AFGHANISTAN: Mini-Siege

A strange defection in Kabul

Brandishing his AK-47 assault rifle, a 21-year-old Soviet soldier alighted from a taxi at the gate of the U.S. embassy compound in Kabul one morning last week, and was met by an American official who took him inside. Then, speaking only Russian laced with a smattering of German, he managed to tell surprised embassy officers that he wanted to defect. It was the first such move by any of the estimated 85,000 Soviet military personnel who have occupied the country since last winter's invasion. Before long, the mysterious enlisted man had become the most prominent Soviet...

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