In Dec. 1979, the then ūüí™mighty¬†U.S.S.R¬†sent its military to invade Afghanistan.

They were sent to support the¬†Afghan communist govt.¬†in its conflictūü§ļ with anti-communist Muslim guerrillas.

Soon, the Soviet govt. assumed complete¬†military¬†and¬†political¬†control of capital¬†KabulūüĆÜ and large portions of the country.

Met a fierce resistance

The Soviet invasion led to the start of a guerrilla war by insurgent groups✊ collectively called as the mujahideen, against the Soviet Army.

They were¬†extensively ūüĎćbacked¬†by the U.S, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, thus turning the¬†conflict¬†into a¬†proxy Cold War.

The US intelligence agencyūüēĶ‚Äć‚ôā¬†CIA played a key role¬†in this¬†conflict¬†by funding military operations.

In addition, thousands of¬†Muslim volunteers¬†travelled from all parts of the worldūüĆé to join and¬†fight along with the mujahideen.

A Decisive tactic

The Soviets used massive air powerūüõę against rebels but they successfully neutralized it through the use ofshoulder-fired antiaircraft ‚ÄėStinger‚Äô¬†missiles supplied by the U.S.

Overall Soviets lost over¬†300 helicopters¬†and over¬†100 jetsūüõ¨.

How it all ended?

By the mid-1980s, the¬†military¬†and diplomatic¬†cost of the war¬†became¬†unbearableūüėü for the USSR.

Having lost over¬†15,000 troops¬†in the war, the then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ordered the withdrawalūüôč‚Äć‚ôā of his country‚Äôs troops which got completed in¬†1989.

Massive Human toll

About 2 million Afghan civilians diedūüė≠ and over¬†4 million¬†fled the country as¬†refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran during this conflict.

A huge Impact

The failure in the Afghan war later¬†played a contributing factor¬†to the¬†fall‚§Ķ of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Also, the Pakistani jihadi machinery which was set up to recruit, train and¬†operationalise Mujahideen¬†in Afghanistan turned its guns toward Kashmir in India. Thus, the Afghan invasion, which ended in 1989 led to the¬†start of terrorismūüĎŅ in Kashmir.

In Popular culture too

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the¬†inspiration¬†behind the movieūüéě, Rambo III.

In it, the hero Rambo played by¬†Sylvester Stallone¬†goes to Afghanistan to fightūü§ļ Russian army to rescue his friend, a military¬†commander¬†from the Soviet‚Äôs custody.

What happened to Sharbat Gul?

In 2003, Steve McCurry¬†searchedūüßź for¬†Sharbat Gul¬†and found her living in a refugee camp.

He clicked her pic which again made the headlines world over.

In Nov. 2016,¬†Sharbat Gul was deported¬†backūüĎČ to Afghanistan.