Politician Daria Mitina told the story of her family
The whole world is watching what is happening in and around Afghanistan today, including many people in our country. But, perhaps, few people follow as closely as Daria Mitina. She is a fairly well-known person: leftist politician, ethnologist, former State Duma deputy. But since not everyone knows the details of Daria Alexandrovna's biography, it makes sense to present her again. So, get acquainted: Daria Mitina is the granddaughter of Muhammad Yusuf, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Afghanistan in 1963-1965.
Mitina Daria Alexandrovna. She was born in 1973 in Moscow. Mother: Natalia Mitina, screenwriter. Father: Kassem Iskander Ibrahim Mohammed Yusufzai, director and cameraman, creator and head of the Afghan national television.
In 1995 she graduated from the history faculty of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov. Since the early 1990s, he has been an active participant in the communist movement. Deputy of the State Duma of the second convocation (1995-1999) – the Communist Party faction.
In 2001-2007 – in the civil service: she worked as a head of a department in the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology of the Russian Federation, then as a head of a department in the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. From 2015 to the present – Director of the Department of the Institute for Innovative Development.
Photo: Social networks
Since 2014 – Secretary of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party for International Affairs. Historian, ethnologist (specialist in Western and Central Asia), film critic, film critic, journalist.
– History, one might say, is more complex. My parents met while studying at VGIK. Mom studied at the screenwriting department, dad – at the directing and cinematography. Soviet people then could not study at two faculties at the same time, but for some reason foreigners were allowed.
Many Afghans studied in the Soviet Union at that time. It is no secret that the USSR invested a lot in Afghanistan – not only after the 1978 revolution, but also in the pre-revolutionary period. The relationship was very complimentary throughout the twentieth century, under all regimes.
They began dating, and the father had the most serious intentions. I got to know my mother's family and regularly visited at home. He was very much looking forward to my appearance, was glad that he would have a child, made plans. I wanted to register a marriage and go with us to Kabul. But my mother categorically stated that she would not go anywhere.
According to my mother, she could not survive there: the way of life was completely unusual. In addition, my mother had her whole life here: work, creative plans – she was a person of cinema. In general, mom honestly told dad that they would not succeed. He made a noise, made a noise, made a scandal, and then went home to make national television.
When I was born, my mother was not advised to indicate my father's name in the metric – Kassem Iskander Ibrahim Mohammed Yusufzai. And the question arose of how to enroll me. And my mother had a fan, a classmate at VGIK, who was hopelessly in love with her. His name was Alexander Rodionov. And he suggested to her: “Since it is not destiny for us to be together, then at least write down the child in my name.” Mom said: “Yes, for God's sake.” And she wrote it down. That is how I became Alexandrovna.
But since my father, as you rightly noted, has the name Iskander in his multi-component name, an analogue of the Russian Alexander, there really are no contradictions here.
– Yes, but I was very little then. Naturally, I don't remember anything. He came and talked with us. And then my mother said that since she was not going to live with him as one family, he should not injure the child. And I met him already without me. But he still brought some gifts. The table given to him, for example, is still alive and well.
– Yes, everything is correct. He was the longtime leader of the first Afghan button. He was in this capacity until his death. He was not a communist, but he had great respect for the Soviet Union. Many of his friends were members of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Nevertheless, the overthrow of Najibullah in 1992 and the coming to power of the Mujahideen had almost no effect on him. Not only was he not fired, but even in the editorial policy, there were no special changes. Apparently, the Mujahideen did not attach much importance to information policy. He worked for another four years – until the capture of Kabul by the Taliban (the Taliban movement is a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation. – MK ).
– According to the information that I have, the day the Taliban entered Kabul, September 27, 1996, my father was at his workplace. The television center was among the objects captured by them in the first place, in the first hours. Many of my father's colleagues died there, in the television center. It was a real massacre: having burst into the building, the militants walked the floors and shot at everyone who caught their eye.
But since the father was a leader and the Taliban knew about this, he was awarded a special “honor”. They grabbed him and began to torment, torture. It is not known that they simply mocked him because of their sadistic inclinations or wanted something from him. And then he was hanged. On the same day. The execution took place not far from the TV center.
The executions then took place all over Kabul. The Taliban did not build special gallows: they hung them on whatever they had to do – on fences, street lamps, crossbars … The whole world was covered by footage of the hanged Najibullah and his brother Shapur Ahmadzai. Almost nothing was said or written about other victims of the Taliban. Meanwhile, in those days, hundreds, if not thousands, died. They killed officials, party leaders, military men, representatives of the intelligentsia … Blood flowed like a river.
“When it was broadcast on TV that the Taliban had seized the capital of Afghanistan and hanged Najibullah and his brother — it was a nightly news release — I woke up my mother and told about it. Mom then covered her face with her hands and said: “That's it, nobody will be left alive there.” Well, that is, there was no exact information yet, but the feeling that my father did not survive, arose even then, right away.
And then gradually, piece by piece, the picture of what had happened began to be restored. My half-sister Samia, the father's daughter from an official marriage, told me something: a few years after parting with his mother, he married a woman from Azerbaijan. Something – a friend of his father, the famous Afghan film director Siddiq Barmak. I learned something from other sources.
– No. Nobody knows this.
– He had many opportunities to leave the country. He could go, for example, to his relatives in European countries: a significant part of the family at that time was already living in the West. And just before the fall of Kabul, Siddiq Barmak persuaded him to flee together to the north – to Panjshir, to Masud (Afghan field commander, Minister of Defense of Afghanistan in 1992-1996 – A.K. ).
Siddiq himself told me about this. Ahmad Shah Massoud was Tajik, but hosted many Pashtuns who were in danger under the new Taliban regime. But the father flatly refused. He said that he wants to share the fate of his people. As a result, Siddiq left alone for Massoud. According to him, he still feels guilty for not being able to persuade his father then.
Father could not have any illusions about the Taliban: everyone already knew what they were. Many warned him, said that he should not stay. But, probably, he still did not expect that everything would end so tragically. However, it is difficult for me to judge what was in his head then – whether he consciously doomed himself to death or did he still hope for something.
According to the stories of my mother, according to the stories of the same Barmak, according to the stories of relatives, my father was a very solid man – stubborn in the good sense of the word. Let's say he “besieged” mom for many years. Even when she said her final “no,” she still continued to drive, insist, persuade … And he was also one of those who are called statesmen. His whole life was devoted to the interests of the country. He couldn't imagine himself without Afghanistan.
– No, he didn't have to.
– Of course he knew. But neither he nor I was looking for a meeting. In any case, I did not have such an idea. However, not much time was allowed for this: my grandfather survived his youngest son, my father, for only a little over a year. In recent years he has lived in Germany.
– Well, first of all, he was a man of the highest decency. And very conscientious. This is clear throughout the course of his career. By the way, he became the first prime minister of Afghanistan who was not a member of the royal family. He received his post not by birthright, but for merits. Although, of course, he also belonged to the elite, to the highest Afghan aristocracy.
Grandfather was appointed head of government in March 1963, and two and a half years later, in October 1965, he resigned after police shot and killed two students during the dispersal of a student demonstration in Kabul. It was not he who gave the order, no one personally blamed him for the death of students, nevertheless, the grandfather felt personally responsible for this tragedy.
The point was, apparently, also in the fact that he had been a deputy for a long time Minister of Education and was in charge of just higher education in the country. Therefore, everything related to student life, he perceived very painfully.
This act characterizes him in a very specific way. Unlike many of our top officials, who cling to power to the last, he was not such a person. I asked about the grandfather of many Afghans, and no one said a bad word about Muhammad Yusuf. Everyone has very good memories of him.
By the way, even Babrak Karmal (chairman of the Presidium of the Revolutionary Council of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in 1979-1986. – A.K. ) recommended the Soviet the leadership to involve Mohammed Yusuf, who settled in the West, in the process of national reconciliation as having great authority among the people.
After his resignation from the post of prime minister, he was exclusively in diplomatic work. He was the ambassador to the USSR. For a long time he was ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, where later, after leaving for emigration, he settled.
Grandpa was a terrible Germanophile. He was probably the first of the Afghan authorities to interrupt the traditional orientation towards Great Britain. The entire Afghan elite of that time was English-speaking, and my grandfather graduated from a lyceum with training in German. There was then such a lyceum in Kabul – “Nejat”. He was a very educated person. And he raised my father in the same way – on world literature, on world music.
His father was a passionate Beatleman, he considered himself a man of European culture. Although traditional ideas also made themselves felt. Mom said that when they met, she asked her father how many children there were in their family. He replied: “There were six of us. I am the sixth, youngest child. ” Then my mother asked: there were so many brothers, and how many sisters? He looked at her in a strange way and said: “I’m talking about your brothers. Who counts our sisters! ”
– Well, yes, this, too, certainly played a role. But in principle, when I was born first, and then Samia, his view of the “woman's question”, as I understand it, changed a lot. He was very kind to both of us.
– I don't know anyone. All relatives, more or less visible on my father's family tree, left the country. Well, those who survived. Many died – first in the war with the Mujahideen, then in the war with the Taliban …
My half-sister Samia now lives in the USA – in the city of Chattanooga, famous in a famous song. She found me herself. It was amazing. First she read about me in the press, and then contacted me via Facebook. She has a family and children. She looks a lot like me. I understand that both of us are dominated by dad's genes. I am much more like my father than my mother.
Some of the relatives, as far as I know, settled in the countries of the Persian Gulf. But the majority lives in Germany today. There is a whole colony there. I don't have any contacts with them, though. Someone knows about me, someone doesn’t know … But you never know how life has developed.
There are, by the way, relatives in Moscow. Here lives Kava Karmal, the youngest son of Babrak Karmal, whose family is related to his father's. Although in a very distant place – the seventh water on jelly. I know him – once we ended up in the same company. As with his brother Vostok, who lives in Minsk, he is a sympathetic person, always ready to help.
When we met, by the way, I did not know at all that we were relatives. It became clear only later and quite by accident.
– Well, absolutely exclusive – this is only communication with representatives of the Afghan diaspora. In the days of the coup, in mid-August, when the Taliban seized power for the second time, many Afghans turned to me for help. And someone managed to help. For example, I dealt with the fate of Afghan parliamentary deputy Zahra Zabuli.
After the arrival of the Taliban, her life as a person who was related to the past power was naturally under threat. They were looking for her, she was on all the Taliban lists. She was hiding with friends. It is clear that if she fell into the hands of the Taliban, she would not be well, to put it mildly. Meanwhile, almost all of her relatives have Russian passports. Her son lives in Rostov-on-Don. And she herself has a residence permit in Russia.
Zahra Zabuli in due course applied to the Russian embassy in Kabul – she asked to be allowed to fly to Russia on one of the evacuation boards. But our wonderful embassy refused her. She refused, knowing full well what the situation was, what purges were going on, what threatened her if she stayed. She was told that only citizens of the Russian Federation were being evacuated.
She then began to seek help, and it came to me. Many thanks to State Duma Deputy Sergei Shargunov: I literally woke him up at night and “loaded” him with this problem. Thanks also to Yevgeny Primakov, the head of Rossotrudnichestvo, and representatives of the special services – we will not name them. Thanks to the joint efforts of all these kind people, Zahra Zabuli was saved: in the end, after long negotiations, she flew by a Tajik plane to Dushanbe, from there to Moscow and then to Rostov-on-Don – to her son.
This is a very revealing story, I think. The refusal of our Foreign Ministry in the person of the embassy to help this woman is not an accident, not an excess of the bureaucratic machine. Look: the Russian ambassador in Kabul Zhirnov praises the Taliban, tells how they are sane, adequate and generally good fellows. Zahra Zabuli and other Afghans fleeing from the Taliban absolutely do not fit into this stable concept.
Our diplomacy today looks at the Taliban with optimism. It is completely incomprehensible on what basis. Zamir Nabievich Kabulov (Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Afghanistan, Director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry – A.K. ), the architect of our “victorious” Afghan policy, never tires of proving that the current Taliban are no longer the bandits who ran through the mountains 25 years ago. That they have changed a lot over the years, learned a lot, civilized …
– Of course not. There is a huge flow of information – with photos, videos – about how the Taliban are establishing their order in Afghanistan. Some videos are completely creepy – it's impossible to watch for more than five seconds. Executions are underway – both public and non-public. Crack down on military personnel, police officers, journalists, students, women …
However, the Taliban are now cautious with public executions: they really want to be recognized at the international level and unfreeze the assets of the ousted government – today they have no access to these assets. For the same reason, they try to prevent very big atrocities in Kabul. It's still a capital, a showcase. There are foreign diplomats and journalists there. But what is happening in the provinces today is even scary to imagine.
However, our media machine misses none of this. Turning on the TV, you will not see any atrocities. You will see our diplomats and experts who talk about the good re-educated Taliban without confirming it with any facts.
No, I, of course, understand that Ambassador Zhirnov is actually held hostage there: the perimeter of the embassy is guarded by bearded guys with machine guns. But you can't really humiliate yourself! Some countries, for example, closed their diplomatic missions in Kabul until better, as they say, times. And nothing. And what keeps us there, what is our profit from friendship with the Taliban? I do not understand this at all.
– The fact that they are holding back ISIS is an absolute myth. ISIS is a relatively new phenomenon. Before its appearance, the main horror story, the main bogeyman, was Al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation – MK ). And the same Zamir Nabievich Kabulov said that the Taliban are wonderful guys who will fight Al-Qaeda. In fact, not only did they not fight Al-Qaeda, they are now actually a single whole.
Since May last year, the Taliban and al-Qaeda have joint military headquarters. On August 15, the Taliban occupied Kabul, and on the 16th the head of the Afghan division of Al-Qaeda flew there. And the Taliban greeted him with honors, in a black limousine.
Yes, they have a more complicated relationship with ISIS. But the fact that skirmishes periodically take place between the Taliban and ISIS does not mean anything. This is purely a struggle for influence. The Taliban themselves also shoot each other from time to time. This is the traditional way of sorting things out in Afghanistan, that's all.
And who is there to fight with? According to the most pessimistic estimates, according to UNAMA, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has from 2,000 to 4,000 ISIS fighters throughout Afghan territory, in all provinces. They are unevenly distributed there, somewhere there are more, somewhere less. But in any case, there are no more than four thousand of them.
What is it – four thousand for a country with a population of 30 million? Nothing! A drop in the sea. For comparison: the Taliban army at the time of their conquest of power numbered 150,000 militants. If anyone in Afghanistan really wanted to fight ISIS, there would be no ISIS there for a long time. It's just that no one is interested in this.
The Americans did not need it, because ISIS served as an excuse for their presence in Afghanistan. ISIS members play the same role in the case of the Taliban. This is what our foreign policy rhetoric is based on today: the Taliban are supposedly needed to fight ISIS.
The Taliban are very pragmatic guys. They kill someone, negotiate with someone, share spheres of influence with someone. For example, in the northern Tajik-speaking provinces, where they have little power, they perfectly interact with the ISIS.
They also use other terrorist groups for their own purposes. They are actively cooperating, for example, with the so-called “Jamaat Ansrullah”, a group led by a certain Sharifov, a native of Tajikistan, with the “Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan” (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation. – “MK” ), with other scumbag terrorists.
And what, the Taliban will shoot at them to please the world community? Never in my life! They are all tied to each other, they have a common business. This is one jihadist gang-lake.
– Well, if their first reign lasted five years, now I think they will last much less. Their power is undermined primarily by economic problems. The economy is on its side. Under the government overthrown by them, exactly half of the country's GDP was external borrowing provided by the United States, the European Union, and Asian allies. Now this is not the case.
Any aid that is being provided to Afghanistan today is humanitarian aid in kind. Food, medicines, fuels and lubricants and so on. And the Taliban need money, at least the minimum amount of free funds. To simply pay people a salary. Let's see what will happen next, but there is no way out of this impasse yet.
Economic uncertainty predetermines political instability. In some ministerial posts, the Taliban have already replaced three ministers. This suggests that there is an internecine war going on inside the Taliban. I think that by spring there will be a new government – also Taliban, but other people will be at the helm.
But in any case, I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, they'll throw off the Taliban, and what next? Unfortunately, there is no political force that could carry out industrialization and ensure sustainable, independent development of the country.