US intelligence officials assessed that Russia's military intelligence agency offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Interrogations of Afghan militants and criminals yielded the information indicating that Taliban-linked militants were offered bounties from Russian agents, specifically Unit 29155, a branch of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency.
Unit 29155, which is believed to be made up of former Russian special-forces troops, has been blamed for a series of assassination attempts throughout Europe, including the poisoning of Russian defector Sergei Skripal in 2018.
One theory floated by some of the officials is that Moscow may have been retaliating after an embarrassing defeat during a battle in Syria in 2018. Between 200 and 300 mercenaries from a Russia-linked security firm were killed during a four-hour battle at a military base that housed US-led coalition forces.
President Donald Trump was briefed of the intelligence assessment, but the White House has yet to respond to it.
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