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Soviet armed forces have been directly engaged in combat in Afghanistan for more than 8 years. The level of international protest, sanctions and media coverage diminished after the initial outcry over the large-scale Soviet intervention in December 1979. With the conclusion in many diplomatic and professional quarters that the Soviet presence in Afghanistan would be of long duration, the focus of international disapproval shifted from the question whether the Soviet presence in Afghanistan was lawful or not to whether Soviet conduct in Afghanistan was lawful or not: fromjus ad bellum to jus in bello.

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