For the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the beginning of the end. In the same way as the Vietnam war, this conflict led to a huge number of casualties and was not successful. Many countries are informed and some are now met on its way the country, which has become the grave of world empires, and tried to find the decision of the local religious-political puzzle, but it is no one has. In the late 70-ies of the last century, the Soviet Union, confident in their superiority, which is typical for major world powers, was sent to Afghanistan, the special operations group, who were instructed to destroy the President of this country. The Soviet leadership believed that this is a guarantee of victory. But it was wrong: the war dragged on for 14 years.
Hafizullah Amin (Hafizullah Amin) was the right hand of the President of Afghanistan Nur Mohammad Taraki (Taraki Muhammad), the founder of the Communist party of Afghanistan, during the reign of which the country has made some progress. September 14, 1978 in the state house Taraki skirmish his bodyguards with the security of the Prime Minister, Hafizullah Amin. This led to mutual accusations of their supporters and the arrest of the President of the country. The circumstances of the death of Taraki and were not clarified until the end, it is only obvious that Amin decided to replace him as President and that Taraki was killed by his order.
Goal: Palace Taj-Bek
Seizing power in the country, Hafizullah Amin began to show dictatorial and distanced himself from the USSR. Over the 104 days of his reign, the Afghan politician tried to develop cooperation with Pakistan and the United States. This change of course initially perceived the Soviet Union with concern, and then led to the invasion of Afghanistan. One stroke of the pen, the Soviet leadership was entrusted the command of the special forces to occupy vitally important infrastructure and government institutions. A few hours has been brought under control 13 strategic points, including the interior Ministry building, the building of the state security Service and the Palace Dar-ul-Aman. But the main task was to remove Amin, to put an end to his short rule.
The storming of the Palace Taj Beck, served as the residence of Amin is remembered as one of the most successful operations of the Soviet special forces — the legendary special forces. Spetsnaz refers to any special purpose units in Russia, but to participate in the operation in Afghanistan was chosen as the so-called “alpha” group, specializing in the fight against terrorism. This unit, under the supervision of the Ministry of internal Affairs, was formed in 1974 on the initiative of Yuri Andropov, who at that time held the position of Chairman of the KGB. According to Mark Galeotti (Mark Galeotti) in the book “Spetsnaz: the Russian special forces” (“Spetsnaz: Russia’s Special Forces”), the group received its baptism of fire during the storming of the Palace Taj Beck.
To 24 soldiers of the alpha group joined the special forces unit of the KGB “Zenith” (30), which was tasked to find evidence of cooperation Amin with the United States parachute company (87), 154-th separate battalion of special forces (520 people). Detachment, the latter, known as the “Muslim” battalion, as it was formed exclusively of representatives of the southern republics of the USSR. Overall, the group consisted of 600 soldiers dressed in the uniform of the Afghan army without insignia. You can identify them only on the white bandages on his hands, so as not to fall under attack from their.
Amin, who did not know that the Soviet Union did not trust him-gave permission for the deployment in Afghanistan some of these Soviet units from the end of November under the pretext of assisting in stabilizing the situation in the country, growing more and more the fault of the Mujahideen. Two days before the beginning of the operation near Kabul crashed aircraft Il-76, killing the whole team and 37 Soviet paratroopers aboard. The only thing no one came in mind is the fact that the dictator was not aware of the plans of the USSR against Afghanistan.
The 45-minute assault
The last objective of the Soviet forces was the Palace Taj-Bek, built by the project of European architects in the 1920’s for the Royal family of Afghanistan. This building is very well guarded. It can be approached only by a steep climb up a winding path at the end of which there were tanks T-54 and machine guns. In addition, the special forces had to fight with bodyguard amine consisting of 300 people and soldiers of the regular army, who had more than a thousand people.
— 27 Dec 1979 19:15 began a special operation Storm-333. The Kabul explosion, which left the Afghan government without phone service.
At 19:30 “Muslim” battalion, deceit wormed between the Afghan soldiers, suddenly took up arms against government forces, killing about 200 people. Simultaneously with these events, the fighters of the “alpha” and “Zenith” have attacked Amin’s personal guard and began to scour every hall in the Palace. In 45 minutes the operation was completed. It is not known whether the amine is killed during or after the assault.
In the beginning of the attack Amin still believed the Soviet Union was on his side. “The Soviets will help us”, he assured one of his assistants when the shooting started. The assistant replied that the attack was carried out just by Soviet soldiers, and it was a real blow. According to the official version, when Amin was last seen, he was wearing a t-shirt and Adidas desperately clutching arms. The soldiers of the “alpha” I found it at 19:45 and was shot together with his son.
Compared to the hundreds of victims in the ranks of the Afghan army, the Soviet units suffered almost no losses during the storming of the Palace. Killed two soldiers of the alpha group, three of Zenit, nine of the paratroopers company and five of the “Muslim” battalion, mainly it was members of the crew infantry fighting vehicles, carrying troops to the entrance of the Palace. But the real losses for the Soviet Union was ahead.
The Soviet Union has always insisted that the military operation in Afghanistan was lawful, in accordance with the Treaty on friendship, neighbourliness and cooperation between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The Soviet leadership claimed that the invasion was carried out at the request of the Revolutionary Council of Afghanistan, who gathered a few hours before the death of Amin and accused him of betrayal.
According to the plan, Soviet soldiers were dressed in Afghan uniforms, to give the assault in an internal coup in the army of Afghanistan, in which representatives of the USSR played a minor role: the alpha group and Zenit disguised as representatives of the “Muslim” battalion, which, in turn, was embedded in the protection of the President of the country.