The Russian Defence Ministry has confirmed that Moscow supplies military equipment to the Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, which is fighting against the Taliban. The deliveries are part of military and technical assistance from abroad. A ministry spokesman did not elaborate on the volume of the deliveries and types of the Russian equipment supplied. The RIA Novosti source recalled that Sergei Ivanov, the Russian Defence Minister, earlier stated that all these years Russia "has rendered military and technical assistance to the Northern Alliance, which actively opposed the Taliban ideology similar to that of the Nazi." Speaking at the October 10th Federation Council meeting, Mr. Ivanov stressed that the Afghans "need simple, very reliable, and time-tested equipment, including T-55 tanks." CNN quoted unnamed sources in the U.S. administration as saying Friday that Russia planned to provide the Northern Alliance with 40 T-55 tanks and 100 other armed vehicles.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia