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A Rallying Cry Against The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and the Imprisonment of Soviet Dissident Andrei Sakharov

Fantastic vintage poster criticizing the occupation of Afghanistan and the imprisonment of the nuclear physicist and peace advocate Andre Sakharov, published by the Italian Christian Democracy party.

The poster focuses on a map of the Soviet Union, pointing towards Afghanistan. This refers to the Soviet-led invasion of Afghanistan that commenced in 1979 following an insurrection against the Communist leaders of the country who had taken control one year earlier as part of the Saur Revolution. International blowback from this intervention was extensive, with many western countries boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics and organizations criticizing the involvement in other ways.

The year following the invasion, 1980, saw the imprisonment of Andrei Sakharov, the leading physicist in charge of developing thermonuclear weapons. Having repeatedly criticized Soviet repression and been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975, he had been called "Domestic enemy number one" by the head of the KGB. His criticism of the invasion of Afghanistan proved too much, and he was imprisoned in 1980, drawing increased western criticism. He is shown on the poster.

This poster was published by the Christian Democracy Party of Italy, which was the dominant party in Italian politics between 1946 and 1994. This Catholic-inspired party garnished success by staying in the center of Italian politics, but the 1980s saw the decline of the party. The party leader had recently been abducted and murdered by Red Brigade forces, part of the Italian far-left, which had temporarily buoyed popularity, but corruption scandals, mafia involvement, economic stagnation, and other hallmarks of Italian politics plagued the party. Taking a stance against communist involvement in Afghanistan would have been an easy way to rally the party's base at this tumultuous time.


We were unable to trace any further examples of this locally-produced poster.

Condition Description
Manuscript marker annotations on verso with minor see-through. Text on the verso advertises an event to be held in a local Villa San Lucia library. Tear in lower left, repaired with plain white paper. Minor tape stains around edges.