#4 - JRL 7063
USSR's war in Afghanistan was a mistake - Gorbachev
MOSCOW. Feb 15 (Interfax) - Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev expressed the opinion that the deployment of Soviet troops to Afghanistan was a mistake.
The 14th anniversary of the troops' withdrawal is marked on February 15.
"The entire politburo realized that a bad mistake had been made and the people were rejecting the revolution that we wanted to support," Gorbachev wrote in an article published by 'Russia's Soldiers' magazine.
"The Central Committee was flooded with letters with demands to stop the war. They were written by soldiers' mothers, wives and sisters. We received letters from the servicemen fighting in Afghanistan. Tank crews wrote collective letters. Officers reported that they were unable to explain to their subordinates what we were fighting for, what we were doing there and what we needed," the article reads.
The Afhgan war cost Russia "six million gold rubles a year, not including goods shipments. And the most important was the loss of lives," the article reads.