Afghanistan was the place where al-Qaida terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, produced an instant and drastic impact, amplified by successful internationalization of the subsequent U.S. intervention. The country’s evolving drama of state-building and state breakdown, which has reached yet another culmination in the wake of U.S. military withdrawal, is highly complex. One element that can be usefully singled out is U.S.-Russia interactions over a land in which both have intervened. Moscow expected the Afghanistan dossier to be placed on the summit table at the meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in June, but Biden cut the agenda short, so the issue was mentioned cursorily, if that. U.S. withdrawal and Taliban triumph generate an acute security challenge for Russia, and its edges are sharpened by the legacies of multiple misadventures.