Back is the USSR? The Soviet Union may be gone, but Russian troops could be headed back to Afghanistan after an absence of more than 20 years, to assist a NATO mission. The last time Russian troops were there, the Red Army was retreating following its unsuccessful war with the U.S.-supported mujahideen fighters. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with officials next month to discuss the plan. The joint Russian-NATO initiative would include Russian assistance in the training of Afghan special forces and the contributions of helicopters and other materials.