The Soviet government has been striving of late to improve its public relations both inside and outside Afghanistan.
GV PAN Afghan people and Soviet soldiers cleaning up after flood in centre of township (3 shots)
SV Soviet soldier handing out food to Afghans (4 shots)
GV Afghan people with bundles of hay in countryside
SVs Afghan people standing talking with Soviet soldiers (2 shots)
GV & SV Afghan prisoners walking out of jail (3 shots)
CU & SV Official talking to group of prisoners (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Soviet government has been striving of late to improve its public relations both inside and outside Afghanistan. Film released by Soviet and East German Television pursues the line that Soviet troops and the Afghan people are enjoying good relations.
SYNOPSIS: This film shows the assistance being given by Soviet troops to Afghan flood victims in the southern province of Kandahar. The Soviets say that a number of people were killed in the flooding, and described the damage as considerable. According to Kabul radio, one hundred and twenty housed and four mosques were destroyed. The provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, and the village of Qala-Bist, are also said to be badly affected. The Soviet newsagency Tass says that food and medicines have been distributed in the areas, and that Soviet troops have helped to clean up.
Within the Soviet Union, there's been speculation about the numbers of coffins being returned from Afghanistan. To counter this, Red Star, the Soviet Army newspaper, published stories and pictures of Soviet troops providing medical aid, giving presents to schoolchildren, and helping peasants repair farm implements.
In an effort to reassure the Afghans themselves, prisoners who had been arrested during last month's riots, are being released. Tass said the prisoners were being allowed to go because "their guilt was insignificant". Amongst those released were more than a hundred teenagers who were turned over to their parents. Tass contended that the young people had been drawn into the anti-government unrest by terrorists, and were not to blame for their actions. Almost seven hundred people have been set free. But, while the people shown here were allowed to return to their families, others were being rounded up as opponents of the Babrak Karmal government. One Tass report says that dozens of people were arrested in the past week, and several arms caches have been discovered in Kabul, although the capital remains largely quiet.