Former President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani claims he did not know he was leaving the country when his security team told him to leave Kabul as the Taliban closed in on the city in August.
Ghani made the claim in an interview with the BBC, his first interview since fleeing Kabul, saying that he had “no inkling” the morning of Aug. 15 that he would be leaving the country.
In the weeks before the fall of Kabul, Ghani promised repeatedly that he was willing to die for his country. However, according to the BBC, Ghani fled after his security team told him they would “all be killed” if he remained in Kabul, and that he ran away with the intention of flying to Khost, apparently unaware that the city had fallen to the Taliban. Ghani instead went to Uzbekistan and then the United Arab Emirates, where he has remained.
“He did not give me more than two minutes,” Ghani told the BBC. “My instructions had been to prepare for departure for [the city of] Khost. He told me that Khost had fallen and so had Jalalabad.”
“I did not know where we will go. Only when we took off, it became clear that we were leaving [Afghanistan]. So this really was sudden,” Ghani claimed.
As the BBC noted, after fleeing Afghanistan, “Ghani was roundly criticized by many in Afghanistan including his vice-president Amrullah Saleh, who called it ‘disgraceful.’”
In the interview, Ghani also blamed the United States for the fall of his country, claiming that his government was not involved in negotiations with the Taliban.
Ghani also denied allegations that he left the country with millions of dollars in cash, which is currently being investigated by the United States.
“The US government’s inspector general in charge of investigating misuse of aid money in Afghanistan says he’s ‘looking into’ claims that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his subordinates stole millions of dollars before fleeing,” the New York Post reported. “Ghani is accused of stealing $169 million when he left Afghanistan as the Taliban neared Kabul. His abrupt departure allowed the radical group to take the Afghan capital two weeks before the chaotic final US troop pullout.”
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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities
On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.
“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.
“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.
Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
National Review reports:
The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.
While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.
National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.
Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.” On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.
“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 28, 2022
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