Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has announced the deployment of his Akhmat military unit to the site of intense fighting in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, despite the Wagner mercenary group’s claim of having captured the city in May. Kadyrov highlighted this as a sign of the General Staff’s trust in Akhmat’s high combat effectiveness, a sentiment corroborated by Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, who confirmed heavy fighting in the area.
- The Akhmat special forces, under the command of Apty Alaudinov, have been redeployed to Bakhmut, which has become a site of heavy fighting despite previous reports of the city’s capture by the Wagner mercenary group.
- The Chechen military unit last month became the first Russian volunteer detachment to formally come under the Defense Ministry’s command, setting it apart from the Wagner Group.
- The number of Chechen troops in Kadyrov’s Akhmat special forces is undisclosed, but Kadyrov mentioned that the force is divided into three units.
- Kadyrov has previously claimed that 26,000 fighters from Chechnya were sent to Ukraine, with 7,000 actively engaged on the frontlines as of May 2023.
- Since initiating a counteroffensive in June, the Ukrainian military has reportedly liberated 24 square kilometers of territory surrounding Bakhmut.