The Russian side knew in advance that the Afghan military would not support President Ashraf Ghani’s regime and the Taliban’s (outlawed in Russia) taking Kabul would be peaceful, Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel on Monday.
According to the diplomat, the embassies of those countries, which were guided by the wrong forecasts of further developments in Afghanistan, fled the country. They thought that President Ghani would stay in power for a long time as he would be backed by the Afghan army and that much blood would be shed during the Taliban’s capture of the capital city.
“We had absolutely different but reliable information about that well in advance,” he said.
“We knew that he would not be supported by the army because he did not pay wages to soldiers. We learned it from Afghan soldiers. <…> And most importantly, we had information from various sources, including the Taliban camp, that the Taliban’s entrance to Kabul would be peaceful, with no bloodshed and threats to the Russian diplomatic mission and other diplomatic missions too.”
After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces.
On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country.
On September 6, the Taliban said they had taken control of the entire country and announced a new interim government the following day. However, this government has not been officially recognized by any of the world nations.