(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) – The Russian capital is home to a large Afghan community centered around the Soviet-era Sevastopol Hotel. Some 8,000 Afghans live in and around the complex, which has been transformed into a shopping and business center dominated by Afghan bazaars, butcher shops, and restaurants.
About 150,000 Afghans live in Russia, and around a third reside in Moscow. Most fled Afghanistan in the wake of the Soviet withdrawal that ended in 1989 and the brutal civil war of the 1990s. Russia hosts the third-largest overseas Afghan community, after Pakistan and Iran.