Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan 1979-1988

[ 1979 - 1989 ]

[December 1-16, 1979] The Soviets increased the size of their garrisons at the two air bases in Kabul, and began secret preparations for the ouster of Amin. A partial mobiliztion of Soviet troops just north of Afghanistan was quietly initiated. The Kremlin apparently feared that the mujahedeen would overthrow Amin and end Soviet influence in Afghanistan, and were determined to prevent this at any cost.

[December 24, 1979] The Soviet seizure of Kabul Airport was done by special Soviet forces, directed by First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs (MVD) Lieutenant General V.S. Paputin.

[December 25-28, 1979] A massive airlift of Soviet troops began on Christmas Day. Three airborne divisions - 103rd, 104th, and 105th - were flown in while four motorized rifle divisions invaded Afghanistan overland from the north. The 105th Division occupied Kabul against considerable resistance from elements of the Afghan Army and the local population. Amin and his ministers were isolated in his palace. A Soviet task force attacked the palace and Amin was killed, either in the fighting or by execution. General Paputin was also killed during the battle.

[December 28, 1979] Amin's former Vice President, Babrak Karmal, then ambassador to Czechoslovakia, was recalled by the Soviets to become president.

[January-February 1980] Following the initial success of the December coup, opposition to the Soviets became widespread and fierce. Convoys were ambushed and numerous armored vehicles were destroyed. Several towns held by the Soviets were surrounded and besieged by mujahedeen. Soviet activities were constrained by the severe weather conditions that prevailed in Afghanistan in January and February.

[February 21-23, 1980] An uprising in Kabul was crushed by Soviet troops. About 500 Afghans were killed and another 1,200 jailed.

Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
Russia (USSR) and Mujahideen 1979 1989 View
Afghanistan and Mujahideen 1979 1989 View
Weapon Name Weapon Class Weapon Class Type
BMP-2 Vehicle Infantry Combat Vehicle
BTR-60 Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle
ZSU-23-4 Vehicle Self-Propelled artillery
152 mm towed gun-howitzer M1955 (D-20) Vehicle Towed Artillery
2S3 Akatsiya Vehicle Self-Propelled artillery
9K52 Luna-M Missile Surface to Surface
2B9 Vasilek Manportable Mortars
2S12 Sani Manportable Mortars
TOS-1 Vehicle Self-Propelled artillery
U-5TS Vehicle Towed Artillery
Dragunov sniper rifle Manportable Rifles
Beretta M12 Manportable Machine Guns
Mauser C96 Manportable Handguns
Stechkin automatic pistol Manportable Handguns
RPD Manportable Machine Guns
NSV machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
PK machine gun Manportable Machine Guns
RPK Manportable Machine Guns
VSS Vintorez Manportable Rifles
Mauser Karabiner 98k Manportable Rifles
AGS -17 Manportable Mortars
Type 69 RPG Manportable Rocket Launcher
RPO-A Shmel Manportable Rocket Launcher
RPG-16 Manportable Rocket Launcher
Martini–Henry Manportable Rifles

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts