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Afghanistan: Biden increases to 5,000 troops to be sent to Kabul

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Biden announced in a statement that after consulting his national security advisers, “about 5,000 soldiers” instead of 3,000 will be sent to Kabul airport to facilitate the withdrawal of troops after 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan.

Threatening the Taliban with a swift and decisive response in the event of an attack on US interests, Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and promised not to “leave” this war to another United States president.

The number of provincial capitals in Afghanistan under Taliban rule has increased to 23 hours in the last hours after the conquest of three more cities: Maiman, Mehtarlama and Mazar-i-Sharif, the country’s fourth-largest city.

The fall of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, is a heavy blow to the Afghan government after the second largest city, Kandahar, and the third, Herat, were also taken by the rebels, and Kabul remained the last stronghold. against the Taliban.

“All government facilities are currently under Taliban control and sporadic fighting is taking place in some parts of the city,” a Balkh spokesman, quoted by Spanish news agency Efe under cover of anonymity after the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif, said today.

Afghan President Ashras Ghani defended the need to counter the great Taliban offensive that, in just a week, made the greatest progress in two decades of war, warning of the possible fall of Kabul.

In a televised speech, Ghani assured that the Afghan government’s “top priority” is to mobilize security forces to prevent the capture of much of the region’s capital in the country.

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The president’s statement came after many Afghan troops surrendered or fled Taliban-held territory, in some cases without resistance.

The Taliban’s swift offensive was motivated by the final phase of the withdrawal of troops from the country from the US and NATO, which began in May and is expected to end on August 31.

Since then, the Taliban have taken control of 140 regional centers, 23 provincial capitals and about 10 border posts, the biggest achievement in two decades of war.

The growing fear that the Afghan capital could fall into the hands of the Taliban at any moment has prompted several countries to quickly mobilize to withdraw their national staff from Kabul, as well as Afghan citizens who have worked closely with them over the past 20 years of conflict.

Most of the US military sent by the Pentagon to help evacuate most of the US embassy staff and other Afghan citizens is expected to arrive in Kabul over the weekend.

In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, among others, have also announced that they will take similar measures in the coming days, given the current situation as the Taliban move closer and closer to Kabul.

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Ukraine exchanges prisoners with Russia for the third time in a week – News

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“We managed to free twelve of our people. Among them are four Navy servicemen, two National Guardsmen, two border guards, a serviceman of the Territorial Defense Forces and three civilians: a husband and wife and a missing man,” Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential staff, wrote. ., in your online Telegram account.

Yermak said the soldiers may have been captured during the siege of the coastal city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which Russian troops occupied for a month last spring, and Snake Island in the Black Sea.

According to the head of the presidential office, with such an exchange, the number of Ukrainian prisoners of war exchanged with Russia per week rises to 98.

“We are working to free all of our people. We will not stop,” Yermak concluded.

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry said nine Russian servicemen were returned this Saturday “from territories controlled by the Kyiv regime.”

Last Thursday, 50 Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war were exchanged, and the day before, 35 Russian servicemen were released for the same number of Ukrainian military and one civilian.

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“I share your pain,” Putin told the mothers of Russian soldiers sent to war in Ukraine – War in Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday told mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine that he “shares the pain” of those who have lost their children and urged them not to believe the “lie” about the invasion.

“I want you to know that I personally share your pain. We know that nothing can replace the loss of a child,” Putin said.

According to news site EuroNews, the Russian leader also added that Mother’s Day, celebrated in Russia this Sunday, will be marked this year by “a sense of unease and unease” among women whose “thoughts will be with their boys.”

Putin’s meeting with the soldiers’ mothers took place at the leader’s residence outside Moscow and was the first of its kind since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24. The Kremlin rarely talks about the losses suffered in Ukraine, and the meeting, which took place this Friday, comes after weeks of criticism on social media from relatives of soldiers mobilized in early autumn.

Many soldiers’ wives and mothers blamed the authorities for not properly training and equipping them before being sent to the front, EuroNews reports.

“Life is more complicated than what you see on TV or on the Internet, where you can’t trust anything. A lot of false information, a lot of lies,” Putin replied.

The Russian president also said he occasionally talks on his cell phone to soldiers sent to Ukraine and said he was “surprised” by their “state of mind.”

“They give me reason to say that they are heroes, it’s true,” he added.

See also  Prominent colonel criticizes Russian invasion of Ukraine on Russian state television: 'We must be prepared to lose this war'

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Russia sends elite paratroopers to the front line in Donbass after leaving Kherson – Obozrevatel

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whitefish here our liveblog from the war in Ukraine

In the first hours of the invasion, on February 24, Russian paratroopers were in the Kyiv area. A few weeks ago they were dedicated to the defense of territories west of the Dnieper, in Kherson. After the withdrawal of Russian troops, some units are sent to a new front, this time to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

British Ministry of Defense disclosed that, despite the “strong weakening” during the nine months of the war, part of the units of the Russian Air Force (VDV) will return to the combat front.

Some of these units will be reinforced by Russians called up during the partial mobilization announced in September by President Vladimir Putin. Despite the promise of training and equipment, soldiers arrive in Ukraine ill-prepared, and there are already records of the first deaths among mobilized Russian troops. However, the British Ministry assumes that the new elements integrated into the Airborne Forces will be sent to the most important places.

Russian soldiers died in Ukraine 10 days after being sent

In the most recent report, the United Kingdom points out that “although these untrained soldiers undermine the supposedly elite capability of the Airborne Forces, Russia is likely to deploy these units in sectors considered particularly important.”

In the Donbass, units are expected to support the defense of the Kremina-Svatovo area in Lugansk. According to The Telegraph, it was in this city that Russian troops settled after leaving Kharkov. The British ministry also says units could be sent to reinforce defensive operations in the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk, which has been one of the hotbeds of heavy fighting in recent weeks.

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