Putin Worried That Terrorists “Disguised As Refugees” Are Flowing Out Of Afghanistan
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday offered his detailed and blunt perspective on what he sees as the lasting negative security fallout to Russia and the region from the rapid collapse of the Afghan national government and ongoing crisis.
“Our Western partners are persistently raising the question of placing refugees in Central Asian countries before obtaining visas to the United States or other countries,” he said before a meeting of officials of the ruling United Russia party. He explained this presents the potential for the spread of terrorism, given anyone can now flow out of the war-torn country “disguised as refugees”.
“Who are these refugees? How can we tell? There may be thousands, or even millions,” Putin posed. “The border is a thousand kilometers – they will get on everything, a car, even a donkey, and flee across the steppe.”
It follows similar remarks he made Friday expressing deep concern over the impact to Russia’s borders, while also pointing the finger at the negligent policies of Western countries in often pushing regional countries to accept fleeing Afghans. Increasingly the United States especially and some European states are openly telling Afghans who once worked with the coalition to go to nearby central Asian countries while they wait on visas to the US and Europe to process.
On this point, he lashed out at Western leaders for pursuing policies while completely unconcerned over their detriment to Russia:
The Russian leader also slammed plans by western nations, including the US, to resettle Afghan translators, and others at risk of Taliban reprisals, to countries in the region, such as Uzbekistan. According to Putin, this is a “humiliating” request and poses a security threat for Russia.
This presents a looming security threat, given that regional instability in central Asia “is a direct concern for our citizens.” And that’s when bluntly stated the worst possibility and likelihood:
“We don’t want militants showing up here under cover of refugees.”
We are not accepting refugees from Afghanistan as we don’t want Afghan militants in Russia under the cover of refugees — Putin pic.twitter.com/cOVwKbVtI1
— Naija (@Naija_PR) August 22, 2021
Primarily for this reason “we are not accepting refugees from Afghanistan,” he explained, while saying the foreign ministry has the huge responsibility of prioritizing the safety of the borders and of the nation.
He further referenced the Russian military’s experience in Chechnya, with the Beslan school terror attack and massacre of 2004 clearly looming in his thoughts. “We do not want to repeat what happened in the 90s and mid-2000s… we had these horrors that are now being repeated on the territory of Afghanistan.”
No doubt Syria was also on his mind, especially given that at the height of the war a ‘Chechen corridor’ of sorts opened via Turkey, allowing Chechens among other foreign fighters to bolster Islamic State ranks – posing the further danger these terrorists would eventually return home so near Russia.
Mon, 08/23/2021 – 08:22