Ukrainian veterans recall 25th anniversary of Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan
Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 01:01
Feb. 15 - Ukrainian Soviet-era Afghan war veterans celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghan war, amid tensions in Ukraine. Gavino Garay reports.
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It's a somber day in Kiev.
Afghan War veterans protesting against President Viktor Yanukovich's government march to a ceremony.
They're attending a wreath laying that marks the 25th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan.
This retired colonel describes the mood.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RETIRED COLONEL PETRO MIKHET, AFGHAN WAR VETERAN, SAYING:
"All of us veterans who were fighting in Afghanistan came to pay our respects to our fallen comrades and to meet our brothers in arms, those who are still alive and now our unit is engaged in a peaceful mission."
Ukraine is home to about 50,000 Afghan War vets.
After around three weeks of nonviolent protests, there is an uneasy tension in the air.
Hundreds of the Ukrainian Afghan War veterans have been camping out, defiant in their fight against the government's move to build stronger ties with Russia.
The president negotiated an amnesty offer to tame fiery street protests that plagued Kiev for weeks.
But those camped out in barricades are running out of time. The government has imposed a deadline for them to leave all public barricades by Monday.
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