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Russian defense minister denies troops sent to Kabul.

MOSCOW, Oct. 9 Kyodo

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday a media report claiming the Russian military has secretly positioned troops on the outskirts of Kabul for an assault on the Afghan capital was patently false.

There is no possibility that Russian troops would fight in Afghanistan, Ivanov said.

The Russian weekly Moscow News said Tuesday that Russian troops were operating tanks that had been given to the Northern Alliance as part of Moscow's military aid and were awaiting orders for an offensive against Kabul.

The maneuver was aimed at beating American forces in entering Kabul not only for the sake of Russian honor, but also to secure a role for Russia in shaping the post-Taliban order in Afghanistan, the weekly said.

In addition to supplying vast amounts of weaponry to the forces fighting the Taliban government, Moscow has also sent ''military experts, technicians and military advisers,'' the Moscow News report said.

A precedent to Russia taking this type of action was seen in June 1999 during the Yugoslavia war when Russian forces surprised the NATO-led international force and occupied the airport at the Kosovo capital.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Oct 15, 2001
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