Russia marks 20 years of Soviet pullout from Afghanistan

February 15th, 2009 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Feb 15 (RIA Novosti) Russia is celebrating Sunday the 20th anniversary of the Soviet troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On Feb 15, 1989, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan, nine years after they swept into the country.

Ceremonies will be held all across Russia to lay flowers at the tombs of Soviet soldiers and officers who died in the Afghan war.

The war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving Soviet forces supporting the Marxist PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan) government against the largely Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen insurgents.

More than 14,000 Soviet troops and over a million Afghan civilians were killed in the conflict that began Dec 25, 1979.

The war had a profound impact on the Soviet Union and it has been cited as one of the key factors in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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