Proletariat of the world, unite!
Now, 12 years later, veterans of Afghanistan still meet in places like this, Moscow's Kombat Bar. I wanted to sit with them and find out what these veterans thought all this killing and sacrifice had been for.
Veteran "Soldier of internationalism. Soldiers of comintern. Proletariat of the world, unite! For the sake of these ideas, we fulfilled
our service in Libya, Cuba, Lebanon, Afghanistan and other countries where the ideas of internationalism were set forth. I assumed we had to
go into this country named Afghanistan, in order to bring this idea there. This idea of internationalism."
Could you ask a little about whether they felt that they were trying to modernise the Afghan state?
Veteran "The electrification of the entire country, because there we were not only fighting and over one third of the contingent there, the military personnel, where people of the working professions. They built houses, military encampments, polyclinics, hospitals and even mosques."
But many of these other veterans were much more sceptical about their mission and the ideology behind it.
Kombatisto "Why did you send us Russians there? They sent us little boys, young lads, officers. And what? Nothing. Then we left our others came along in our place. They didn't conquer the country and there is no need. Let them live by themselves, that's my opinion they defend themselves, it is their country. Russia is my country. I will defend it. From everything. They are just the same. They are also protecting their country. But I will say is that Afghanistan was never conquered by anybody. And not America, not anyone will conquer it."