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Soviet-Afghan War

Photo-Gallery - 30th Anniversary of the Withdrawal of the Soviet Troops from Afghanistan, Moscow, 14th & 15th February 2019

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

Author's notes

Transcription of the speech: Tatiana Samodina; translation of the speech: Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

Full text

The Immortal Contingent Parade (Бесмертный контингент)1, Afganskii Skver (Afghan Square), Moscow, 14th February 2019 Morning

  • 1 In reference to Ограниченый контингент (Limited contingent) and Бесмертный полк (The immortal regim (...)

On the 14th of February 2019 a memorial event was held in Afghan Square, Moscow to mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the Soviet-Afghan War. A procession of Soviet Afghan War veterans and their families carried portraits of "internationalist soldiers" killed in Afghanistan, held a rally and a laid flowers and wreaths at the monument to the Muscovite soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Later on three capsules containing the ashes of fallen servicemen who fought in Afghanistan and Syria were interred to honor the beginning of the construction of a church built in memory of the soldiers who died in the interests of the Motherland on the territory of other countries and devoted to the martyr Ignatius Bogonosets.

Processional banners in the lead

Processional banners in the lead

Iunarmiia (The Young Army) youth movement

Iunarmiia (The Young Army) youth movement

Created in September 2016 by the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Young Army (Iunarmiia) movement is linked to military units, military schools, DOSAAF and the Central Sport Club of the Army. The Iunarmiia has its own uniform, clothes and insignia. Its presence has become systematic in this type of commemoration.

Families are gathering

Families are gathering

The procession begins

The procession begins

Portraits of fallen soldiers in Afghanistan

Portraits of fallen soldiers in Afghanistan

The Boevoe Bratstvo (Combat Brotherhood) Moscow Region Association

The Boevoe Bratstvo (Combat Brotherhood) Moscow Region Association

Wreath-laying at the monument to the Muscovite soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Wreath-laying at the monument to the Muscovite soldiers killed in Afghanistan

General Sergei Lipovoy's speech

General Sergei Lipovoy's speech

General Sergei Lipovoy's speech, Afganskii Skver, Moscow, 14th February 2019
Credits : Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

Russian transcription

Announcer: Cпасибо. Cлово предоставляется председателю президиума общероссийской общественной организации Офицеры России Липовому Сергею Анатольевичу.

General Lipovoy: Добрый день, уважаемые ветераны Афганистана. Добрый день, братья. 30 лет назад закончилась война, и по приказу руководства страны мы вышли оттуда победителями. Выход нас видели весь мир. Кадры, как мы выходили колоннах с развернутыми знаменами, как выходят только победители, облетели все человечество. Но, к сожалению, сложности, трудности начались потом, когда мы пришли, в стране был разгар перестройки. На лоне перестройки к власти пришли реформаторы, которые наслушавшись западных идеологий о торжестве демократии, они начали разрушать Советский Союз. Они начали разрушать все то, что было в Советском Союзе и облили грязью нас, тех, кто выполняли 10 лет свой воинский долг в Афганистане. Они обвинили нас в том, что мы воевали против афганского народа. Это ложь. Мы никогда не воевали против афганского народа. Наша легендарная 40 армия воевала против НАТО, против наших заокеанских партнеров, воевала против талибов, моджахедов, боевиков, которые прошли подготовку в лагерях под руководством инструкторов НАТО и пришли в Афганистан убивать, разрушать все то, что строил Советский Союз, все то, что оберегала наша легендарная 40 армия. И за тот период, за 10 лет нахождения нас в Афганистане, Советский Союз построил там более 700 стационарных объектов, проложил сотни километров дорог, труб, проложил электролинии, которые до сих пор подают в Афганистан электроэнергию. И мы, если бы не было приказа, оставались там, то сейчас бы может быть Афганистан был другой. Но предали нас тогда и предали афганское руководство. Уходя мы оставили фундамент для счастливой жизни в Афганистане. Уходя мы оставили боеспособную армию, боеспособные силовые структуры. Но, к сожалению, это было предано. И они продолжали еще три года сопротивляться, но наши заокеанские партнеры НАТО сделали все, чтобы это все уничтожить. И сегодня они за 18 лет своего существования в Афганистане кроме увеличения маковых полей, кроме увеличения транзита героина в Европу, больше ничего не сделали. И сегодня они активно воюют с местным населением. Но мы вышли победителями. И сегодня мы закладываем храм. Храм не только ветеранам боевых действий Афганистана, мы сегодня закладываем храм ветеранов боевых действий всех локальных конфликтов. Сегодня будет заложена и земля Сирии, там, где сегодня проливает кровь наши военнослужащие. Сегодня здесь на митинге присутствуют наши друзья с Сирии, они приехали вместе с нами поучаствовать в этом мероприятии. И сегодня я от всей души хочу вас всех поздравить с нашим днем победы как у фронтовиков 9 мая, а 15 февраля у всех наших "афганцев". Это наш день победы. Здоровья вам, удачи и семейного благополучия. Спасибо

English translation

Announcer: Thank you. I now give the floor to Sergei Lipovoy, Chairman of the Presidium of the All-Russian Public Organization of Officers of Russia.

General Lipovoy: Good afternoon, dear veterans from Afghanistan. Good afternoon, brothers. The war ended 30 years ago, and on the orders of the country's leadership we left as winners. The whole world saw us leaving. The images, - as we went out in column with unfolded banners, as only the victors do -, went all over mankind. But, unfortunately, difficulties began later, when we came back, the country was in the midst of perestroika. In the bosom of perestroika, the reformers came to power, listened to Western ideologies about the triumph of democracy, and began to destroy the Soviet Union. They began to destroy everything that was in the Soviet Union and dirty us, who had been doing our military duty in Afghanistan for 10 years. They accused us of fighting against the Afghan people. That is a lie. We have never fought against the Afghan people. Our legendary 40th Army fought against NATO, against our overseas adversaries, fought against the Taliban mujahedeen fighters who were trained in the camps under the leadership of NATO instructors and came to Afghanistan to kill and destroy everything that was built by the Soviet Union, everything that was protected by our legendary 40th Army. And during that period, during our 10 years in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union built more than 700 stationary facilities there, laid hundreds of kilometers of roads and pipes [and] laid power lines that still supply Afghanistan with electricity. And if we hadn't had an order, we would have stayed there, now maybe Afghanistan would have been different. But then we were betrayed and the Afghan leadership was betrayed. As we left, we left the foundation for a happy life in Afghanistan. As we left, we left a combat-ready army, combat-ready security structures. But, unfortunately, all this was betrayed. And they continued to resist for three more years, but the overseas partners of NATO did everything to destroy it all. And today, in their 18 years of existence in Afghanistan, they have done nothing more than increase the poppy fields, except increase the transit of heroin to Europe. And today they are at war with the local population. But we are the winners. And today we are laying down a temple. The temple is not only for the veterans who fought in Afghanistan, we are laying the temple for veterans of all local conflicts. Today, the land of Syria will be laid, - the land on which our servicemen are shedding blood. Today, our friends from Syria are present at the rally here, they came with us to participate in this event. And today, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all of you on our victory day, as with the WWII veterans on 9 May, and on 15 February for all our Afgantsy. This is our victory day. Health, good luck and best wishes to your families. Thank you.

The Immortal Motorized Batallion

The Immortal Motorized Batallion

Singer-guitarist-afganets Sergei Kuznetsov

Singer-guitarist-afganets Sergei Kuznetsov

Sergei Kuznetsov was born in 1963 in Moscow. He practiced music at an early age as well as sports. He was conscripted in November 1981 and sent to Afghanistan during the Spring of 1982 after military training in the Soviet Union. In the city of Berdichev (Ukraine) he went through “1941-1945 tactical training” and in the city of Chirchik (Tashkent region), he received an intensive military training (“po 25 chasov sutki” as he recalled in “Ot soldata do generala” vol.). At that time he was skinny and had to carry a 56 kg military equipment. He started to write songs in Afghanistan. Back from Afghanistan he was struck by the silence that reigned in peaceful Russia and composed the song "Tishina" (silence): https://archive.org/​details/​KUZNETSOVTishchinaFeb2015. The song on the video was performed at the Military Writers Society meeting in Moscow on the 20th of February 2015.

A Great Patriotic war veteran honored on this occasion

A Great Patriotic war veteran honored on this occasion

Priests consulting each other to organize the last stage of the commemoration: the laying of three capsules at the site where a church ("Program-200") will be built in honor of veterans of local wars

Priests consulting each other to organize the last stage of the commemoration: the laying of three capsules at the site where a church ("Program-200") will be built in honor of veterans of local wars

"Program-200" is implemented by the Fund "Support for the Construction of Moscow City Temples" with the participation of the Moscow City Government. The program plan includes development of projects and construction of 200 new churches in all districts of the city. Construction is planned at the rate of one church per 20 thousand inhabitants, with a standard for pedestrian accessibility of about 1 km. Program-200 is financed exclusively by charitable donations and voluntary contributions. Participation of the Moscow City Government is expressed in free allocation of land plots for construction and assistance in solving the issues of laying the necessary communications. "200 temples - program for the construction of Orthodox churches in Moscow": http://www.temples.ru/​200hramov.php

Preparations for the March and Wreath-Laying, Ploshchad' Pobedy (Victory Square), Moscow, 15th February 2019 Afternoon

Hundreds of military veterans marched on the 15th of February 2019 in Moscow to mark the 30th anniversary of Soviet troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. The event was held at the Poklonnaya Hill. At the end of the day, three thousand veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war from all over Russia were invited to attend a ceremony, followed by a concert, in the Kremlin.

A group of veterans dressed in outfits funded by a Presidential Fund grant

A group of veterans dressed in outfits funded by a Presidential Fund grant

See the Presidential Fund program devoted to the 30th anniversary of Soviet troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan: https://xn--80afcdbalict6afooklqi5o.xn--p1ai/​public/​application/​item?id=C2C835A2-EC46-4F6A-9E64-5A11B5FC923C.

Army and Battalions' banners

Army and Battalions' banners

Шагнувшие в бессмертие - "The ones who have stepped into immortality" (slogan on banner)

Шагнувшие в бессмертие - "The ones who have stepped into immortality" (slogan on banner)

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 1

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 1

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 2

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 2

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 3

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 3

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 4

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 4

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 5

Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 5

Soviet-Afghan War Veterans from the Tuva Republic

Soviet-Afghan War Veterans from the Tuva Republic

The Tuva Republic is located in southern Siberia.

Former Russian Air Force Officers, veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war

Former Russian Air Force Officers, veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war
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Notes

1 In reference to Ограниченый контингент (Limited contingent) and Бесмертный полк (The immortal regiment).

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List of illustrations

Title Processional banners in the lead
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-1.jpg
File image/jpeg, 152k
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-2.jpg
File image/jpeg, 104k
Title Iunarmiia (The Young Army) youth movement
Caption Created in September 2016 by the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Young Army (Iunarmiia) movement is linked to military units, military schools, DOSAAF and the Central Sport Club of the Army. The Iunarmiia has its own uniform, clothes and insignia. Its presence has become systematic in this type of commemoration.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-3.jpg
File image/jpeg, 120k
Title Families are gathering
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-4.jpg
File image/jpeg, 100k
Title The procession begins
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-5.jpg
File image/jpeg, 92k
Title Portraits of fallen soldiers in Afghanistan
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-6.jpg
File image/jpeg, 104k
Title The Boevoe Bratstvo (Combat Brotherhood) Moscow Region Association
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-7.jpg
File image/jpeg, 108k
Title Wreath-laying at the monument to the Muscovite soldiers killed in Afghanistan
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-8.jpg
File image/jpeg, 108k
Title General Sergei Lipovoy's speech
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-9.jpg
File image/jpeg, 116k
Title The Immortal Motorized Batallion
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-10.jpg
File image/jpeg, 108k
Title Singer-guitarist-afganets Sergei Kuznetsov
Caption Sergei Kuznetsov was born in 1963 in Moscow. He practiced music at an early age as well as sports. He was conscripted in November 1981 and sent to Afghanistan during the Spring of 1982 after military training in the Soviet Union. In the city of Berdichev (Ukraine) he went through “1941-1945 tactical training” and in the city of Chirchik (Tashkent region), he received an intensive military training (“po 25 chasov sutki” as he recalled in “Ot soldata do generala” vol.). At that time he was skinny and had to carry a 56 kg military equipment. He started to write songs in Afghanistan. Back from Afghanistan he was struck by the silence that reigned in peaceful Russia and composed the song "Tishina" (silence): https://archive.org/​details/​KUZNETSOVTishchinaFeb2015. The song on the video was performed at the Military Writers Society meeting in Moscow on the 20th of February 2015.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-11.jpg
File image/jpeg, 96k
Title A Great Patriotic war veteran honored on this occasion
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-12.jpg
File image/jpeg, 76k
Title Priests consulting each other to organize the last stage of the commemoration: the laying of three capsules at the site where a church ("Program-200") will be built in honor of veterans of local wars
Caption "Program-200" is implemented by the Fund "Support for the Construction of Moscow City Temples" with the participation of the Moscow City Government. The program plan includes development of projects and construction of 200 new churches in all districts of the city. Construction is planned at the rate of one church per 20 thousand inhabitants, with a standard for pedestrian accessibility of about 1 km. Program-200 is financed exclusively by charitable donations and voluntary contributions. Participation of the Moscow City Government is expressed in free allocation of land plots for construction and assistance in solving the issues of laying the necessary communications. "200 temples - program for the construction of Orthodox churches in Moscow": http://www.temples.ru/​200hramov.php
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-13.jpg
File image/jpeg, 80k
Title A group of veterans dressed in outfits funded by a Presidential Fund grant
Caption See the Presidential Fund program devoted to the 30th anniversary of Soviet troops' withdrawal from Afghanistan: https://xn--80afcdbalict6afooklqi5o.xn--p1ai/​public/​application/​item?id=C2C835A2-EC46-4F6A-9E64-5A11B5FC923C.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-14.jpg
File image/jpeg, 152k
Title Army and Battalions' banners
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-15.jpg
File image/jpeg, 92k
Title Шагнувшие в бессмертие - "The ones who have stepped into immortality" (slogan on banner)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-16.jpg
File image/jpeg, 92k
Title Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 1
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-17.jpg
File image/jpeg, 116k
Title Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 2
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-18.jpg
File image/jpeg, 108k
Title Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 3
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-19.jpg
File image/jpeg, 112k
Title Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 4
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-20.jpg
File image/jpeg, 96k
Title Reunion of Soviet-Afghan War Veterans 5
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-21.jpg
File image/jpeg, 104k
Title Soviet-Afghan War Veterans from the Tuva Republic
Caption The Tuva Republic is located in southern Siberia.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-22.jpg
File image/jpeg, 140k
Title Former Russian Air Force Officers, veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5269/img-23.jpg
File image/jpeg, 66k
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References

Electronic reference

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, « Photo-Gallery - 30th Anniversary of the Withdrawal of the Soviet Troops from Afghanistan, Moscow, 14th & 15th February 2019 », The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies [Online], Issue 20/21 | 2019, Online since 09 July 2019, connection on 15 July 2020. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/5269 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/pipss.5269

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About the author

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

PIPSS & EHESS

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Copyright

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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