Abdul Rashid Dostum was the leader of Junbish, a pan-Turkic ex-communist party. In the 1980s he commanded a Soviet sponsored Uzbek pro-Communist militia. After the Soviet Union left, he battled Tajik militia for control of the region around Marza-i-Sherif.
Later, he united with his former Tajik enemy Muhammad Noor to fight the Taliban. He eventually became Marshall of the US sponsored United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan. This was also known as the “Northern Alliance.”
After the Taliban was defeated and the US occupied Afghanistan, Dostum and Noor went back to fighting each other. In fact, Marza fled the country and took refugee in Turkey in 2008 because he feared being assassinated by Tajiks in Afghanistan.
Despite his notoriety as an accused “war criminal,” the United States supported his efforts to be one of Ashraf Ghani’s co-Vice Presidents because he vowed to aggressively fight the Taliban. He held the position of co-Vice President from 2014 to 2020.
As the Taliban was sweeping across Afghanistan last August, Dostum and Noor were given huge amounts of weapons to re-activate their old militias and stop the Taliban at Marza-i-Sherif. Instead, they both fled the country and their militias surrendered with very little fighting.
We are now seeing how Afghanistan’s most famous Communist was living.
Cellphone Video of Dostum’s Lavish Mansion in Marza-i-Sherif:
New York Times report on Dostum’s mansion in Kabul: