“There are many thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Chechens who hate him, who resent him and many families who are in a state of latent blood feud against him and his family, so Kadyrov understands if he wants to to survive he needs Russia and Vladimir Putin’s backing,” said Emil Solomon Aslan from the Institute of Political Studies at Charles University in Prague. “That’s why he wants to display absolute loyalty, show he is useful, can come and do very grandiose stuff.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is primarily Vladimir Putin’s war, but if there is a second man whose name and reputation will be tied to the devastation unleashed by Moscow it is Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the Guardian reports.

His fighters were part of the first wave assault on the country, and died in large numbers around the Hostomel airbase, with one key commander among those killed.

Elite Chechen squads were also reportedly recruited for failed attempts to assassinate key Ukrainian leaders in the first 48 hours of the invasion, western intelligence said.

More recently Kadyrov’s men have appeared among forces imposing a brutal siege on the port city of Mariupol, where targets have included a maternity hospital and the suffering of hundreds of thousands has become emblematic of Ukrainian pain.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse