Herat residents commemorate 1979 uprising, accuse Russia of similar crimes in Ukraine

By Omar

Nearly 5,000 residents of Herat province attended an observance of the 44th anniversary of the Afghan people's uprising against the Soviet-backed government at the time. Known locally as the Uprising of 24th Hout 1357 (1979), the commemoration was held on March 15 at the Shuhadai Gumnam cemetery, north of Herat city. [Omar/Salaam Times]

HERAT -- Almost 5,000 residents of Herat province attended the 44th anniversary of the Afghan people's uprising against the Soviet-backed government at the time.

The commemoration was held Wednesday (March 15) at the Shuhadai Gumnam cemetery (Cemetery of the Unknown Martyrs), north of Herat city.

The people of Herat revolted against the Soviet-backed government on March 15, 1979, in what is also known as the Uprising of 24 Hout.

More than 24,000 members of the uprising, including men, women, and children, were killed in air and ground attacks during the subsequent crackdown by the communist Afghan government.

Thousands of Herat residents gather on March 15 north of Herat city to commemorate the 1979 uprising against the Soviet-backed government. [Omar/Salaam Times]

Thousands of Herat residents gather on March 15 north of Herat city to commemorate the 1979 uprising against the Soviet-backed government. [Omar/Salaam Times]

The Soviet Union was so alarmed by the clear unpopularity of its client that it invaded Afghanistan nine months later, the start of more than nine years of brutal occupation.


Residents of Herat who lived through the post-uprising crackdown and the Soviet invasion of December 1979 bitterly remember the Soviet war crimes. They are drawing comparisons to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Soviet soldiers would shoot at civilians indiscriminately, said Sayed Ahmad, 65, who lost three family members in the Herat uprising.

"Every night, the Soviets would take out prisoners and bury them alive," he said. "They would arrest anyone they wanted and make them disappear."

"Soviet soldiers eagerly killed civilians, including women and children," he added.

The Kremlin had willing accomplices in the Soviet-backed Afghan army, which shot thousands of Afghans in the Darwaza-e-Kandahar area, in the western part of Herat city, he said. There were so many dead bodies that residents could not bury them fast enough.

"When I see news about Ukraine on TV, oppression and violence committed by Russia there are similar to the crimes committed by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan," Ahmad said.

"The situation in Ukraine these days, which is under attack by Russia, is similar to the difficult days of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan."

Ghulam Hazrat Rahmani, 59, another resident of Herat city, also drew parallels between the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

"Soviet troops were very brutal and spared no one," he said. "They used tanks and planes to destroy private houses and farms. They would destroy everywhere they went, burning farms and killing young men."

The streets and canals were full of dead bodies on the day of the 24th Hout Uprising, he said.

Victims of aggression

The news of Russia's invasion of Ukraine refreshes bitter memories of the Soviet army's crimes, agreed Safiullah Ahmadi, 57, a resident of Guzara district, Herat province.

The Soviet soldiers would besiege and enter villages, after which they would kill civilians and destroy their houses, he said.

"We used to hide when the Soviet soldiers would come," he said. "One day, my brother was in the hall when a Soviet soldier entered our house and shot him. Fearing [the Soviets], we had to bury him at night."

"I witnessed when the Soviet soldiers threw a young neighbour of ours alive into a well and killed him," he said. "Another neighbour of ours was hiding in a barn. The Soviets set the barn on fire, burning our neighbour alive."

"I will never forget the Soviet Union's crimes," Ahmadi said. "It would bomb us in the pastures when we would take our livestock out for grazing. Most of the livestock would be killed and even burn up. We could not go to our farms [because] planes would come, forcing us to flee."

Naseer Ahmad, 60, was a teenager when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979.

"Our house was close to the airport in Guzara district," he said. "Soviets would bomb our village every night. One night, tanks attacked our village, forcing us to escape to the river in the middle of the night. Several women and children drowned in the high water."

"The miseries of the Afghan people started with the Soviet invasion," he said. "The Soviets sowed the seeds of war, insecurity and destruction in Afghanistan, and after four decades, Afghans are still the victims of that aggression."

Most Afghans alive back then are suffering from psychological problems caused by the crimes of the Soviet army, Ahmad said.

Russia destined to fail in Ukraine

Afghans were able to defeat the Red Army, and Ukraine too will defeat Russia, say locals.

Ghulam Sakhi, 71, fought the Red Army for five years in Guzara district.

"There are many similarities between the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan and the Russian invasion of Ukraine," he said. "The Soviet Union thought that it would completely take over Afghanistan, suppressing any opposition, but it ... failed."

"Russia also thought that it would occupy Ukraine in a few days, but it has been more than a year that it has made no progress," Sakhi said. "Like Afghans, the Ukrainians' fight against the Russian invasion and their struggle will lead to the Russian defeat."

The longer the war in Ukraine takes, the more casualties and losses the Russians will suffer, he said.

Khalil Ur Rahman, 67, lost his father and two brothers in the war against the Soviet army in Herat.

Based on his experience fighting the Soviet army, Rahman predicted that Russia will soon withdraw from Ukraine.

"The Russian military system is very old and worn out," he said. "It does not have the capability to fight the Ukrainian army, which is equipped with modern weapons and military systems."

"Russia's withdrawal from several parts of Ukraine in the last year indicates Russia's failures," he added.

"Burned-out Russian tanks on the streets of Ukraine indicate that Russia has no chance of winning in Ukraine and will have to retreat."

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A catastrophe in Ukraine: Wagner Group's criminals say that, they will surrender Bakhmut city to Russia until June 1. The city is said to be occupied by Wagnar's thugs where many people have been killed and the city turned to ruins. It has turned to something more like Capital Kabul of 1990s where the pro West mercenaries of Pakistani intelligence agency (ISI) destroyed the Afghan Capital. Bakhmut is a city in eastern Ukraine. It serves as the administrative center of Bakhmut Raion in Donetsk Oblast. It is located on the Bakhmutka River, about 89 kilometres (55 mi) north of Donetsk, the administrative center of the oblast. Bakhmut was designated a city of regional significance until 2020, when the designation was abolished. In January 2022, it had an estimated population of 71,094. Historically, Bakhmut was the capital of Slavo-Serbia (1753–1764), which was established by settlers of Serb and other ethnicities. In 1920–1924, the city was an administrative center of the newly created Donets Governorate of the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union. It was known under the name of Artemivsk or Artemovsk between 1924 and 2016. During the Russian invasion of Ukraine that commenced in February 2022, Bakhmut was besieged by Russian forces and largely destroyed, with most of its population having fled. As of May 2023, Ukrainian forces remain in partial control of the city, which is an epicentre of fierce fighting, as Russian forces battle to take control.


The Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan in December, 1979. Today, when Afghanistan has this situation, all the calamities that come to Afghanistan from other countries are all because of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ruined Afghanistan. The Soviets martyred many people of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union forced the poor people of Afghanistan to leave their homeland and immigrate to the neighboring countries. The Soviets bombed the homes of the Afghan people every day. During several years of war in Afghanistan, main cause of all this is the Soviet Union.


Afghans have been feeling these pains not only since 1978 but ever since 1838. In 1838, the cursed British invaded Afghanistan and killed thousands of Afghans in Kandahar, Ghazni, and Kabul. But a year or a year and a half later, under the leadership of Ghazi Wazir Akbar Khan, the Afghan Ghazis killed 18,000 invading British and Hindus. Unfortunately, women and children were also killed in that war, but the British were still to blame because they had invaded Afghanistan. In 1878-1880, the British invaded Afghanistan again, causing heavy casualties. The battle of Maiwand took place at that time, and many British were killed, but the number of Afghan martyrs was high. Until 1919, when Ghazi Amanullah Khan came to power, the English put a knife in the throat of Afghanistan. It did not allow it to establish relations with the outside world as an independent country. Therefore, in 1919, there was a war between the British and the Afghans. In 1978, the evil Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and killed millions of Afghans during the 9-year occupation. Above, you have mentioned a small page of the history of Afghanistan at that time. These atrocities were committed not only in Herat but all over Afghanistan. In 2001, the same cruelty and oppression were repeated as America invaded Afghanistan. As a result, tens of thousands of Afghans were killed on the government, armed opposition, and civilians' sides. Almost 200,000 Afghans were killed in this war. Afghans have always been oppresse


March 17 has been named Journalist's Day in Afghanistan, and since 2018, this day has been celebrated to appreciate the hard work of journalists. This day is being celebrated this year while the mouths of journalists are shut, and they are facing more restrictions, but the good news is that in the last two years, there has been a decrease in the number of deaths of journalists along with other ordinary people. This is good news. Yes, there is something that journalists are not allowed to write and report independently, and the Islamic Emirate arrests and beats journalists from time to time. Foreign countries have also evacuated people from Afghanistan in the name of journalists who are not journalists, nor have they touched the field of journalism. Only media chairs were evacuated, and those who deserved it and were in danger remained in Afghanistan. They are here and have a hard life. And any journalists who have stayed in Afghanistan after the return of the Taliban on AugusAugust 151, the media has also stopped working, and they are facing severe problems, of course, economic and security. However, they are not killed in the explosions; they are still tortured.


There is a proverb that says; when Allah gets angry at an ant, he gives her wings. When the Russians got wealthy, they were not satisfied with the large Russian land, but they immediately began to attack their poor neighboring countries. Soviet Union troops arrived in Afghanistan. There were weapons, ammunition, tanks, planes, etc... and they started cutting the heads of the people. Finally, they faced the Afghans. If we come to the origin, on the other hand, America was waiting for the Russians to get trapped in a trap after the severe defeat in Vietnam. What America was waiting for happened in Afghanistan up until the arrival of the Russians. The money from Arabs and the weapons from the Americans made a burning hell on Afghan soil. The Afghans beat the Soviets so much that the Soviet Union collapsed, and Russia became as poor as they could not find a loaf of bread to eat. To be honest, the Afghans took revenge on the Russians for the American defeat in Vietnam, but still, the Americans did not honor the Afghans. The Americans started wars among the groups in Afghanistan. The Afghans had not yet recovered from their war with the Soviet Union as the Americans made them get engaged in the group [internal] war. Logic suggested that the Americans should have built a good government for the Afghans, but on the contrary, they made the groups fight so much as the country was ruined, and even the honor of the people was looted. This story was not finished when the honorable American