Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Wednesday confirmed that a four-plane group is set to evacuate more than 500 Russian citizens from Kabul. On the board will be as well citizens from the former Soviet states like Belarus, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, YeniSafak reports.
Russia’s top military official announced the special flight for evacuees, which was set to bring back 500 people from Afghanistan. The respective order was given on Wednesday as directed by President Vladimir Putin, according to the Russian Defence Ministry statement.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the security of Russians in Afghanistan remains “an absolute priority” for authorities and pledged “to do what is necessary to ensure it.”
Minister Shoigu commanded that four military transport aircraft be deployed at Ulyanovsk, all stocked with enough drinking water, blankets, and food rations to ensure a comfortable flight for evacuees.
“Medical and nursing teams of military doctors with the necessary medical equipment and medicines will assist the evacuation in order to provide medical help and support to evacuated citizens of Russia and other countries during the flight,” Shoigu said.
Peskov reiterated that Russia remains concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, with less than a week before evacuations from the country are supposed to end. “We have seen information that the Taliban themselves allegedly set Aug. 31 as the deadline for evacuation,” Kremlin spokesman added.
Evacuation phases were discussed at G7
The evacuation process was discussed at the Tuesday extraordinary emergency summit of the G7. While time is running out, the situation remains extremely tense, the G7 nations agreed.
The Taliban has set Aug. 31 as a “red line” for evacuations to end, and US President Joe Biden has said they are aiming for this date, but may extend the mission if needed.
Since August 15, the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital with the president and other top officials fled the country. The swift Taliban takeover led thousands of people to try to leave Afghanistan through Kabul’s airport, with the Aug. 31 deadline looming.