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Afghanistan: Life In A Historical Battlefield

Successive wars for control over Afghanistan, beginning with the Great Game of the 19th century and continuing with the Soviet invasion and the U.S.-led war against the Taliban, have left behind a landscape that is both stark and striking. Rostyslav Khotin of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service recently traveled to Afghanistan to see what clues the Kremlin's 1979-89 occupation might hold for Ukraine's own conflict with Russia.
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The Afghan capital Kabul viewed from a neighboring hilltop. 
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The Afghan capital Kabul viewed from a neighboring hilltop. 

The tomb of Afghan King Nadir Shah, who was assassinated in 1933. The renovated shrine stands on Maranjan Hill overlooking eastern Kabul. A NATO surveillance airship can be seen just overhead.  
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The tomb of Afghan King Nadir Shah, who was assassinated in 1933. The renovated shrine stands on Maranjan Hill overlooking eastern Kabul. A NATO surveillance airship can be seen just overhead.

 

An Afghan boy herding a flock of sheep. 
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An Afghan boy herding a flock of sheep. 

Public portraits of former mujahedin fighters remain a common fixture in Kabul. Here, Mohammad Fahid, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and Ahmad Shah Masud. 
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Public portraits of former mujahedin fighters remain a common fixture in Kabul. Here, Mohammad Fahid, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and Ahmad Shah Masud. 

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