Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said in an interview broadcast that it is "impossible" for NATO-led coalition forces to achieve military victory in Afghanistan.
Gorbachev was in charge when Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 after a war lasting nearly a decade.
Speaking to the BBC, Gorbachev also warned that democracy in Russia is experiencing problems.
He accused the ruling party, led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, of deviating from democracy to try to stay in power.
He also said Russians no longer have the chance to elect regional governors.
compiled from agency reports