Parade of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Photo by Russian Presidential Press and Information Office via Wikimedia Commons.
Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan will hold joint military maneuvers near the Tajik-Afghan border in early August amid increasing security concerns in Central Asian nations over Taliban offensives against government troops in northern Afghanistan.
The commander of Russia’s Central Military District, Aleksandr Lapin, told reporters on July 19 that the drills will be held on Tajikistan’s Harb-Maidon military field on August 5-10.
“During the exercises, we will polish joint military efforts against illegal armed formations that intervene into the territory of an ally country,” Lapin said.
The Central Military District’s press service said personnel from Russia’s military base in Tajikistan, mountainous vehicular troops, tank and artillery units, as well as the district’s special units will take part in the maneuvers.
In recent weeks, hundreds of Afghans, including police and government troops, have fled the country and entered Tajikistan and Uzbekistan amid a Taliban offensive. The militants have captured around one-third of Afghanistan’s 423 districts since the start of the international military withdrawal on May 1.
The Taliban ramped up its offensives after U.S. President Joe Biden said in April that the withdrawal of U.S. forces would be completed by September 11. Biden later moved the date up to August 31.
The rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces, and the Taliban’s battlefield successes, have caused concerns that the Western-backed government in Kabul may collapse.
Copyright (c)2021 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
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