President of Russia had a secret meeting with current Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in September of 2015 in the Russian military base in Tajikistan.
Putin promised financial and logistical help in exchange for Taliban’s cooperation with Russia. In particular Taliban were supposed to increase attacks on the leaders of Afghan mujahideens and the Islamic party. The meeting took place weeks before a resurgence in violence that has seen key districts in the southern province of Helmand fall under Taliban control.
Two others Taliban commanders said that Russia supports their group to be able to have influence on situation in Kabul. Vahid Muzhda revealed that Russia made contact with Taliban two years ago.
Putin visited Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan on 14th and 15th December, 2015.
Kremlin denied that it has any contacts with Taliban.
It is interesting that Sunday Times revealing information about the secret meeting of Putin with Mullah Akhtar Mansour tried to search for explanation of Putin’s behaviour in his concern for terrorism. Unfortunately Kremlin has a long history of cooperation with terrorist groups including al-Qaeda. In late 1990s at least two senior terrorists from al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Yuma Namangani, received a special agent training in Russian secret services camps in Dagestan.
Despite the fact that major Western politicians of that time and Western intelligence had knowledge about this involvement of Russia in boosting of al-Qeada military and strategic capabilities none of them ,even in general statement, informed public opinion about it.