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AfPak File Podcast: What Is Russia Up To In Afghanistan?


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Sher Muhammad Stanakzai, head of the Taliban's political office in Qatar during the multilateral peace talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, November 9, 2018
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Sher Muhammad Stanakzai, head of the Taliban's political office in Qatar during the multilateral peace talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, November 9, 2018

In recent days bombshell revelations were made alleging that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops in Afghanistan. This episode of AfPak File podcast assesses these allegations and looks into the nature of Russia's ties with the Taliban.

In recent days, the New York Times has published bombshell revelations alleging that US intelligence reports found that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American troops in Afghanistan.

The Times also reports that White House officials were made aware of the intelligence but did nothing about it. In the meantime, all key parties--Washington, Moscow, and the Taliban--have denied the reports altogether. What should we make of these allegations, how are they being perceived in the US, Russia, and Afghanistan, what is the nature of Russia's relationship with the Taliban, and what are Moscow's ultimate goals in Afghanistan?

The latest episode of The AfPak File discusses these questions and more. The panelists are Mustafa Sarwar, senior journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Afghan Service, Irina Lagunina, senior journalist and editor of special projects for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Russian Service, and Michael Kugelman, Asia Program deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center.

Muhammad Tahir, media manager for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in DC, moderates the discussion.

AfPak File Podcast: What Is Russia Up To In Afghanistan?
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