Konstantin Kosachev, deputy chairman of the State Duma international committee and first deputy chief of the Fatherland-All Russia faction, thinks it premature to call "success" the seizure of Kabul by the Northern Alliance. This was his comment on reports of the seizure of the Afghan capital. In the opinion of the deputy of the lower chamber of Russian parliament, talk of "seizure" or "capture" of Kabul by the anti-Taliban coalition is out of the question because the city was surrendered voluntarily and actually without fighting. To him, the situation is still volatile for the Northerners. "Taliban keep in hand over 50 percent of the country's territory, dominate in manpower and, I'm sure, will regain the city, if they so wish", noted the Duma deputy. He voiced apprehensions that "the voluntary surrender of Kabul is a stratagem designed to avoid losses and reconnoitre the situation". The most combat-ready Taliban units, such as the 55th special brigade of Al-Qaeda, are a serious enemy, said Kosachev. Don't forget about the almost 10,000-strong army of Pakistani associates, who are ready at first notice to join the Taliban. On the other hand, said Kosachev, it is an alarming fact that, deciding on the seizure of Kabul, Dustum acted against the will of the United States and Islamabad, who had not sanctioned this operation before a new government of Afghanistan was formed. In the opinion of Kosachev, this intractability of Dustum is evidence of the displeasure of leaders of the Northern Alliance with the United States' unilateral steps towards forming new power. Commanders of the anti-terrorist operation, stressed Kosachev, should act with "utmost care, minding the mood of leaders of the Northern Alliance so as to prevent a split between the anti-Taliban and within the Northerners". Otherwise, "the United States and its allies will lose control of the situation. The entire country will be covered by a web of fronts and it will become utterly unclear who is against whom and whom the allies should fight", believes Kosachev.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election