Russia is believed to be supporting a faction within the Taliban and arming them with ‘dangerous weapons,’ a regional police Chief in Afghanistan has revealed.
Obaidullah, the chief of the Baghlan police has been quoted by Tolo News, an Afghan news outlet as saying, “Russia is providing training to the armed opponents in Dand-e-Ghori and support them. Russia has equipped them with very dangerous weapons.” He did not specify any specific instances of such arms transfers or training.
He however did not respond to question as to whether Russian intelligence had provided bounty to Afghan militants to kill US and coalition soldiers.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that several businessmen who transfer money through the informal “hawala” system were arrested in Afghanistan over the past six months and were suspected of being part of a ring of middlemen who operated between the Russian intelligence agency, known as the G.R.U., and Taliban-linked militants.
The businessmen were arrested in what the officials described as sweeping raids in the north of Afghanistan as well as in KabulIn a subsequent story, it said US intelligence monitored electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account.
Several other present and former officials and politicians spoken to by Tolo News did not specify knowing about Russian intelligence offering bounty on US soldiers. In various interviews, the sources spoke in general terms about the Russia’s involvement in the Afghan quagmire.
“Russia is taking revenge because in the past the US was in support of the Mujahideen who managed to suppress Russia, and today it is the time for Russia to take revenge,” said Fida Mohammad Ulfat, the former head of parliament’s security and intelligence commission commented to Tolo News.
“The Taliban are getting help from across the border and also from the regional intelligence,” said Rabbani Rabbani, a member of the provincial council in Kunduz, a province in the north. He did not specify which border but it is suspected to be Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.
“Sometimes the West tangles with Russia and sometimes Russia comes against the West. They only work for their national interest whenever they get a chance,” said Mohammaddin Hamdard, a lawmaker from Kunduz.
“Russia is interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs with the support they seek from the Taliban and to pave the way for bloodshed in Afghanistan,” said Abdul Zahir Salangi, a member of parliament from Parwan.