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Afghan security personnel standing guard after a car bombing in Ghazni in May. Photo: Zakeria Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Tajikistan called in 20,000 military reservists on Monday to strengthen the border after 1,037 members of Afghanistan's security forces fled to the country and dozens more were taken captive by the Taliban, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The crossings, which were permitted by Tajikistan, came after the Taliban took over at least six key districts in the northern province of Badakhshan, which borders Tajikistan.

  • Sunday's retreat was the largest confirmed by the Afghan government since the Taliban began its northern offensive, according to Reuters.

What they're saying: Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon received assurances during a phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin that Moscow was ready to "provide Tajikistan with the necessary support" to the former Soviet republic at the border, the Kremlin said in a statement, per Russia's Tass news agency.

  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke with Tajikistan President Emomali Rakhmon on Sunday to discuss the escalating conflict in northern Afghanistan and Rakhmon's concerns with the crossings.

Driving the news: Tajikistan is looking into setting up camps for potential refugees from Afghanistan, according to Reuters.

  • The Taliban seized the main trade gateway into Tajikistan in June. Instead of shutting down the dry port, the insurgent group has started collecting customs revenues on goods moving in and out of Afghanistan, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • "We informed [Tajikistan and Uzbekistan] and assured them that the routine work of the border, the customs, will be running as before," a Taliban spokesperson told the Journal.

The big picture: The Taliban has rapidly gained territory in Afghanistan since the United States began its military withdrawal, which is expected to be fully completed by Sept. 11.

  • The U.S. military departed Bagram Airfield, which was the center of its war to oust the Taliban and search for the al-Qaeda perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, on Friday.
  • U.S. intelligence community has warned that the Afghan government could collapse as soon as next year as the Taliban's battlefield offensive grows.

Go deeper: Biden cuts off questions about Afghanistan amid growing Taliban concerns

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of the army reservists being called in and of Putin's pledge.

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2021 - World

Afghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 safely leaves Afghanistan

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at the White House residence. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue President Biden in Afghanistan in 2008 when he was a senator has safely left the country with his wife and five children, the State Department confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Aman Khalili, who was instrumental to the mission that rescued Biden's helicopter when it was caught in a snowstorm according to U.S. veterans, was forced into hiding after the Taliban took over Kabul.

Most teachers are white. Most students aren't.

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

The nation's 6.6 million teacher workforce has grown more racially and ethnically diverse over the past three decades — but not nearly fast enough to keep pace with a student population that's nearing majority-minority in public schools, two new reports show.

Why it matters: The disparities are especially acute between Hispanic students and teachers, and in schools with 90% or higher non-white student populations.

Updated 12 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.