The Communist Party newspaper Pravda said Saturday that Soviet troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan under battle conditions and indicated more may be killed.
The Soviet news media has provided little coverage of the Soviet military involvement in Afghanistan, but the Pravda article reported comments of Red Army soldiers about the withdrawal and their slain comrades. It apparently was designed to prepare Soviet citizens for more deaths as the soldiers pull out.Under an April 14 agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Soviet Union will begin on May 15 to withdraw its estimated 115,000 military personnel in Afghanistan. They entered Afghanistan in December 1979 to help the Marxist government fight anti-communist guerrillas.
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev has called the war a "bleeding wound" for the Soviet Union, but Soviet casualties have never been revealed.
The Pravda article, headlined "The Last Summer," said Soviet troops were preparing to come home. It was accompanied by a picture of three smiling soldiers.
However, the daily newspaper said: "The withdrawal of Soviet units for home is a complicated operation. It will be carried out in war conditions."