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Afghanistan turmoil

Russia looks to fill Afghanistan power vacuum as US exits

Bitter memories and a shaky plan bode ill for Moscow's try at a geopolitical win

Can Russian President Vladimir Putin come to terms with the Taliban and claim a stake in the war-torn country? (Source photos by AP and Reuters)

TOKYO -- As the Taliban takes over in Afghanistan, Russia has appointed itself as a mediator in the war-torn country, underlining its position as a key stakeholder and hardly hiding its desire to expand its influence in the region to fill the power vacuum left by the retreating U.S. military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently trolled Western countries and their dismal efforts to establish a democratic government in Afghanistan.

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