Anton Lisitsyn & Galiya Ibragimova
Fights are taking pl-ace in the central square of Kandahar. Earlier, the Taliban repo-rted the seizure of ten p-rovincial capitals. Hun-dreds of security officials surrendered to them in K-unduz. Does President As-hraf Ghani have a chan-ce to retain power – in the material of RIA Novosti.
Harder than 30 years ago
Afghanistan is going through events similar to those that happened when, due to the collapse of the USSR, official Kabul was left without support. Russia demonstrates that it is monitoring the situation: exercises are being conducted near the border. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, comparing the current situation with the 1990s, spoke briefly and succinctly: “More difficult. Much more difficult.”
This conversation took place at a meeting with students studying military registration specialties. They showed a photograph from thirty years ago, in which Shoigu is surrounded, as one of those present put it, “some Taliban.” “There are mujahideen on it next to me. We have not left yet, but they have already come,” the minister said.
Fighting continues as the Taliban surround Kabul. They control 65 percent of the country, Reuters reported, citing a European Un-ion official. According to the source, the Islamists re-fuse to negotiate and do not agree to form a transitional government. In a week, they captured ten of the 34 provincial capitals. On Thursday, they took Ghazni 150 kilometers from Kabul.
Taliban release prisoners from prisons. Thus, 630 convicts were released in Kunduz, 350 in Nimruz pr-ovince, of which fifty were members of the Taliban. According to the head of the penitentiary administration, Sayfulla Jalalzai, most had sentences for drug trafficking, kidnapping and armed robbery.
The commander-in-chief of government forces, Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, appointed in June, has been dismissed. He was replaced by Khibatullah Aliziyah.
Despite the irreconcilable statements, the Taliban office in Doha is involved in the negotiations. The mediators are the USA, Russia, China, Pakistan and the EU. So, on August 10, it was reported that a regular meeting will take place in Qatar. Details are unknown.
Zamir Kabulov, special envoy of the Russian president for Afghanistan, director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, called for restrained optimism. “Expectations from the meeting in Doha are very good, but this is just one of the stages, and one should not expect significant progress until autumn,” he said.
Afghan Ambassador to Washington Adela Raz asked the Americans to launch air strikes. And she also referred to the past, in particular to how quickly the Taliban were defeated in Operation Enduring Freedom.
“You took control of the whole country in two weeks,” she recalled. And even indirectly criticized Washington for the fact that the rapid retreat “led to consequences.” Joe Biden blamed the Afghan government for the Taliban advance. Opposing him, Adela Raz pointed out that the Taliban are “a more complex security issue than the Afghans fighting for their country.”
The ambassador also commented on the information of American intelligence that the Taliban would seize the Afghan capital within six months to a year after the withdrawal of US troops. “When I talk about the fall of Kabul, I’m talking about the destruction of my hopes,” she said.
Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the Afghanistan Reconciliation Council, addressed the representatives of China, Russia and Pakistan in the same spirit. He spoke about the Taliban’s “war crimes, widespread human rights violations and a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Under pressure from criticism, the US State Department promised to continue helping the Afghan authorities, and the Pentagon agreed to send an additional 3,000 troops to Kabul. At the same time, the American authorities agreed in advance that this is a temporary measure aimed at protecting foreign embassies in the Afghan capital. “The soldiers will take out American citizens and leave Kabul after them,” said US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby.
In Kabul, they believe that Islamabad can influence the Taliban. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reported this attempt: “I tried to convince them <…> Their condition is that as long as Ashraf Ghani is there, we will not talk.”
What great powers need
Sinologist Temur Umarov, an expert on Central Asia at the Carnegie Moscow Center, explains why Beijing and Moscow cannot but be concerned about the civil war in Afghanistan. protect yourself, “he says.
“Beijing has been negotiating with all the participants in the Afghan conflict for many years. By the way, the Taliban were in China recently, immediately after visiting Moscow. At a meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, they promised not to delve into the northern provinces, they assured that they were not going to take power by force. achieve some kind of recognition and look legitimate, “the expert clarifies.
And he continues: The Taliban are a motley group. Different factions follow different tactics, and it is unclear whether they will remain united after the seizure of power. This, of course, raises concerns. But the Uzbek-Afghan border is under control. The Tajik-Afghan border is also, Russia is helping. “
The head of the Center for Global Studies and International Relations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry believes that the current authorities of Afghanistan have no future. “Nobody wants to fight for a government that is recognized as corrupt, puppet. And this is a big difference from Najibullah (the pro-Soviet leader. – Ed.). Then they did not trade in drug trafficking, did not profit from it,” the source explains.
According to him, the Taliban now have a “high morale.” “They declare that they have defeated the first power in the world. a lot, but the goal is to seize the country. It makes no sense for them to share power with a morally corrupted enemy, “Kozyulin believes.
The settlement, one way or another, is the concern of the countries of the region and Russia, he is sure. The flow of dollars to Afghanistan will dry up. The Taliban need to somehow manage the state, they need external partners and investors. First of all, there will be difficulties with food. We’ll have to solve other problems as well.