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A Taliban delegate in Moscow in March 2021. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Taliban representatives on Thursday met Zamir Kabulov, Russia's special envoy to Afghanistan, in Moscow to stress that its recent territorial gains in the country do not pose a threat to Russia or its Central Asian allies, according to the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The meeting came days after a Taliban offensive forced more than 1,000 members of Afghanistan's security forces to retreat into neighboring Tajikistan, where Russia maintains a military base.

  • In response to the crossing, Tajikistan called 20,000 military reservists into action to strengthen the country's southern border.

What they're saying: The Russian Foreign Ministry said Kabulov shared Russia's concerns about the escalation in fighting in northern Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to prevent the conflict from spreading beyond the country's borders, according to TASS, Russia's state news agency.

  • The Taliban assured Russia that it would not violate the borders of Central Asian states.
  • The insurgency group also pledged to prevent the Islamic State from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan and to crackdown on drug production in the country’s territory.

The big picture: The United State's military withdrawal from Afghanistan has coincided with large territorial gains by the Taliban and a sharp increase in violence.

Go deeper: Biden says U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end Aug. 31

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2021 - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

1 hour ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

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