Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan

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Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
Part of the Soviet war in Afghanistan
RIAN archive 58833 Withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.jpg
A column of Soviet BTR-80s during the withdrawal.
Date 15 May 1988 - 15 February 1989
Location Afghanistan
Result Successful Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
 Soviet Union Flag of Jihad.svg Afghan Mujahideen
Commanders and leaders
Soviet Union Boris Gromov Various
Casualties and losses
523 killed[1] 1,200 killed

The withdrawal of Soviet combatant forces from Afghanistan began on 15 May 1988 and successfully executed on 15 February 1989 under the leadership of Colonel-General Boris Gromov who also was the last Soviet general officer to walk from Afghanistan back into Soviet territory through the Afghan-Uzbek Bridge.


Under the Geneva Accords on 14 April 1988, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed three instruments-on principles of mutual relations, in particular non-interference and non-intervention, on the voluntary return of Afghan refugees, and on interrelationships for the settlement, which provided for phased withdrawal of foreign soldiers to begin on 15 May. The United States and the Soviet Union also signed a declaration on international guarantees, stating they would both refrain from any form of interference and intervention.

In the first three-month period, it was reported that some 50,183 foreign soldiers had withdrawn. Another 50,100 left between 15 August 1988 and 15 February 1989.

During the process of withdrawal, Soviet troop convoys came under attack by Afghan fighters. In all 523 Soviet soldiers and 1,200 Mujahedeen fighters were killed during the withdrawal.[1]

The total withdrawal of all Soviet soldiers from Afghanistan was completed on 15 February 1989, in compliance with the terms of the Geneva Accords signed 10 months earlier.

In a symbolic move, Lt. Gen. Boris Gromov was the last to walk from Afghanistan back into Soviet territory.


  1. ^ a b "How Not to End a War". The Washington Post. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 

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