Nearly twenty-five years ago, the Soviet Union pulled its last
troops out of Afghanistan, ending more than nine years of direct
involvement and occupation.
The USSR entered neighboring Afghanistan in 1979, attempting to
shore up the newly-established pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. In
short order, nearly 100,000 Soviet soldiers took control of major
cities and highways.
Rebellion was swift and broad, and the Soviets dealt harshly with
the Mujahideen rebels and those who supported them, leveling
entire villages to deny safe havens to their enemy.
A low-flying Afghan helicopter gunship in snow-capped valley along Salang
highway provides cover for a Soviet Convoy sending food and fuel to Kabul.
Soviet soldiers direct tank traffic outside Kabul on January 7, 1980.
Afghans wait outside the Kabul central Pulicharkhi prison on January 14,
1980, days after the Moscow-installed regime of Babrak Karmal took over.
Afghan refugees flee fighting, entering Pakistan in May of 1980.
Afghan guerrillas, armed and equipped with motorcycles
prepare for action with Soviet and government forces.
A mujahideen, a captain in the Afghan army before deserting, poses
with a group of rebels near Herat, Afghanistan, on February 28, 1980.
Three Muslim rebels pose on horseback during a rebel
meeting at village near Herat on February 15, 1980.
Soviet troops on the move in Afghanistan, mid-1980s.
A troop of Muslim rebels on February 21, 1980.
Two Soviet soldiers taken prisoner by the Afghan resistance forces.
Afghan guerrillas atop a downed Soviet MI-24 helicopter gunship.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan meets with a group of Afghan
Freedom Fighters to discuss Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan.
Afghan guerrilla leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, center, is surrounded
by Mujahideen commanders at a meeting of the rebels.
Two Soviet Army soldiers emerge from an Afghan
shop in downtown Kabul on April 24, 1988.
Aftermath of a village along the Salang Highway, shelled and destroyed.
Mujahedeen positioned on rooftops about 10 kilometers
from Herat, keeping watch for Russian convoys.
Soviet soldiers work with two German Shepherd dogs trained to sniff out
explosives in and around their base near Kabul on May 1, 1988.
Muslim anti-aircraft gunners in eastern on July 20, 1986.
A Soviet soldier smokes a cigarette at a checkpoint of the Soviet military
airport in Kabul on February 10, 1989 as the other one forbids pictures.
As the planned withdrawal of Soviet troops begins, Afghan troops are trained
and supplied to take their place. Here, a soldier crawls with his comrades,
during a training session in Kabul on February 8, 1989.
Police and armed Afghan militiamen walk amid the debris after a bomb,
allegedly placed by the Mujahideen rebels, exploded in downtown Kabul.
Afghan firefighters carry the body of a young girl killed in a
powerful bomb blast in downtown Kabul on May 14, 1988.
Red Army soldiers stand for review on October 19, 1989, in downtown
Kabul during a parade, shortly before they returned to the Soviet Union.
A Red Army soldier smiles as Soviet Army troops stop in Kabul
prior to their withdrawal from Afghanistan, on May 16, 1988.
A column of Soviet armor and military trucks moves up the
highway toward the Soviet border on February 7, 1989.