Russia knew about Taliban's* imminent seizure of power in Afghanistan

Russia knew in advance that representatives of the radical Taliban* movement (terrorist organization, banned in Russia) would not meet with resistance when trying to take Afghanistan's capital Kabul in August of this year, Russian ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov said, TASS reports.

According to him, Russia obtained information detailing the Taliban's* impending seizure of power in the country. In particular, Russia knew that the Afghan military would not support the regime of President Ashraf Ghani, because he did not support the military financially. 

“Most importantly, we had information from various sources, including the Taliban* camp, that the Taliban would enter Kabul peacefully, that there would be neither bloodshed nor threats to the Russian and other diplomatic missions in the country,” Zhirnov said.

In October, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing reports from four leading US intelligence agencies, that Washington was also informed in advance of the imminent fall of Kabul and the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban*. Experts then believed, however, that the Taliban* would gradually recapture the country's territory from government forces during the period from several months to a few years.

The regime of Afghan President Ghani regime fell even before the official withdrawal of the US Army from the country was announced. On August 15, Kabul surrendered to the Taliban* without a fight, and Ghani left Afghanistan.

*terrorist organization, banned in Russia

Taliban in Afghanistan