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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

The Agony of Afghans Left Behind

Courageous change agents know they can never count on outside powers.

Aghan women face a return to burqas.

Aghan women face a return to burqas.

Photographer: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

As scenes of desperate chaos unfold at Kabul’s airport, some of us watching are heartbroken and angry, others dismayed and apprehensive. (“Raise your hand if you want this plane landing in your town,” Newsmax host Steve Cortes tweeted.) And then there’s a third group that can’t hide its schadenfreude. These are the Russian regime’s star propagandists, who aren’t so much celebrating the Taliban’s victory — the group is still banned as terrorist in Russia — or even the defeat of the Putin regime’s archenemy, the U.S., as they are relishing in the plight of those Afghans who are trying to flee but facing the West’s inability, and often open unwillingness, to accept them in any reasonable numbers.

“It’s those who helped the Stars and Stripes reach its ill-thought-out goals that slide off the sides of the departing planes as their nails give out,” Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of the Russian government propaganda network RT, wrote on her Telegram channel. “The lesson: Do not help the Stars and Stripes. It’ll use you, then abandon you.”