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There was a sense of relative peace and relative unity, for Afghanistan, under the King until the events of that night, July 17, 1973, were a precursor to the end of life as Afghanis knew it. What would follow was the Communist coup d'etat of 1978, followed by the Russian occupation beginning in December of 1979. On that July night, the king's brother, Daoud Khan, had seized Zahir Shah's kingdom while he was away. Afghanistan had gone overnight from a monarchy to a republic.