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The tragedy and valor of Afghan

Major General Alexander Antonovich Lyakhovsky

"Afghan War" Dedicated to Soldiers - Valiant Knights of their Fatherland.

In May 1989, a week after another trip to Afghanistan, while testing a new technique with a shell fragment, my right leg was broken. It was especially offensive that this happened not in a combat situation, but as a result of an error in the calculations of the designers.

More than eight months had to be spent in hospital wards. It was lucky that he fell into the hands of such a doctor as the Doctor of Medical Sciences, an Afghan colonel V.K. Nikolenko, who saved more than one thousand of the wounded and sick. He performed the operation masterly and saved my leg.

At that time, Afghan topics were in the center of attention of the Soviet public. However, many of the materials that were published at that time were guilty of inaccuracies, bias, or were the speculations of their authors. I had never thought of writing about Afghanistan before, but reading these fables, I was only amazed at my ability to distort and alter everything, and therefore, taking advantage of the forced idleness, I decided to describe my vision of the events that took place in this country. However, some Soviet leaders were not interested in the people learning the truth about Afghanistan, and therefore information about this war was kept secret. There was no access to documents even after the end of the war. Personal contacts helped, as well as the fact that I myself had to prepare a lot of reports, letters, and other documents. It only remained to regret my own hindsight, because when leaving Kabul we burned a huge number of documents, believing that we would never need them again. At that time, no one thought about researchers. However, not only we did this, so much was lost forever.

In 1990, the documentary novel On the Scorched Land of Afghanistan was published in several issues of the Army magazine. Unfortunately, at that time it was not possible to write everything that I would like to write in it, but this story found positive responses from Afghans, and when summing up the results of the competition for the best materials published in military journals in 1990, for this story I was awarded the first encouraging Prize of the Minister of Defense of the USSR. This served as an incentive to start work on the book. The journalist Vyacheslav Zabrodin helped me a lot with this.

Although much has already been written about the war in Afghanistan, there is still no complete picture of events and a comprehensive analysis, showing the actions of Soviet troops and PDPA forces. There are still many blank spots that are unknown to a wide range of readers.

In the book "The Tragedy and Valor of Afgan" I tried to fill this gap. But the topic of the "Afghan war" is so multifaceted that I only managed to touch on it. Much still awaits its explorer. Here, from the position of an army officer, the Afghan epic of the Soviet troops is interpreted through the prism of the rivalry between the two superpowers, which clashed in this country in the 70s and 80s. At the same time, the main emphasis is placed on documentary material (reports, reports, speeches, recommendations) and memories of direct participants in the events, sometimes to the detriment of the author's text. It is to some extent even overloaded with documents, but I deliberately took this step, because they are the most impartial witnesses of the events in Afghanistan.

The "Afghan war" is history. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the situation, there is reason to believe that the Soviet leadership was drawn into this war as a result of well-organized strategic misinformation as part of a global operation, which had the ultimate goal of eliminating the socialist camp and the collapse of the USSR. This was the last war of the Soviet Union, but not the last on earth, so its lessons and experience are very instructive in our turbulent times, especially in terms of their use in peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN and in resolving various kinds of conflicts.

After all, the "Afghan war" once again proves that relying on force as a means of achieving a political goal is often untenable.

Chapter I

April military coup - the beginning of the tragedy of Afghanistan

On April 27, 1978 (7 saur in 1357 according to the Afghan calendar), a military coup took place in Afghanistan under the leadership of a group of officers, but it was announced to the whole world that it was a revolution, and a socialist one. There she was called Saurskaya, in the Soviet Union. Apparently, there is no doubt that few people in the world would have shown special interest in this coup if this “revolution” had not been received with satisfaction by the leadership of the CPSU, and from the very beginning it did not cause a negative reaction from the Americans and was not regarded by them as strengthening of the positions of the Soviet Union in this region. In a secret memorandum, US Assistant Secretary of State at the time, Harold Saunders, immediately warned: “We need to consider the mixture of nationalism and communism in the new leadership and strive to avoid pushing the regime into a closer embrace of the Soviet Union than it could possibly wish. On the other hand, anti-regime elements in Afghanistan will watch us vigilantly to determine whether we give tacit consent or accept the communist seizure of power ... Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and our other friends in the area will perceive the situation as clearly Soviet coup ... "

This event took place in one of the most backward and poorest countries in the world (according to the state of economic development in 1977, Afghanistan ranked 108th out of 129 developing countries) with extremely primitive forms of management and limited internal resources.

Afghanistan, within its present-day borders, is located on the eastern part of the Iranian Highlands, which is the most extensive, driest, and most deserted of the highlands of the Near and Middle East. Four-fifths of the Afghan territory is occupied by the mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush, Kokhi-Baba, Paropamiz. The absolute heights of the mountains here range from 3000 to 7750 m above sea level. There are no railways, all movement around the country is carried out along a few highways and mountain paths, and more recently by air.

In the north, on the border with the states of Central Asia, the Hindu Kush ridge is located. In the east of Afghanistan, the Suleiman Mountains stretch along the border with Pakistan. It is dominated by waterless, rocky mountain-desert and mountain-steppe terrain.

Between the Hindu Kush and the Suleiman mountains, the Ghazni-Kandahar plateau is located, which occupies about 20% of the country's territory.

In the south, there are practically dead areas without water and vegetation - the sandy deserts of Khash, Dashti-Margo (desert of death) and Registan (land of sands). They stretch for 540 km from west to east, and 580 km from north to south. The country's population lives mainly in river valleys, wide gorges and oases. The habitat and living conditions have left a certain imprint on the formation and development of Afghan society.

Afghanistan has largely survived since ancient times due to a number of peculiar conditions, including the inaccessibility of the territory and the subsequent isolation of the country. In some deep mountainous regions, the foot of a European has not yet set foot. Being, as it were, aloof from world civilization, Afghanistan “froze” at the stage of feudalism with deep tribal foundations and traditions and even a communal-patriarchal way of life.

Before the April military coup, 90% of the country's population lived in rural areas, where power belonged to feudal lords, tribal leaders, and mullahs. The working class was practically absent (workers in small factories, artisans, etc.). More than 13 million people were sedentary, and about 3 million Afghans were nomadic or semi-nomadic. Most of the population (about 90%) was illiterate.

In spiritual life, Islam ruled everywhere, and in its most conservative forms. In addition, the country is multilingual and multi-tribal, without an established single nation, it was torn apart by national-ethnic and feudal-internecine strife.


Located on the trans-Asian routes along which trade and cultural exchange between the West and the East took place, Afghanistan was constantly raided by all kinds of conquerors (Alexander the Great, nomadic Hephthalite tribes, Turkic tribes, the hordes of Genghis Khan, etc.). Lacking visible riches, the country did not arouse the greed of its powerful neighbors, and if they did "enter" it, then for a very short time. For centuries, this has formed a sense of freedom and independence among the people. Resources here were scarce, the latter had to be shared. And this brought people together, and hospitality became a characteristic feature of the people. But the same poverty, on the other hand, prompted the search for funds and wealth outside the area of ​​residence. Look for them by raiding, stealthily, robbery and pretense, and from here such distinctive features as greed, predatory instincts, pharisaism, deceit and treachery. The hot and dry climate of the Suleiman Mountains also influenced the people, in the sense of developing a burning temperament at the heart of their psyche: hot temper, fervor, vindictiveness ...

The conquests of the Arab Caliphate, which began in the 7th century, gave impetus to the spread of Islam and development based on its interaction with the local traditions of the new culture. The Muslim religion on the territory of Afghanistan ousted the Buddhist and Christian sects that existed there before, as well as other religious beliefs. Only surviving architectural monuments now remind of them, for example, the Buddhist complex Khadda (near Jalalabad), the cave city in Bamiyan with two giant sculptures of Buddha carved into the rocks (37 and 53.5 m), etc.

Undoubtedly, Afghans have a big imprint on their belonging to one of the world religions - Islam. The Afghans' own traditions trace their conversion to Islam to the 9th century AD. e., but there are other sources that "timed" such an important event only to the XIII century. This is because different tribes converted to Islam at different times. It is known that this religion has its own laws, its own attitude towards representatives of other religions. As a Muslim, an Afghan always keeps in the depths of his consciousness a certain, stable feeling for a person of another religion. And no matter how the relationship developed with him, no matter how he welcomed a European (Englishman, Russian, etc.) or an American, no matter what friendly feelings he showed at the same time, in reality he always has a deep distrust of them and often even indomitable enmity.

Afghans have always been militant. Mahmud Ghaznian (XI century AD), for example, used their services in his campaigns, recruiting from them detachments that smashed India with him. As a reward for this, he gave the Afghans to settle the lands around Ghazni, Kabul and Peshawar.

As the ancient Iranian and Hindu populations were exterminated by the invasions of the Mongols and Turks, the Afghans descended from the mountains and ascended from wild gorges, occupied plains and valleys, partly continuing their nomadic lifestyle, partly turning to agriculture. The recognized and proven ability of Afghans to assimilate foreign tribes also quickly spread, expanded the limits of their settlement and increased their numbers.

So, in the X-XII centuries. the territory of Afghanistan was part of the state of the Ghaznavids and Gurids (XII century), in the XIII century. it was invaded by the hordes of Genghis Khan (the Mongols depopulated the country for many years, destroyed its political and cultural centers), and from the end of the XIV century. came under the rule of Timur, and then Timurids.


In 1880, the new emir of Kabul, Abdurrahman Khan, managed to achieve political unification of the country and stabilization of its external borders. The centralized Afghan state was formed again.

In 1919, Amanullah-khan came to power in the country (after his father Khabibullah-khan, who ruled on the throne since the beginning of the 20th century, was killed near Jalalabad). On 28 February, Amanullah Khan declared his country's independence at the main mosque in Kabul. Russia was the first power to recognize the independent state of Afghanistan (March 27, 1919) and to establish diplomatic relations with it. Moreover, despite its own difficulties (hunger, devastation), gratuitous assistance was provided to the southern neighbor (1 million rubles in gold, 5 thousand rifles and several aircraft). England, on the other hand, did not recognize the independence of the Afghan state, and concentrated large strike forces near its borders. In May 1919, the third Anglo-Afghan war began. But the British leadership came to the conclusion that this does not meet the national interests of their state, and soon an armistice was declared (although the superiority in men and weapons was on the side of England, and a multiple superiority - 340 thousand British troops against only 40 thousand Afghan). Under the Rawalpinda Treaty on August 8, 1919, Great Britain recognized the independence of Afghanistan.

On November 28, 1921, the Soviet-Afghan friendship treaty was signed. Adhering to reformist views, Amanullah Khan attempted a series of political and social transformations. In particular, he introduced the tricolor state flag of Afghanistan (black, red, green), abolished slavery, passed a law prohibiting early marriages, the purchase of wives and the obligatory transfer of widows to the brother of the deceased, etc. Many young Afghans were sent to Europe and Turkey , where they acquired the knowledge so necessary for the fastest formation and strengthening of the state. In 1923, the first constitution of Afghanistan was adopted.

On August 31, 1926, a treaty of neutrality and mutual non-aggression was signed between Afghanistan and the USSR. However, Afghans at all times perceived elements of Western culture alien to them with hostility; moreover, Amanullah Khan swung at almighty Islam, which caused widespread discontent. Using this, the Muslim clergy organized an anti-government uprising, which resulted in the overthrow of the reformer in 1929. He had to emigrate abroad. He lived in Italy for quite a long time, died in 1960 in Zurich (Switzerland).

For the Soviet people it remained a secret for a long time that in the spring of 1929 JV Stalin made an attempt ... by open armed means and intervention in Afghan affairs to save Amanullah Khan. To this end, a special armed detachment was sent to Afghanistan, numbering about a thousand Red Army soldiers dressed in Afghan uniforms, under the command of the military attaché in Afghanistan, Primakov, who acted under the guise of a Turkish officer.

The detachment, having crossed the Amu Darya in the Termez region, destroyed the Afghan border post Patta-Gisar, guarded by fifty soldiers, defeated the garrison that had come to their aid from Sia-Garth and seized the provincial center of Mazar-i-Sharif on the move. Then the Red Army began to advance in the direction of Kabul, but they only reached Aybak. In Moscow, Stalin, having received the news that Amanullah Khan, leaving Kandahar, went to India, ordered everyone to return immediately.

During the campaign, 120 people were killed and wounded in the detachment, while about 8 thousand Afghans were killed.

After Amanullah-khan in Afghanistan for a short time (less than a year) the leader of the rebels, Bacha Sakkau (the son of a water-carrier), who proclaimed himself emir under the name of Khabibullah-khan, was at the head of the state. However, being part of the Tajik minority, he had little prospect of staying in power. In October 1929 he was overthrown by General Nadir Khan, who later declared himself the padishah (king) of Afghanistan. He founded the ruling dynasty of Muhammadzais.

Nadir Khan sought to undermine the initiatives of his predecessor, but new political ideas have already begun to punch their way.

Even during the reign of Amanullah Khan, the political organization "Javan Afghan" ("Afghan youth") arose, which advocated the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Subsequently, this organization began to demand the overthrow of the royal government and the abolition of the Islamic code. The government, in turn, took decisive action and, in the early 1930s, simply dispersed the Afghan Youth. Then its members began to carry out terrorist acts, including the murder of Nadir Khan himself (November 1933). The throne "passed" to his nineteen-year-old son Zahir Shah, and the democratic movement was brutally suppressed and did not openly manifest itself for many years.

In the 1930s, relations between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union were very difficult, as gangs of Basmachi found refuge on Afghan territory, who carried out raids on cities and villages of the Soviet Central Asian republics.

In the fall of 1941, German-Japanese influence in Afghanistan and Iran sharply increased. W. Churchill proposed to the Soviet government to send troops to these countries. However, the leadership of the USSR, taking into account the consequences of such an action, rejected this proposal.

In the reply of I. Stalin and V. Molotov it was noted that the Soviet-Iranian treaty of 1921 provides for the presence of Soviet troops in Iran in case of emergency, however, under the prevailing conditions, the anti-fascist coalition should act jointly in Iran. Therefore, it is necessary to bring in both Soviet and British troops at the same time (which was done in August - September 1941). With regard to Afghanistan, the Soviet Union advocated a cautious and coordinated strategy with allies in that country, issuing a memorandum (October 1941), in which it called on Kabul to strictly observe neutrality and the Soviet-Afghan treaties of the 1920s and 1930s. The memorandum was supported by London, Washington and Tehran.

V. Molotov's letter to the Soviet embassy in Kabul (November 1941) noted, in particular, that “to fight in Afghanistan with the Basmachi and White Guards means provoking a war in Central Asia, which will be beneficial to Germany and Japan. This will undermine our prestige in the East and destabilize the rear of the Red Army ... In addition, the leaders of the Central Asian republics and Kazakhstan reasonably object to such actions. Therefore, the neutralization of Afghanistan and cooperation with Iraq and Saudi Arabia along with strengthening relations with Yemen are the main objectives of our policy in this region ...” It is a pity that such wisdom was not shown in the late 70s.

In the post-World War II period, the United States began providing technical and then financial assistance for the construction of a number of facilities in the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar. In 1948, they developed a plan for an operation code-named "Hindu Kush", which envisaged creating a military encirclement against the USSR and its allies in the south and destabilizing the situation in Afghanistan itself if it attempted rapprochement with the Soviet Union. The United States refused to sell arms to the Afghans when they made such a request in 1950, stating a condition - to settle relations with Pakistan and end rapprochement with the USSR. In response, the leaders of Afghanistan began to reorient themselves to the supply of weapons from the Soviet Union.

In the early 1950s, the press law was liberalized in Afghanistan. Independent newspapers began to be published. Immediately, new journals with radical positions arose.

New parties have appeared on the country's political arena: Vikhe-Zalmayyan (Awakened Youth) - the successor of the Afghan Youth organization (one of its members was N.M. Taraki), Vatan, Club-i-Melli ("National Club"), headed by Prince Mohammed Daoud (a member of this club was still young B. Karmal) and others. However, these organizations did not exist legally for long. In 1952, all opposition newspapers and magazines were closed, and editors were imprisoned.

The United States at the time was concerned about stabilizing pro-Western regimes in Iran and Pakistan. In 1953, they helped to overthrow the Iranian government of Mohammed Mossadegh and thereby ensured Prince Mohammed Pahlavi the opportunity to regain the throne. The following year, the United States reached an agreement with Pakistan on a mutual treaty, which was formally signed in 1955.

In the same year, the US administration attempted to include Afghanistan in the Baghdad Pact (along with Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Great Britain and the United States), but King Zahir Shah refused, for which the United States stopped providing military and economic assistance to Afghanistan. This served as a new impetus for the revival of Soviet-Afghan economic relations. During a visit to Kabul in December 1955 by N. Khrushchev and N. Bulganin, who had a meeting there, the Soviet side provided its southern neighbor with a loan of $ 100 million on very favorable terms.

In 1956, Afghan Prime Minister M. Daoud accepted the Soviet proposal to provide military equipment, equipment and specialists. Gradually, Afghanistan turned out to be, as it were, a zone of Soviet influence. During this period, Afghanistan was of "little ... or no strategic importance to the United States," according to the US Army Chiefs of Staff. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union continued to provide its neighbor with economic assistance and train Afghan soldiers, gradually becoming Afghanistan's largest provider of financial resources and technical assistance. Relations between the USSR and Afghanistan were friendly. In particular, Leonid Brezhnev, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, who visited Afghanistan in 1964, received an emphatically warm welcome.

However, the United States also began to gradually draw Afghanistan into the orbit of its interests, which led to increased rivalry between the USSR and the United States in this region.

Around the same time, a revival of public life in Afghanistan began, led by the intelligentsia. Political circles and groups began to form again.

"Khalq"(People) and "Parcham" (Banner)

In 1963, the initiative nucleus of the political party United National Front of Afghanistan (ONFA) was created, which included the writer N.M. Taraki, employees of the ministries B. Karmal and Sh.M. Dost, officers M.A. Khaybar, M.T. Badakhshi and others.

The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan with the direct assistance of the CPSU was formed on January 1, 1965, at the Constituent Congress, which was secretly held in the house of the writer N.M. Taraki. At the same time, the structure, goals and objectives of the party were determined, and the Central Committee of the PDPA was elected.

In accordance with the decision of the Constituent Congress, in the first two issues of the central print organ of the party - the newspaper "Khalq" ("People") in April 1966, the PDPA program was published, which provided for "the rallying of all progressive, patriotic and national forces of the country under the leadership of the PDPA for the struggle for the victory of the anti-feudal, anti-imperialist, national people's democratic revolution; seizure of political power in the country; the creation of a state of workers; carrying out social transformations aimed at overcoming the country's backwardness and ensuring its progressive development. " The ultimate goal of the program was defined as "building a socialist society based on the creative application of the general revolutionary laws of Marxism-Leninism in the national conditions of Afghan society."

In the same 1965, several political organizations emerged in Afghanistan and came out of the underground (the Maoist Shoale Javid, the violent chauvinist Afghan Mellat and others, including Islamic).

In the spring of 1967, The PDPA was proclaimed "the vanguard of the working classes and the highest form of political organization of the working class."

Acting in semi-legal and illegal conditions during the years of royal and Daudi rule, the party was actively involved in political activities. Under her leadership, strikes, rallies, protest marches were systematically held, workers' demonstrations were organized, and literature of the corresponding content was published and distributed. The methods of parliamentary struggle were also used. In particular, in the fall of 1965, the party took part in the parliamentary elections and brought four of its delegates to the lower house: B. Karmal, N. A. Nur, A. Ratebzad and Faizl-ul-Haq.

At the same time, Moscow expressed concern that the process of the formation of the party was slow and difficult. This was explained by the low theoretical level of its members, as well as the lack of organizational experience among the leaders of the PDPA. A negative imprint on the activities of the party at that time was imposed by the opposition of the authorities, ultra-left and extremist Muslim groups (such as the "Muslim Brotherhood"). And the PDPA itself was characterized by a desire for leftist radicalism. In this regard, the Soviet political leadership advised its leaders not to speed up events, not to rush with communist ideas and slogans, and to emphasize more the general democratic character of the party in their work with the masses. However, this was not properly perceived neither by N.M. Taraki himself, nor by his associates.

In addition, immediately after the formation of the PDPA, a struggle for leadership began in its leadership on the basis of mainly personal rivalry between N.M. Taraki and B. Karmal. The latter elected a deputy of parliament, painfully perceived that he was assigned only a second role in the party. There were also disagreements on some tactical issues. So, for example, B. Karmal and his supporters in the Central Committee of the PDPA spoke in favor of strengthening the emphasis on legal forms of struggle, were advocates of educational activities. They sought to improve the well-being of the people by introducing them to cultural values, raising the educational level, etc. They were against the distribution of leaflets and other literature of revolutionary content and considered the speeches of party leaders at rallies and demonstrations to be the most effective method. N. Taraki, on the other hand, was inclined towards a complete transition to illegal work, the declaration of the party as a communist and the formation, if necessary, of the Central Committee of the party in emigration. He was confident that under the conditions of the royal monarchy, open speeches by the leaders of the opposition organization would immediately lead to their arrest.

When accepting new members to the party, B. Karmal suggested not considering the class affiliation of candidates but considering only their views and desire to work. This position of B. Karmal was explained by his closeness with representatives of the aristocracy, up to some members of the royal family, because at one time he was an active supporter of the organization “Pashtunistan Union” headed by Prince M. Daud, recommended the head of the office of Prime Minister Mohammad Dost to join the PDPA and other senior officials of the state.

NM Taraki objected to this, arguing that with the entry into the PDPA of representatives of the propertied classes and the royal family, the class principle of selection to the party would be violated and, as a result, it would lose credibility with the people. There were other controversies as well.

Soon there was a split in the leadership. Taraki even suggested that Karmal be expelled from the party for having an affair with the king's son-in-law, Sardar Abdul Wali. In response to this, in the fall of 1966, B. Karmal with his supporters left the Central Committee and formed a new faction "Parcham" ("Banner"), which officially called itself "PDPA - the vanguard of all working people." The supporters of NM Taraki began to be called "PDPA - the vanguard of the working class", and in Afghan society they were known as "Khalq" ("People").

In essence these were two different parties with their own governing bodies, press and membership, although they verbally recognized the goals and objectives proclaimed by the first congress of the PDPA, the program and charter. In the autumn of 1966, three other members of the Central Committee left with B. Karmal - D. Panjsheri, Sh. Shahpur, S. Keshtmand, as well as candidate members of the Central Committee of the PDPA A. Kh. Sharai, S. Laek, B. Shafi, A. V. Safi, N. A. Hyp (Panjwai).

At first glance, this split was based on theoretical differences. "Parcham" followed the "common front" line, that is, it did not refuse temporary compromises and alliances with other forces before the seizure of power. She sought to bring knowledge to the people so that society was ripe for transformations, etc. Khalq, in turn, rejected such cooperation, leaning towards the so-called uncompromising revolutionary socialism (ie, a utopia of the purest water). At the same time, as the analysis shows, the roots of this conflict lay practically not in theory, but in traditional "cultural sources": these are ethnic, social, class, national differences, strong mutual contempt between Kabulis and provincials, personal commitment to individual leaders (the most characteristic trait of Afghans) and power struggles between these leaders. Traditionally, Afghans have a tendency towards extreme individualism, independence and loyalty to the family clan. They are committed to equality and do not easily submit to collective action, especially if the leader has not earned their personal respect and does not possess the qualities they value.

At that time, the prevailing opinion in the Soviet Union was that the Khalqists, for example, in their social composition predominantly came from low-income, semi-proletarian and working strata of society (from the families of intellectuals, small employees, nomads, dukan workers, artisans, peasants, military personnel, etc.) ... Khalqists are mostly natives of peripheral areas, mostly Pashtuns. They were less prosperous than the members of Parcham, but more active, had close ties with the people and the democratic strata of society. Among them, the most common were employees of the lower ranks of the state apparatus and educational institutions, engineers and technicians of public sector enterprises, and junior officers (especially the Air Force and tank units). Moreover, this faction was distinguished by inconsistency, extremism and leftist bias.

At the same time, it was believed that the majority of the Parchamists were representatives of prosperous families, mostly of the intelligentsia, educated people. Their leader was the son of an army general Babrak Karmal. Although many members of this faction were of Pashtun origin, it also included representatives of other nationalities. These were mainly urbanites, especially from Kabul and its suburbs. In connection with the practice that existed in Afghanistan at that time, representatives of the wealthy strata of society, as a rule, studied in the West (in the USA, Germany and other states). Many of them were also educated at the privileged lyceums of the capital and the Kabul University. However, many representatives of this wing studied in the USSR at that time, and had their own party cells in some Moscow institutes.

Politically, the Parchamists are more inclined towards moderation. They, too, considered themselves revolutionaries, and more theoretically prepared.

In reality, this division was purely arbitrary. After all, the people who stood at the origins of the creation of both factions did not differ much from each other in terms of property ownership. It was later that they recruited various supporters for themselves.

The organizational split of the PDPA lasted more than ten years and caused great damage to the entire democratic movement in Afghanistan. The matter was further complicated by the fact that small groups broke away from the main factions, significantly weakening them, and created their own independent political left-wing organizations (Setame Melli, Revolutionary Society of Afghanistan, Vanguard of Young Workers of Afghanistan, Working Group, "The vanguard of the working people of Afghanistan" and others).

Both factions of the PDPA, independently of each other, carried out active political work among the masses. At the same time, the Parchamists focused on the democratic part of the intelligentsia and patriotic officers. They tried to recruit students, journalists, media workers, officials and military personnel in the first place. They managed to achieve some success. The practical work in the army was directed by M.A. Khaybar. In his hands were concentrated all the threads of managing work in the army. Somewhat later, the Khalqists also joined this process. At that time they were more chasing mass character, attracting the poorest strata of the population (lumpen proletarians) into their ranks.

Soon after the break, D. Panjsheri, Sh. Shahpur and A. Kh. Sharai returned to the Khalq and were reinstated in the Central Committee. Additionally, H. Amin, K. Misak and Danesh were elected to the Central Committee.

The steps taken from time to time to unite the factions ended in vain. The stumbling block in contacts between the representatives of the wings was, as a rule, the question of the personal composition of the Central Committee and especially of the candidacy for the post of General Secretary, which was claimed by N.M. Taraki and B. Karmal.

The CPSU Central Committee supported Taraki more. In particular, in the early 70s, his book "New Life" was published in the Soviet Union and sent to Afghanistan.


Overthrow of King Zahir Shah

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