SOVIET AND AFGHAN GOVERNMENT FORCES, AFGHANISTAN, 1980s
SOVIET PARATROOPER, 1986-89
Wearing a standard late-war uniform, with the two-piece khaki battledress and striped t-shirt favored by elite units in the late war period, this trooper wears the old-style high boots and the newer combat cap, worn with or without red star cap badge. He is armed with a 5.45mm RPK-74 light machine gun, the standard Soviet squad automatic weapon. He is lightly equipped,but for extended dismounted operations could carry a large pack.
SOVIET PARATROOPER, 1986-89
Showing an alternative uniform, this is the two-piece new camouflage pattern that was first seen in 1986, but became more common by 1988. Note that no rank or arms or service shoulder boards are worn in Afghanistan. The bush hat has been worn by the Soviet military in Afghanistan throughout the war. He is armed with a folding stock 5.45mm AKS-74 assault rifle with an image-intensifier passive sight. The boots are the short, laced types used in the late war period.
SOVIET MOTORIZED RIFLE TROOPER, 1986-89
This shows a motorized rifle trooper going into close combat. He wears the older Soviet camouflage pattern KLMK overalls with hood worn down, but in the two-piece version common in the late war period. He wears standard Soviet body armor (although some of the pattern were seen in the last years of the war) and a chest pack for magazines- both standard items of equipment that either of the two paratroopers might use as well. His steel helmet is painted with a camouflage pattern. Some motorized rifle units - apparently those that had specialized air assault training - also wore paratrooper style striped t-shirts. He is armed with a folding-stock AKS-74 5.45mm assault rifle. He carries a folded RPG-1 R light anti-tank weapon, often used against Afghan fighting positions. RPO-A flame rockets were often carried in place of the RPG-18s.
KABUL REGIME INFANTRY, 1978-90
In action, in this uniform, throughout the war, the Kabul regime’s infantry has often proven unreliable, but they are Afghans and no cowards, and would often fight long and hard. The 7.62mm AK-47, AKM, and AKMS are still standard infantry weapons. This is the summer field uniform. The winter uniform is similar, although in a darker Khaki. One-piece KLMK overalls arc often worn in action. In 1988-90, the Kabul regime acquired a great many Soviet items of equipment, both major weapons systems and uniform and equipment items.
SOVIET FIGHTER-BOMBER PILOT, 1986-90
The Soviets were providing airstrikes into Afghanistan before they committed their combat troops and there is evidence they continued to do so despite the withdrawal. This pilot is equipped with a version of the standard V-VS off-season flight suit, but printed in the new-pattern camouflage. He wears an old-style ZSh-3 flight helmet worn over an even older ShZ-61 communications helmet, which, in turn, is worn over a “surgical” style skullcap to prevent sweat dripping into the eyes. He will be armed a Makarov 9mm PM pistol as a personal weapon, on a waist holster.
1980/89 US R&B SINGLES CHART
More weeks at #1
10 “Sexual Healing” MARVIN GAYE
9 “Billie Jean” MICHAEL JACKSON
9 “That Girl” STEVIE WONDER
8 “Juicy Fruit” MTUME
8 “Let’s Groove” EARTH WIND AND FIRE
8 “When Doves Cry” PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION