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25th Anniversary: Last Soviet Forces Withdraw From Afghanistan

On February 15, 1989, Soviet forces officially completed the nine-month process of leaving Afghanistan. The withdrawal came after nearly a decade of war, which had killed more than 14,000 Soviet soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Afghan combatants and civilians. (12 PHOTOS)

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

The beginning of the withdrawal, May 15, 1988. Some 100,000 troops would leave Afghanistan during the lengthy process.
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The beginning of the withdrawal, May 15, 1988. Some 100,000 troops would leave Afghanistan during the lengthy process.

Afghan women with children hurry past Soviet armored vehicles along a highway outside Jalalabad.
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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.
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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.
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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
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An official welcome for soldiers returning to the Soviet Union via Kushka, in the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic

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

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A soldier leaves Kandahar in August 1988
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A soldier leaves Kandahar in August 1988

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