Why Stalin invaded Afghanistan in 1929

History 09/01/20 Why Stalin invaded Afghanistan in 1929

Exactly 50 years before the war in Afghanistan held the first Afghan campaign of the red Army. However, the political background of the events of 1929 was the opposite of what happened half a century. Under Stalin, the Soviet government supported the Afghanistan rebels, and overthrown the king.


the Afghan Emir and later king Amanullah Khan was one of the allies of Soviet Russia on its southern borders. He established diplomatic relations with the RSFSR in 1919, despite the opposition of the British.

the King held liberal policies aimed at eradicating such regular Afghans for things like polygamy, marriage of underage and women to wear the veil. The rapid Westernization of the state did not like the Muslim clergy, with the support of which since 1924 the country had been shaken by the uprising. Then Amanullah Khan was invited to the first group of Soviet pilots, instructing them to train the personnel of the Afghan air force. In 1927 Moscow has allocated to Kabul 12 aircraft P-1, and 8 anti-aircraft batteries.

In 1928, after a trip to Europe and Russia, Amanullah Khan forced his people to dress in European clothes. The country was swept by a wave of protests, and on the throne was the Emir-the usurper Habibullah Kalakani – a Tajik by nationality, who has previously fought in the ranks of the Basmachi in Soviet Central Asia. There is a theory that Habibulla supported the legendary British spy Lawrence of Arabia.

the Bolsheviks could not allow the emergence of a very hostile Islamist regime on the southern borders. Moreover, in Central Asia, has noted a dramatic improvement of the detachments of the Basmachi, who increasingly began to penetrate from Afghanistan, crossing the border.


the Afghan Ambassador to Moscow, Ghulam Nabi Khan and Minister for foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Ghulam Sidiq Khan met with Joseph wasother. On behalf of Amanullah Khan, they asked the Soviet Union to intervene and restore legitimate government in Kabul.

on April 15, 1929 in the city of Termez entered Ukrainian Cossack ataman, hero of the Civil war Vitaly Primakov. Posing as a Turk, he took the name raghib Bey. 2 thousands of Red Cossacks cavalry, commanded by Primakov, were wearing uniforms of the Afghan army. The squad was mixed in its composition were ideological Communists and Komsomol members, former German and Turkish prisoners of war (Kurds), as well as officers of the tsarist army. Simultaneously with Primakov on Kabul from Kandahar moved Amanullah Khan, collected troops from opponents Habibulla the Shia-Hazaras.

easily capturing the town of Kelif and Khanabad, Russian entrenched in Mazar-I-Sharif, withstanding the siege of the “Mujahideen” have risen to fight the “infidels” under the banner of Jihad. After the arrival of the second detachment of the red army of 400 people, the Afghans were driven from the city. 8 may the red army took the town of Dehdadi, and on may 11 began a terrible battle with a unit of 3 thousand people, which was commanded to migrate to Afghanistan, the Uzbek Basmachi leader Ibrahim Bek. After defeating the enemies in this battle, Soviet soldiers on may 12 took Balkh and may 13 – Tash-Kurgan.

From may 18th the detachment was headed by a different commander – recalled to Moscow Vitaly Primakov was replaced by Alexander Cherepanov, who took the pseudonym of Avzal Khan. To Kabul Russian walk failed because the Afghan allies launched one after the other to betray them. First, the local tribes handed over to the robber bands, the town of Tash-Kurgan. A may 22, Amanullah Khan, after losing the battle with the troops Habibulla and desist from further resistance, fled to British India, taking with him a part of the state budget. Thus, the presence of Soviet troops in Afghanistan was illegitimate and Moscow feared that Western diplomats use this fact to put pressure on the Soviet Union. On may 28, despite the re-capture of Tash-Kurgan, Cherepanov received the order to returnSya on Soviet territory. In fact, the Afghan campaign ended inconclusively. In Russian historiography, he was not mentioned for many years.

after 4 years of political instability to power in Afghanistan came Mohammed Zahir Shah, which lasted until 1973.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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