Recalling past, Afghans denounce Russia's 'illegal occupation' of Ukraine

By Sulaiman

Police officers stand guard February 25 at a damaged apartment building on Koshytsa Street in a suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine, where a military shell allegedly hit. [Genya Savilov/AFP]

Police officers stand guard February 25 at a damaged apartment building on Koshytsa Street in a suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine, where a military shell allegedly hit. [Genya Savilov/AFP]

KABUL -- Remembering the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Afghans are watching Russia's invasion of Ukraine closely, calling it an illegal act of aggression perpetrated by an authoritarian dictator.

Using security concerns and Ukraine's aspiration to join NATO as a pretext, Russian President Vladimir Putin's real intention is the occupation of Ukraine, analysts say.

They say history shows Putin is not afraid to kill civilians, destroy infrastructure and disrupt world peace and security to get what he wants.

"Ordered by Putin today, the air and ground assault with the deployment of advanced weapons and aircraft is an aggression against an independent state and a violation of Ukraine's national sovereignty and territorial integrity," said Wais Naseri, a Germany-based analyst of Afghan affairs.

An Afghan soldier walks past the wreckage of Soviet-era weapons in Kabul on December 15, 2019, the 40th anniversary of the Soviet Union's 'intervention in' --- or invasion of -- Afghanistan. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]

An Afghan soldier walks past the wreckage of Soviet-era weapons in Kabul on December 15, 2019, the 40th anniversary of the Soviet Union's 'intervention in' --- or invasion of -- Afghanistan. [Noorullah Shirzada/AFP]

"Under the pretext of preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, Russia is trying to break up Ukraine and occupy it," he said.

"Authoritarian, adventurist and bullying politicians like Putin can, unfortunately, trigger world war and cause global instability and anarchy."

"Putin is playing with the fate of free and independent states," he said. "By pursuing his sinister agenda, he will cause a military confrontation in Europe and, beyond that, will disrupt global security and economy."

"Putin dreams of reviving the tsarist era and the Soviet Union and seeks to regain control over former ... Soviet states," Naseri said.

"Therefore, despite the excuses it makes, Russia's intention behind military action is occupation."

"Putin is trying to change the history and geography of the world," he warned.

"If Russia emerges victorious in Ukraine, its next target will be Poland, the Baltic states and other European countries to break them up and pave the way for their occupation," Naseri added.

"Apart from its inhumane and immoral nature, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law," said Fahim Chakari, a university professor and political analyst in Kabul, said.

Ukraine is an independent and sovereign state and a member of the United Nations (UN), he noted.

"Putin is an authoritarian politician who has ordered the destruction of Ukraine and its infrastructure," he added.

"We urge the UN to stop the ongoing aggression against Ukraine and violation of its national sovereignty by Russia," Chakari said. "The UN must support and defend Ukraine and its people."

Putin's plan to occupy Ukraine

Days before launching the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday (February 24), Putin unilaterally recognised the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two rebel-held regions of Ukraine.

"The recognition of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine by Russia and the military invasion of Ukraine has no legal basis," said Barna Salehi, an international relations analyst based in Kabul.

"Through a staged referendum, Russia broke Abkhazia and South Ossetia away from Georgia in 2008 and recognised them to establish its military and political presence there," he said.

"Following the same playbook, [Russia] annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014."

"A full-scale Russian attack on Kyiv will disrupt world order and upset the global power equation," Salehi added.

"Most of the residents in the Donetsk and Luhansk are Russian speakers who, according to a pre-planned plot, were provided passports and citizenship by Russia," said Salim Paigir, a Kabul political analyst.

Putin put his plan into action [on Tuesday] and formally recognised those regions."

It is a much-used plan, Paigir said.

"To occupy other lands, great powers first issue passports to the residents of those lands and provide them with different assistance packages. Over time, under the pretext of defending its citizens, they then occupy those territories," he explained.

"There will be no winner in the Ukrainian war, and all parties will suffer in the conflict," he said.

Afghans against Russian aggression

"It is Russia's old habit to invade other countries and occupy independent territories," said Mohammad Akbar Mirzae, 57, a resident of Kabul and former employee of an NGO.

"With more than 100,000 well-armed troops, the Soviet Union occupied our country 43 years ago," he said. "It led to the killing, wounding, maiming and displacing of millions of Afghans, and marked the start of more than 40 years of war and bloodshed in our country."

"By invading our country, Russia tore apart our land and people," Mirazae said. "Today, by doing so in Ukraine, it wants to occupy and destabilise Ukraine permanently and start a never-ending conflict there."

"We Afghans who have suffered from Russian aggression strongly condemn Moscow's assault on Ukraine."

Just last year, Russia stoked Afghans' outrage when the Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted an incorrect map of Afghanistan that eliminated the Afghan-Chinese border.

Following the backlash, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a tweet on March 13, stating, "The interactive map of the world as presented here is schematic and may not provide an accurate representation of national borders."

Afghan political analysts and social media users, however, rejected Moscow's explanation, calling it a "dirty game".

"Cutting off parts of Afghan territory and attaching them to another country show Russia's policy of aggression and occupation towards its neighbours and the region," Najibullah Azad, leader of the Bawar Movement and a Kabul-based political analyst, said at the time.

"Russians have good experience in occupying other lands," he added. "Before this, they changed Ukraine's map and took Crimea from it."

Do you like this article?

2 Comment

Comment Policy * Denotes required field 1500 / 1500

It is a pity that the whole world is watching. Russia is invading Ukraine, killing civilians, killing women, killing children, killing travelers who wanted to get an education or work, and they are helpless and with an unknown fate; however, no one cares about them, but from a far distance they tell them to stop the war. Russia needs to be banned like a prisoner, with its wings cut off. Russia also invaded Afghanistan years ago, killing innocent people, wreaking havoc and destruction, displacing people, and making them needy. The tragedy in Afghanistan is not over yet. It is now the invasion of Ukraine and the act that has been going on for years. They want to rekindle what he has done with Afghanistan in the past, with which Afghans have renewed their wounds. Still, the Ukrainians will also nail Russia's coffin-like Afghans hammered the Soviet Union's coffin years ago. War is a disaster. If it is in any corner of the world, we Afghans strongly oppose it because we know better than anyone else!


Life is weird! The whole world looks with open eyes, and Putin invades Ukraine, killing civilians, dropping bombs, firing rockets, killing women, children, and civilians. Putin also said today that the former Soviet Union was scattered because of Ukraine. This idiot does not know that Afghans defeated the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was an arrogant power. The result of the arrogance is humiliation. They invaded Afghanistan. The Afghans resisted and defeated the Soviet Union. I am sure that this time the Ukrainians will destroy your tyrannical empire. War is not just about someone attacking a place. War is a crocodile that gives birth to 100 babies a day. War is a drug, and the effects of drugs are constant. The world must put pressure on Putin to stop fighting, to stop the killing of civilians. We Afghans have seen this situation many times. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the civil war started by Pakistan and Iran, and then the attack by the US and NATO and the Taliban suicide bombings destroyed the Afghans. May God have mercy on the people of Ukraine, especially the women and children.