Ghosts in the Mountains: The Soviet-Afghan War – Part 1

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By Zach Cornwell and Evergreen Podcasts. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When Soviet Russia invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, few could have imagined what a seismic impact it would have on the modern world. In an attempt to prop up a wobbly client regime, the Soviets sparked a transnational jihad, inflamed Cold War tensions, and hastened the downfall of their own empire. Often referred to as “Russia’s Vietnam”, the Soviet-Afghan War is an overlooked, deeply misunderstood, and immensely important conflict. In this first installment of a multi-part series, we will explore how the Soviets found themselves ensnared in the “graveyard of empires”, through the eyes of the everyday people who experienced it firsthand.

SOURCES:

Ahmadi-Miller, Enjeela. The Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan. 2019.

Ansari, Mir Tamim. Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan. 2012.

Barfield, Thomas. Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History. 2010.

Borovik, Artyom. The Hidden War. 1990.

Braithewaite, Rodric. Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-1989. 2011.

Coll, Steve. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to 2001. 2004.

Dobbs, Michael. Down with Big Brother: The Fall of the Soviet Empire. 1997.

Feifer, Gregory. The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan. 2009.

Fremont-Barnes, Gregory. The Soviet-Afghan War, 1979-89. 2012.

Galeotti, Mark. Storm-333: KGB and Spetsnaz Seize Kabul. 2021.

Grau, Lester W. The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics In Afghanistan. 1996.

Hosdon, Peregrine. Under a Sickle Moon: A Journey Through Afghanistan. 1986.

Kalinovsky, Artemy. A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan. 2011.

Kaplan, Robert D. Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 2001.

Rosen, Ethan. The Bear, The Dragon, & the AK-47. 2017.

Tanner, Stephen. Afghanistan: A Military History of Afghanistan from Alexander the Great to the War Against the Taliban. 2009.

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