AFGHANISTAN: Karmal Calls

Trouble amid the bear hugs

As he stepped off the Aeroflot jetliner onto the tarmac of Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, Afghanistan's President Babrak Karmal was given effusive greetings by a phalanx of Soviet officials led by Communist Party Chief Leonid Brezhnev. The Afghan leader was on his first venture outside the Soviet-occupied country since he was installed as Moscow's puppet last December. The sheer number of senior Soviet Politburo members participating in the Moscow welcome demonstrated the Kremlin's obvious desire to shore up Karmal's legitimacy and make a show of his supposed influence...

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