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The impact of the Afghan War on soviet soldiers ()
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The impact of the Afghan War on soviet soldiers.

 

Defense of the Socialist Motherland is the sacred duty of every citizen

of the USSR.

 

Article 62, Soviet 1977 Constitution

 

Soviet invasion in Afghanistan started in December 1979, when the first

military troops crossed the Afghan border. Only at the time of

perestroyka, in the year 1988, Gorbachov, the leader of Politburo -

start the process of withdrawing military troops from the territory of

Afghanistan. Between 1979 and 1988, about 15,000 soldiers were killed,

and many others were wounded. Gorbachov wanted to stop that war. He

stopped it as a historical fact. But did he stop that war inside the

hearts of thousands of veterans who came back to their homes? Did he

prevent the negative impact of that war on soldiers lives? The answer

is simple - no. My essay will give evidence in support of this opinion.

 

The Afghan War changed many peoples lives in the USSR. Still, in

present-day Russia, the consequences of that war are appeared. The

greatest impact of the Afghan War can be seen on the people who were

there - soldiers who had to serve in Afghanistan and fulfill their

international duty. The war for which there was no need, had destroyed

many soldiers lives. Fifteen thousand of them had been killed, and many

others had been injured, some having become invalids, unneeded to the

government who had sent them to that war, and to the people who were not

in the war. Every single young man who went to Afghanistan continued his

life differently from the people who had never been there. The effect

was due not merely to a war, but to the whole system of the ex-USSR. In

my essay I will try to describe both of these effects on soldiers

lives.

 

The new life for the eighteen year old boys began when they graduated

from high school. Some of them became recruits during the spring draft,

others during the fall draft. Recruits bound for Afghanistan would

receive 8-10 weeks training before being sent to their units. From that

moment they became subject to the subordination of officers through the

formal channels of authority, and the informal of dedovshina

(discrimination by the older soldiers). Newcomers were kept in line,

while being beaten. This continued until the new soldiers agreed to

acquiesce. That was just the beginning of soldiers lives, being sent to

the war they all experienced in very different ways. The impact of

fighting and the experience of killing, dedovshina, an alien military

institution, and an alien land changed the characters and lives of the

soldiers before they returned home. We were in an alien land. And why

were we there? To this day, for some, it doesnt matter.

 

War in Afghanistan was not exclusively a male war. Many of the women

who volunteered to served in Afghanistan were nurses, others filled a

variety of support or nurture roles (as cooks, for example). The rest

were involved in paperwork or communication. For these in Afghanistan

women the main problem became men. They attracted soldiers in

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