Russia has sent 10,000 assault rifles (AK-47) to Afghanistan as part of a military aid package to assist the Afghan government with controlling insurgents, NBC News reports.
Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and occupied the country for 10 years.
The aid package comes just weeks after the 27th anniversary of the end of Russia’s occupation.
According to Reuters, the Afghan military is having problems securing the country and has been battling fierce insurgencies. The uprisings have intensified since the NATO coalition has reduced its numbers in the country. Afghan officials made the request to Russian officials as they are dependent upon foreign aid.
Reuters reported that Russian officials have expressed frustration with the United States’ handling of Afghanistan. When wars broke out in Ukraine and Syria, Russian support for American troops in Afghanistan dwindled. The delivery of the weapons gives Russia more political presence in Afghanistan. Reuters also reported that Russia seeks to build connections with Afghan leaders and the Taliban.
According to NBC News the AK-47s are just one part of the military package. According to the Afghan National Security Council, Russia has also promised helicopters and heavy weapons. Russia was never part of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, post 9/11, but played an integral part in the region by allowing coalition supplies to move through its country.
The Kremlin does not wish to participate in any military action that the U.S. is a part of due to its political, rather than practical, nature.
The New York Times reports that The Kremlin does not wish to participate in any military action that the U.S. is a part of due to its political, rather than practical, nature. For this reason, Russia has decided to give its own aid to Afghanistan, separate from the U.S. Amid confrontations over the wars in the Ukraine and Syria between the U.S. and Russia, the two countries, despite having similar interests (controlling the insurgency in Afghanistan) are no longer working together.
According to The New York Times, Russia’s interest in Afghanistan are related to concerns over militants in Central Asia. Militants which could cross over into Russia.