This BBC article talks about the post-occupation (the most recent U.S. occupation, that is) geopolitical intrigue, or Cold War II as I think of it, that is developing in Afghanistan.
In December 2015, a senior Russian diplomat declared that “the Taliban interest objectively coincides with ours” in the fight against IS and that his country and the Taliban “have channels for exchanging information”.
Taliban sources also confirmed that the group’s representatives met Russians inside Russia and “other” countries several times over the past two years.
But Moscow’s current assertiveness in Afghanistan can also be seen as a tactic to put pressure on the US and to enhance its role and regional influence.
Taliban contacts with Russia and Iran might also help Pakistan to distribute and dilute the international pressure it is under for hosting the Afghan Taliban leadership.