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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.

Updated 42 mins ago - Economy & Business

Hybrid work now dominates the knowledge economy

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, most knowledge workers are in hybrid work arrangements, partly remote and partly in-office, a new survey finds.

By the numbers: 58% said they now work this way, in a survey of around 10,000 knowledge workers from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan, conducted last November by Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack.

Rents hit all-time high

Data: Zumper; Chart: Axios Visuals

The national median price of a one-bedroom rental apartment in January was up 12% year-over-year, to $1,374 — an all-time high, per Zumper, an online apartment rental site.

Why it matters: Inflation is taking a bigger bite out of people's paychecks these days not only in food and gasoline, but also in housing costs.