RUSSIA-USSR-AFGHANISTAN-WAR-ANNIVERSARY

Russian veterans of the Afghan war drink vodka during a rally on Polonnaya hill in Moscow on February 15, 2009. Russia today marks the 20th anniversary of the Soviet pullout from Afghanistan, haunted by its catastrophic war against Islamists and convinced the trauma harbours lessons for Western forces. On February 15, 1989 the last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan, ending a war that Moscow initially saw as a brief incursion to bolster its Afghan supporters but became a protracted and bloody struggle that lasted almost 10 years. AFP PHOTO / Stringer

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