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Soviet-Afghan War

Document – Памятка Советскому воину-интернационалисту, 1982

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, 1982

Abstract

Memo to motorized regiments dispatched to Afghanistan, i.e. advice to Soviet soldiers about how to behave in Afghanistan. Retrieved from the site of the 181th motorized rifle regiment http://www.181msp.ru/publ/dokumenty_vojny/pamjatka_voinu_internacionalistu_1982_god/18-1-0-132. The translation of the memo was carried out by Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski.

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Oral History Project
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Full text

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier

1Cover: Memo to Soviet Soldier-Internationalist. Hand-added: "Afghanistan 1982-1984".

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier

2Page 1: "Imperialism has unleashed a real undeclared war against the Afghan revolution. This has created a direct threat to the security and safety of our southern border. That situation has forced us to provide the military assistance requested by a friendly country. With regard to Soviet troops, we will be ready to withdraw them in consultation with the Afghan Government. To that end, the sending of counter-revolutionary gangs to Afghanistan must cease completely. That should be enshrined in agreements between Afghanistan and its neighbours. We need reliable guarantees that there will be no new intervention. This is the principled position of the Soviet Union and we will adhere to it firmly!"

3From the Report of the CPSU Central Committee to the Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 2 & 3

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 2 & 3

4Page 2 : "...if it had not been for the great Soviet Union's assistance to heroic Afghanistan, there would not be a revolutionary, free, independent and non-aligned Afghanistan today. Our patriotic, internationalist party and the people of Afghanistan will never forget this brotherly help. It has become one of the concrete and vivid expressions of the Leninist policy and solidarity of the CPSU with the peoples of the East fighting for their national and social liberation." From the speech of the General Secretary of the PDPA Central Committee, Chairman of the DRA Revolutionary Council Babrak Karmal at the 26th Congress of the CPSU

5Hand-added: OKSVA for Ограниченный контингент советских войск в Афганистане (Limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan)

6Page 3: Soldiers of the Soviet Army!

7The Motherland entrusted you with a high and honorable mission - to provide international assistance to the people of friendly Afghanistan.

8In April 1978, a national-democratic, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist revolution took place in Afghanistan. The people took their destiny into their own hands, embarked on the path of independence and freedom. As always in history, the reactionary forces turned against the revolution. Of course, the people of Afghanistan would have coped with them themselves. However, from the very first days of the revolution, they faced external aggression and brutal external interference in their internal affairs.

9Thousands of insurgents, armed and trained abroad, and entire armed formations were transferred to the territory of Afghanistan. Imperialism, together with its accomplices, began an essentially undeclared war against revolutionary Afghanistan.

10Help to repel this aggression - this is the combat task with which the government sent you to the territory of the democratic Republic of Afghanistan. In order to fulfill your military duty in the best possible way, you should not only improve your combat training, but also know the country you are in, respect its people, traditions and customs, you should know Afghan history, culture, economy and politics.

11Soviet soldier!

12While in friendly Afghanistan, remember that you are a representative of the army, which has extended a helping hand to the people of this country in their struggle against imperialism and internal reactionaries. You are the representative of the Soviet country and its great people.

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 4 & 5

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 4 & 5

13Page 4: Be worthy of the great historical mission entrusted to you by our homeland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Remember that by the way you behave in this country, the Afghan people will judge the entire Soviet Army and our great Soviet homeland.

14In the host country, the eyes of the people living by their own laws and traditions are turned to you. We need to know these laws and traditions well.

15Being in the DRA, respect the moral norms of the Soviet man, orders, laws, customs and traditions of the host country, show tolerance for the customs and traditions of Afghans, even if they do not correspond to your concepts.

16Afghans are credulous, sensitive to information, and have a subtle sense of good and evil. They respond greatly to a respectful attitude and they especially value respect for children, women, old people.

17When dealing with Afghans, show your respect for them. Afghans are very hospitable. If an Afghan invites you to visit his home, do so only with the commander's permission.

18In the house of an Afghan Muslim, the women live in a separate half, and they do not appear in the presence of strangers. Do not try to enter the female half of the house. The man in the conversation usually does not mention his wife.

19Page 5: So when talking to a Muslim, you don't have to ask about his wife's health. When in settlements do not look into courtyards or windows. Many Muslim women wear veils. Any attempt to look into a woman's face and lift the veil is considered a great insult to Muslims.

20Do not prevent a Muslim from performing religious rituals. Don't look in the direction of those praying and don't be curious.

21Do not visit mosques, tombs or cemeteries without necessity. Do not arrange parking lots or rest stops in the area of religious buildings.

22By following all these simple rules, you will show your knowledge of customs.

23Know the ranks and insignia of the Afghan army. Observe the generally accepted rules of military honour in accordance with the requirements of the statutes of the Armed Forces of the USSR.

24Pay every attention to the Afghan comrades who arrived in the unit. One should not be ashamed to be the first to say hello or show them respect. This not only does not humiliate, but on the contrary, elevates the dignity of a person and testifies to his culture.

25Always show goodwill, humanity, justice and generosity towards DRA workers.

26Carry the honor and dignity of a citizen of the USSR high, be impeccable in your conduct, perform your duties in good faith, steadily protect the political, economic and other interests of the Soviet state, strictly keep military and state secrets.

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 6 & 7

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 6 & 7

27Page 6: Use available opportunities to explain the peaceful foreign policy of the USSR, the achievements of the Soviet people and the goals of the Soviet troops on the territory of the DRA.

28Constantly show political vigilance, remember that the enemy's intelligence agencies and their agents seek to obtain from Soviet citizens the information they are interested in and to compromise the Soviet citizen, when it is beneficial to them, up to the point of declaring treason against the homeland.

29Strictly follow all the instructions and advice of doctors. Always have a flask of water with you. Do not use water from ditches, canals and other water reservoirs - they can be breeding grounds for infectious diseases.

30Be careful not to lose your service and personal documents. Do not buy goods and valuables from Afghans with Soviet money. Do not trade or sell anything. This is categorically forbidden.

31Don't go shopping, to bazaars, or use private transportation unless you have to.

32Protect both public and private property of Afghan citizens. Do not cause any material damage to the State and its citizens. In the event of conflict with local authorities or citizens, immediately report it to the senior manager and act in accordance with his instructions.

33Page 7: All trips outside the unit on official and personal business are permitted only with the commander's permission.

34Keep your comrades-in-arms from defaming the honor and dignity of the Soviet person. Develop a sense of friendship and international solidarity with the peoples of Afghanistan.

35It must be remembered that certain transgressions and breaches of order damage the authority of the Soviet State, disgrace the honor and dignity of the Soviet soldier and may cause undesirable consequences.

36Warrior, remember, you are responsible for your own misunderstandings, carelessness or deliberate illegal actions on the territory of the DRA in relation to Afghan citizens in accordance with the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and the Law on Criminal Responsibility for War Crimes.

37Know the articles of the laws to prevent yourself and your comrades from committing misdemeanors, which will have serious consequences for the interests of Afghanistan and its citizens and for the Soviet Union.

38The most crime is intentional murder, which can be committed under aggravating circumstances (Article 102 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR) or without them (Article 103 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR). One of the aggravating circumstances is the commission of a crime in a state of drunkenness (Article 34 of the Criminal Code of the USSR).

39Intentional murder under aggravating circumstances is punishable by the death penalty.

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 8 & 9

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 8 & 9

40Page 8: Murder committed without aggravating circumstances shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for up to 10 years.

41The law establishes strict criminal liability for persons who infringe on the personal property of citizens. Commitment of an attack with the purpose of acquisition of personal property of the citizens connected with violence harmful to life and health of the victim, or threat of application of such violence, is punished by imprisonment for the term up to 10 years (article 146 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).

42The law also severely punishes smuggling, i.e. illegal movement of goods or other valuables across the border. For such crimes, the Soviet criminal legislation defines a punishment - imprisonment for up to 10 years.

43The high culture of behavior of the Soviet soldiers, their discipline, friendly attitude to the Afghan population, respect for traditions and customs of the people highly raise the international prestige of our country and contribute to the successful implementation of our international mission in the DRA.

44Page 9: Various information on Afghanistan (number of provinces, capital, official language, state religion, currency, national holidays, etc.)

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 10 & 11

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 10 & 11

45Page 10: Rank of generals, officers and sergeants in the Afghan army.

46Page 11: Map of Afghanistan.

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 12 & 13

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 12 & 13

47Pages 12 & 13: For notes.

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 14 & 15

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 14 & 15

48Pages 14 & 15: For notes.

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 16

Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 16

49Pages 16: For notes.

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List of illustrations

Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-1.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-2.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 2 & 3
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-3.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 4 & 5
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-4.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 6 & 7
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-5.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 8 & 9
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-6.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 10 & 11
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-7.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 12 & 13
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-8.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 14 & 15
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-9.jpg
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Title Memo to the Soviet Internationalist-Soldier, pages 16
URL http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/docannexe/image/5449/img-10.jpg
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References

Electronic reference

« Document – Памятка Советскому воину-интернационалисту, 1982  », The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies [Online], Issue 20/21 | 2019, Online since 08 August 2019, connection on 15 July 2020. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/pipss/5449 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/pipss.5449

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