Russia-Tajikistan Start Joint Military Exercises Just 20km off Afghanistan Borders


Guess what? Military contingents from Russia and Tajikistan kicked off joint drills at the Kharb-Maidon training ground in Tajikistan 20 km from the border with Afghanistan that will last until April 7.


Go deeper:

  • The press office of Russia’s Central Military District stated that during the practical stages, the Russian and Tajik forces will practice eliminating illegal armed gangs entering the territory of a unified state by conducting joint operations in mountainous regions.
  • The Russian military contingent participating in the drills largely consists of units from the 201st military base numbering over 300 personnel.
  • The 201st military base stationed in Tajikistan is Russia’s largest military facility outside its borders.
  • The military base is stationed in the cities of Dushanbe and Bokhtar. The military base comprises motor rifle, armored, artillery and reconnaissance units, air defense forces, radiation, chemical and biological protection and signal troops.
  • Under an agreement signed in October 2012, Russia’s military base in Tajikistan will remain until 2042.
  • The Russian military has announced that Tajik and Russian forces have launched a joint military exercise at the Melon Meydan training center, 20 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan.


Why it matters? The joint military exercise comes as neighbouring countries, especially Tajikistan, have always been concerned about “terrorist” threats from Afghan soil, after the Taliban seeking control of Afghanistan.

  • Afghanistan’s neighbours are also concerned about the security of their borders and the entry of weapons into their territory. “There is an increasing risk that terrorist groups and extremist ideas will infiltrate the territories of our CSTO allies. Complex threats from Afghanistan are of particular concern,” the CSTO chief had said recently.
  • ISIS’ expanding presence on Afghan soil and the Taliban’s inability to contain the group have added another layer to central Asian concerns.
  • Russia officially considers the Taliban an illegal armed group, and the country’s media are obliged to explain that the Taliban’s activities in Russia are illegal whenever they mention the Taliban.


Zoom out: This comes even as Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan, said that the Russian consulate in Mazar-e Sharif has resumed operations.

  • The Russian consulate had suspended its work amid rising tensions in northern Afghanistan, in Mazar-e Sharif city, in 2021.
  • A diplomat named Alexey Pereverzev has been appointed as the Consul General in Mazar-e Sharif. He previously worked as the deputy ambassador of Russia in Afghanistan in 2020 and 2021.
  • Kabulov said that the Russian consulate in Mazar-e Sharif had been reopened after a “thorough security analysis”. A Russian team inspected the consulate building in November, he said.
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