New York — Two Soviet soldiers tell why they fled Afghanistan
Two teen-age Soviet soldiers who defected from the Soviet Army in Afghanistan said Monday they were lied to about what they would find in Afghanistan and revolted by Soviet military involvement there.
The two soldiers arrived in New York last week to become the first defectors from the Afghan conflict to be given refugee status in the US.
One of the soldiers, Nikolai Ryzhkov, a 19-year-old private, said: ''I didn't want to be a part of this dirty war, so I defected.''
Meanwhile in Afghanistan, Soviet and Afghan government troops retreated from a valley north of Kabul, the Afghan capital, last week after suffering heavy casualties in a major offensive against antigovernment rebels, Western diplomats in Pakistan said Tuesday.