Accessibility links

25th Anniversary: Soviet Forces Begin Afghan Withdrawal

Twenty-five years ago, on May 15, 1988, Soviet troops began the nine-month process of withdrawing from Afghanistan. Some 100,000 troops would leave the country by February 15, 1989, after nine years of war that killed more than 14,000 Soviet soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Afghan combatants and civilians. (12 PHOTOS)

Soviet troops begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 15, 1988.
1

Soviet troops begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan on May 15, 1988.

Afghan women with children hurry past Soviet armored vehicles along a highway outside Jalalabad.
2

Afghan women with children hurry past Soviet armored vehicles along a highway outside Jalalabad.

A soldier smokes a cigarette while his column stops near Termez, Uzbekistan, back inside Soviet borders.
3

A soldier smokes a cigarette while his column stops near Termez, Uzbekistan, back inside Soviet borders.

A ceremony greets Soviet troops in Termez, in the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.
4

A ceremony greets Soviet troops in Termez, in the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.

An official welcome for soldiers returning to the Soviet Union via Kushka, in the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
5

An official welcome for soldiers returning to the Soviet Union via Kushka, in the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic

6
7
A Soviet camp in Khairaton during the final phase of the pullout
8

A Soviet camp in Khairaton during the final phase of the pullout

9
A soldier leaves Kandahar in August 1988
10

A soldier leaves Kandahar in August 1988

11
A convoy of Soviet armored personnel vehicles leaves Afghanistan on February 15, 1989, considered the end of the withdrawal.
12

A convoy of Soviet armored personnel vehicles leaves Afghanistan on February 15, 1989, considered the end of the withdrawal.

XS
SM
MD
LG