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Russia continues to strengthen its 201st military base stationed in Tajikistan. A batch of modern anti-tank missile systems “Kornet” entered its armament. This was reported by the press service of the Central Military District. The anti-tank missile system is designed to destroy enemy tanks, armored vehicles, and air targets, including helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Russian military base operating in Tajikistan is Russia’s largest military facility outside its borders. It is located in two cities – Dushanbe and Bokhtar. The base includes motorized rifle, tank, artillery, reconnaissance units, air defense units, RChBZ, and communications.

In August, the Central Military District announced the strengthening of the base with new weapons – the Verba portable anti-aircraft missile systems, Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifles, modern sniper rifles, and flamethrowers. On July 21, it became known about the decision of the Russian military to strengthen the base with 17 modern BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles.

All this is directly related to the situation in Afghanistan.

The Eastern Herald asked a military analyst, director of the Moscow Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Pukhov to tell why Russia is strengthening the defense capability of our military formation.

–  As a member of the public council under the Ministry of Defense, I visited this base and I can say that of all the military units it made the strongest impression on us. Very professional personnel, very professional commanders. Only contract soldiers serve, salaries are at the level.

The base is well-armed and equipped with everything you need. It can be seen that the servicemen are satisfied with everything and are proud of themselves.

The base is located in a relatively friendly country to us, and against the background of what is happening now in Afghanistan, of course, Tajikistan needs to be strengthened. They are our ally in the CSTO and at the same time, of all countries bordering Afghanistan, the weakest link. Therefore, we simply have to lend a shoulder. Firstly, we have obligations as allies, and secondly, if something happens to the regime in Tajikistan and instability goes beyond Afghanistan to Central Asia, we, of course, will instantly feel it here in Russia. And, roughly speaking, it is better to fight terrorism and extremism somewhere near Qurgonteppa than near Krasnodar or near Kazan.

–  According to various information sources, the Taliban hold a large amount of military equipment and weapons left by the Americans. Will the Russian base be able to withstand them in the event of a conflict?

–  The Taliban will not be able to instantly redirect to Tajikistan or other neighboring states in columns the weapons they inherited. This is the first moment. Second, we are still calculating different scenarios, including the possibility of promptly transferring an air group from Kyrgyzstan and additional forces from Russia. I don’t think there will be any completely apocalyptic scenarios in the foreseeable future. Don’t panic. As you understand, the Taliban now still need to master their situation in Afghanistan before going outside somewhere. Therefore, in the short term, I do not see any problems, but in the medium or long term, I am sure that the Ministry of Defense and other Russian power departments are thinking over how to fend off this threat.

–  Can we say that today Afghanistan does not pose a threat to us?

“The speed with which the Afghan army and other security forces, in which the United States and its allies have invested colossal money, collapsed, is impressive. Along with the withdrawal of the Americans from Afghanistan, the risks also increased. It is foolish to say otherwise. Therefore, of course, we cannot be in a complacent mood, which is the same as five years ago. I repeat, I do not see a direct threat today, but we must be on the alert all the time.

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