A Russian Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) being unloaded at Russia's base in Tajikistan on July 22 Photograph:( Reuters )
Deployment of Russian firepower has come on the same day as biggest ever military exercise in Tajikistan
In perhaps first major defense move with developments in Afghanistan in mind, Russia on Thursday deployed military machinery on its base in Tajikistan. The Russian base is close to the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border. In a video posted by Reuters watermarked 'Russian Defence Ministry' a Russian Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) was seen being unloaded at the base in Tajikistan.
The Taliban have made huge gains in Afghanistan and control a large portion of the country. The Taliban also control the border crossing with Tajikistan. Countries in the region are monitoring the situation closely to prevent spillover of the fighting within their borders.
Russia's deployment has come on the same day Tajikistan held its biggest ever military exercise. The exercise involved its entire army
On Thursday, Tajikistan mobilised 130,000 men from its military reserve in addition to 100,000 active servicemen for the three-hour exercise. Tajikistan's President has warned his people to "be ready to protect the peace and stability that have been achieved at a high price"
Russian media on Thursday quoted Taliban Spokesperson who claimed that the insurgent group controlled 90 per cent of Afghan border.
"Afghanistan's borders with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran, or about 90 percent of the border, are under our control," Zabihullah Mujahid told the RIA Novosti news agency. The claim that could not be independently verified.