The Special Rapid Response Unit (SOBR) Akhmat, formerly known as SOBR Terek, is an elite force in the Chechen Republic, heavily funded and equipped, playing a crucial role in Chechnya’s security under Ramzan Kadyrov. The unit is distinct with its unique motto, symbols, and patches that pay homage to Akhmat Kadyrov, Ramzan Kadyrov’s father. Moreover, despite its official role as an internal security force, it’s now being increasingly used as a special forces military unit. Key figures within the unit include Saidi Loranskev, Apti Alaudinov, and Ramzan Kadyrov himself.
- SOBR Akhmat was once known as SOBR Terek and was allegedly created in August 2013 by Ramzan Kadyrov. The unit reportedly replaced the FSB security detail of Kadyrov in 2013.
- The unit’s distinctiveness is highlighted by its unique motto and symbols, which pay tribute to Kadyrov’s father, Akhmat Kadyrov. The emblem includes symbols unique to Chechnya and reflects a rebranding of Chechen identity after the Second Chechen War.
- While SOBR Akhmat was originally an internal security force, it’s increasingly used as a special forces military unit, actively deploying abroad, and has played a significant role in Ramzan Kadyrov’s rule in Chechnya.
- Key figures within SOBR Akhmat include Saidi Loranskev, one of the commanders, and Apti Alaudinov, the highest-ranking commander. They both have significant roles within the Russian military, and Alaudinov has an extensive record in internal security roles.
- Ramzan Kadyrov himself is an integral part of SOBR Akhmat, as the unit acts fundamentally at his behest. According to reports, Kadyrov maintains a repressive rule in Chechnya, and SOBR Akhmat is seen as his security guarantee against any power challenges.