Feb. 15, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. 

The nine-year Afghan War claimed the lives of over 1 million Afghani civilians and over 14,000 Soviet troops. In 1989, Gorbachev’s decision to withdraw the Soviet military from the country was hailed as a long overdue ending to a bloody conflict and the decision to invade was condemned as a mistake by the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union.