Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Taraki was named Head of State and Prime Minister, Karmal became his deputy, and Amin the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Watanjar, Rafi, and Kadyr were all given government posts. Although the portfolios were evenly distributed between Khalq and Parcham, Amin retained his influential links in the army.
Social and political dissatisfaction increased with the return of young Afghans who had been sent abroad for technical or military 18 AFGANTSY training. Between 1956 and 1978 nearly seven thousand Afghan students attended Soviet academic and technical institutions. 3 All these institutional changes, admirable as they were in principle, had little support among the Afghan people. The number of educated and reform-minded Afghans grew in Kabul and some of the other towns. But they had very little influence in the villages, which remained under the sway of tribal leaders, landlords, and mullahs.
Afgantsy - The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89 by Rodric Braithwaite