The New York TimesThe New York Times

With Collapse in Afghanistan, Russia Takes Charge in Central Asia

By Andrew E. Kramer, Anton Troianovski

19 Aug 2021 · 7 min read

As the Afghan government collapsed this week in Kabul and the United States scrambled to speed up its evacuation effort, hundreds of Russian armored vehicles and artillery pieces were clearly visible hundreds of miles away, on the border with Tajikistan.

They were part of a high-profile military exercise taking place just 12 miles from a Taliban position, and they were there, a Russian general said, to make a point.

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