All news

Russian diplomat says panic at Kabul airport was provoked by US

Earlier, it was reported that three people had died after falling from a high altitude while trying to leave the country getting hooked on a US Air Force plane

MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. The panic at Kabul’s airport that resulted in the death of several civilians stemmed from the United States’ actions during the evacuation of its nationals from Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.

"This way or another, directly or indirectly, this situation stemmed from the corresponding actions of US representatives. <…> The United States sent extra forces to ensure safe evacuation of its diplomats and citizens. They provoked chaos at the airport, with numerous civil flights being delayed. You saw what followed. So, the situation at the Kabul airport was extraordinary indeed," she said in an interview with the Moskva-24 television channel.

She recalled an "appalling video" from the Kabul airport, where people in panic tries to get into a US Air Force plane that was taking off. They were trying to grab hold of the plane’s landing gear and then losing grip and falling down when the plane was gaining height. "It was a really shocking video," she said.

She noted that the US State Department’s call that was backed by several dozen countries for ensuring a possibility of Afghans to leave the country looked absolutely incredible. "It was impossible to believe that this call comes from the United States and NATO countries, which were the members of the coalition that has been present in Afghanistan for 20 years and has urgently withdrawn its troops in a way we see and is evacuating its personnel. A question arises: if the countries signed a kind of a statement that all those Afghans who want to flee the country should have a possibility to leave it unimpeded, where are their planes, where are their special vehicles and special aviation possibilities to evacuate these people from Afghanistan?" she said.

The Khaama Press news agency reported earlier that three people died after falling from a high altitude while trying to leave the country getting hooked on a US Air Force plane. The agency released a video featuring panic at the Kabul airport where thousands of Afghans were desperately trying to break into a US military transport plane.

After the United States announced the end of an armed operation in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its troops, the Taliban (a radical movement outlawed in Russia) launched a large-scale offensive on the government army and by August 15 entered Kabul after meeting no resistance. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he was resigning to avoid bloodshed and fled the country. Western nations are evacuating their citizens and embassy employees.