On Saturday fierce fights were resumed to capture Kunduz, one of the Taliban major strongholds in the north of Afghanistan. According to RIA Novosti information received from the Afghanistan embassy in Tajikistan, on Friday troops of the united anti-Taliban front waged an offensive against the city and came close to Kunduz. The Northern Alliance ascertains that about 300 local Taliban fighters surrendered. Foreign mercenaries numbering approximately 10,000 in the city put up the most fierce resistance to Alliance forces. A representative of the Afghanistan embassy in Dushanbe categorically renounced reports of Western media about the split among Northern Alliance generals. The Afghan diplomat stated that all generals under the command of General Mohammad Fahim were storming Kunduz and capture of the city was a matter of time.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
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
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign