Rus Articles Journal

Soldiers are internationalists: whether only Afghanistan?

were brought on February 15, 1989 the last Soviet military units out of Afghanistan. This day is also designated Day of memory of soldiers - internationalists. All know also many remember this long and senseless war, but our military served not only in this country.

During the period after the end of World War II and before disintegration “great and mighty“ the Soviet military personnel took part in the military conflicts in 26 countries of the world. Long time information on it usually consisted in the general ascertaining of the fact: they fulfilled the international duty and gave help to the friendly people in fight against capitalism and colonialism.

So we know about others wars on which our soldiers were at war?

In post-war time opposition between the USSR and the USA amplified. At the same time in many countries of Asia and Africa began national - liberation movements for independence. According to “Truman`s doctrine“, the USA began creation of military bases in other countries, motivating it with need of military aid. The Soviet Union, in turn, offered support to those countries which chose a socialist way of development. In response to accession of Germany to NATO in 1955 at the initiative of the USSR the Warsaw Treaty Organization which part almost all socialist countries were was created.

Their participation in the Korean war (1950-53) as a result of which the country was divided into two parts became one of the first oppositions in the relations of two superstates. Officially Soviet Union did not participate in war, but the financial aid, divisions of the Air Force and military experts actually went.

During civil war in Laos (1960-1970) USSR directed military experts and advisers there. In 1965-74 antiaircraft gunners were at war on side of the Democratic Republic Vietnam against the American troops.

To Yemen sent military planes with crews in 1962-63. During civil war in Mozambique (1967-88) the Union supported one of the parties, directing military experts and the weapon. During civil war in Angola many Soviet soldiers were directly involved in military operations, all more than 11 thousand soldiers during the period from 1975 to 1979 served in this country. In Algeria worked hard the Soviet sappers for mine clearing of the territory and mitigation of consequences of military operations.

But the culmination of opposition of two superstates there was a so-called Caribbean Crisis (1962) when the world was on the threshold of the third world war: nuclear warheads were set ready, and military waited only for the order. Soldiers participated during wars in Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia and others.

Except military support of the Asian and African countries, the foreign policy of the USSR was also guided by “Brezhnev`s doctrine“ that provided a possibility of military intervention in affairs of the countries of the socialist block if there is a threat to a socialist system. Introduction to Czechoslovakia of troops from member countries of the Warsaw pact in number of about 300 thousand people during events of “The Prague spring“ (1968) became result.

Performance of an international debt was considered as honorary duties nearly of each serviceman. - internationalists became soldiers voluntarily - forcibly, it was the part of military service, and selection of candidates was made very strictly and in the conditions of the increased privacy. The state of health, professionalism, political views was considered, the candidate surely had to be the member of CPSU.

However not all from them participated in military operations, many served even in civilian clothes. They worked as military advisers, trained in use of the weapon, served air defense systems and other military equipment. As statements for humanitarian aid officially sounded, quite often professional military (pilots, tankmen) had to act under others names.

The general losses made about 17,5 thousand people, of them more than 15 thousand - in Afghanistan. Besides, tens of thousands were wounded and suffered from various tropical diseases. Now all soldiers - internationalists have the status of veterans - combatants. In Soviet period only the Afghan war was recognized openly and officially, and information on other countries has still some.