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File 145089897860.gif - (2.21MB , 200x174 , 1450040671669.gif )
12633 No. 12633 ID: bca222
armchair historian here

Why did some soviet men sell weapons to the taliban and the cia during the afghanistan civil war?

I want to assume they knew of the potential repercussions and want to understand their motives as humans.
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>> No. 12635 ID: cfe73e
File 145096153467.jpg - (404.78KB , 1484x919 , Russian troops in Afghanistan last detachment leav.jpg )
They generally sold their guns for drugs (heroin).
November 2, 1985 http://www.nytimes.com/1985/11/02/world/afghanistan-s-other-front-a-world-of-drugs.html
GHURBAND, Afghanistan— Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan use drugs extensively, and some Russians sell gasoline, ammunition and stolen guns to support their habits, according to several Russian defectors living with Afghan rebels.

In addition, several rebel commanders say that they have captured Russians while the soldiers were drugged or while they were trying to buy hashish or heroin from village merchants.

According to Western diplomats and analysts of the Afghan situation in Pakistan and elsewhere, Russian troops in Afghanistan have turned to drugs for the same reasons that many Americans did in Vietnam: They are young, away from home constraints, bored, frightened and under fierce pressure to prove themselves. And many of the Russian soldiers in Afghanistan are said by the defectors to have a 10th-to-12th-grade education.

- Soviet army soldiers wave as their last detachment leaves Afghanistan for then-Soviet Uzbekistan on Feb. 15, 1989.
>> No. 12636 ID: cfe73e
File 145096342913.jpg - (475.04KB , 1247x838 , Russian troops in Afghanistan October 19, 1986, in.jpg )
Red Army soldiers stand for review on October 19, 1986, in downtown Kabul during a parade, shortly before they returned to the Soviet Union.
>> No. 12637 ID: cfe73e
File 145096361475.jpg - (581.75KB , 1247x867 , Russian troops in Afghanistan checkpoint airport i.jpg )
A Soviet soldier smokes a cigarette at a checkpoint of the Soviet military airport in Kabul on February 10, 1989 as the other one forbids pictures.
>> No. 12638 ID: cfe73e
File 145096387040.jpg - (250.74KB , 1200x836 , terrorist Afghan 82mm recoiless rifle west of Kand.jpg )
Two Afghan fighters line up an 82mm recoiless rifle before firing at a Soviet security post along the main highway west of Kandahar on March 21, 1985.
>> No. 12639 ID: cfe73e
File 145096416013.jpg - (627.65KB , 1330x884 , Russian troops in Afghanistan 2.jpg )
SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 http://warontherocks.com/2015/09/boozing-through-the-soviet-afghan-war-was-more-horrifying-than-you-can-imagine/
Soldiers love to drink. Russians love to drink. No wonder that Russian soldiers can be amongst the hardest-core boozers around. If anything, this was even more the case in Soviet times when the very difficulties of getting hold of booze acted as a spur to the ingenuity for which Russians are also rightly known. The same guys who could fix a tank engine with sticky tape or make the world’s toughest rifle were formidable and innovative in their quest for a drink.

Being assigned to the ground crew on a MiG-25 interceptor, for example, was a good gig. The supersonic fighter was nicknamed gastronom — delicatessen — because its nose-mounted radar and generator were cooled by more than 200 liters of water/methanol mix, which is a ghastly brew, but as a base not much more ghastly than the murderous samogon homebrew many Soviets turned to, especially during Mikhail Gorbachev’s well-meant but ill-thought-through anti-alcohol campaign. The usual rule of thumb was a single shot a day. Any more, and your chances of going blind were good.

As it should now be clear to you, dear reader, Soviet soldiers were not that discriminating when sourcing their sauce. When I was interviewing veterans of the Soviet–Afghan War for my doctorate, many and horrifying were the accounts of parties fueled by aftershave, rosewater, and rubbing alcohol. The military hierarchy denied the enlisted men legal access to drink, yet fighting a high-stress and — in the early years, at least — officially unacknowledged war, they were nothing if not committed to the quest.

Boot polish, for example, would be spread on a hunk of bread, which was then toasted. The alcohol in the polish would soak into the bread; the polish itself would crisp on the surface of the toast. You’d scrape off as much as you could, then eat the bread. The same could be done with some ethanol-based toothpastes.

Alternatively, take that polished bread, sit it on top of a glass of water over night, and then drink it, as a certain amount of alcohol will have infused it. And then eat the bread, hoping it hasn’t gotten moldy in the meantime.
>> No. 12640 ID: cfe73e
File 145096457323.jpg - (261.24KB , 1200x720 , Russian troops in Afghanistan 3.jpg )
If you had the misfortune to be based in one of the so-called “eagle’s nest” observation posts up in the mountains, where supplies were heaved out of an Mi-8 helicopter precariously balancing one of its wheels on the slope, then you needed to turn to your surroundings. Some solvents used for cleaning weapons contained ethanol along with all kinds of toxic additives. Pour some into a metal pan and then leave it out for a while in the bitter Afghan winter; the belief was that the ethanol would stay liquid, atop a frozen layer of everything else. Fortunately, such solvents were often in scarce supply.

The soldiers would also — despite official warnings not to, as much to avoid poisoning as anything else — buy drinks from Afghan traders. Ranging from the internationally renowned brandies of the Afghan-Clemd distillery to rotgut brewed in backstreet stills, the drinks on sale, especially at venues dotting Kabul’s Chicken Street bazaar, were numerous. The Soviet Commandant’s Service military police patrols meant to prevent off-duty soldiers from stocking up on drink would, instead, “tax” their victims a share of their purchases. As one soldier reminisced, “it’s the only time in my military career I actually didn’t mind wearing the red armband” of a patroller.

The field expedients the Soviets poured into their hapless bodies may have brought a degree of oblivion to their wartime misadventures. These noxious and innovative drinks were competing with the opium that was so readily available and also with such alternatives as chifir’, a punishingly strong tea that was actually used in the Gulags to induce a mild high or stave off pain and exhaustion. They also contributed to as much as 20 percent of the cases addressed by the Military-Medical Service in Afghanistan. One army doctor recounted to me a tale of having to operate on a soldier hit by shrapnel from a rebel mortar, whose innards still smelled of cheap cologne.

Stalin reportedly encouraged the distribution of 100 grams of vodka — equivalent to a double shot — to soldiers before an assault. It remains to be seen whether in the Donbas, Moscow’s latest unacknowledged war, Stalin’s or Gorbachev’s rules apply.
>> No. 12655 ID: cfe73e
File 145096727968.jpg - (66.31KB , 600x410 , Russian WW2 troops enjoy their vodka ration.jpg )
How dependent on vodka was a regular Red Army soldier during WWII? Russian writer Victor Erofeyev describes the effect of vodka on the Russian people in a 2002 letter from Moscow: ‘It seems to punch a hole directly into the subconscious, setting off a range of odd gestures and facial expressions. Some people wring their hands; some grin idiotically or snap their fingers; others sink into sullen silence. But no one, high or low, is left indifferent. More than by any political system, we are all held hostage by vodka.’

He goes on to argue that the daily ration of vodka given to Russian soldiers during the Second World War was ‘as important as Katyusha rocket launchers in the victory over Nazism’. Were the fierce Red Army soldiers so fearless because they were tanked up on strong vodka?

In the Winter War, there were several reports of attacking Russians being drunk. The daily ration (100g) was not much, but if you were to save your daily rations for a special occasion you would certainly feel the effect. Not that one would have to resort to scrimping and saving later during the Second World War, when the ration was upped and the distribution of vodka – among Red Air Force pilots too – was liberal and largely encouraged.

A clue could have been found in the etymology of the word vodka, a diminutive form of the Slavic word voda for water.

But reckless, drunken courage is not always a characteristic to be desired in your men. As one Red Army officer pointed out: ‘If the men did not drink that much we would have been in Berlin two years earlier!’ http://www.military-history.org/articles/war-culture-military-drinking.htm
>> No. 12656 ID: cfe73e
File 145096787872.jpg - (1.25MB , 1045x1470 , Russian P say HET (no) to vodka 1954 sobriety ad c.jpg )
Russian say HET (no) to vodka, a 1954 sobriety ad campaign.
>> No. 12664 ID: 70d38f
>Russian writer Victor Erofeyev
>born September 19, 1947
Yeah, well, it's just his opinion after all.
>> No. 12675 ID: 421161
File 145256727480.jpg - (140.91KB , 744x537 , HET_Medvedev.jpg )
>> No. 12676 ID: cfe73e
File 14527189259.jpg - (170.08KB , 1200x720 , Russian vodka overnight sales banned in Dmitry Med.jpg )
Moscow bans overnight sales of vodka in Dmitry Medvedev's war on alcohol
Crackdown on Russia's lethal drink culture where vodka is country's number one killer
Ivan the Terrible ramped up its production, Mikhail Gorbachev banned it and Boris Yeltsin wandered the streets of Washington in his underpants after consuming too much of it.
Now President Dmitry Medvedev has become the latest leader to step on to the floor in Russia's eternal and deadly dance with vodka.
City authorities in Moscow have announced a ban on the sale of spirits between 10pm and 10am, in the most recent of a series of measures designed to break the country's drinking habit.
The average Russian drinks a litre and a half of pure alcohol every month, a habit that kills half a million people a year and is a major factor in population decline. An estimated 51% of production is on the black market, with factories running illegal night shifts and huge supplies of moonshine called samogon distilled in villages, where it acts as a second currency.
Medvedev announced a war on alcohol last summer saying he was shocked by the "colossal" level of consumption. He ordered the government to draw up measures to discourage excessive drinking and cut off supplies of bootleg liquor.
Russia has since increased excise on beer, raised the minimum price of a bottle of vodka to 89 roubles (£1.87) and announced plans to cut sales at kiosks. Legal changes to make it a criminal rather than an administrative offence to sell alcohol to minors are also in the pipeline and last month police began enforcing a zero drink-drive limit.
Shops and other outlets in Moscow had been banned from selling alcohol over 15% in strength between 11pm and 8am but a legal loophole allowed them to acquire permission for 24-hour sales from district authorities. Establishments serving food are not affected. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/aug/18/moscow-ban-vodka
- Two homeless men in Moscow ready to share a bottle of vodka.
>> No. 12677 ID: cfe73e
File 145271911571.jpg - (598.43KB , 1200x707 , Russian P President Dmitry Medvedev toasts champag.jpg )
"We can only welcome this law," said Yevgeny Bryun, the ministry of health's chief specialist on alcohol and drug addiction.
Bryun admitted that hardened drinkers could still down vodka during the day and "catch up" late at night by purchasing beer, "but overall the alcohol burden will be lower".
Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who has studied alcohol trends in Russia, said: "It will depend on enforcement but this is a good thing.
"The experience of the Nordic countries shows us that any measure which makes it difficult to access alcohol has a positive effect."
However, he added: "What is most effective is higher excise taxes and limiting the number of outlets selling alcohol."
Alcohol was prohibited in the Russian empire between 1914 and 1917 but reintroduced by the Bolsheviks when they realised its earning power. In the 1980s Gorbachev also banned booze, tearing up huge vineyards in Crimea and other southern climes of the Soviet Union. Mortality rates dropped as a result but there was a spurt in use of dangerous "surrogate" alcohols such as aftershave, boot polish and window cleaner.
Vodka – both legal and illegal – remains the chief killer in Russia, where it accounts for up to 70% of consumption, despite the rising popularity of beer and mixed drinks such as gin and tonic in cans.
Alkashi – alcoholics – are still a common sight on Moscow streets. A collection of wild-eyed and grubby men sprawled at one notorious hangout outside the entrance to Belorusskaya railway station is a common sight.
"Vodka's got more expensive so sometimes we chip in to share a bottle," said one of the group, echoing a practice in Soviet times, when three men would contribute a rouble each to buy half a litre.
Andrey Demin, a public health expert who drew up a recent report on alcohol abuse, said future measures would face stiff opposition in parliament. "The alcohol lobby and foreign producers in Russia are so strong and ruthless," he said.
Demin said higher prices, tougher legislation and stricter control on production and distribution were the only solutions. "Otherwise this extermination by alcohol will continue."
- Then-President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia toasts with champagne during a state dinner in Warsaw in 2010.
>> No. 12678 ID: cfe73e
File 145271950012.jpg - (218.24KB , 1368x1824 , Russian P President Dmitry Medvedev does not drink.jpg )
Beer ban in bid to curb Russia's alcoholism problem
Reuters 1 January 2013 http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/beer-ban-in-bid-to-curb-russias-alcoholism-problem-8434696.html
Sales of beer on the street have been banned under a law which came into force today in an attempt to curb alcoholism. The former President, Dmitry Medvedev, signed amendments to alcohol laws in 2011 to reclassify beer, previously considered a foodstuff, as liquor.

Stalls and kiosks are now banned from selling beer, and shops cannot sell it between 11pm and 8am. Russians are among the world's biggest drinkers, according to the World Health Organisation, which in 2011 found that the deaths of one-fifth of Russian men were down to alcohol abuse.

- Former Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, with a beer.
>> No. 12681 ID: 7397cb
>want to understand their motives as humans.


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