Not only have the claims from the New York Times been denied by all sides it alleged were involved, but the article fails to take into account the events that were happening in Afghanistan at the time. If we want to talk about who was actually pursuing peace, there is no debate…
An anonymous report from the New York Times is receiving responses from the United States all the way to Russia, with many calling out the publication for quoting alleged intelligence officials, but failing to provide any supporting evidence.
President Trump was quick to deny the claims, taking to Twitter, of course, where he called on the New York Times to reveal who these anonymous sources were that they claim to be citing. He went on to say, “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or [Vice President Pence]. Possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax.”
A spokesperson for Russian President Putin also denied the claims and called the New York Times’ credibility into question, noting that although it is a major publication, it has published a number of false reports about Russia in recent years.
Dmitry Peskov went on to say, “First, these allegations are a lie. Secondly, if the special services in the US remain to be accountable to the President, I suggest focusing on the appropriate statement of President Trump who has already assessed these publications.”
In the article, the Times admits that even the Taliban—the group that was supposed to have been responsible for carrying out the alleged attacks, also denied the reports and called the allegations baseless.
The NYT also claimed the US had proof that the Russian military was paying the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan. But when you break down the sources they listed—they start by claiming the report is based on conversations with anonymous “American intelligence officials.” They say those officials made their “intelligence assessment” based on “interrogations of captured Afghan militants,” which means they were under duress when they allegedly claimed the attacks were carried out by “Taliban-linked militants.”
The report goes on to claim that Russia was targeting US forces in 2019 during peace talks between Washington and the Taliban to try to stir up more chaos in the region and keep them from achieving peace. But if we look back… We find that Russia was also actively pushing for peace, and it hosted talks with delegates from both the Taliban and the Afghan government in Moscow in May 2019.
During those talks, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov called for “a total pullout of foreign forces” from Afghanistan, and he said “Russia is convinced that there is no military solution” and that the only way “to achieve peace is by political and diplomatic means.”
So, we have yet to see evidence that Russia was trying to keep the war in Afghanistan going, at a time when the US had ramped up its bombing campaign at levels we hadn’t seen in a decade, and it was actively killing more civilians than the Taliban.
Despite the fact that this article from the New York Times has been denied all around, that hasn’t stopped Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer from calling for strict sanctions Russia, or Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee from calling for Trump to stop “Russia’s shadow war.” So, even though the article has already been widely discredited, it does not appear that its claims will be forgotten anytime soon.