Russia is sending troops along the border with Afghanistan

MOSCOW, BM, ($1=74.46 Russian Rubles) – Russia will send troops to the Tajik-Afghan and Uzbek-Afghan borders to conduct two consecutive exercises announced by the Russian Defense Ministry, Defence24 reports. Their goal is to understand how the parties to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a post-Soviet military union, will deal with a potential military threat from the Afghan border.

According to TASS, the Central Military District intends to hold joint military exercises with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan near the Tajik-Agan border, 20km from it. Their start date is set for August 5 and ends on the 10th of the same month. Similar exercises will be held between Russia and Uzbekistan itself, but on July 30-August 10, and will be held on the Uzbek-Afghan border, more precisely at the Termez test site.

As for the Russian side, parts of the 201st military base in Tajikistan, located in the country’s capital Dushanbe, and the important city center of Bokhtar (Kurgontepa), which is also the largest military facility of the Russian Federation outside the Russian state.

There is infantry (including mountain infantry equipped with BTR-82A), artillery (armed with Goździk and Akacja howitzers and City missiles), and tanks (T-72). There are units for intelligence, intelligence, and air defense communications. In the exercises themselves, it was also decided to introduce by the country defense forces against ABC weapons (radiation, biological and chemical), as well as units for conducting electronic warfare.

The base is in Russian hands until 2042, according to the agreement with Tajikistan from 2012. The commander of the Central Military District of Russia, Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, commented on the planned exercises with the participation of soldiers from the 201st base:

“At the beginning of August, we will take part in joint exercises with Tajik and Uzbek military contingents at the Sharp-Majdon test site. During the exercises, we will practice preparing for operations to break up illegally passing military groups,” said Colonel-General Alexander Chapin.

In recent days, there has been increasing talk of growing Russian-Tajik cooperation. It is related to the events taking place in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that 1,000 Afghan troops had fled to Tajikistan in fear of the Taliban, which is making rapid progress in occupying more and more of the country as NATO troops leave Afghanistan.

President Putin himself spoke by phone with his Tajik counterpart and assured him that Russia was ready to help escalate the dangerous situation in Afghanistan. For his part, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added that the Russians were ready to defend their allies against a possible threat from an unstable state controlled by the Taliban.

Interestingly, in recent days, the latter has called on the Russian Federation to intervene in sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council against the Taliban and have led to the deletion of organizations and entities subject to international restrictions. At the same time, however, Tajikistan is seeking opportunities for security cooperation with other countries, including the United States and Turkey.

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