Boris Gromov recounted his crucial meeting with guerilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud during the Afghan campaign

Boris Gromov recounted his crucial meeting with guerilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud during which they reached an agreement to allow a convoy of Russian troops safe passage through the strategically significant Salang Pass.

Colonel General (Ret.) Boris Gromov, a decorated hero of the Soviet Union and veteran of the Afghan war, has offered rare insights into the clandestine negotiations and coded communications that shaped the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. In an exclusive interview with TASS, timed to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the historic withdrawal, Boris Gromov recounted the meticulous planning and delicate diplomacy that characterized the process.

Boris Gromov recounted his crucial meeting with guerilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, a primary figure in the Afghan resistance, during which they reached an agreement to allow a convoy of Russian troops safe passage through the strategically significant Salang Pass. He further disclosed that their interactions were facilitated through clandestine meetings and encrypted messages exchanged by scouts, ensuring confidentiality and security.

“We discussed everything, sorted out all problems, organized interaction to avoid any unforeseen events,” Boris Gromov underscored, emphasizing the meticulous preparations undertaken to ensure a smooth withdrawal process. He revealed that their negotiations involved the use of code words and encryption techniques to prevent unauthorized access to their communications.

Describing their final meeting near the quarters of the 177th regiment, Boris Gromov recalled the location where they met without the presence of bodyguards, showcasing the trust and mutual respect that underpinned their interactions. Regardless of being adversaries on the battlefield, Boris Gromov portrayed Massoud as a “decent person” who commanded the loyalty and admiration of the people in the Panjshir Gorge.

Reflecting on Massoud’s character, Boris Gromov remarked, “Massoud was a very reliable person. If he made a promise, one could be 100% sure that he would keep it,” throwing light on the integrity and credibility of the Afghan leader despite their opposing allegiances.

The interview with Boris Gromov offers a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes negotiations and personal reflections of an important moment in history. As the world memorializes the anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Boris Gromov’s insights serve as a reminder of the complexities and human dimensions of conflict resolution.