Russia Claims Afghan Leader Fled With Millions In Cash

The New York Times reports:

In his first statement since he fled the country, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan said he had left the country to avoid a lynching by the Taliban and vowed to return.

In a videotaped statement posted on his Facebook page from the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday evening, Mr. Ghani said that, despite an agreement that the Taliban would not enter the city of Kabul, his guards warned him on Sunday afternoon that the insurgents had reached the walls of the presidential palace in central Kabul.

“If I had stayed in Afghanistan,” he said, “the people of Afghanistan would have witnessed the president hanged once more.”

Reuters reports:

The Russian embassy in Kabul alleged that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled from Kabul with four cars and helicopter full of cash, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The report quoted embassy spokesman Nikita Ishchenko as saying that “the collapse of the regime is most eloquently characterised by how Ghani escaped from Afghanistan: four cars were filled with money, they tried to shove another part of the money into a helicopter, but not everything fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac”.

Asked about how he knew the details of Ghani’s departure Ishchenko said “well, we are working here”, without offering any more details.