by Oleg Burunov
On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani ostensibly fled Kabul for Tajikistan after Taliban* militants entered the Afghan capital without a fight.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who stepped down to prevent further violence in his country, was fleeing Kabul escorted with cars filled with cash, a Russian Embassy spokesman told Sputnik on Monday. Ghani reportedly left Kabul for Tajikistan, but his current location and status remain unknown.
“As for the collapse of the regime, it is most eloquently characterised by the way Ghani fled from Afghanistan: four cars were full of money, they tried to put part of the money into a helicopter, but everything did not fit. And some of the money was left on the runway”, Russian diplomatic mission spokesperson Nikita Ishenko said.
He spoke after Russia’s special presidential representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told reporters that the seizure of Kabul was unexpected, and that Russia and other countries had overrated the Afghan Armed Forces.
“It came as a surprise to a certain extent, as we were guided by the understanding that the Afghan Army, whatever it may be, will still resist for some time”, Kabulov pointed out.
The diplomat stressed that Moscow will not make any hasty decisions concerning recognition of the new Afghan government, adding that the removal of the Taliban from the list of terrorist organisations is out of the question at this stage.
According to Kabulov, it is up to the United Nations Security Council to initiate the relevant procedure.
The Taliban entered Kabul without a fight on Sunday, with Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country shortly thereafter and explaining that he did so in order to avoid bloodshed.
According to Ghani, the militant group may have won the “trial of sword and guns”, but is yet to win the hearts of the Afghan people.
“Never in history has raw power given legitimacy to anyone and never will. [The Taliban] are now facing a new historic test: either they will protect the name and honour of Afghanistan or they will prioritise other places and networks”, Ghani argued in a post published on his Facebook page.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and a spate of other countries