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There are estimated to be 1,500 Russians living in Afghanistan. In the 1960s and 1970s, due to cooperation between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, there were roughly 10,000 Russian expatriate engineers, interpreters, construction workers, and other similar professionals living in the country, a figure which had grown to 15,000 by the eve of the Soviet–Afghan War. However, they mostly left the country during or after the war.[2] There was some Russian-language media, but it closed down during the period of Taliban government.[1]

Russians in Afghanistan
Total population
1,500 (2009 est.)[1]
Regions with significant populations
No data
Russian Orthodoxy, Judaism

In Balkh Province, near the border with Uzbekistan, there are also reported to be numerous businessmen with dual citizenship of Israel and Russia, who have established ventures in the food, transport, and tourism industries. As their Israeli passports are not valid in Afghanistan, they generally enter the country on their Russian passports instead. They are also occasionally harassed by the local security forces, who are generally aware that they are Israeli citizens but turn a blind eye in exchange for bribes.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Naumov, Alexander (2009-07-05), "The Russian Diaspora in Afghanistan", Russian Diaspora Communities, Russkiy Mir Foundation, retrieved 2009-07-29
  2. ^ Steve Coll. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (23 February 2004 ed.). Penguin Press HC.
  3. ^ Фальков, Михаил (2008-05-15), ""Русские" израильтяне в Афганистане", Izrus News, retrieved 2009-07-29