08/26/2021, 11.47
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Kabul, the mystery of "illegal flights" to escape the country

by Vladimir Rozanskij

According to a Ukrainian website - later taken down by Kiev - several aircraft and individual seats were "rented" by some wealthy refugees to escape to Iran. A group of Afghans who were in Moscow asked for political asylum but according to current Russian rules they could not be accepted.


Moscow (AsiaNews) - The dramatic flight of thousands of Afghans from the incipient new Taliban dictatorship, that threatens to remove civil liberties, continues. The situation remains very tense around the airport of Kabul and has been complicated in recent hours by the intelligence alarm for an "imminent threat" of an attack by Isis.

Russian-Afghan journalist Liza Karimy has been giving dialy reports to Currentime.tv from the reoccupied capital. On August 23rd she reported the story of a mother who died as a result of gunshots fired by the Taliban, leaving her four children on the street, whom her relatives can no longer find. Some people bleed to death on the road, others die from asphyxiation among the crowds inside the airport, where those who have managed to enter never want to leave, until they find a plane to escape. Some of them come from the provinces, attracted by the rumors that "if you can enter the airport in Kabul, they will take you to America".

In this context, a controversial story has emerged: that of an airplane "stolen" on August 22 from the Ukrainians, as initially communicated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kiev itself, through the mouth of the vice-minister Evgenij Enin. As reported by the website strana.ua, the plane was actually "borrowed" by some rich Afghan refugees to escape to Iran. It reportedly carried "Shiite kazhari", as they have been defined, who paid for the "illegal" flight with money of various currencies, gold and precious stones.

According to the Ukrainian site, several Ukrainian aircraft and those of other countries', and seats on them, are being "rented" for the escape of those who can afford them to neighboring countries. After this information the site was taken down by the Ukrainian authorities, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied reports of "stolen" planes.

However, Russian news agency Ria Novosti confirmed the itinerary of the phantom plane, whose arrival in Iran was verified with Tehran airport authorities, who reported without providing details the arrival of the Ukrainian plane "with an unplanned itinerary". The plane had on board 256 Afghan passengers, and would immediately return to Ukraine "with regular route".

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry formed a group of four military transport planes for the evacuation from Afghanistan of more than 500 citizens of Russia and the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and also Uzbekistan and Ukraine). The evacuation was carried out on the direct instructions of President Putin, and in each plane there is a brigade of military doctors with the necessary instruments and medicines, as well as supplies of water and food.

About a hundred Afghans who were in Russia before August 15 have applied for political asylum, but according to Russia's current rules they could not be accepted, as there are already more than 500 political refugees on Russian territory. There are thousands of asylum requests in Russia every year, many from Syria for example, and almost all of them are rejected. A group of Afghan policemen are in Russia for a period of training, and now they are anxious for their family members left at home, whose lives are in danger. Thousands of Afghans, meanwhile, are trying to escape to neighboring Tajikistan, attempting every possible route out of the country.

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Chechens and Taliban, the new post-Kabul balance
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