Like the US after it and Britain before it, Russia knows the costs of overlong military engagement in Afghanistan.
Moscow has long considered Afghanistan within its sphere of influence, and in 1979 the Soviet Union invaded the country, plunging itself into a decade-long war that massively destabilized the region and likely helped contribute to the collapse of the Soviet Union itself.
The US helped back an insurgency
against Moscow's forces, a move that may have inadvertently empowered
Islamist extremists groups like the Taliban, which would takeover the country follow the Soviet Union's exit.
While Russia no longer shares a border with Afghanistan, it has legitimate fears instability in the region, particularly the spread of ISIS could hurt its interests.
"Russia has increased its contacts with the Taliban and provided limited support out of concern that US military forces may withdraw from the region; as part of a broader strategy to increase Russian influence across the globe; and to weaken Islamic State," Rand Corporation analyst Seth Jones told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee in April
According to a recent report
by the Carnegie Institute, Russia's goals in Afghanistan have put it largely in alignment with China and Pakistan.
Last month, CNN reported on videos which appeared to show the Taliban had received improved weaponry in Afghanistan supplied by the Russian government
, a charge Moscow described as "groundless."