Why Russia Is Returning to Afghanistan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Afghan counterpart, Salahuddin Rabbani, in Moscow, Feb. 7, 2017 (AP photo by Ivan Sekretarev).
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Afghan counterpart, Salahuddin Rabbani, in Moscow, Feb. 7, 2017 (AP photo by Ivan Sekretarev).

In his speech to the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in February 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev described the war in Afghanistan as the USSR’s “bleeding wound.” Gorbachev would order Soviet forces out of Afghanistan two years later. During the subsequent three decades, Soviet and subsequently Russian leaders sought to steer clear of the country that many likened to Moscow’s Vietnam. This history makes Russia’s re-engagement in Afghanistan in recent months all the more striking. A generation after its army invaded, occupied and then withdrew from the country, Moscow has again emerged as an important power broker […]

Keep reading for free right now!

Enter your email to get instant access to the rest of this article, get five free articles every 30 days, and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 30 days.

More World Politics Review