- Border length
- Transport accessibility
- Checkpoints (Checkpoints)
- Life on the border
- How to cross the border?
- Historic milestones
- Border at the beginning of the 20th century
- Border in the nineties
- How was it?
- What's happening now?
Southern Gates of the CIS is a paradise for drug dealers. A constant hotbed of tension. As soon as they did not name the Tajik-Afghan border! How do they live there? Is it such an important frontier to guard "the whole world"? Why can't they cover? What secrets does she keep?
The Tajik-Afghan border is quite extensive. It extends for 1344.15 kilometers. Of these, by land - 189.85 km. Nineteen kilometers are occupied by lakes. The rest of the border runs along the river. Most of it is along the Pyanj River, which flows into the Amu Darya.
In the western part of the border runs in the foothills, it is relatively convenient for transport. The eastern part, starting from Shuroabad, passes through the mountains and is difficult to access. There are almost no roads.
The main highway on the Tajik-Afghan border from Tajikistan runs along the Pyanj River. There are no roads along the river from Afghanistan. There are only footpaths along which goods are transported by caravans of camels, horses and donkeys.
Earlier, all the roads along the Pyanj River, except for one, were access roads and were not particularly in demand. The two states were connected by one highway in the Nizhny Pyanj region.
As the situation on the border relatively stabilized, there were more checkpoints. By 2005 there were 5:
- Nizhniy Pyanj checkpoint, connecting the Kumsangir district of Tajikistan and the Afghan province of Kunduz;
- Checkpoint "Kokul" - the gate from the Farkhor district of Tajikistan to the province of Takhar;
- Ruzvay checkpoint - connecting Darvaz region and Badakhshan province;
- Tem checkpoint - Tajik city of Khorog and Badakhshan province;
- Ishkashim checkpoint - Ishkashim district and Badakhshan.
In 2005 and 2012, two additional bridges across the Pyanj were built and two more checkpoints were opened in 2013:
- Shokhon checkpoint connected Shurabad district and Badakhshan province”;
- Humrogi checkpoint - the way from the Vanj region to Badakhshan.
The largest of them is the Nizhny Pyanj checkpoint, located in the western part of the border. The main flow of international transport of goods passes through it.
Life on the border
The situation on the border remains tense. Not peace and not war. Incidents happen all the time. Despite this, life is in full swing, people trade. They go across the border.
The main trade takes place in Darvaza, on Saturdays, at the famous Ruzvai market.
People come there not only for trade, but also to meet with relatives.
There used to be two more bazaars in Ishkashim
They closed after reports of a possible Taliban attack. The bazaar in Darvaz has survived only because many people live around it on both sides of the border. Stopping trading would be a disaster for them.
Those who come here are under vigilant control. The security forces walk the ranks and watch everyone.
How to cross the border?
Security measures are being taken, although the technical equipment of the Tajik-Afghan border leaves much to be desired.
To get to the other side, you need to be prepared for the fact that you have to pass a series of checks. People crossing the border are being checked:
- migration control service;
- border guards.
- customs officers;
- and the Afghans also have the Drug Control Agency.
But this does not mean that there is full control on the border. In the east, the line runs through mountains that are difficult to access, where it is impossible to close all the passages. West along the river. The Pyanj River can be forded in many places. This is especially easy in autumn and winter when the river becomes shallow. What local residents on both sides use. Smugglers are not squeamish about opportunities either.
The Tajik-Afghan border directly fell into the sphere of Russian interests a century and a half ago.
Look awayRussia began Turkestan at the beginning of the 18th century, under Peter I. The first campaign was in 1717. An army led by A. Bekovich-Cherkassky moved to Khorezm. The trip was unsuccessful. After a serious attempt to invade Central Asia was not made for about a hundred years.
In the middle of the 19th century, having captured the Caucasus, Russia again moved to Central Asia. The emperor several times sent troops on difficult and bloody campaigns.
Torn by internal strife, Turkestan has fallen. The Khanate of Khiva (Khorezm) and the Emirate of Bukhara submitted to the Russian Empire. The Kokand Khanate, which resisted them for a long time, was completely abolished.
Having captured Turkestan, Russia came into contact with China, Afghanistan and came too close to India, which seriously scared the UK.
Since then, the Tajik-Afghan border has become a headache for Russia. In addition to the interests of England and the corresponding consequences, the protection of the border itself was a big problem. The peoples inhabiting the region, from China, from Afghanistan, from Turkestan, had no clearly defined borders.
Setting boundaries presented a lot of problems. We solved the problem in the good old way, which was also used in the Caucasus. Forts were built along the perimeter of the border with Afghanistan and China and populated with soldiers and Cossacks. Little by little, the Tajik-Afghan border settled down. Those who served often stayed there to live. This is how the cities appeared:
- Skobelev (Fergana);
- Faithful (Alma-Ata).
In 1883 in Murghabdonkey Pamir border detachment.
In 1895, border detachments appeared:
- in Rushan;
- in Kalai Vamare;
- in Shungan;
- in Khorog.
In 1896, a detachment appeared in the village of Zung.
In 1899, Nicholas II created the 7th border district, whose headquarters was located in Tashkent.
Border at the beginning of the 20th century
At the beginning of the 20th century, the border with Afghanistan again became one of the hot spots. During the First World War, uprisings broke out one after another. Great Britain and Germany, seeking to weaken the position of Russia, supported and fueled the uprisings, helping with both money and weapons.
After the overthrow of tsarism, the situation did not improve. Uprisings and small skirmishes continued for another two decades. This movement was called Basmachism. The last major battle took place in 1931
After that, what is called "not peace and not war" began. There were no major battles, but the constant skirmishes with small detachments and the killing of officials did not give peace to either the authorities or the local residents.
After the end of World War II, there was a lull that ended in 1979 with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Border in the nineties
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, troubled times returned to the border. The war in Afghanistan continued. A civil war has begun in Tajikistan. The border guards, who became "no man's", found themselves between two fires and did not intervene in the situation.
In 1992, Russia recognized the border guards as its own. On their basis, they created a "group of border troops of the Russian Federation in the republicTajikistan”, which was left to guard the Tajik-Afghan border. 1993 was the most difficult year for the border guards.
This year's events thundered all over the world. Everyone discussed the battle of Russian border guards on the Tajik-Afghan border.
How was it?
At dawn on July 13, 1993, militants under the command of Afghan field commander Kari Khamidulla attacked the 12th outpost of the Moscow border detachment. The battle was heavy, 25 people were killed. The attackers lost 35 people. By the middle of the day, the surviving border guards retreated. The reserve detachment, which went to the rescue, evacuated them by helicopter.
However, holding the captured outpost and conducting positional battles was not part of the plans of the militants. After the battle, they left, and by the evening the border guards again occupied the outpost.
In November of the same year, the 12th outpost was renamed the outpost "named after 25 heroes".
What's happening now?
Currently, Russian border guards continue to serve in Tajikistan. The place of deployment still remains the Tajik-Afghan border. The year 1993 and the lessons they taught made both countries pay more attention and strength to the border.
The recent events on the Tajik-Afghan border do not at all indicate a calm in the region. Peace never came. The situation can be called stably hot. On August 15, 2017, news came that the Taliban had captured Oikhonim County and a checkpoint in Takhar Province. This led to the closure of the Tajik checkpoint in that area. And messages like this have become commonplace.deed.
Every day there is news, either about the arrest or liquidation of a squad carrying drugs, or about an attack by militants on Afghan border guards.
Safety in this region is relative.
The Tajik-Afghan border is, unfortunately for the locals, a strategically important area. The interests of the strongest powers of the world clashed there.
- Ottoman Empire and Iran;
- Russia and Great Britain, dividing India and Turkestan;
- Germany, which decided at the beginning of the 20th century to grab a piece of the pie for itself;
- US later joined.
This confrontation does not allow the fire burning there to go out. At best, it fades, smolders for a while and flares up again. This vicious circle cannot be broken for centuries. And it is hardly possible to expect peace in that region in the near future. Accordingly, security, both for citizens and for states.