Even the Taliban wants Russia and Ukraine to stop fighting

Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has sparked near-universal condemnation — including, on Friday, by the Taliban.

In an official "statement concerning [the] crisis in Ukraine," the Taliban, which governs Afghanistan, formally called for "restraint by both parties" in the crisis and expressed concern about the "real possibility of civilian casualties."

"All sides need to desist from taking positions that could intensify the violence," the group, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations and recently stormed Kabul, said.

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Afghans are, of course, no strangers to Russian violence. However, the Taliban and Kremlin have been cautiously friendly toward each other since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan last year.

Kabul might have another reason for calling for calm, however: Hundreds of Afghans fled to Ukraine on evacuation flights in August 2021. "Just like a war zone, everyone is running to the shelters, streets are full of the army," Jawed Haqmal, an Afghan refugee living in Kyiv, told The Globe and Mail. "Just like war, the same as what was going on in front of the airport of Kabul on the last day. The same thing is going on here."

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