Due to the situation in Afghanistan, the Russian-led CSTO is conducting military exercises in Central Asia

The Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plans to hold military exercises in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan due to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

CSTO spokesman Vladimir Zainetdinov told the Interfax news agency on August 27 that several thousand soldiers would be involved in the planned Rubezh (Frontier) exercises in Kyrgyzstan from September 7th to 9th.

According to Zainetdinov, three more military maneuvers will be held near the Tajik-Afghan border in October, with a fourth planned for November.

The CSTO members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan are concerned about the security threats posed by the war-torn country and the potential for tens of thousands of refugees to spill over the border.

The Taliban have tried to reassure neighboring countries and Russia that they pose no threat since taking control of much of Afghan territory, including the capital, Kabul, in recent weeks.

The group has pledged to rule differently than it did during its brutal regime in the 1990s, which locked women in their homes, banned most entertainment, and punished penalties such as stoning and public executions.

But their promises are skeptical of many Afghans and governments around the world.

Zainetdinov’s testimony comes as Russia and Tajikistan hold a month-long joint military exercise on the Afghan border that began on August 17.

On August 10, Russia conducted joint military exercises with Tajik and Uzbek forces near the border with Afghanistan, followed by smaller Russian-Uzbek maneuvers along the Uzbek-Afghan border.

Russia, which has military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, has vowed to defend Moscow’s allies in Central Asia against any security threat from Afghanistan.

With reporting from Interfax

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