Russia says the United States and its Western allies left behind a humanitarian and political crisis of a new dimension in Afghanistan as uncertainty reigns in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the war-ravaged country.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, “At present, we are seeing once again that the Western community, which is safeguarding some of its own Western values, is again bequeathing yet another crisis to the world and to future generations.”
“Before that, it had been Libya and Iraq and also Syria, which weathered the storm thanks to Russia’s resolute actions and the guidelines issued by the president of our country, and many other regional problems. Yet another problem has now been added to this.”
The Russian diplomat said the scenes of people plunging to death as they fell off of a US military transport plane taking off from the Kabul airport served as visual confirmation of how the West actually behaves with regard to human rights.
Several countries, entities and personalities have been reacting to the Taliban takeover following the United States’ abrupt military withdrawal.
The pullout put an end to a futile two-decade-long war the United States waged in Afghanistan.
Unfolding events in Afghanistan culminated in chaotic scenes on Monday. Thousands of civilians and diplomats swarmed the Kabul airport, hoping to find seats on departing flights.
The Taliban laid siege to the capital on Sunday, forcing the sitting Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, to flee the country.
For now, the Taliban have vowed to respect the rights of women, seek good relations with other countries, and not to exact retribution on former members of the Afghan military. Many Afghans remain skeptical, however.
Elsewhere in her remarks, the Russian official said the West was in no position to give lectures and compile reports about the human rights situation in other countries.
“Next time, when we read all these multi-paged reports, which the Western community from the United States and Britain to other EU and NATO countries put together on human rights in the world, we must recall how they implement and respect human rights in a particular situation because there are thousands of people rather than one individual whose rights must be protected. These are citizens of Afghanistan and these are citizens of other countries who have turned out to be there.”
In a separate development on Tuesday, Amrullah Saleh, who served as the Afghan vice president in the Ghani administration, said in a post on Twitter that he was in Afghanistan and was the “legitimate caretaker president.”
Saleh had said after a security meeting chaired by Ghani last week that he was proud of the armed forces and the government would do all it could to strengthen resistance to the Taliban.