Putin Says Past Experience, Including That Of Former USSR, Must Be Considered While Planning Operation In Afghanistan

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that past experience, including that of the former USSR, must be considered while conducting an international anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan. According to the RIA Novosti correspondent, Putin said during the meeting with American journalists that "the USSR's negative experience should not be neglected either. "It is often said that the USSR lost the war in Afghanistan," President said. "But if we scrutinize the development of the situation there, throwing aside propaganda, we shall see that the USSR attained its goals." Putin recognized that "unpardonable political errors" had been admitted at that time. But, as for results in the military sphere, even after the Soviet troops were withdrawn, the Najibullah regime remained in power for three years in an unstable situation. The political error, Putin said, was that the Najibullah's government did not have support among different ethnic groups and political forces in the country, nor was it supported by most countries of the world." The President mentioned that the Soviet government could not help but make such a mistake. It was pre-determined by the bipolar international system based on ideologies. "Now there is no split like that, and we should not repeat the error". "This is the goal of the anti-terrorist coalition.", Putin concluded.

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