‘Afghan president fled with helicopter full of money’

Accept.- President Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan with four cars and a helicopter full of cash, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Kabul.

Embassy spokesman Nikita Ishchenko said that “the collapse of the regime … is most eloquently characterized by how Ghani escaped from Afghanistan: four cars full of money; they tried to put another part of the money in a helicopter, but there was no room. And part of the money was thrown on the track. “

When asked by The Associated Press how he knew the details of Ghani’s departure, Ishchenko said “well, we are working here,” without offering further details. The AP was unable to independently verify his claims.

Ghani fled Kabul on Sunday when the Taliban seized the Afghan capital. There are press reports that the President went to neighboring Tajikistan or Uzbekistan, but there is no official confirmation of his whereabouts.

The Kremlin envoy in Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, described Ghani’s flight from Kabul on Monday as “shameful”, adding that Ghani “deserves to be brought to justice and must be held accountable to the Afghan people.”

Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov told Ekho Moskvy radio station that, judging by the first 24 hours of Taliban control in the Afghan capital, “right now the situation in Kabul is better than with Ashraf Ghani.” He added that with “the Taliban terrorists it is better than with Ghani.”

Moscow’s criticism of Ghani, whose government had the support of Washington, comes at a time of intense tensions between Russia and the United States.

Moscow fought a 10-year war in Afghanistan that ended with the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989 and had returned as a mediator, reaching out to warring Afghan factions while competing with Washington for influence in the country.

Russia has hosted several rounds of talks on Afghanistan, most recently in March, involving the Taliban, despite being considered a terrorist organization by Moscow.

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