Illegitimate government, human rights violations, bloody terrorist attacks and economic collapse – Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Mirzo admitted that the situation in Afghanistan is close to critical. In his opinion, the neighboring country is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe and can very quickly turn into a hotbed of international terrorism. The CSTO is building up its military presence in the region. About what is happening there – in the material of RIA Novosti.
Everyday life in the Islamic Emirate of Afghan-istan (the name of the Taliban) is really far from a peaceful and calm life. A real massacre took place in Herat over the weekend. The Taliban tried to stop the kidnapping gang. A skirmish ensued. 17 people died, including children.
The new authorities do not fully control the situation. Protests continue in the country, and they are not shy about suppressing them by force. The meager budget is melting before our eyes, the social sector is in decline, there are no prospects.
The Taliban are desperate for allies and patrons. A few days ago, their delegation visited Moscow to enlist, if not financial, then at least political support. However, the Kremlin remembers well how the Afghan Islamists helped the Chechen bandit underground with weapons and fighters in the 1990s, and are in no hurry with diplomatic recognition. According to the results of negotiations in the Russian Foreign Ministry, the government of the emirate should show more liberalism in domestic policy.
Nevertheless, Moscow nevertheless made a symbolic gesture. The special e-nvoy of the Russian Presi-dent Zamir Kabulov on M-onday called on the United States and European countries to unfreeze the financial assets of Afghanistan. We are talking about nine billion dollars, which Washington and the EU decided to hold back until the new authorities prove their adequacy to the world.
And the country needs money like air. According to experts, the only alternative way to quickly replenish the treasury is a sharp increase in the cultivation of opium poppy and, accordingly, the export of heroin. Moreover, the main market for Afghan opiates is Russia, and the United States is unlikely to give up the opportunity to create additional problems for the main geopolitical adversary. Consequently, the Taliban may not see their billions anymore.
At the weekend in neighboring Tajikistan, the exercises of the troops of the CSTO countries, three at once: “Search-2021”, “Interaction-2021” and “Echelon-2021”, ended. More than four thousand servicemen of the allied armies and more than five hundred units of military equipment, including tactical aviation, took part. Soldiers and officers worked out a joint operation to localize a border armed conflict after the penetration of international terrorists into the territory of the CSTO state.
The tone was set by the soldiers of the Russian 201st military base stationed in Dushanbe, Kulyab and Bokhtar. They will become the backbone of the CSTO forces in the region if the Taliban suddenly forget about their promises not to attack their neighbors. The Russian Defense Ministry is well aware of the strategic importance of this unit and since August has been consistently pumping it up with the most modern equipment and weapons. Colonel Yevgeny Okhrimenko, chief of staff of the base, told reporters that thirty T-72B3M tanks with improved characteristics will be transferred here by the end of the year.
The 201st base received AK-12 assault rifles, Verba portable anti-aircraft missile systems, upgraded BMP-2M Berezhok, Linza sanitary armored vehicles, high-range and powerful infantry jet flamethrowers, Kornet anti-tank missile systems, and also 12.7-mm sniper rifles ASVK-M “Kord”.
Explosions are just the beginning
The leaders of the CSTO countries, not without reason, fear that the “Islamic State” will penetrate the region. It’s no secret that his militants have been trying to settle in Afghanistan for a long time. And unlike the Taliban, they will not stop at borders. IS is not going to make peace with the new Afghan authorities and is already testing the strength of their security system.
In September and early October, several Afghan provinces, including the capital region, saw many explosions, armed attacks and shootings. The victims are both Taliban and civilians. The Islamic State in Khorasan group claimed responsibility for some of the attacks. It all began with the suicide bombings at the Kabul airport, when up to two hundred local and a dozen US servicemen were killed. IS militants are arrested, destroyed, driven underground, but they remind of themselves over and over again. The latest attacks are evidence that Vilayat Khorasan is ready to compete for power and influence with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The country may again face a big war, and it is not yet known who will emerge victorious from it.