Mark Galeotti Mark Galeotti

The Soviet spectre haunting Afghanistan

(Photo by DOUGLAS E. CURRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

As US and British forces pull out of Afghanistan, further victims of the ‘grave of empires’, Russia is experiencing a mix of satisfaction, exasperation and trepidation.

It has its own bitter memories of the country, after all. In 1979, as a friendly regime was falling back in the face of a mounting Islamic fundamentalist insurgency, Soviet forces rolled into Afghanistan.

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