LONDON, June 29. /TASS/. Publications that emerged in British media outlets alleging that Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants to kill British soldiers is nothing but fiction aimed at heightening hysteria about the mythical ‘Russian threats’, a spokesperson for the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom told TASS.
"It is far from being the first time when speculations about various ‘collusions’ between Russia and Taliban emerged in the British media. All these hoaxes, and that’s what they are, have the same style — accusations are put forward against our country, citing anonymous sources. No facts, specific information or tiniest proof are cited, however. In other words, it is unabashed fiction," the diplomat noted.
"The aim of those behind these publications — apart from taking part in domestic intrigues of the US domestic political life — is to once again heat up interest in mythical ‘Russian threats’ amid difficult social processes and discussions and, simultaneously, distract attention from failures of the allies’ Afghan campaign that spanned almost 20 years, trying to shift the blame for deterioration in Afghanistan on those who have nothing to do with it," the envoy stressed.
On June 26, British media outlets cited The New York Times to claim that an unidentified unit of the Russian military intelligence encouraged Taliban militants to attack military personnel of the international coalition in Afghanistan. The newspaper alleged that these conclusions of American intelligence services were presented for Trump’s judgment a few months ago, while the White House National Security Council discussed the topic in late March. In turn, Trump revealed that he had not been briefed about any such attacks in Afghanistan. On Sunday, he took to Twitter to announce that the US intelligence did not find this information credible, slamming The New York Times report as "possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News" meant to tarnish the Republicans’ reputation.
Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax, maybe by the Fake News @nytimesbooks, wanting to make Republicans look bad!!! https://t.co/cowOmP7T1S— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2020
On Monday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov blasted reports that Russia allegedly offered Afghan militants bounties for killing US military personnel as lies and an elaborate hoax. "These claims are nothing but lies," the Kremlin spokesman said, commenting on the publication of The New York Times. "Once again, we can only express regret that once largest, reputable and high-quality world media outlets have been increasingly more often publishing elaborate hoaxes in the last few years, which definitely does not bode well with keeping up with their reputation and prestige," Peskov stressed. "If intelligence services continue to be accountable before the president in the US, then I suggest you focus on the relevant statement of President Trump who already evaluated these publications," he added.