The warlord who runs Chechnya held a rally of an estimated 10,000 fighters who could be dispatched to Ukraine to take part in the invasion.
The servicemen gathered in the Chechen capital, Grozny, after Friday prayers in a show of strength by Ramzan Kadyrov, an erstwhile separatist rebel who became one of President Putin’s most loyal henchmen
Video showed the Muslim fighters standing in serried ranks in a central square and crying in unison: “Allahu Akbar!”
Kadyrov said they would not be dispatched yet, but were ready to “fulfil any order”.“I want to give some advice to current President Zelensky before he becomes the ex-president of Ukraine,” the Chechen leader added. “He should call our president as quickly as possible, the commander in chief Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, and ask for forgiveness.”
Kadyrov has an army which is completely loyal to him and hardened by years of fighting
Militiamen loyal to Kadyrov, known as the kadyrovtsy, were assigned to destroying the guerrillas and acquired a fearsome reputation, being repeatedly accused of gross human rights violations, including torture and extra-judicial killings.
Mr Kadyrov, who has been accused of multiple human rights abuses, said on his social media account that Russia’s National Guard forces from Chechnya are operating in Ukraine but have not sustained any losses:
“We don’t have a single casualty, not a scratch.” He said his forces seized a base of Ukraine’s National Guard but he did not identify the location.