Ramzan Kadyrov, “Putin’s Attack Dog” Chechen in Ukraine
In the first two parts that SOFX posted on Ramzan Kadyrov, we looked at his personal history and his abuses of power inside of his own country of Chechnya, where he’s been accused of numerous human rights abuses.
Kadyrov fought against the Russians in the First Chechen War but then changed sides in the second one where he became Russian President Vladimir Putin’s biggest supporter and has been labeled “Putin’s Attack Dog”.
When the Russian invasion began in Ukraine, Kadyrov immediately voiced his unflinching support for Putin and the Russian narrative of “de-Nazification” of the country. He immediately conducted a parade in Grozny. Kadyrov, rather than trying to distance himself from his well-deserved reputation of human rights abuses, revels in it. He likes to portray himself as a warrior.
This self-styled characterization was in full display early in March when he sent a slurring voice message to Putin on Kadyrov’s Telegram channel, lamenting the heavy losses suffered by Russian forces in the war.
“Comrade President, comrade Supreme Commander in Chief, I have told you more than once that I am your infantryman. I am ready to give my life for you,” he says. “But I cannot bear to see how our fighters for the defense ministry, National Guard and other structures are dying. I appeal to you to close your eyes to everything, and to give the order to put an end to it all in one or two days. Only that will save our state and people.”
During the Second Chechen Civil War, Kadyrov’s paramilitary militia, called the Kadyrovites and brutally suppressed the civilian populace, which Putin and the Russians believed was an effective counter-insurgency strategy. The introduction of the Chechens was, as many analysts believe an attempt to bolster Moscow’s lagging numbers and frighten Ukrainian troops by playing upon the reputation of the Chechens as fearless, brutal warriors.
“Russia has not set itself the goal of occupying Ukraine!” he wrote on his Telegram page. “The people of Ukraine will choose their own destiny: without the participation of neo-Nazis and Western influence. Russia adheres to such a policy throughout the world, in relation to any country — it defends the rights of nations to self-determination.”
However, despite Kadyrov’s bombastic videos, his militia isn’t thought to be used as a front-line battle formation, but a behind the lines unit that is supposed to hold and pacify the gains made by Russian troops.
Kadyrov is “a Psychopath”:
Kadyrov has tried to alter the image of his brutal tactics that he used in Chechnya and many of the videos he posted a couple of weeks ago show, he and his men trying to interact with the Ukrainian population. In one video, one of his commanders was filmed holding a baby.
Don’t be fooled by this recent tactic, as leopards don’t change their spots. This point was driven home by a well-known source on Russia, Michael Weiss, who said this: “Kadyrov is a psychopath who personally tortures his political prisoners,” he said to Yahoo news.
Despite their operating behind the lines, his forces have reportedly suffered heavy casualties, an assertion that Kadyrov vehemently denies.
He took to his Telegram channel to refute that two of his top commanders — Magomed Tushaev of the 141st Motorized Infantry’s southern regiment and Anzor Bisaev, chief of Chechnya’s interior ministry troops, were killed by Ukrainian troops.
Still, the rumors of heavy casualties persist even after Kadyrov made a trip to Moscow and admitted to the press that just two Chechens have been killed and six wounded. But while Putin may have great affinity for his “attack dog”, that doesn’t appear to hold for all of the Russian government’s organizations.
The FSB, successors to the KGB reportedly tipped off Ukrainian intelligence services through back-door channels that a Chechen hit team was sent into Kyiv with orders to assassinate key government leaders, including President Volodymyr Zelensky. That unit was reported “neutralized” by Ukrainian forces.
A Ukrainian multimedia organization recently posted a story that hasn’t been confirmed that the Chechens suffered hundreds of casualties and have been withdrawn.
UKinform.net posted a piece quoting Ukrainian SBU intelligence officials.
“On February 26, some 450 Kadyrov’s fighters tried to set their boots on the Ukrainian land outside the Hostomel airport near Kyiv, in an attempted landing operation. This didn’t work out. Some of the forces did manage to disembark from one of the planes and immediately got under fire on the runway. The total death toll of Kadyrov’s units as of February 28 amounted to several hundred,” an interlocutor in the SBU counterintelligence told Radio Svoboda.
Meanwhile, Kadyrov who SBU claimed was never even in Ukraine posted another video that claimed that he was sending another 1,000 Chechen fighters to fight in Ukraine.
Whether or not there are 1,000 more Chechens in Ukraine, they are residing behind the front lines and doing what they have always done, terrorizing civilians.