Afghan Commandos Abandoned By Biden Reportedly Being Trained By Russia To Fight Ukraine

(Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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An unknown number of well-trained Afghan commandos who fought with the U.S. against the Taliban are now being recruited to fight on behalf of Russia in Ukraine, according to a new Associated Press report.

Russia is enticing to the commandos because they cannot return home to Afghanistan out of fear of Taliban reprisals, former Afghan generals said. Russian recruiters are allegedly offering them Russian passports and a salary of up to $1,500 per month.

“They don’t want to go fight — but they have no choice,” former Afghan general Abdul Raof Arghandiwal told the AP. “They ask me, ‘Give me a solution? What should we do? If we go back to Afghanistan, the Taliban will kill us.”

Some blamed the defections on the Biden administration’s failure to evacuate all of the Afghan partners who worked with the U.S. against the Taliban.

“We didn’t get these individuals out as we promised, and now it’s coming home to roost,” former CIA officer Michael Mulroy told the AP.

“Leaving them behind is the biggest mistake,” former Afghan army chief Hibatullah Alizai told the AP. (RELATED: Biden Is Trying To Return Billions In Frozen Assets To Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan)

Anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 Afghan special forces fought alongside the U.S. against the Taliban during the decades-long entanglement between the two sides. Only a few hundred members of the Afghan security forces, all senior officers, were airlifted out of Kabul when the U.S. made its withdrawal from the country.

Republican lawmakers released a report in August detailing the risk that Afghan troops, trained by U.S. Navy SEALs and Green Berets, could reveal sensitive tactical insight to American adversaries.

The State Department said it could not confirm reports that Afghan special forces had actually enlisted in the Russian military. Spokesperson Ned Price said that there were a variety of ways Afghans can travel to the United States if they so choose. He said he cannot offer specific advice to any individual after one reporter asked what the U.S. would say to the Afghan commandos facing this decision.