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Afghanistan. Taliban arrives in Kabul



Taliban fighters have arrived at the gates of the Afghan capital, the last major city under the control of the government of President Ashraf Ghani. We are tracking this situation down to the minute.

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11:54 – Kabul, blocked city

A video filmed this Sunday in the Afghan capital and tweeted shows the blocked movement as the population seek refuge in their homes.

11:45 am – Has the Taliban entered Kabul or not? the presidency says no

Quoted by CNN, a senior official at the presidential palace in Kabul claims that Taliban fighters have not yet entered Kabul.

However, there were reports of shootings in the city, which the same official attributed to clashes over access to the bank.

According to the same source, negotiations are continuing, but “urgently”. President Ashraf Ghani remains at the presidential palace, accompanied by the national security adviser and other cabinet members.

He added that North Americans and Taliban are involved in the negotiations.

“Our goal is to prevent further bloodshed and unrest in Kabul or harm the population. Our goal is to prevent violence, “- concluded a source in the American television channel.

11:33 – Dad calls for dialogue

Pope Francis this Sunday called for dialogue to end the conflict in Afghanistan so that the Afghan people can “live in peace, security and mutual respect.”

11:27 – Bagram base handed over to Taliban

An Afghan spokesman, quoted by the Associated Press, said government forces transferred Bagram Air Base to Taliban fighters, which includes a prison with 5,000 inmates, including Taliban and Islamic State fighters.

11:10 am – Status Point

10:59 – British Parliament breaks vacation

The UK Parliament will be convened next week to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, Sky News reported. Members are currently taking their regular summer vacations.

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10:49 – Russia wants an emergency meeting of the Security Council
The Russian government says it maintains contacts in connection with the holding of the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.

10:40 – “Transitional Administration”

Afghan Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal says power in Kabul will be handed over to a “transitional administration.” No more details.

10:38 5) Taliban negotiators head to the presidential palace.

The Associated Press reports that a delegation of extremist negotiators is heading to the presidential palace to prepare a “handover” of power.

Earlier, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Al Jazeera TV that the militants were expecting a “peaceful displacement from the city of Kabul.”

10:27 – Timeline of events

April 14: The President of the United States announces the withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan from May 1 to September 11, thereby announcing the end of the country’s longest hostilities.

May 4th: Taliban militants launch a major offensive against Afghan forces in Helmand province in the south of the country. Six more provinces were attacked.

June 7: Afghan government officials say more than 150 soldiers were shot down in 24 hours as fighting escalated in 26 of the country’s 34 provinces.

22nd of June: The Taliban are launching a series of offensives in northern Afghanistan, a region far from their usual area of ​​operations in the south. According to the UN plenipotentiary, to date, more than 50 of 370 constituencies have been captured.

July 2: US leaders are quietly leaving Bagram Air Base, an hour’s drive from Kabul. Three days later, the Taliban say they are ready to submit a peace proposal to the Afghan government in early August.

21 July:
The Taliban now control about half of the Afghan districts.

July 25: The US administration promises to continue supporting Afghanistan’s regular forces “in the coming weeks.”

26 July: The UN estimates the number of civilians killed or wounded in Afghanistan between May and June at 2,400.

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August 6: Zaranja in the south becomes the first provincial capital captured by the Taliban. Many others will follow.

August 13: Four more provincial capitals fall, including Kandahar, the country’s second largest city. To the west falls Herat, captured by the commander Mohammad Ismail Khan.

August 14: With little resistance, the Taliban occupy the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, as well as Puli Alam, the capital of Logar province, 70 kilometers south of Kabul. The United States is reinforcing the contingent responsible for the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel.

August 15: The Taliban capture the key city of Jalalabad to the east, ending the siege of Kabul. A few hours later, a source from the Afghan Interior Ministry reported that Taliban fighters entered the capital.

10:08 – Russia does not intend to leave Kabul
The head of the Turkish Cabinet of Ministers of the Middle East, Ragip Soylu, writes on Twitter that Russia does not intend to withdraw its diplomatic personnel from Kabul.

10:03 – “Revenge” is not the goal

A Taliban spokesman, quoted by Reuters, said the militants were not going to “take revenge on anyone,” including those associated with the Ghani government or regular Afghan troops.

The same spokesman called on Afghans to “stay in their country and not flee for fear.”

Recall that US President Joe Biden has increased the operational military contingent intended for the withdrawal of diplomatic personnel to five thousand.

9:49 – Status report

The Taliban are currently at various strategic points awaiting orders to invade Kabul decisively. Islamic radicals say they do not want to take the capital by force, but have not declared a ceasefire.

The leaders of the movement ordered the militants to “contain” the violence. They want everything to happen like in Jalal-Abad – this city was controlled without resistance and the use of force.Kabul Airport remains the only departure point in the country.

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They say they do not want “innocent Afghans to be wounded or killed” during the takeover of Kabul. However, they advised women to look for safe places.

Prior to the event, hundreds of Afghans were queuing at banks and ATMs to withdraw money.

Several countries are trying to withdraw diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan, led by the United States.

A UN source indicates that several EU workers were taken to safety.

9:43 – Order not to enter the capital

The Taliban were reportedly ordered to remain outside Kabul and not enter the Afghan capital, a spokesman for international agencies said. And this despite the fact that the Islamists have already been noticed by residents of the Moscow region.

“The Islamic Emirate is ordering all of its forces to wait at the gates of Kabul and not try to infiltrate the city,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

“There are armed Taliban fighters in our area, but there is no fighting,” a resident of the eastern suburb of the capital told AFP.

The Afghan presidential palace office confirmed via Twitter that “shots were heard in several remote areas of Kabul.”

“The country’s security forces, in coordination with international partners, are monitoring the security situation in Kabul,” the Afghan chairmanship said.

9:30 – Immediate capture of Kabul

The complete takeover of Kabul seems like a matter of hours. Having captured Jalalabad this morning, the Taliban began to enter the capital.

In just ten days, extremist guerrillas took control of most of the country and approached the gates of the capital after the withdrawal of troops from the international coalition led by the United States.

Apart from Kabul, only a handful of small towns have remained under government control in recent hours, but they are scattered and no longer of great strategic importance.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.



Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia



A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization



“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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