"REMEMBER, COMRADE, YOU, AFGHANISTAN..."* AFGHANISTAN HAS WRITTEN A TRAGIC PAGE IN THE HISTORY OF THE LAST DECADE OF THE SOVIET UNION'S EXISTENCE A. Y. URNOV Doctor of Historical Sciences Throughout history, the USSR's relations with Afghanistan have remained traditionally friendly. In 1919. The Soviet Union was the first to recognize Afghanistan; in February 1921, a Treaty of friendship was signed between the two countries, and in June 1931, a Treaty of Neutrality and mutual non-aggression, which was repeatedly extended - the last time shortly before the sharp turn in the history of our southern neighbor-in December 1975. Over the years, the internal political changes that have taken place in Afghanistan have not hindered the development of bilateral relations. Afghanistan was one of the first "third world" states visited by Soviet leaders in the post-Stalin years. In the late 1950s, it ranked 3rd among recipients of Soviet economic aid, second only to India and Egypt.1 The length of the border between the two countries exceeded 2 thousand km, which in itself made Afghanistan important from the point of view of the security interests of the Soviet Union. This significance increased in connection with the Soviet-Chinese conflict and the victory of Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. THE REVOLUTION IS OUT OF TIME Since the mid-1960s, the left-wing movement in Afghanistan has been represented by two political parties - Khalq ("People") and Parcham ("Banner"), which were formed as a result of the split of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) created in 1965. "Khalq", which was headed by M. Taraki, was closely connected with the army environment and relied more on the largest ethnic group of the country - the Pashtuns. B. Karmal was at the head of the "Parcham", in which another major ethnic group, the Tajiks, enjoyed considerable influence. There were many progressive-minded intellectuals and representatives of bourgeois circles in its ranks. Both parties o ... Read more

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