February 15, 2019

Badakhshan, Afghanistan

30 years ago today, the Soviet-Afghan War ended. On February 15, 1989, the last Soviet troops departed from Afghanistan. Between 1979 and 1989, over 15 thousand Soviet militaries died at this war. Afghan civilian casualties were enormous: between 650 thousand and 2 million civilians of this Central Asian country were killed. Several millions of Afghan citizens were forced to flee the country as refugees.

10 years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the Congress of Peoples' Deputies of the Soviet Union passed a resolution of “moral and political condemnation” of the decision to introduce Soviet troops into Afghanistan in 1979. The Afghan war was one of the main reasons that led to the breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Image by Timur Nusimbekov

The photograph depicts North Afghanistan in February 2018. Just as hundreds and thousands of years ago, a caravan is making its way along these mountain passages and cliffs. It is sometimes overtaken by people heading to nearby villages on their scooters. At the end of each month, along the mighty Pyandj river, people from the neighboring towns and villages, Tajiks and Afghans, meet at the bazaar where they can exchange news, goods, and stories. Peaceful life is slowly returning to these mountains…

Published: February 15, 2019