The Russian embassy in Kabul has alleged that, on Monday Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled from Kabul with four cars and a helicopter full of cash, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
The report quoted embassy spokesman Nikita Ishchenko as saying that “the collapse of the regime … is most eloquently characterised by how Ghani escaped from Afghanistan: four cars were filled with money, they tried to shove another part of the money into a helicopter, but not everything fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac.”
“As for the collapse of the (outgoing) regime, it is most eloquently characterized by the way Ghani fled Afghanistan,” Nikita Ishchenko, a Russian embassy spokesman in Kabul, was quoted as saying by Russian state-owned news outlet RIA, Reuters reported. “To avoid bloodshed, I thought it would be better to leave,” Ghani, 72, said on Facebook in his first comments after his departure.
The former World Bank academic who holds a doctorate from New York City’s Columbia University didn’t disclose where he was going, but Al Jazeera reported later that he had flown to Uzbekistan. Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative on Afghanistan, said earlier it was unclear how much money the fleeing government would leave behind.
“I hope the government that has fled did not take all the money from the state budget. It will be the bedrock of the budget if something is left,” Kabulov told Moscow’s Ekho Moskvy radio station, according to Reuters.
On Monday, Russia said its ambassador to Afghanistan will meet with the Taliban on Tuesday and that Moscow will decide whether to recognize the new government based on its conduct. “Our ambassador is in contact with the Taliban leadership, tomorrow he will meet with the Taliban security coordinator,” Foreign Ministry official Zamir Kabulov told Ekho Moskvy radio station on Monday, according to AFP.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HINDUSTAN TIMES