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Blast from the past: Soviet scraps abound in Afghan ‘boneyard’

  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)
  • Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)Known as the "Shindand boneyard," scraps of Soviet aircraft from the 1980s litter the landscape at Shindand Air Base, an Afghan military base in the westernmost province of Herat. (Kristina Wong/The Washington Times)

SHINDAND AIR BASE, Afghanistan — At this airfield in western Afghanistan's Herat province, there is a stark reminder of the Soviets' occupation during the 1980s — the Shindand boneyard.

The "boneyard" consists of scraps of aircraft that the Soviets left behind when they retreated from Afghanistan in 1989.

Just over a decade later, U.S. forces destroyed the rusting airplanes during the 2001 invasion against the Taliban regime, and bulldozed the remains into what is now known as the boneyard.

The yard holds the remnants of Soviet attack aircraft and helicopters, trucks, bullet-marked barrels and other scraps.

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