In a statement Alexander Lapin, the commander of the Central Military District said, the Central Military District (CMD) is increasing the combat readiness of its troops and is re-equipping them with new types of weapons following growing terrorist threats from Afghanistan.
“Analysis of the military-political situation in the Central Asian direction indicates the growth of terrorist threats from Afghanistan. Proceeding from this, the main efforts in the Central Military District are focused on increasing the combat readiness of troops, re-equipping with new and modernized models of military equipment, as well as on testing new methods and forms of warfare,” said Lapin.
“There was a sharp, instantaneous degradation of the situation. We unscheduled more than 20 exercises in Tajikistan, both at the operational and tactical levels. The crown of this training in Tajikistan was the international exercise ‘Interaction-2021’, we do not end the academic year with this exercise”, he said.
He went on to add, this year the entire military district held more than 200 exercises of various formats and scales, including nine exercises with military contingents of the CSTO and SCO countries, within which non-standard options for the use of formations, military units and subunits in battle were worked out.
“We have demonstrated the highest readiness and ability to neutralize any terrorist threats,” said Lapin.
This year also saw troops of the district receive more than 1,000 new and modernized units of military equipment, including MiG-31BM aircraft, Su-34, Kasta, S-300PM2 anti-aircraft missile systems, Sky-U radar stations, BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicles, modernized T-72B3M tanks, Terminator tank support combat vehicles, and Shturm-S anti-tank systems.
There have been independent media reports of Russia strengthening its military base in Tajikistan, part of the Central Military District, with new weapons against the backdrop of the Taliban gaining power in Afghanistan.
In November, Russia conducted a special tactical exercise ‘Cobalt-2021’ in Tajikistan which saw the participation of the CSTO collective rapid reaction forces. The framework of this exercise revolved around the suppression of activities of illegal armed groups, said CSTO press secretary Vladimir Zainetdinov to Interfax.
The CSTO includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
On August 31, 2021, US troops left Afghanistan after establishing a presence for 2 decades, with US President Joe Biden saying Washington had accomplished its objective of eliminating the al Qaeda terrorist group responsible for the 9/11 attacks and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a center of terrorism.
A US intelligence report however states that there are at least 20 terrorist groups who currently operate from Afghanistan. Reports have also emerged that al Qaeda terrorists are joining terror groups including the Taliban and the Islamic State in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Before the departure of US troops, the Biden Administration had said, it expects the Afghan government to remain in power for at least 6 months, given their training by US forces and access to US equipment.
Within a month of US leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban gained control of most provinces and entered Kabul. Former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
The only province yet to be in their control is that of Panjshir where Anti-Taliban forces and Afghan soldiers have positioned themselves and are being led by Ahmad Massoud.