Russian Political Maneuvers & Hypocrisies in Afghanistan

Source: Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan (September 1981)


Sixty-odd years back when the last Tsarist ruler of Russia was overthrown and another selfish and greedy group captured the realm of power, the advice of Peter the Great about reaching the warm waters of the Indian Ocean became the cornerstone of the political and imperialist policies of the new regime. From the very beginning, the new government strived with its capabilities to implement this policy. Thus, territories and countries along the way were to be invaded and brought under Russian domination. Bukhara was the first victim of the colonial, and anti-human policy. Russians occupied Bukhara by force while the Islamic world and free nations kept silent, and watched with indifference. Learning a lesson from this lucid attitude, Russia took a step further and planned the occupation of Afghanistan impudently and fearlessly. The first step was to open a way in Afghanistan through the Kabul-Moscow agreement of Feb. 28, 1921. It brought under its influence people from every walk of life by different types of deceits and intrigues. During Zahir Shah’s reign when Daud Khan was Prime Minister, the Russians were able to prepare the ground for a total change in their benefit by utilizing the means and possibilities left open to them. Zahir sensed the danger. He didn’t want to lose his monarchy so soon. Therefore, he forced Daud Khan to resign and drew up a new Constitution.

But it was too late. The Russians had gotten control of all economic, political and military spheres. The cabinet was shuffled 5 times in less than 10 years. A strange crisis overtook Afghanistan under the name of liberty and democracy. This crisis was created by the Russians for their own benefit. Informed people knew well what a dreadful nightmare threatened Afghanistan. The Russians, who had spread their influence over military and educational systems and had bought up a number of agents, utilized the opportunity offered by the long absence of Zahir Shah. Through officers who were trained for this purpose in Russia, they overthrew the monarchy in a coup d’etat staged under the guidance of Daud Khan who eventually came to power.

Personal complexes of Daud Khan-the mad and ambitious tyrant that he was – and the conspiracies of Russian agents who had gathered around him gave the Russians the opportunity to eliminate a number of talented Muslims inside and outside the army. Thus, the way was paved for their real agents. The Russians used a double-faced sword. On the one hand, they wiped out the Islamic and national elements through Daud Khan, and on the other, they made Daud Khan himself hated by the people because of such deeds.

Finally, Daud Khan realized it was his turn to be eliminated. Therefore, he tried to save himself by settling the account with his Russian comrades and his coup conspirators. But the Russians did not give him the chance to do so. Once again they acted through their military advisors and Russian trained agents. In a bloody coup d’etat of April 27, 1978 (Saur 7, 1357), the Russians assassinated Daud Khan and all members of his family. They installed their old-time and trusted agent in power.

In less than two months, the people of Afghanistan realized the true nature of Taraki and recognized the real coup planners. They rose up and began their Holy Jihad against the puppet government. Because of the anti-human nature of communism, Taraki and his advisors did not hesitate to commit any type of crime and terror in countering this uprising. They did not show mercy even to ordinary workers and school children. But all this barbarism which was unprecedented in the history of our nation did not have the smallest effect on the determination of our people to struggle for safeguarding their believes and liberty. Soon the Russians learned that resisting the flood of anger and hatred of the Afghan nation was not an easy job. Realizing the situation, they worried about the destruction and downfall of their imposed puppet government,. The Russians called Taraki to Moscow and signed an agreement with him on December 5, 1978. The text of the treaty was not made public but future events as well as the curious remarks made by the Tass news agency, and speeches by Kremlin rulers revealed that the treaty stipulated that Russian troops could enter into Afghanistan in order to break down the heroic resistance of the Afghan people, thus saving the Taraki regime from downfall.

In the course of these plans and preparations for the occupation of Afghanistan, the Russians decided to play another game hoping to find an opportunity for suppressing the flames of anger and revenge of the Afghan people. They designed a plot for the assassination of Hafizullah Amin. The purpose behind the killing of Amin was to find a scapegoat and blame him for all the murders and catastrophes. Moreover, the Russians wanted to prepare the ground for the return of their old-time spy and genuine slave, namely Babrak Karmal. It should be noted that although Amin. and his criminal band did not hesitate to commit any kind of crime and treason, the truth of the matter was that they acted only within the limits of orders issued by their Russian masters. In fact, they were executioners who received their orders for imprisonment, torture, and murders from Moscow.

However, the Russian plot to assassinate Amin failed. The scene of Amin’s murder, which was supposed to take place in the presence of Posanov, the Russian Ambassador in Afghanistan, was reversed. Instead of Hafizullah Amin, Taraki himself fell into the trap and was killed a few nights later. The Russians became extremely upset by the failure of their plot. From the very beginning, it could be noticed that they would revenge the death of Taraki, and make up for their indignity and humiliation. Sooner or later, Amin’s term and life would have been terminated. Amin realized this and tried his best to calm down Russia’s anger by pretending to be its loyal and real servant. He tried to raise the slogan of “love of Russia” to the level of “love of motherland” during his term which lasted from September 17, 1979, to December 26, 1979. But Brezhnev was not affected by Amin’s servitude and ordered his assassination. Three days before Amin’s death, the Red Army with all its arms and ammunition began to enter Afghanistan. No one knew what was happening. On December 26, Amin was killed in an armed attack directed by General Papitan. The next day Babrak Karmal came to Kabul and was installed as Russia’s new puppet.


As mentioned, at the same time that Amin was killed and Babrak was installed, the Red Army flooded into Afghanistan and tried to take the control of the country. Babrak Karmal repeated to the Afghan nation by radio and newspapers whatever trickery and deception he had learned in Kremlin. He tried to make the people believe that only Amin was to be blamed for all the crimes, barbarism and cruelty committed in Afghanistan; and that the Russians did not have anything to do with it, and that they even felt sorry for it. But the freedom-loving nation of Afghanistan, who were familiar with Babrak’s dirty face, felt angry seeing the Russian troops invading their land; they disregarded Babrak’s allegations. Immediately they proclaimed Jihad and attacked the Red Army with whatever arms were available-even sticks and stones.The Russians had thought that they had destroyed the Afghan people’s spirit of militancy and love of freedom by the massacres and tortures that were committed during Taraki and Amin’s terms. They were surprised and terrified by the heroic uprising of the people and outrageously opened fire on defenseless people from air and ground. Tens of thousands of innocent women, children and old people were brutally killed.

Thousands of young men fought the Russian tanks and planes with empty hands and were martyred. Hundreds of villages and cities were mercilessly bombarded and crushed to the ground. The Russians had imagined they could force people into surrender and servitude by killing, burning, and terrorizing, but it proved wrong. Since servitude and imperialism are against the true nature of the genuine sons of Afghanistan, Russia with all barbarism and cruelty could not suffocate their cry for the truth and liberty. It could neither prepare the ground for the implementation of its imperialist design. The Afghan Mujahid Muslim nation had only two alternatives: DEATH OR FREEDOM.


After the Russian attack and occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and violation of the independence and national integrity of a free and non-aligned Muslim country which had lived free for centuries shook the world and added another page to the disgraceful history of Russian imperialism. Muslim countries and the free world could not see any reason or motive for Russia’s violation of human norms and international agreements. They showed a strong reaction and condemned the Russian invasion of Afghanistan as a barbaric act which was against all principles of peace and international relations. About 20 days after the invasion (January 14, 1980), a special session of the U.N. General Assembly was held, in which 104 countries condemned the Russian aggression and requested immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan. But Brezhnev, who had taken a giant step in reaching the long-time dream of Russia, was not ready to give it up so soon. Therefore, he did not honor the decision of the United Nations. A month later, the foreign ministers of various Muslim countries held a special session in Islamabad. While condemning the Russian invasion and requesting immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, the conference appointed a committee consisting of Foreign Ministers of Iran and Pakistan and the Secretary of the Islamic Conferences to hold talks with Kabul and Moscow and study the possibility of an international conference under the auspices of the U.N. These proposals were rejected by Moscow and the recognition of their puppet government in Kabul was put forward as the precondition of any discussions. In January 1980, the U.N. Commission for Human Rights issued a declaration in which withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan was requested. But none of these voices of hatred and indignation were able to pierce the deaf ears of the Kremlin rulers.

The Afghanistan issue was also discussed in an Islamic conference in London in April 1980. This conference also condemned the Russian invasion and demanded the total withdrawal of its troops. A month later, on May 14, the puppet Kabul Government issued an announcement in which Pakistan and Iran were invited to hold bilateral discussions with that “Government”. It agreed to include the possibility of withdrawal of Russian troops in the talks. The text if this announcement was brought by the Russian Ambassador from Moscow with the only exception that withdrawal of the troops was not mentioned in the draft. The reason for this proposal and other Russian diplomatic activities was the conference of the Foreign Ministers of Muslim countries which was held on May 17, 1980, in Islamabad. The Russians wanted to interrupt and weaken the impact of the discussions and decisions of this conference. At just about the time when the conference was beginning (May 17), Gromyko went to Austria and discussed the Afghanistan issue with Edmond Musky and Lord Carrington-U.S. and British Foreign Ministers. On May 19, Brezhnev went on a trip to Poland and held a 5-hour meeting with Giscard d’Estaing. The only purpose of all these maneuvers was to fool the world and give the impression that the Russians were ready for a political solution of the Afghanistan issue.

It seems that at the beginning, the operators of the imperialist policies of Moscow were worried about the reaction of the West and the Muslim world. They wanted to gauge the degree of their decisiveness on the Afghanistan issue through discussions and a conciliatory position. But once they found out about the firmness of Western and Muslim countries on Afghanistan, they intensified their obstinacy and increased their barbarism.

The second conference of the Foreign Ministers of Muslim states reaffirmed its past resolution and demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan. Pakistan rejected Kabul’s May 14 proposal and considered its acceptance as a recognition of the puppet regime.

On June 4, 1980, a three-member committee consisting of Foreign Ministers of Iran, Pakistan and the General Secretary of Islamic Conferences met in Tehran to discuss the Afghanistan issue within the framework of the resolutions of Conferences of Foreign Ministers of Muslim states. In the statement issued at the end of the meetings, the General Secretary was assigned to contact Moscow, Kabul, and leaders of Mujahideen groups. While the Tehran meetings were on, Gromyko rejected any effort in this matter as fruitless. Three days later, however, Brezhnev assured Indian Foreign Minister that Russian troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan provided that the U.S. and other concerned countries guarantee the security of that country.

On June 18, the three-member committee met again this time in Geneva. Moscow, the Kabul regime, and the Mujahideen groups were invited to take part in the discussions. The Mujahideen accepted the invitation but Moscow and its puppet in Kabul rejected it. The conference reaffirmed the decisions of the previous meeting. It was also felt that the committee was seeking some way to help the Mujahideen, or at least to provide humanitarian assistance to the oppressed nation of Afghanistan. Lest such a possibility become reality and also because of the on-coming conference of the seven industrialized countries, on June 22, the Russians announced that they were withdrawing a portion of their troops from Afghanistan. This was an obvious manoeuver to decrease the world hatred towards them and to divert the public opinion from the terror and anti-human conditions in Afghanistan. International news media, however, believed in the Russian lie and gave it a wide publicity. The Russian troops that were sent to the country consisted mostly of soldiers from Central Asian “Republics”. i.e., Tajik, Uzbek, and Turkestan. It was so because the Russian hoped that the Afghan people would show less resentment towards them for racial, linguistic, and religious similarities. But the Russian plot worked against them. Once the Muslim soldiers realized that they were not fighting against Americans and Chinese troops – as they were told – rather against their Muslim brothers who had waged Jihad for safeguarding their liberty, faith, and homeland, they showed sympathy and stopped fighting. The new development scared Brezhnev and other Kremlin rulers. They recalled the Muslim soldiers lest they learn militancy from their Afghan brothers. Instead, they sent several times more genuine Russians as well as Cubans, East Germans and Czech soldiers to replace them.

Russia reached its goal of making the results of international conferences less effective by announcing a partial withdrawal of its troops in Afghanistan, whereas, in fact, it sent more troops. This announcement was also meant for domestic consumption. Kremlin rulers were afraid of objections to their anti-human political and military programmes (though criticism and objection are not allowed in communist systems). Therefore, they put forward the allegation that conditions in Afghanistan had returned to normal and they would withdraw a large number of their troops. It is interesting to note that at the time such a remark was made, the Russian authorities warned Iran not to help Afghan Mujahideen – proving the Afghan expression that “the liar has a bad memory”. (And it is not certain what help Iran had provided to the Mujahideen).

On June 22, the same day that the Russian announced a partial withdrawal of its troops, the U.S. Congress discussed the Afghanistan issue in its official session and requested immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops. On June 25, 1980, American authorities presented an unofficial proposal to their Russian counterparts in which all the important points which Russia considered as a precondition of withdrawal of its troops were accepted. The friendship of the future government with Russian and the safety of pro-Russian elements were guaranteed. Russian troops were to be withdrawn during a transitional period under the supervision of troops from non-aligned U.N. members and especially from Muslim countries. But the Russian rejected this proposal with its usual obstinacy and shamelessness. Thus, it even did not accept what it had requested for itself time and again.

The resolution of NATO foreign ministers on June 27, and the trip of Helmet Schmidt to Moscow and his meeting with Brezhnev on June 30 were other international efforts to make Russia withdraw its troops. But the Kremlin rulers responded with absurd and meaningless statements and ignored all the international pressures.

In October 1980, the Russian Ambassador in Iran met with Rafsanjani, Speaker of Iranian Islamic Council. In this meeting, the Ambassador asserted that Afghans were brave people and no one could impose a foreign ideology on them. He also spoke of a peaceful, and political solution to the Afghanistan problem. Political observers were amazed by such assertions. They felt that the Russians were preparing for another intrigue. Such a hypotheses won credibility when BBC spoke of basic changes in Afghanistan and disclosed that the Russians were considering installing Zahir Shah into power.

It seems that the reason for such assertions and reports was that the Russian domestic political situation was very critical at this time. There was even a possibility of Brezhnev being removed from power. To correct the situation, Brezhnev called Babrak to Moscow on October 15, 1980. In their meetings and conferences, as well as through radio and T.V., they both tried to pretend that the situation was normal in Afghanistan, and all the news about fighting, killings, destructions and Russian barbarism was made up by “imperialists”. Babrak praised Brezhnev for his help and statesmanship. In return, Brezhnev announced his firm support of Babrak and rejected all requests for the withdrawal of Russian troops. He considered the acceptance of Kabul’s May 14 proposal as the only solution to the Afghanistan problem. Thus, once again he gave away the world demand and the rights of the Afghan people. He forgot the hypocritic positions he had taken earlier and the maneuvers he had played.

Two other cases of condemnation of Russian invasion and request for immediate withdrawal of its troops came in the Madrid Conference on European Security (November 12, 1980) and in the U.N. General Assembly (November 20, 1980). The Madrid Conference failed to reach any general agreement because the Russian representative did not have any logical reason and instead resorted to power politics and obstinacy. In the U.N. General Assembly, 112 countries voted for the resolution requesting withdrawal of foreign (Russian) troops from Afghanistan and assigning a special representative by the U.N. Secretary-General for finding a political solution to the problem. The Russians rejected this resolution – text of which was prepared by Pakistani representatives – and termed it as interference in the domestic affairs of Afghanistan.

How strange! and what a shamefacedness! as if the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and the killing of millions of free innocent people was not interference. Even to discuss this issue and to object to this invasion is considered intervention! Indeed such a logic and reasoning can only be found in the Russian imperialist dictionary!

On December 1, 1980, Brezhnev went on a four-day trip to India. Once again he justified the presence of Russian troops in Afghanistan. But in the meantime, he stressed security of the Persian Gulf and opposed any intervention in the region. Such declarations and speeches have always been put forward by Russian imperialists but in practice, they have always acted against them.

At the beginning of January 1981, Agha Shahi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, announced that Pakistan was ready to hold talks with the Kabul regime provided that such talks were not considered as recognition of the puppet government. He explained that such negotiations could take place within the framework of decisions of the Conference of Muslim States and the November 20, 1980, Resolution of the U.N. General Assembly. Thus, he said, Afghan Mujahideen should not be worried. Five days later, Anahita, a Russian agent, and a puppet minister announced in Delhi that Kabul was ready for such talks. This was the first time that the Kabul puppet regime agreed to negotiations which did not amount to its recognition.

These diplomatic efforts and political maneuvers which were organized in Delhi under the supervision of Indira Gandhi were not meant to have any practical outcome. They were only for deceiving the world and public opinion. It is interesting to contrast this mild and compromising portion of the puppet regime with Brezhnev’s strong and inflexible posture in India. One of the reasons for the new turn in the Russian position was the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in which the people of the world expressed their strong indignation and hatred. Many anti-Russian demonstrations were held in different parts of the world, several Russian embassies were attacked and Russian flags set on fire.

Another reason for the flexibility in the Russian position might have been Sadat’s promise to provide arms to Afghan Mujahideen and Lord Carrington’s admiration of the countries that helped the Mujahideen in their fight for the defense of their liberty and homeland. Kremlin rulers, including Brezhnev – the madman of power and tyranny – were alarmed at such remarks. Diplomatic activates in Moscow, Delhi and Kabul were intensified, and the Russian agents in other parts of the world were ordered to seek countering solutions.

The 3rd factor for the acceptance of the Pakistani proposal by the Kabul regime was the summit conference of the Muslim states which began on January 17 in Mecca and ended on January 28 in Taif, Saudi Arabia. The purpose of the Russians in ordering the change in Kabul’s policy was to weaken the spirit of the discussions and decisions of the conference, its outcome was very weak. It even avoided condemning Russia for its invasion and innumerable crimes.

In addition to the conference of the head of states of Muslim countries, through the new manoeuver, Russia wanted to influence the conference of the non-aligned countries which began on February 9, 1981, by Mrs. Gandhi in Delhi. But this time in spite of the diplomatic efforts by Russia and its agents, Russia was not that successful. The resolution of the conference issued on February 13, requested the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan and asked Afghanistan to make conditions conducive in the country for the return of the refugees to their land without any fear and that people had the chance to determine their own form of government. But Shah Mohammad Dost, foreign minister of the Kabul puppet government rejected the resolution.

The Russians, who were disappointed by the results of the conference, opened the 26th Congress of their Communist Party on February 23, 1981. In this Congress, once more Brezhnev stated clearly that Russian troops would remain in Afghanistan until the complete cessation of guerilla attacks on that country. This was the true position of Russia and it contradicted the face it and its agents had put before the international conference.

In March 1981, Ronald Reagan, President of the U.S.A., stated that he would consider providing arms to the Afghan freedom-fighters if they asked him to do so. This statement provided a good excuse for the Russians to intensify their barbarism and to bring more troops into Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, the Russians had suffered heavy casualties by now and the Afghan Army which was in the front line had almost disintegrated. The Russians were forced to bring more troops for countering the Mujahideen’s strong resistance and heroic fighting. They did so and used Russian military assistance (expressed by Babrak at the order of Russians on May 10, 1981) for justification.

At the end of July 1981, Brezhnev stated explicitly that his government would increase its troops in Afghanistan at the request of the “Kabul regime”. This statement came after Babrak’s sudden trip to Moscow in the second half of July. Political observers had speculated that his trip was related to Lord Carrington’s proposal for solving the Afghanistan problem. Carrington made a trip to Moscow on July 5 to discuss his proposal which was supported and adopted by the European Common Market. Gromyko rejected the proposal on the excuse that the “Kabul Government” was not included in the first round of the proposed international conference. Babrak, called by Brezhnev to Moscow, also rejected the proposal and instead requested for more Russian troops.

Russian diplomatic maneuvers were restored and intensified just before the present session of the U.N. General Assembly. Javier Perez de Guellar’s-U.N. General Secretary’s special envoy trip to Kabul and Islamabad was the beginning of the new maneuvers. After his trip in mid-August, he expressed hope for finding a political solution to the Afghanistan problem. Later it was announced that during his trip, foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan had agreed to hold indirect talks during their trips to the United Nations for participation in the General Assembly. On August 24, 1981, Nicolai Feryubin-Russian deputy foreign minister made a trip to Pakistan. A trip by such a high-level Russian diplomat was unprecedented in the past five years. In the meantime, the Kabul puppet regime put forward a new proposal for solving the Afghanistan issue. This proposal was the same as the old May 14, 1980, proposal with minor changes.

The President of Pakistan, however, considered it as indicating “considerable flexibility” in Kabul’s attitude. Moreover, Pakistani authorities did not mention anything about Afghanistan and the invasion of Russian troops of that country in their public speeches addressed to the Russian deputy foreign minister. After his trip to Pakistan, Firyubin went to India to put the henna of the blood of innocent Afghan people in Indira Gandhi’s hands and to expand Russian diplomatic efforts through her. In the meantime, Shah Mohammad Dost, foreign minister of the puppet Kabul regime, made several trips to Arab and South Asian countries including India.

Russia’s main purpose of the new maneuvers was to create an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation just before the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. The Russians hoped that by such tricks they can make the world forget their rejection of U.N. resolutions or ignore the killing, robbing, destruction, bloodshed, barbarism, and crimes they committed in Afghanistan. They also wanted to force Pakistan to soften its position and not to put forward drafted resolutions such as the one a year before.


The Russians and on top, Brezhnev can win the first prize for shamelessness. From the very beginning, they claimed that their troops entered Afghanistan at the request of the Kabul Government and in accordance with Item 51 of the U.N. Charter. The baselessness of such a claim is obvious to almost everyone. Nonetheless, a brief explanation is presented here to remove any doubt that might still exist:

1- Item 51 of the U.N. Charter applies only to legal governments. Taraki and Amin regimes were puppet governments installed by Russia, thus lacking any kind of legitimacy. Not only did they not come to power through legal means, but the Afghan people rejected their rule and rose up against them.

2- If by “Afghanistan Government” Russian meant Taraki, he was removed from his position several months before the invasion and put to death. And if it meant Amin’s regime, it is illogical to argue that Amin asked Russian troops to come, kill him and replace him with Babrak. And if by “Afghanistan Government” Russia meant Babrak, he was in Russia at the time of invasion and not installed to power yet.

Several other reasons can be put forward to prove that Russian claims were unjustified and groundless. Item 51 of the U.N. Charter, as well as Item 103 of that Charter and Item 53 of the 1954 Vienna Convention all rule to the condemnation of the Russian invasion.

This was a summary of Russian deceptions, hypocrisies, and political maneuvers presented to the world and especially to the national representatives who have gathered at the center of human ideals and hopes (i.e., the United Nations). This is a reminder not to forget the Russian invasion, bloodshed, oppression and barbarism, and not to forget the Afghan people’s misery, bloodbath, homelessness and human rights. Hearken the call for justice and liberty by millions of orphans, widows, and refugees who have lost whatever they had because of Russian barbarism and savageness.

The oppressed Afghan nation sincerely hopes that the free nations of the world would remember their millions of fellow human beings who were savagely attacked by air and ground every day just for their love of liberty and justice and their defense of their faith and homeland. The free nations should give thanks for the blessing of liberty, and they should fulfill the responsibility history has by chance put upon their shoulders. From the top of the U.N. marble palace, the national representatives to the United Nations should watch in the mirror of their conscience and heart the scenes of massacres, bombardment, destruction, and crimes committed by Russians in Afghanistan. It is up to them whether they hear our voice and present it to the tribunal of history or not. They should know that this is the voice of the young men from their bloodbaths. This is the voice of thousands of orphans and disabled persons from the bottom of valleys and the hearth of deserts. This is the voice of old men and women from the midst of flames of blood and fire. This is the voice of tens of thousands of widows raised from their hearts. And this is the voice of millions of men and women driven out of their homes and their towns by the tyrant savage Russians.