In a timely and eye-opening book Rodric Braithwaite examines the Russian experience during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Basing his account on Russian sources and interviews he shows the war through the eyes of the Russians themselves - politicians, officers, soldiers, advisers, journalists and women.
As former ambassador to Moscow, Rodric Braithwaite brings unique insights to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The story has been distorted not only by Cold War propaganda but also by the myths of the nineteenth century Great Game. It moves from the high politics of the Kremlin to the lonely Russian conscripts in isolated mountain outposts. The parallels with Afghanistan today speak for themselves.'A superb achievement of narrative history, sensitive writing and exciting fresh research': so wrote Simon Sebag Montefiore about Rodric Braithwaite's bestsellerMoscow 1941. But those words, and many others of praise that were given it, could equally apply to his new book.
Rodric Braithwaite was British Ambassador to Moscow during the crucial years of 1988-92. Subsequently he was foreign policy advisor to John Major. His books includeAcross the Moscow Riverand the highly praised and bestsellingMoscow 1941[Profile, 9781846687748] which has been translated into seventeen languages.
'This book finally dispels many of the Cold War myths surrounding the Soviet-Afghan war. It offers the most nuanced, sympathetic and comprehensive account yet.', Rory Stewart
'An outstanding book ... these accounts provide a fascinating insight not only into the war but also into Soviet society', THES
'A splendid read, full of interesting material, and essential for anyone trying to understand the Russians', BBC History Magazine
'This bids fair to become the standard history, but it is a kind of parable too. Here is a battery of facts, intervoven with human stories, soldiers'tales and a thousand flashes of individual experience gathered in interview. For the mountain of evidence he has assembled before a generation passes away, historians (including Russian historians) will always be grateful; but Braithwaite's immense, urgent project offers more than a history, but a cool and deadly assessment of the mess that Power can get itself into. He never overstates; there is more tragedy here than villainy, more confusion than conspiracy; and the abiding impression is not so much shocking as unutterably sad. The read-across to other nations'wars leaps at you from every page.', Matthew Parris