Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov on Thursday denied reports that Russia had airlifted two airborne regiments to Afghanistan. "This is impossible, I know all the decisions made in this field, and they have been made public. There has been no decision like that," Kasyanov said at a press conference after a meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The prime minister admitted that transport aircraft have been making flights to Kabul but only within the frameworks of a government-endorsed programme to deliver building materials for restoring the Russian embassy in the Afghan capital. In all, 17 such flights are planned, most of which have already been made, he said.
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.