Twelve Russian Ilyushin-78 aircraft landed this morning at the Bagram airport in Afghanistan. For a long time, Russia has not carried out any operations for transporting equipment and people on such a scale.
It is being reported that after unloading, the aircraft flew back to Russia. The equipment and technical personnel for reestablishing theRussian diplomatic mission and humanitarian center are said to have been transported to Afghanistan.
Just imagine the amount of the transported material. Every Il-76 is able to transport about 40 tons of cargo. Therefore, about 480 tons of equipment and technical personnel were transported to Afghanistan. Equipping a diplomatic mission is a laborious and expensive operation demanding special machinery. For these aims, special communication machines, secret equipment, and some other things are needed. However, the diplomatic mission to Afghanistan is now only a project. It would be absurd to think secret equipment has been unloaded in the open and left until the embassy building is ready.
The humanitarian center hardly needs such cargo volumes as well. Russian Emergency Ministry, which has many times worked in different hot spots and emergency zones, usually managed with only one Il-76, or with two, deploying tent camps, mobile hospitals, and refugee points.
The speed of the operation is suspicious as well: there has not been any necessity to lift 12 planes off ground and to transport such an amount of cargo. While for building a humanitarian center, or an embassy, the loads could be supplied as required.
Therefore, either bricks for embassy building were transported to Afghanistan by these 12 flights, or completely another kind of cargo arrived via these planes.
Immediacy and coordination of the actions, landing, unloading, and sending back the 12 big aircraft within several hours, causes one to think about landing troops with armoured cars. That’s right, somebody should stand guard over Russian building sites.
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/26/34189.html