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Russian envoys in Afghanistan evacuated ‘temporarily’ as Taliban fighters gain ground in troubled nation after US forces withdraw

Russian envoys in Afghanistan evacuated ‘temporarily’ as Taliban fighters gain ground in troubled nation after US forces withdraw
Russian diplomats and consular staff stationed in the Afghan border city of Hairatan have now been relocated to neighboring Uzbekistan, as the country descends into fierce fighting between Taliban militants and government troops.

Zamir Kabulov, the Russian president’s special representative for Afghanistan, told TASS on Monday that personnel located in the northern town had crossed the frontier amid a worsening security situation,

“In Hairatan, since it is in a state of limbo, in order not to jeopardize the safety of our employees, we temporarily moved them to the territory of Uzbekistan,” he said. The diplomats had reportedly been providing support to citizens in the region in recent days, and have only crossed into the relative safety of the former Soviet republic until fighting has died down.

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However, Kabulov emphasized that there is “no such threat” to Russian staff working in the embassy in the capital, Kabul. While the situation is deteriorating, he said that the state of affairs was “alarming, but predictable. What we predicted is happening.”

Emboldened by the decision to pull out all US troops from the Central Asian nation by the anniversary of the September 11 attacks this year, Taliban fighters have now gained control over vast swathes of the country. Observers have warned that the Kabul government may struggle to retain control over even its key strongholds as support is pulled from operations on the ground.

Last week, Russian officials said they would step in to ensure that the conflict did not spill over into another former Soviet republic, Tajikistan. In recent days, several groups of Afghan army troops were forced to ask for shelter in the mountainous nation, fleeing attacks from the Taliban.

Also on rt.com Over 300 Afghan troops fleeing from Taliban cross over to neighboring Tajikistan after heavy fighting, border forces tell media

On Sunday, India said it had pulled its diplomats from Afghanistan’s second largest city, Kandahar, flying personnel out of the region on an Air Force flight. The move, New Delhi said, was due to “intense fighting” in the surrounding area.

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