In Western political studies, the decade of 1979-89 is defined as a decade of Soviet intervention and war in Afghanistan. During the 1980s, the Security Council and the the General Assembly of the UN adopted a series of resolutions which called for an end to the conflict and withdrawal of foreign troops.
In the USSR the official announcement that Soviet forces entered Afghanistan remained almost unnoticed in the New Year turmoil of December 27, 1979. Only the soldiers' mothers felt that something wrong had happened. Within a few months, the first zinc coffins were shipped to the different Soviet cities. For ten long years, Afghanistan became a symbol of grief and death.
According to official Soviet/Russian statistics, 15,031 Soviet soldiers were killed during the campaign from December 27, 1979 to February 15, 1989. Unofficial numbers are as high as 26,000.
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