Objectives behind Russia’s Contacting with Taliban

Alireza Nouri

Objectives behind Russia’s Contacting with Taliban

  Russia’s first contacts with the Taliban took place informally in 1995 to free the seven crews of Il-76 that had been captured by the Taliban (the aircraft was carrying military equipment from Albania to Kabul for the Northern Alliance; the crews were released after a year). Despite these sporadic contacts, the Kremlin’s views on the Taliban were negative.   Alexander Lebed, then Secretary of the Russian Security Council, emphasized in 1996 that if ...