Ukraine: Chechen soldiers appear to fire on Mariupol building
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Ramzan Kadyrov said on Monday that Kremlin troops were preparing for an offensive on a number of key cities across Ukraine including the capital Kyiv and the heavily besieged port city of Mariupol. Kadyrov, who has often described himself as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “foot soldier”, said there was no doubt that Russia would attempt to take the capital.
In a video posted on his Telegram channel, Kadyrov said: “There will be an offensive … not only on Mariupol, but also on other places, cities and villages.
He said: “Luhansk and Donetsk – we will fully liberate in the first place…and then take Kyiv and all other cities.”
He added: “I assure you: not one step will be taken back.”
The Chechen warlord was seen with military maps spread on a table in front of him.
He said: “There will be an offensive on Kyiv, the task is set by Putin.”
The leader of Chechnya has been repeatedly accused of serious human rights abuses in the tightly controlled republic.
The former rebel turned Kremlin ally, who has been dubbed Putin’s “attack dog” is known to rule the republic with an iron fist.
Kadyrov has showcased his loyalty to Moscow since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, posting regular videos in support of the war on social media and sending Chechen troops to help Kremlin forces.
The feared leader has also mobilised support for the war effort in the republic, including recruiting for the army at martial arts clubs and prisons.
President Putin promoted his staunch ally to lieutenant-general last month for his role in the invasion of Ukraine.
In a video posted on Telegram on 14 March, Kadyrov called on Ukrainian forces to surrender “or you will be finished”.
He said: “The other day we were about 20km from you Kyiv Nazis and now we are even closer.
“We will show you that Russian practice teaches warfare better than foreign theory and the recommendations of military advisers.”
Chechen fighters have a reputation for brutality and ruthlessness, both in conflicts abroad and in enforcing domestic rule.
Forces have been deployed to a number of conflicts the Russian army has participated in, including the 2008 war in Georgia, the first phase of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014-2015 and the war in Syria.
Moscow fought two wars with separatists in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim region in southern Russia, after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Kadyrov came to power in 2007, three years after his father, the former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, was assassinated.
The two fought on the side of pro-independence forces in the first Chechen War in 1994-1996 but switched sides for the Second Chechen War in 1999-2000 and helped the Russian army defeat them.
Since coming to power, Kadyrov has stamped out political opposition and cracked down on human rights and freedoms, including being accused of ordering torture and extrajudicial killings.
Europe is in danger, says Zelensky [LATEST]
Ukraine LIVE: Putin plot backfires as TWO new countries to join NATO [LIVE]
Russia set to enact brutal ‘depopulating’ tactic in Ukraine [BREAKING]
It is not clear how many Chechen soldiers have been deployed to Ukraine since the conflict began.
Kadyrov’s warning comes as Russian forces reportedly prepared to attack eastern Ukraine on Sunday.
Russian officials said that the focus of its forces is not “complete liberation” of the Donbas, referring to Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk which have seen some of the worst of the fighting.
Kremlin troops are expected to move to an even larger operation in the east in the coming days, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday.
Speaking in his nightly address, the Ukrainian president added the Ukrainian troops would be ready.
He said: “We are preparing for their actions.
“We will respond. We will be even more active in providing Ukraine with weapons. We will be more active in the international arena. We will be even more active in the information field.”
Source: Read Full Article