Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinNew hacking efforts show Russia undeterred by US actions Putin blasts cancel culture, calls gender fluidity 'crime against humanity' Russia breaks daily COVID-19 infections, death record MORE on Wednesday commented on the United States’ troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that America’s nearly 20-year intervention in the country only achieved “tragedies and losses of life.”
“U.S. forces were present on this territory for 20 years and for 20 years tried ... to civilize the people who live there, to instil their own norms and standards of life in the widest possible sense of this word, including when it comes to the political organisation of society,” Putin said while speaking to teenagers at an educational facility in Russia, according to Reuters.
“The result is only tragedies and losses of life for those who did it, the United States, and even more so for those people who live on the territory of Afghanistan. The result is zero, if not a negative one, all round,” he added.
Putin’s comments come two days after the last U.S. military flight left Afghanistan leaving no troops on the ground, which effectively ended America’s longest war after deploying to the nation shortly following the 9/11 attacks.
The U.S.’s departure from Afghanistan, however, raises concerns for Russia, which is fearful that radical Islamists will infiltrate the region, Reuters noted.
Russia has bolstered its military base in Tajikistan, which is located just northeast of Afghanistan, and its forces are reportedly conducting a month's worth of exercises near the border.
More than 1,000 members of Afghanistan's security forces fled to Tajikistan after the Taliban took over the country.
The news wire also noted that while Russia is now criticizing the U.S.’s efforts in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union was forced to pull out from Afghanistan in 1989 after 10 years of combat there.
Putin has previously said Russia has learned from the Soviet Union’s past involvement in Afghanistan, contending that the country has no plans to send troops there, Reuters reported.
He also said it is essential to take note of the history, culture and philosophy of life among Afghans when interacting with them, arguing that they cannot be changed by outside forces.
“It's not possible to foist anything on them from the outside,” Putin said, according to Reuters.
Putin reportedly discussed the situation in Afghanistan with President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act: a bill long overdue MORE when the two leaders met for a summit in Geneva in June.
Biden, during a press conference after a closed door meeting with Putin, said the Russian leader “said that he hopes that we’re able to maintain some peace of security, and I said, 'That has a lot to do with you.'”
“He indicated that he was prepared to, quote, 'help' on Afghanistan,” Biden added, refusing to go into detail.