WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump spoke approvingly of the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan during a Wednesday cabinet meeting as he made a number of assertions about Russian and Afghan history.
“Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Kabul made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan,” Trump said.
“The problem is it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt,” the US president added.
It’s not clear whom or what Trump was referencing when he said the Soviets invaded Afghanistan because of “terrorists.” The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.
The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up a communist government that gained power via a coup in the previous year. The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan did not enjoy popular support among the overwhelmingly Muslim population.
During the 20th century, the US dedicated much of its energy to thwarting the Russian and the spread of communism across the globe, including in Afghanistan.
The Red Army ultimately withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 after nearly 10 years of occupation and hard fighting. Nearly 15,000 Soviet forces had been killed by the time of the withdrawal. A civil war raged on in the years that followed, and the communist government was overthrown in 1992.