Oleg Shenin: USSR was right to have its troops in Afghanistan

“The expected strike” on Afghanistan caused wild reactions from different politicians. Here is what Oleg Shenin, a member of the former Soviet Communist Party, had to say on the score to a PRAVDA.Ru correspondent (Shenin used to work in Kabul in the beginning of the 80s as a councilor).

“Even back in those years, we could feel the threat that Islamic fundamentalism would spread in the world and the Soviet Union decided its troops should enter Afghanistan. I have to tell you I have never considered that step to be a mistake. On the contrary, it was a mistake to call the troops off. We just left our friends and Yeltsin and his team betrayed them. So now, 12 years afterwards, Russia is involved in military conflict again. Why is that? Because the Russian interests will always be present there. Who grew the Taliban? The USA did – in order to struggle with the USSR. The fact that the Taliban seized the republic is the direct outcome of that action, when the Soviet troops were withdrawn. Now it seems that America has to deal with the blizzard it has caused itself. Another thing is that I do not approve the bombing of Kabul, Kandagar, and other settlements. I say this is not a counter-terrorist operation, but air aggression. They said they would bomb only the camps and guerrillas’ bases, but they hit the civilians. This is the new Yugoslavia. I do not consider the position of the Russian President to be immaculate. In my opinion, Putin is dealing with what George Bush senior and Yeltsin did. Since Russia took the side of the Northern Alliance, I do not exclude some responding actions from the Talibs against our country.”

Prepared by Alexander Golovenko PRAVDA.Ru

Reuters photo: A Tomahawk cruise missile burns brightly as it is launched from the Aegis class U.S. destroyer John Paul Jones sailing on the Arabian Sea October 7, 2001.

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