I was told to come here from Politics SE so this is a repost.

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to support the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government. This obviously led to much opposition from Western aligned countries but I want to know if there was any opposition from major communist parties/countries at the time.

I read that China citation needed opposed the war and that Deng Xiaoping "warmly praised the heroic resistance of the Afghan people" (?Wikipedia:Afghan War?) so any other similar sentiments from communist groups/countries are appreciated.

  • 4
    Please edit with evidence of prior research
    – Brian Z
    Commented Jul 4 at 3:22
  • Possibly Albania and Yugoslavia - other communist states in opposition to the USSR.
    – Roger V.
    Commented Jul 4 at 5:34
  • Romania also tended to be a bit at odds with Soviet politics from time to time.
    – Jan
    Commented Jul 4 at 7:50
  • 3
    Worth noting that by the time of the Afghanistan invasion Communism was less of a commitment to specific values, than simply an excuse for dictatorial power and promoting national interests or even a menaingless label (just like "Democratic/People's republic") Hence the seemingly greater divergence of policies in the Communist camp than among the democratic states of today.
    – Roger V.
    Commented Jul 4 at 9:55
  • The Wikipedia article you failed to cite includes additional criticism from fellow communist countries.
    – MCW
    Commented Jul 4 at 14:01

1 Answer 1



Was there communist opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?

When Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan in December 1979, it wasn't just the West that recoiled in shock. (Boycotting the Russian Olypics etc.) Within the global communist movement, a significant ripple of dissent emerged, challenging the Kremlin's narrative and exposing deep ideological fractures.

For decades, the Soviet Union had positioned itself as the vanguard of international socialism, a beacon for leftist movements worldwide. Yet, the invasion of Afghanistan, ostensibly to prop up a faltering Marxist government in Kabul, tested the limits of this solidarity. Prominent communist parties and figures across the globe broke ranks, denouncing the Soviet action as a betrayal of Marxist principles and an imperialist overreach.

Leading the charge of dissent were the Eurocommunist parties of Western Europe. The Italian Communist Party (PCI), under the stewardship of Enrico Berlinguer, and the Spanish Communist Party (PCE), helmed by Santiago Carrillo, were vocal in their condemnation. For them, the invasion was a stark violation of national sovereignty, a move that undermined the self-determination Marxism was supposed to champion. The Eurocommunists had long been charting a course independent of Moscow, emphasizing democratic socialism over authoritarianism. The invasion only solidified their ideological divergence from the Soviet model. Chairman Mao died in Sept 1976 and Deng just came to power in Dec 1978; but both factions in China criticized the soviet Union and actively supported the Afghanistan rebels.

along with other leftist groups echoed this sentiment, casting the Soviet Union as revisionist and imperialist.

Even within the Soviet Union, cracks appeared. Reformist elements within the Communist Party, as well as dissidents emboldened by the burgeoning human rights movement, voiced their opposition. Figures like Andrei Sakharov, the physicist turned dissident, saw the invasion as a moral and strategic blunder. They feared it would mire the Soviet Union in a protracted conflict, draining resources and further isolating the country on the international stage.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan not only plunged the region into chaos but also left an indelible mark on the global communist movement. It highlighted the ideological rifts and raised fundamental questions about the nature of Soviet socialism. As the conflict dragged on, costing countless lives and ultimately contributing to the Soviet Union’s own disintegration, the voices of opposition within the communist ranks proved prescient.

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