Russian officials are making late and half-hearted assurances that Russia allegedly never dealt with Taliban and an attempt to blame the USA in light of the recent international scandal, caused by the @nytimes article: Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says
Not only is the information about lack of connections between Kremlin and these Middle-Eastern extremists is easily disprovable (full account of Taliban delegation visit to Moscow in 2019 can be found here: Russia hosts Taliban delegation following collapse of US talks), but Russian media seem to be reluctant to employ their favorite tactic – multiple conflicting explanations of the event to draw attention from the involvement of their government.
Abandoning the appearances seems to be the latest trend in Kremlin, the biggest event of with – recent Constitutional amendments – saw Putin dropping the remaining pretense of a democratic ruler.
This tendency can be rather alarming, especially given the fact that allegedly “democratic” Russia was frequently violating international law due to its expansionist politics.