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16 Aug, 2021 11:01

Afghan president fled Kabul with cars full of cash & was forced to abandon some loot on airport runway, Russian embassy claims

Afghan president fled Kabul with cars full of cash & was forced to abandon some loot on airport runway, Russian embassy claims

The Western-backed former Afghan leader, Ashraf Ghani, departed his country with so much money that it couldn’t all fit on his helicopter, and he was forced to leave some cash at the airport, the Russian Embassy in Kabul has said.

Speaking to RIA Novosti, its spokesman Nikita Ishchenko dubbed Ghani’s escape an “eloquent characterization” of the fall of the “regime.”

“Four cars were stuffed with money. [They] tried to fit all the money on the helicopter, but not all of it fit. Some of the money was left lying on the tarmac,” he explained, without elaborating how he obtained the information.

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Ghani became president of Afghanistan in September 2014, marking the first time in the country’s history that power was democratically transferred. Since his election, Ghani has enjoyed a close relationship with the US, which has pumped almost a trillion dollars into the country. According to a 2019 study by Brown University in the US, Washington has spent around $978 billion in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001.

The situation in Afghanistan has intensified in the past few weeks. On Sunday, Taliban militants entered the capital, Kabul, and declared that they had taken control of the entire country. The group is recognized in Russia as a terrorist organization. On the same day, Ghani fled the country, claiming that he had resigned and escaped to prevent any bloodshed in the capital. According to initial reports, he was flown to Tajikistan.

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On Monday, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem declared that the war in Afghanistan was over and called for peace.

The Taliban’s victory came after the US decided to withdraw its troops from the country. In April, US President Joe Biden declared that he had decided to end the operation in Afghanistan – the most protracted foreign military campaign in US history. All troops were scheduled to leave by September 11, almost 20 years after the war began.

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