1 of 12 Soviet soldier in Afghanistan. The USSR sought to censor all coverage of the invasion 25 years ago but soldiers' private pictures today give some idea of the war through Soviet eyes. Photos by permission of Russian website afghanwar.
2 of 12 Soviet rangers in Afghanistan. Usually the photos are taken during rest periods but occasionally they capture the tension of a war zone.
3 of 12 Soviet soldier with new Bonfire grenade-launcher. For many young Soviets, Afghanistan promised the glamour of a foreign war but the reality was usually tedium broken occasionally by sudden, mortal danger.
4 of 12 Three Soviet soldiers. Snaps taken by conscripts time and again show their friends brandishing guns and grenade-launchers.
5 of 12 Soviet officer in uniform and in disguise. Shadowing the Soviet regulars were many crack units such as reconnaissance troops who prided themselves on their camouflage skills.
6 of 12 Soviet soldier on donkey. Humour is never far away in veterans' snapshots such as this one captioned by the author as "Cavalry".
7 of 12 Soviet soldier with pet hedgehog. The original caption on this snap of a young soldier and his adopted Asian pet is "Two big-eared hedgehogs"...
8 of 12 Soviet patrol through Afghan canyon. The forbidding mountains of Afghanistan are never far from the soldier's view-finder.
9 of 12 Nomads in south Afghanistan. Non-threatening Afghans who cross the path of the photographer often appear an exotic sight, straight out of oriental folk-tales.
10 of 12 Captured mujahideen in Afghanistan. And sometimes the enemy appears in the Soviet veterans' albums, like these prisoners.
11 of 12 Soviet soldier about to leave Afghanistan. This soldier is pictured at the end of his tour of duty, shortly before he returned to the USSR...
12 of 12 ... while the Soviet soldier roasting up kebabs here was one of the 15,000 who "did not make it back".