On Sunday, August 15, the radical Taliban movement ( banned in the Russian Federation ) announced that Afghanistan was completely under its control. The Taliban managed to take over Afghanistan. In just a day, the terrorists forced the official authorities to leave the country in disgrace and announced that they were not going to share the presidential palace with others.
The Taliban managed to take over Afghanistan
The militants captured Afghanistan in a matter of weeks, literally stepping on the heels of the US and NATO forces, which did not even have time to completely withdraw their military contingent from the country. On their way, the Taliban met practically no resistance. A brief chronicle of the Taliban’s victorious march across Afghanistan and the first conclusions of experts about what awaits the world with the emergence of a new terrorist state is in the material of Lenta.ru.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
“Today I faced a difficult choice. On the one hand, I could face the armed Taliban who wanted to take over the presidential palace and try to defeat them. On the other hand, I could leave the country, which I have devoted the last 20 years to defending, ”- this is how the former President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, explained his flight.
This post appeared on social networks when the politician was already far outside Afghanistan – according to unconfirmed information, he fled to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. The President did not even have time to say goodbye to the citizens and record a full-fledged video message. The media learned that Ghani was leaving the country when he was approaching the plane.
The Taliban approached the Afghan capital of Kabul on the night of Sunday, August 15. In the morning, the city was already closely surrounded. The militants announced that they were in control of the entire country and all border crossings, and called on the authorities to surrender peacefully so as not to start a massacre. In the afternoon, they entered the presidential palace and began negotiations with the official government – more precisely, with those who remained from it.
By that time, the local police had already left their bases and stations. The military has long ceased to resist – the militants entered Kabul almost without a fight, only a few shootings and explosions were reported. By the evening of August 15, the administration of the country was transferred to the transitional government – the Council, which, in agreement with the Taliban, included the head of the Supreme Council Abdullah Abdullah and the former President of the country Hamid Karzai.
As the radical forces approached the capital, more and more people fled from Afghanistan. The migration flow is so critical that some European Union countries are still deploying Afghans right at the border.
In recent days, high-ranking officials have also fled openly from the country without hesitation. Thus, the standard business trip of Finance Minister Khalid Pinda in early August ended with his resignation and escape from the country, while Vice President Amrullah Saleh fled to Tajikistan.
Politicians have long understood that the Taliban will soon occupy Kabul, and have asked various countries for help, including Russia. On August 13, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar said that he had asked Russian colleagues to provide new combat helicopters.
But by that time in Moscow, apparently, they also began to understand everything, so they did not agree to provide military equipment even for money. In any case, Russia would not be able to help the Afghan government, said Stanislav Pritchin, a senior researcher at the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at the IMEMO RAS
people have left Afghanistan since May (date still to be clarified)
The Taliban already at the end of July controlled the borders with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and this complicated the direct supply of weapons. Their active offensive began immediately after American President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of the entire US and NATO contingent from Afghanistan in April 2021.
In the past ten days, the Taliban offensive has turned into a strikingly successful blitzkrieg: the militants subjugated 16 out of 34 provinces, the largest cities surrendered to them almost without a fight. The reason for such a rapid development of events is a change in tactics, the expert said.
“It can be described in three points. First, the Taliban managed to accumulate enough resources to seize territories. Secondly, after the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, official Kabul found itself in a difficult psychological and political situation, they themselves understood that they would not be able to contain the militants. And third: the Taliban have ceased to be afraid to take large cities, and previously avoided it, ”says Patchin.
Until the last moment, Moscow did not want to believe that the Taliban’s coming to power was real. Back on August 13, the director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Zamir Kabulov, said that the Taliban were unlikely to seize the Afghan capital, and many experts agreed with him, who argued that the radicals would not have enough resources to lay siege to Kabul.
When the militants were already walking freely in Kabul, and the ex-president was on his way to the airport, worrying statements were made from Moscow. Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev expressed concern that instability in Afghanistan carries the risks of a new base of international terrorism.
However, later, the first deputy head of the international committee of the Federation Council, Vladimir Dzhabarov, stressed that Russia would not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, since it is a sovereign state.
So far, Moscow speaks confidently only about who is to blame for what is happening. Most likely, they simply have a desire to ensure their military presence, thereby influencing the political situation, “said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in mid-July.
Now the situation continues to change at an alarming rate even after the capture of Kabul. According to Omar Nassar, director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary Afghanistan, Moscow was not ready to make a choice in favor of one side or another in the internal conflict in Afghanistan. “Perhaps in the near future Moscow’s position will be finally formed, but this primarily depends on what will happen next.
Now the Russian authorities will not only have to prevent the transformation of Afghanistan into a new “Islamic State” ( prohibited in Russia ), but also to protect their allies – in particular, Tajikistan, where the flow of refugees has already rushed. Some experts have long expressed the opinion that such a situation threatens the emergence of new hotbeds of extremism and instability near the Russian borders.
In particular, the expert of the Center for Modern Afghanistan Studies Nikita Mendkovich in conversation with “Lentoy.ru” said that the objective preconditions for the expansion of the militants in Central Asia there are now. Through the already operating drug trafficking channels from Afghanistan, drugs, weapons, and recruiters can enter neighboring states.
The onslaught and success of the Taliban caused confusion in other countries as well. Until the authorities of the Western states came out with clear statements regarding the capture of Kabul, their main task is to evacuate the employees of diplomatic missions from the Afghan capital.
In a couple of days, the authorities of the USA, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, and Norway closed their embassies, now they are urgently taking out diplomats. Meanwhile, the evacuation of the Russian embassy in Afghanistan is not yet planned.
The evacuation of the staff of the American embassy is very symbolic and has caused a sharp public reaction: American helicopters took the staff of the embassy right from the roof of the building.
The fact is that there has already been a similar precedent in American history: during the Vietnam War of 1955-1975, the Americans also had to take their citizens from the rooftops and evacuate them by air from Saigon, so historical analogies suggest themselves. The American authorities feared a repetition of the situation, in the end, this is exactly what happened.
Compare Vietnam and Afghanistan, in spite of the external similarity of events, and the truth correctly, indicate the experts. The American authorities were not going to throw all their strength into the restoration of Afghan democracy, even at the stage of the entry of troops in 2001. The equipment to the official authorities was mainly supplied by India, and the Aeritalia G222 planes provided by NATO were even sent for scrap shortly after they got to Afghanistan – the military did not even have time to fly them.
The international coalition was initially not interested in throwing all its forces to help the official Kabul, as was the case with the Vietnamese authorities. And the Afghans have not been able to use even what they have and create a combat-ready army.
The military victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan can be finally accepted as a fait accompli. The question of whether they will be just as successful in the political arena is still open. Now the militants will begin to rebuild the country for themselves, and already now it is possible to roughly estimate what problems will arise in the course of this difficult process.
The first problem is actually the question of the structure of the new government. Even if the remnants of official Kabul, the Taliban, and the United States manage to agree on the formation of a transitional administration, the radicals will do everything to fully control the decisions of the interim government, Omar Nissar is sure. Actually, the Taliban do not hide this, they have already announced that they are abandoning the transitional government and demanding an immediate transfer of power.
This does not exclude the possibility that the Taliban will abandon concessions and completely seize power, ”said the director of the Center for the Study of Modern Afghanistan.
Finally, the last problem that could make the situation in Afghanistan even worse is the inaction of other countries. The international community has repeatedly gathered the parties to the conflict at one table, trying to somehow bring the restoration of peace closer.
The ambitions of the Taliban could be tempered with the help of economic pressure from several countries at once. For example, Moscow and Washington could force the militants to create a transitional administration, but recent statements by politicians show that the parties are unlikely to agree.
Both sides in their history have gone through the experience of many years of war in Afghanistan, which, in fact, did not end with anything, except for useless sacrifices. Most likely, now they will want to distance themselves as much as possible from the problems of the new terrorist state, so as not to repeat the old mistakes.