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Ghani Baradar, co-founder of the Taliban, returns to the country – News

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“A high-level delegation led by ‘Mullah’ Baradar left Qatar and arrived in our beloved country this afternoon, landing at Kandahar airport,” in southern Afghanistan, Mohammad Naim said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“Mullah” is a designation that identifies the custodian of Islamic theology, usually the leader of the most fundamentalist movements.

This is the first time that an active Taliban leader has publicly returned to Afghanistan since the group was ousted in 2001 by a US-led Western coalition following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Kandahar was the country’s capital during the Taliban period (1996-2001), and it was in the province of the same name that the movement began in the early 1990s.

Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was born in Uruzgan province (south of the country), grew up in Kandahar and co-founded the Taliban in partnership with Mullah Omar, who died in 2013 but whose death was in hiding for two years.

Like many Afghans, his life was marked by the 1979 Soviet invasion, which made him a mujahid (soldier of God).

In 2001, following US intervention and the fall of the Taliban, Ghani Baradar will be part of a small group of rebels who defended an agreement to take over the Kabul administration, but the initiative failed.

He was arrested in 2010 as a Taliban warlord in Karachi, Pakistan, and released in 2018 under pressure from Washington.

Heard and respected by the various factions of the Taliban, he was appointed head of the group’s political office based in Qatar and continued direct negotiations with the Americans, which led to the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

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He also conducted peace talks with the Afghan government, but the meetings did not lead to any agreement.

On Sunday, the Taliban captured Kabul, ending an offensive that began in May when US and NATO forces began withdrawing.

International forces have been in the country since 2001 as part of a United States-led offensive against the extremist regime (1996-2001) that welcomed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, mainly responsible for the September 11 attacks, 2001.

The takeover of the capital ended a 20-year foreign military presence in Afghanistan by the United States and its NATO allies, including Portugal.

Faced with the brutality and radical interpretation of Islam inherent in the previous regime, the Taliban assured Afghans that “life, property and honor” would be respected and that women could study and work.

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

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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.

See also  Man returns home 30 years after disappearing (and wearing the same clothes)

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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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

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“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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