Abstract. The focus of the article is on the Afghan war of 1979–1989. The analysis is based on the interviews with the Afghan war veterans from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan where they describe the details of their tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The article outlines the results of three-year work of an international group of researchers from the United States, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan who publish the book entitled "Memory of Afghan Flame. Interview with the veterans of the Afghan war of 1979–1989". The project included collection of "Oral history" of the soldiers-internationalists who participated in the war in Afghanistan and the production of the documentary. The project was executed by the directors Marlene Laru- elle (USA, France) and Botagoz Rakisheva (Kazakhstan) together with the project leaders Muzaffar Olimov and Saodat Olimova in Tajikistan and Igor Biryukov in Uzbekistan.
The project is conducted by the Research Institute of "Public Opinion". Most of the social research in general and Oral history in particular have been conducted to study the Russian veterans, while the experience of those from Central Asia have been mainly overlooked although people from the southern republics of the Soviet Union played a decisive role in Afghan War particularly as interpreters and advisers. Therefore, an international project of Kazakh, Tajik and Uzbek researchers gives the voice to the veterans from Central Asia.
They share their experience that is independent from the current ideological pressures describing the reality of their daily lives as well as those of their fellow soldiers and officers and the relationship with the Afghan people.
The international group of researchers from the USA, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan has been working for three years to present in this article the result of their research as a book "Memories from the Flame of Afghanistan. Interviews with the soldiers-internationalists of the Afghan war, 1979-1989."  The Project of the same name included collecting interviews, by the ‘oral history’ method, with the soldiersinternationalists, participants of war in Afghanistan, as well as preparation of the documentary film . Marlene Laruelle (USA-France) and Botagoz Rakisheva (Kazakhstan) were the project managers.
Collection of information about the Afghan war from its direct participants, in order to preserve historical memory of one of the most tragic pages in our history became the main objective of the project. In total, 20 interviews in Uzbekistan, 30 interviews in Tajikistan, 20 interviews in Kazakhstan have been conducted.
For several years many sociological works and researches were devoted to the Russian "Afghans", occupying an important niche in significant part of the patriotically focused youth’s activities in modern Russia. The project "Memories from the Flame of Afghanistan. Interviews with soldiers–internationalists of the Afghan war, 1979-1989" has risen, for the first time, an issue about participation of the soldiers from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan. Little is known about them, though citizens of the southern republics of the former Soviet Union played a crucial role, especially, as interpreters and advisers.
This article consists of excerpts from the interviews with participants of the Afghan war, veterans from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan.
In 1979, the USSR decided to intervene in Afghanistan .
Many soldiers tried to avoid mentioning Afghanistan in their letters, so not to make their relatives upset. Afghan tragedy has claimed the lives of almost 15000 young soldiers who never came back alive .
Abdulloyev Rakhmatullo (Tajikistan), 1958, an interpreter, years of service 1981–1982, and again in 1986–1988 (Kabul, Kandahar, Qalat, Helmand, Afghanistan):
"Before being moved to Afghanistan I had attended higher-level training courses and obtained many skills (including, mountain training, handling different categories of weapon, transport driving, etc.) We were trained by highly qualified military professionals. There was the deep sense of pride in our commanders, who had been training us before Afghanistan. Almost all soldiers believed in official version for the limited contingent of the Soviet troops to stay in Afghanistan. Many people supported the position of the Soviet Union on Afghanistan. We believed and we believe today that we have provided military, economic, cultural assistance to Afghan people, as well as training for all spheres of their social life. We were not ashamed for our actions in Afghanistan. We have found plenty of friends among Afghan people and still keep in touch for more than 25 years after service. There were discussions among the soldiers about the feasibility of the Soviet troops’ staying in Afghanistan, but unofficially. Even if somebody spoke out against, he would be sent back to the USSR".
Abildin Yerzhan (Kazakhstan), 1965, a machine-gunner, years of service 1984–1986, (Badakhshan, Afghanistan):
"I was tempted, but on the other side, I was scared. My mum, dad, brothers, a sister were at home, I’m the oldest son. During the service I never wrote my family that I was in Afghanistan. They only found out it when I came back home. Also, while leaving to the mountains for an ambush, convoying and other tasks, the main aim was not to surrender. One bullet is always for yourself, so you surely do not surrender".
Kambarov Kamaleddin (Uzbekistan), 1960, Private, a driver-electrical engineer, years of service 1980–1982, (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"I did not inform my family about serving in Afghanistan; I told them I was serving in Germany, because address was a field post. In Tashkent, I wrote my father that I arrived for a new transport, and let him come if he can. I gave him an address of the military hospital. There my father saw the hospital full of many young people without legs or arms, fully wrapped. I showed him my two legs and arms in the right place. My bandage was already removed, I grew some hair, but he noticed a scar and asked about it, so I answered that I fell down. He did not believe how I could fall down. He came with my aunt, and she said: ‘Kamaleddin, you should fall down twice in corridor, so they could discharge you.’ I came back to Afghanistan and served for a year and a half, they gave me a holiday. Many soldiers did not come back from holidays - they had jaundice, got married, changed their last name, etc".
Shalov Tukembay (Kazakhstan), 1960, a sniper, a machine-gunner of the 70th Mechanized Brigade, years of service 1979–1981, (Kandahar, Afghanistan):
"Nobody told us anything about Afghanistan. When we had already passed Moscow, in Orenburg (we were flying through Orenburg, then to Aktyubinsk) we heard from citizens that we are moving to Afghanistan. That our people support their revolution, and that was all we knew. We were sent to Kushka, Mary province, Turkmen ASR. In Kushka, a company was formed for departure to Afghanistan. More people arrived from Sverdlovsk region, from different regions, like Moscow military region, and Germany. Southern group of armed forces was formed there. Kazakh, Turkmen, Uzbek guerrillas were originated from there, they were first to enter Afghanistan. That is how, as the saying goes, we have been formed for 10 days there, and then entered Afghanistan.
We were constantly going to the routine fields, resting for day or two and keep going. Sometimes on the raid we might find out about a caravan from Pakistan full of weapons. We were constantly raiding".
Mardonov Nurmakhmad (Tajikistan), 1963, Junior Sergeant, years of service 1982–1984, (Jalal-Abad, Afghanistan):
Picture 1. – a photograph from personal archive of Shalov Tukembay (Kazakhstan), 1960, a sniper, a machine-gunner of the 70th Mechanized Brigade, years of service 1979–1981, (Kandahar, Afghanistan)
"Nobody ever asked us if we wanted to serve in Afghanistan. As far as I know, some people did not want to serve there. There was no information, except official reports, not in the newspapers, nor on television. Everyone tried to avoid talking about Afghanistan."
Tulekpayev Miranbek (Kazakhstan), 1961, Deputy Platoon Commander, years of service (1980–1982), (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"We have been trained for two months and ten days, I think, and then were sent directly to Afghanistan. Others say they did not know where they would get to. I knew! There were some rumors lately – "to Afghanistan, to Afghanistan". Majority of us, who had been selected, were Muslims".
Picture 2. - a photograph from archive of Mardonov Nurmahmad (Tajikistan), born in 1963, junior sergeant, years of service - 1982–1984, (Jalalabad, Afghanistan)
Mavlonov Akramjon (Tajikistan), 1964, a sniper-interpreter, years of service 1984–1986, (Bagram Airport, Kabul, Kunduz, Panjshir, Herat, Kandahar, Gardez, Badakhshan, Salang, Afghanistan):
"We were trained well, and we were ready for serving in Afghanistan. But serving in mountains meant more difficulty. We were trained by the officers, who had served in Afghanistan.
Gained knowledge fully corresponded to the service, however, it was difficult to adapt, because we were mostly going to the field in the mountains. The climate in Afghanistan was not suitable for us. It has been tough because of a lot of rainfall in mountain areas. We have even stayed in Salang for some time, since a helicopter could not arrive due to fog and heavy clouds. Commanders have lost settling. We were left without food and got sick."
Khidirov Erkin (Uzbekistan), 1967, Sergeant Major, Deputy Commander of Motorized Rifles
Platoon, years of service 1985–1987, (Panjshir, Afghanistan):
‘I was enlisted in the Soviet Army in November, 1985. Military training was held in Ashgabat, Turkestan military region, and lasted one month and half. Officers – "buyers" have told us about sending to Afghanistan in Termez’s regional collection point. I almost had no idea about what is going on in the neighboring country. I thought that the Soviet troops had been ensuring the security of the USSR there."
Picture 3. - a photograph from personal archive of Khidirov Erkin (Uzbekistan), 1967, Sergeant Major, Deputy Commander of Motorized Rifles Platoon, years of service 1985–1987, (Panjshir, Afghanistan).
Kambarov Kamaleddin (Uzbekistan), 1960, Private, a driver-electrical engineer, years of service 1980–1982, (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"We were told that soldiers-internationalists had been invited there to protect April Revolution. We had to help Afghan people to protect their southern borders. We were trained under accelerated program, it was tough. We even asked to be sent to Afghanistan as soon as possible instead of suffering here. There had been 30 people in the company, when I arrived to Afghanistan, having served in Germany, Russia, and the Baltic States. They had been sent to Afghanistan with their equipment, and have already finished serving, an order has been issued. When they saw us, they started throwing up their hats. The next day, the short-timers handed over the equipment and left for the USSR."
Negmatov Iskandar (Tajikistan), 1961, an aimer of self-propelled artillery, years of service 1979–1981, (Badakhshan, Afghanistan):
"We were informed about the reasons for the Soviet troops staying in Afghanistan. I think we have fulfilled our international obligation in Afghanistan. Our service was essential. I was proud of upcoming service in Afghanistan. There were no discussions between soldiers. We were just fulfilling our duty to our motherland."
Safarov Abroriddin (Tajikistan), 1966, soldier, years of service 1985–1987, (Badakhshan, Fayzabad, Afghanistan):
"Young men, who were serving with me in Afghanistan, were loyal to their motherland. I did not consider the service in Afghanistan as a positive step in a carrier ladder, or possibility of gaining some benefits or improving my welfare. I did not think about it at all. There were no such thoughts among the soldiers, too. The Soviet people were mostly thinking about their obligations to the motherland, not about welfare."
Zhumaldikhanov Askar (Kazakhstan), 1959, Head of radio relay station, years of service 1983-1984, (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"Actually, the social structure of the Soviet Union made everybody a patriot of the highest level. Everybody was saturated with such upbringing, as honesty, truth, justice, ‘not a step backward’…"
Kassimov Olimjon (Tajikistan), 1959, an interpreter, year of service 1981, (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"The service in Afghanistan was considered as duty, since we took the oath as officers. Discussions among the solders arose after withdrawal from Afghanistan; there were no doubts while staying in Afghanistan."
Picture 4. - a photograph from personal archive of Negmatova Iskandar (Tajikistan), born in 1961, self-propelled guns gunner, years of service - 1979–1981. (Badakhshan, Afghanistan)
One of the most important moments of the service was relations with local people. The veterans estimated the relations with local people differently. There have been cases when military doctors provided medical assistance to local people. Soldiers delivered basic food items, mended buildings, which suffered from gunfire. The Soviet troops were guarding roads, constructed basic necessities (schools, hospitals, etc). They had guarded and provided functioning of aerodromes in large cities. They were convoying caravans with military and economic cargoes for their own use and for the benefit of the DRA.
Together with the Afghan units and subunits had conducted military operations of a different scale to defeat the armed opposition groups, and also had fought with the caravans delivering weapons and ammunition to the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran.
Abeldinova Valentina (Kazakhstan), 1965, a surgery nurse, years of service 1986–1988, (Bagram, Afghanistan):
"We had provided medical assistance to everyone, that is, we helped our soldiers, our troops, and the population, who were living there. We delivered babies, and did the surgery operations, which… if people got into a firefight, and they were brought to us, we did not refuse anyone."
Olimov Murtazo (Tajikistan), 1960, Unit Commander, Platoon Deputy Commander, years of service 1979–1981, (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"The attitude of the local population to the Soviet soldiers was different: in the north – quite well, in the south or southeast – badly. Especially with the Pashtuns it was not so good. Afghans had treated the natives of Central Asia among the Soviet soldiers more kindly than the others".
Picture 5. – a photograph from personal archive of Shalov Tukembay (Kazakhstan), 1960, a sniper, a machine-gunner of the 70th Mechanized Brigade, years of service 1979–1981, (Kandahar, Afghanistan)
Khaknazarov Murodali (Tajikistan), 1964, an interpreter, years of service 1987–1989, (JalalAbad, Afghanistan):
"Local Afghan population had treated our soldiers badly, but it was not obvious, though. But war is war, in some places they welcomed us, but somewhere wanted payback. As if we came to destroy Islam. But there were some special groups, who often met with the population."
Sheraliyev Abdukakhor (Tajikistan), 1966, an interpreter-cook, years of service 1984–1986, (Termez, Mazari-Sharif, Afghanistan):
"I had not faced any conflict cases between our troops and local people. But from conversations and meetings with the local population it became clear that the Afghans did not want the presence of our army on their land. I knew this, because I was engaged in translation. They hated us, but did not express it clearly. There was a case with detained Afghan, when while translating, I realized that he was cheating and not telling the truth. He kept saying: "We support you! Why have you captured a civilian?"
Balkassymov Aslan (Kazakhstan), 1960, mountain-gamekeeper battalion, Deputy Platoon Commander, years of service 1979-1981, (Salang, Afghanistan):
"It is possible to tell, that there were no conflicts with local population. Our 7th company stood downhill from Salang. We lived in peace and friendship with locals, they were good simple people. There was a dermen at our place, where they could ground corn, and bake cornbread. They had their own affairs, we had our own affairs. For example, we helped to restore school – again those constant blow ups. They were mercenaries, too. Perhaps, they don't allow the Afghan people to study."
Koilybayev Marat (Kazakhstan), 1968, Auto battalion, a driver, years of service 1986–1989, (Khairaton, Afghanistan):
"Mountainous area requires spectacular tactics. Generally, it is difficult there. If we drive a car we choose a route. That is interesting, once the cultivating begins – Afghanistan is silent, everyone is engaged in work. Once the cultivatingis finished – attack begins. Harvesting begins – again silence, everyone is engaged in business. Harvesting has ended – it starts again.
How to say "civilians", if there is one nation. I happened to be a guest in Kabul. There were two or three of us on the duty, and one local invited us to visit him. When we were sitting, his brothers arrived. It turned out, that he was engaged in business, the second brother was a policeman, working in militia, the third one – in mountains, a dushman. One family. Me – why, he didn't do anything to me. As I told before: during harvesting – they seem walking peacefully, once harvesting is over, they start shooting".
Saidov Saidislom (Tajikistan), 1963, Head of radio intelligence, years of service 1982–1984, (Bagram, Afghanistan):
"The conflicts happened, but they were imperceptible. Generally they suffered during bombardments. And they tried to do us harm in any way. For example, they could transmit false information through aksakals, and once we had to wait for a caravan eight days on false information. During conversations, they were saying as if we came to destroy dushmans, and are actually occupied with other things".
Kusrayev Murtazi (Uzbekistan), 1968, Private, Squad Leader, year of service 1988, (Kandahar, Afghanistan):
"Local population is not always peaceful. If basmach, loaded up with grenades, bearing a spade, pretending to be a dekhkanin, asked us for some bread, and stewed meet, and then blew up himself (together with our soldiers), what respect can be here? But there were those who gave a drink of water.
What does it mean to bomb out from "Sush- ka" from five kilometers height? Bombs could fly across 500-700 meters from the set target and fall down on peaceful shepherds or someone else. When we were going in the field, our CFM (center of fighting management) gave out accurate targeting, that in such square the band will be passing. There was a case when bandits let civilians ahead, and we had to shoot them together with bandits. In one and a half years of service there was only one such case".
Assoyev Gurez (Tajikistan), 1962, Private, a driver-mechanic, years of service 1980–1982, (Bagram, Afghanistan):
"During combat operations the population had been warned in advance. Those, who managed to leave areas of military operations, were in safety, and those, who for some reason couldn't leave it, could be lost. It is war. I know nothing about responsibility for their death".
Sagdullayev Davlyat-Bek (Uzbekistan), 1947, Head of the department of foreign languages, Pedagogical Academy DRA (the 1st secretary, Embassy of the USSR), years of service – 1983– 1985, (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"There were miscellaneous talks about the Afghan war. Much blood was spilled there, many people passed through this meat grinder. I was in Afghanistan three times and every time I met those guys who were at war on that side, were at war with us, with shuravs. And I didn't see rage in their eyes, didn't see rage in them".
Picture 6. – a photograph from personal archive of Sagdullayev Davlyat-Bek (Uzbekistan), 1947, Head of the Department of foreign languages, Pedagogical Academy DRA (the 1st secretary, Embassy of the USSR), years of service – 1983–1985, (Kabul, Afghanistan)
The former soldiers also told about combat operations, in which they were directly involved, about raids, ambushes on enemy caravans and sweeping the districts, about support from air.
Filippov Vitaly (Uzbekistan), 1964, a machine-gunner, years of service 1983–1985, (Herat, Afghanistan):
"In the summer of 1984, we were sent to take a caravan and ran into an ambush. An armored vehicle blew up on a mine. I got a mini explosive wound. The shooting, pain, blood. My fingers were torn off on the right hand. A foot of the left leg was broken, crumbled – it was amputated in the Tashkent hospital".
Khaldarov Sobir (Uzbekistan), 1968, Sergeant of the special troops, years of service 1987-1988, (Kandahar, Afghanistan):
"I have participated in combat operations many times. We destroyed groups of the rebels from Pakistan, intercepted caravans with the weapon in the desert. Dushmans always attacked at night – in two, three o’clock. When we were under close shooting, we took cover in a shelter".
Abdulloyev Rakhmatullo (Tajikistan), 1958, an interpreter, years of service 1981–1982, and again in 1986-1988 (Kabul, Kandahar, Qalat, Helmand, Afghanistan).
"I have participated in operations in the Kandahar and Zabol provinces, in summer operation of 1982 in the Panjshire valley. I have been awarded with government awards of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, and after all, we were working with Afghans. Thank God, I wasn't wounded. We bore significant losses in the summer of 1982 in Panjshire. As for the losses from Mujahideens, in most cases they took fallen soldiers with themselves. I think, there were many losses from their side too, as before large operations there was an intensive artillery preparation and BAB (bombing and assault blows) by aviation. Majority of wounded and contused soldiers had been captured in some cases. After interrogation they were transferred to the Afghan party".
Aminchonov Abdurafik (Tajikistan), 1964, Chief of radio interceptors, years of service 1982-1985, (Kabul, Afghanistan):
"Yes, I have participated in combat operations in 21 provinces of Afghanistan, as an interpreter and a radio interceptor. I have got a number of awards. I have received the Red Star award during Panjshire operation. I wasn't wounded. There were considerable losses from our side, as well as from Afghans. We didn't take captives. The Soviet and Afghan government troops always trusted each other. Almost all operations were joint, or we took at least one Afghan with us in the field.
Mujahideens were prepared perfectly well. All people helped Mujahideens, especially rich men".
Atabayev Kadyr (Uzbekistan), 1946, Chief pilot of the special plane of Najibullah, pilot of the 1st class, years of service 1989–1991, (Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan):
"We were flying to Kabul only at night, at the switched-off headlights, air navigation fires, nothing was switched on, and everything was switched off. We were curtaining off windows, disguising. When approaching the Salang, at the height of 7,800 m, we were picked up by two helicopters, from both sides, with traps. At a certain speed we started descending in full darkness.
We did not say anything through communicators. We only marked the turns - the first, the second, the third, the fourth… Helicopters accompanied us to the land, to the fourth turn at the height of 150 m. It is very low. We had a truncated communication, descended without headlights. The descent began from the pass, onto the single path in Kabul. We descended with the maximum vertical speed. The mode was "little gas", without draft, because exhaust gases do not work and it is not visible if the plane flies. On the fourth turn we brought engines almost to the take-off mode to give to the plane its forward speed. We were giving almost take-off mode in order to land normally. Therefore the crew ought to be interchangeable, mutual understanding was required".
Mamazhanov Dilshodbek (Uzbekistan), 1966, Sergeant, Commander of motorized rifle unit, years of service 1985-1986, (Panjshire, Afghanistan):
"We had colossal losses. During one operation, only 19 people have survived out of 47 in our company. The others were killed and wounded. In total about 100 people from a regiment were lost. It happened on May 5 or 17, 1985 in the Kidjoy Cross. Operation was on release (rescue) of the Afghan officers group. The helicopter with 9 Afghan colonels got shot down. We went to rescue them, it was pan-army operation. There was a major general Isayev – the Commander (the commander of the 108th motorized rifle division). Generally all regiments were there. At first, it was a war at distance there. But they let us approach closely, so it was necessary to call aviation. The aircrafts near us (very close) dropped a bomb. The opponent specially let us approach, it was planned, everything mixed up. It was terrible".
Mirzoyev Saifiddin (Uzbekistan), 1958, an interpreter, years of service 1983–1984, (Herat, Afghanistan):
"Yes, I have participated in combat operations as an interpreter. I have got the state combat award "For services in battle" and "For courage". I have no wounds. We had losses among soldiers and officers. I have no information about losses among the Afghan rebels. We did not captivate them.
We had losses during weekdays as well (not only in the fields). Once, our armored conveyor was shot out by the rebels on the road from the airport to the city of Herat. Two deputies ‒ on equipment (lieutenant colonel) and on political affairs (lieutenant colonel) were killed in this battle, including a driver (the ordinary soldier)".
Negmatov Iskandar (Tajikistan), 1961, an aimer of self-propelled artillery, years of service 1979-1981, (Badakhshan, Afghanistan):
"Yes, I have participated in combat operations. In three-four operations when we were liberating kishlaks from Mujahideens. I was there once as a loader of self-propelled guns, two times as an aimer. In 1980–1981, there were no awards. I got under attack, and was wounded with shrapnel, they helped me to recover in the first-aid station. There were few losses during operations. I do not know about losses among the rebels. We captivated soldiers, and officers sent them at the destination, but did not tell us."
Politin Oleg Valentinovich (Uzbekistan), 1966, Senior Sergeant, a senior mechanic-tank driver, years of service 1985–1986, (Ghazni, Afghanistan):
"I participated and I got wound in large military operations such as Alikheyl at the beginning of 1986, and Kandahar operations. Escorts of convoys had been on regular basis because our vehicles were (went) generally on the Gazni, Kabul, Kandahar directions. Large, big operations took place on Sakha in the middle of 1986, in May-June. Two operations were across Salang, two operations were Alikheyl, Kandahar, when the general was brought down in 1986, before the demobilization when their training center "dukhovskiy" was bombed out. Generally there were regular departures".
Hadzhiyev Yury (Kazakhstan), 1962, the nurse of a medical sanitary battalion, years of service 1981-1982, (Shindand, Herat, Afghanistan):
"It is possible to tell, that I know a lot about how many were wounded and dead. Actually we had transferred so many dead and wounded! I can't even tell. But figures, of course, were not what had been disclosed. A lot of people were lost. And there were many missing in Kandahar. At first, when I went to raid for the first time, I considered, for the sake of interest we considered it with guys, how many were dead, how many were pulled out, and then, in three month we already got off, count was lost. And for two years I am not able to tell at all, how many were pulled out during operation, how many people were put, sometimes it was somehow less. A lot of people died, many of them on mines, "benzoviks".
A number of the former soldiers - internationalists carry out an important work by searching the missing Kazakhstan soldiers being called from the territory of Kazakhstan.
Mukhanov Bolat (Kazakhstan), 1966, border troops, years of service 1984–1986, (the Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan):
"A decision was made literally about three years ago - a certain group was created at the Union of Afghanistan veterans of the Astana city. In general, the Russian Federation, the Committee on soldiers-internationalists affairs, headed by Ruslan Sultanovich Aushev, have been conducting this work for a very long time, they have got a certain database. We started literally four years ago, created the group which was engaged directly with the natives of KazSSR, who were called from the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the moment, according to our data, there are 21 persons. This is a number of people whom we have established to be a live, ‒ at the moment, they are within the territory of Afghanistan, and they are alive. In 2008, there was our first business trip, before we had been preparing the base.
We have a number of programs for summer now on expeditions ‒ I hope, we will bring some positive results. Also I wanted to emphasize ‒ unfortunately, I won't tell the names, - the Afghan companions, who actively help us, render assistance in collection of information (the country is extraordinary, though), provide us information, where, who and how they are now.
We strongly support the former Mujahideens to render us assistance (as field commanders), we closely communicate with them. There is no hostile attitude in our relations, we help each other. They greet us warmly as guests, and they came to visit us repeatedly. We have a mutual understanding with no old offenses. They initially didn't understand our tasks ‒ but have understood now. They help us on collection of information, with locations, and applications".
Interview with soldiers-internationalists of the Afghan war is a unique information – the memories of soldiers-"Afghans" from three countries of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which were directly involved in military operations in Afghanistan during ten years' war.
Veterans feel nostalgic for military service and do not regret that got exactly to Afghanistan, as during service they got new friends who cannot be forgotten. Today, practically all former soldiers-internationalists are engaged in public work, i.e., are members of some organizations uniting and representing their interests.
- M. Laruelle, B. Rakisheva, G. Ashkenova, Pamyat iz plameni Afgani- stana [text]: - Intervyu s voinami-internatsionalistami Afganskoi voiny 1979-1989 godov, Astana: 2016. - ISBN 978-601-80557-1-3
- Documentary film "Memories from the Flame of Afghanistan", shot during "Afghan war 1979-1989 by the eyewitnesses (oral history)" project URL: http://www.opinions.kz/?page_id=259; (available on: 25.05.2016)
- Afghan war (1979-1989), Wikipedia: URL:https://ru.wikipedia.org/ wiki/%D0%90%D1%84%D0%B3%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%B A%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B9%D0%BD%D0%B0_ (1979%E2%80%941989); (available on: 25.05.2016)
- Mukhamatulin T. Zachem SSSR vtorgsya v Afganistan? 25.12.2014. Газета.ru URL: http://www.gazeta.ru/science/2014/12/25_a_6358165.shtml; (available on 25.05.2016)