A plane carrying Afghan interpreters, including one who worked for The Globe and Mail and another who served in the Canadian army, as well as their families, arrived in Kyiv after a daring operation by Ukrainian soldiers stationed at the Kabul airport. It is reported by The Globe and Mail.
The rescue operation, coordinated by the Ukrainian military, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office and The Globe, may clear the way for other Afghans fleeing the Taliban to make their way to Canada. Ottawa has promised to resettle vulnerable Afghans on the condition that they can make their way to third countries, and The Globe has learned that the Canadian government has asked the Ukrainian government if it is willing to transfer other Canada-bound refugees to Kyiv, where they will be. processed before resettlement.
The rescue of the interpreters was carried out early Friday morning in Kabul, a day after the last Canadian evacuation plane left Afghanistan, and hours after the bloody suicide attack on one of the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport. At least 170 Afghans are trying to flee the country, as well as 13 American soldiers. In the wake of the attack, which was claimed by the local branch of the so-called Islamic State, the US said that only foreigners – and no more Afghans with visas – would be allowed to enter the airport.
Despite this restriction, as well as the heightened risk of coalition forces ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of the last US forces on August 31, Ukrainian troops walked out to the city of Kabul to escort two minibuses – carrying translators bound for Canada. and their families, 19 people in total – at the airport.
After arriving at the airport, the 19 Afghans were put on a military cargo plane – which was stationed in Kabul as part of Ukraine’s little-known contribution to the NATO-led effort in the country – and flown to Islamabad with a group of other Afghans previously rescued by the Ukrainians. In the Pakistani capital, they were flown on a chartered commercial plane that took the group to Ukraine, with a short layover in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku.