Friendship Bridge opening photographs

A Russian-language photograph archive with images of the official opening ceremony for the Friendship bridge between the USSR and Afghanistan on 12 May 1982, and associated events including a tree-planting ceremony on the previous day.

The photos include a view of the bridge decorated with large photos of Soviet and Afghan bigwigs – I think they are Brezhnev on the left and Afghanistan’s President Karmal on the right(?).

Opening of the Friendship Bridge, 1982

The RIA Novosti news agency has various photos online, including these showing officials at the formal opening of the Friendship Bridge between the USSR and Afghanistan on 11 May 1982, and Soviet military use of the bridge.

  • Photo #481959: Secretary General of the Central Committee of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan Babrak Karmal and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic Sharaf Rashidov at the opening ceremony of the highway and railroad bridge between the USSR and Afghanistan. V. Chistiakov, 11.05.1982
  • Photo #481950: Babrak Karmal, general secretary of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan and chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, at the ceremony opening a motor and railroad bridge between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan. V. Chistiakov, 11.05.1982
  • Photo #481951: Automobile and rail bridge across Amu Darya River between USSR and Afghanistan. The bridge is 816 meters long. V. Chistiakov, 11.05.1982

A Soviet freight train at Hayratan, with freight being unloaded from railway vans into custom-painted lorries:

  • Photo #660247: Unloading humanitarian aid from Soviet Union. Hairaton port. Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. V. Zupharov, 01.08.1986.

And the road at the time:

  • Photo #636884: The road from Hairaton to Kabul. V. Kiselev, 01.10.1989

The Soviet withdrawal:

  • Photo #476670: The first military convoy crosses the Friendship Bridge over the Amu Darya River during the Soviet troop pullout from Afghanistan. V. Kiselev, 18.05.1988
  • Photo #482919: The last Soviet combat vehicle leaves Afghanistan. The USSR conducted a full pullout of its limited troop contingent from Afghanistan in compliance with the Geneva accords. A. Solomonov, 15.02.1989
  • Photo #482941: Back to homeland. A welcome ceremony for Soviet troops returning from Afghanistan near Termez, Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic Alexander Liskin, 06.02.1989
  • Photo #644825: Soviet troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Soviet troop column returns to homeland. V. Kiselev, 01.02.1989

On a railway-related subject:

  • Photo #483133: On November 1986 Moscow customs officers found 1217 of hashish in a railway container which was bound from Afghanistan to FRG. The owner of contraband goods is American company Specific International. The drug was destroyed at the training ground of the Fire Inspection Administration of the Moscow region in the presence of Soviet and foreign journalists. Yuryi Abramochkin, 13.10.1987

Construction of the Friendship Bridge

Just south of Termez, at Heratan, on the Amu Darya river, diplomats understand that a reinforced steel bridge is being constructed. The aim, it would seem, is to improve the roads and garrison facilities right from the Soviet border to Kabul

Russians switch to commando-type raids in Afghanistan, Karan Thapar, The Times, 19 September 1980, p1 and p6 (Issue 60728; col C)