On Thursday, longtime Tajik ruler Rakhmon presided over a military parade near the border. The show of force followed a similar parade near another section of the border Wednesday.
Russia, which maintains a military base in Tajikistan, is concerned that militants and drug smugglers could take advantage of the unstable situation created by the recent fall of the government in Kabul. Earlier this year, Russia said that the Taliban controlled roughly two-thirds of Afghanistan's border with Tajikistan.
On Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin voiced concern for U.S.-trained Afghan pilots and other military personnel who fled into Tajikistan to escape the advancing Islamist hard-line Taliban. The pilots, said Austin, flew dozens of military aircraft into Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
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