‘I hope the Taliban keep their promises’ – Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that other countries “must not impose their values” on Afghanistan, and that as the Taliban now control most of the country, “we need to accept that it’s a reality”.

He adds that he hopes the Taliban will make good on their promises to restore order in Afghanistan.

These are the first comments the Russian leader has made about the crisis in Afghanistan.

Russia has a complicated history with Afghanistan. In 1978, during the Cold War, there was a communist coup in the country – uprisings against it then led to Soviet troops invading the following year.

Soviet forces fought against local jihadist insurgents – known as mujahideen – who were backed by the US and Pakistan.

The Soviet-Afghan war lasted for 10 years and was devastating for the country, with about one million Afghans killed. After the war, in-fighting between different mujahideen fighters eventually gave rise to the Taliban.

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