Why Stalin sent the Red Army into Afghanistan

History 21/01/20 Why Stalin sent the Red Army in Afghanistan

Over a century before entering a “limited contingent” of Soviet troops in Afghanistan, the Soviet leadership has sent soldiers to that country to support the power of its ally. Unfortunately, the negative experience of the invasion of 1929 taught us nothing.

the Progressive Sultan

the Soviet government from the very first days of its existence declared about the renunciation of any imperialistic aspirations. The Bolsheviks wanted to make the peoples of the East and their allies in the struggle against the West. The logic of British and other colonialists, exploiting backward countries, the Communists opposed the selfless assistance in carrying out progressive reforms. Except that these conversions are not always needed by the peoples of the East.

In 1919 at king (padishah) the throne of Afghanistan joined Amanullah Khan. He immediately declared full independence from the UK. At the outbreak of then war with the British, the Afghans managed to defend the freedom of their state. When Soviet power established itself in Central Asia Amanullah Khan took a course on interaction with the Soviet Union.

the Soviet Union actively supported Amanullah Khan to modernize its armed forces and especially in the creation of their own air force, free of charge delivered to Afghanistan a few fighter planes and sent a number of military pilots. Soviet pilots participated in combat missions during the suppression of the revolts against Amanullah Khan, were breaking out in different parts of Afghanistan.

the Soviet government was interested in cooperation with the king of Afghanistan because of a gang of robber bands, invaded Soviet Central Asia, used Afghan territory as a sanctuary. In Kabul having a friendly government, it was easier to fight with them.

the British, naturally, did not like this strengthening of the Soviet Union. They have worked and sent money to foment rebellion against Amanullah Khan. And soon the king himself indirectly helped them, giving a reason for mass discontent.

Mujahideen Movement

in an effort to pull his country out of the quagmire of centuries of backwardness, Amanullah Khan in 1923 proclaimed the Constitution of Afghanistan. Sharia law is now replaced by a secular, forbade polygamy, abolished the compulsory wearing of the veil by women, introduced secular education. In Afghanistan universities, electricity and radio.

It was one of the first, but unsuccessful attempts to modernize Afghanistan, enter it in civilized space. Neither of which the socialism of the question. Amanullah Khan in his quest to make Afghanistan a developing secular state, focused more on the example of the Turkish Republic Kemal Ataturk. But, like all subsequent ones, it is a good initiative met with active resistance of the masses of Afghanistan, inspired by Islamic clergy.

in the Autumn of 1928 in the Eastern provinces of Afghanistan sparked a huge uprising, supported by arms and money from British India. For the organization of the movement was sent to the famous Thomas Lawrence of Arabia, organized the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1918, the Leader of the rebellion was proclaimed man of the people – a Habibullah Kalakani, Tajik by nationality.

Habibullah declared secular schools and robes, Newspapers and radio things vile in the eyes of Allah and subject to extermination. Proponents Habibulla crushing “shaytanic” Telegraph poles, restored the Sharia court killed the women who withdrew the veil, and school teachers. The riots gained momentum, to the fanatics joined the government forces. A significant role in the rebellion was played by the gang of robber bands, displaced to the territory of Afghanistan from Soviet Central Asia.

14 Jan 1929 Amanullah Khan fled from Kabul to Kandahar, the traditional center of Pashtun tribe Barakzai to which he belonged. 17 Jan supporters Habibulla informationdrank in Kabul. The Afghan capital, something happened, which later was repeated in 1992 after the entry of spooks.

the Failure of the red army March into Afghanistan

Victory Habibulla involved further in Afghanistan the British positions and a direct threat to Soviet Central Asia. The Soviet leadership could not come to terms with it. In March 1929, after a meeting in Moscow with foreign Minister of Afghanistan the Ghulam Sidiq Khan and Ambassador of Afghanistan to the USSR by Ghulam Nabi Khan Charkhi (we are talking about the legitimate Royal government), Stalin ordered to prepare a secret operation for the invasion of Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

the Soldiers had to change the shape of the Afghan army. During the operation, the commanders of the received code names. So, the commander of a detachment of the corps commander, Vitali Primakov was named raghib Bey. The invasion force numbered only 2,000 people from the air they were supported by the air force. It was assumed that the population is dissatisfied with the Board of Islamic fanatics will be on the side of the legitimate king, and the king will advance towards Kandahar.

on April 15, 1929, the red army crossed the Amu Darya. First they helped the element of surprise, and they took the important city in the North of Afghanistan – Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh and Tashkurgan. However, the estimation of the support of the local population did not materialize. On the contrary, at the call of the mullahs, the people rose together against the “infidels”. Steps to conceal nor to no avail – in the “Afghan” soldiers immediately recognized the Russian.

In may 1929, a contingent of red army soldiers, replaced by the time of the commander (he became a divisional commander Alexander Cherepanov, the future military adviser in China), was actually blocked in Khulm. By this time, Amanullah Khan was defeated near Kandahar and refused to fight for the throne, fled from the country. After that, the campaign was pointless, and the continued presence of the red Army in Afghanistan threatened international complications.

By the beginning of June, losing about 120 people were killed, the they Cherepanov was removed on Soviet territory. More than 300 participants in the campaign were awarded orders of the red banner.

Remake in 1930, a

Victory over the red Army was inspired by the Afghan Mujahideen, and they were intensively promote the Basmachi. In these circumstances, the command of the Central Asian military district decided to conduct a new operation in Afghanistan, but is now pursuing a narrower goal – the defeat of the Basmachi bases near the Soviet border.

This operation was carried out at the end of June 1930 in severouralsky Kunduz province, a detachment under the command of brigade commander James Melkumova. In 1922 Melkumov famously eliminated the Basmachi leader Enver Pasha, former war Minister of the Ottoman Empire and the organizer of the Armenian genocide in 1915.

the Soldiers destroyed weapons depots, burned the towns of refugees from Central Asia, which supplied personnel for the Basmachi and safely returned to the USSR, losing only one man killed. The loss of the robber bands made up of more than 800 people.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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