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Operation Storm-333
Part of the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Evstafiev-40th army HQ-Amin-palace-Kabul.jpg
Tajbeg Palace in 1987. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev
Date December 27, 1979
Location Tajbeg Palace, Kabul
Result Soviet victory, overthrow and death of Hafizullah Amin
 Soviet Union Afghanistan Afghanistan
Soviet Union Y.Drozdov
Soviet Union Grigoriy Boyarinov 
Afghanistan Hafizullah Amin 
30 from Alpha Group
30 from Vympel Group
520 "Muslim battalion"
80 paratroopers
Total: 660
Casualties and losses
19 killed;
more than 50 wounded
200 killed;
1,700 captured;
~200 wounded

Operation Storm-333 («Шторм-333») was the name of the Soviet operation on December 27, 1979 in which Soviet special forces stormed the Tajbeg Palace in Afghanistan and killed President Hafizullah Amin and his 200 personal guards. His eleven year old son died due to shrapnel wounds.[1]

Several other government buildings were seized during the operation, including the Ministry of Interior building, the Internal Security (KHAD) building, and the General Staff building (Darul Aman Palace). Alpha Group's veterans call this operation one of the most successful in the group's history.

Soviet forces and losses

The special forces lacked body armour and, according to a special forces soldier, most didn't have helmets.[2] Taking part in the operation were 24 men from «Гром» ("Thunder") unit of Alpha Group , GRU, and 30 operators from another special KGB group: «Зенит» ("Zenith"). There were also 520 men from the 154th Separate Spetsnaz Detachment of the USSR Ministry of Defence, known as the "Muslim battalion" because it consisted exclusively of soldiers from the southern republics of the USSR, and 87 troops of a company of 345 Guards Airborne Regiment [3]

In the operation Alpha Group lost 2 men, Zenith group lost 3, the Muslim battalion 5, and the Air Landing company 9. More than 50 were wounded in total.[4]


Coordinates: 34°27′17″N 69°06′48″E / 34.45472°N 69.11333°E / 34.45472; 69.11333



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