DUSHANBE, February 14, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- A series of actions dedicated to the 23rd anniversary of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan are being held in Dushanbe and other cities of the countries from February 12 to February 15.

Shavkat Mirzoyev, chairman of Tajikistan’s Union of Veterans of Soviet-Afghan War, said the event to honor memory of soldiers who died in the Afghan War (1979-1989) was held in Dushanbe on February 12 and the veterans from all regions of the countries attended that event.

On February 15, the veterans will gather on the square at the monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Mironenko.  

According to Tajikistan’s Union of Veterans of Soviet-Afghan War, between 9,000 and 11,000 veterans of the Afghan War now live in Tajikistan.

The Soviet War in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan at their own request when on December 27, 1979, 700 Soviet troops dressed in Afghan uniforms, including KGB and GRU special force officers from the Alpha Group and Zenith Group, occupied major governmental, military and media buildings in Kabul, including their primary target—the Tajbeg Presidential Palace.

The initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979 under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.  The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Between December 25, 1979 and February 15, 1989, a total of 620,000 soldiers, including some 15,000 nationals of Tajikistan, served with the forces in Afghanistan.

The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453.  365 nationals of Tajikistan died in actions in Afghanistan during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.