When will Putin’s regime collapse and what does it have to do with Kadyrov
Ukrainians have known about the "Kadyrov's Guard" for a while. Back in 2014, the Chechen militia entered the Ukrainian territory in Donbas. We all watched the video where the Chechens boasted they will neutralize the Ukrainian military stationed at the Donetsk airport. However, we are also well aware of what happened next and who returned home alive.
History has repeated itself in 2022. In February, Ramzan Kadyrov announced that about 70,000 forces from Chechnya were ready to voluntarily head to Ukraine. Then, at a public rally in the center of Groznyi with 12,000 people attending (according to his version), he announced: “We have come together again to show that we fully support the decision (to conduct a “special operation in Ukraine”) of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and we will not fail, we will fulfill any order, we are ready for it, we have trained for this, we are ready and we will keep preparing.” The Chechnya leader then mentioned the already compiled lists of forces to be send to Ukraine that amounted to about 12,000 people.
Of course, it's all just a show. In fact, the Kadyrov forces have long been involved in the invasion of Ukraine. It is commonly known that the main focus of the "operation" of the Russian Federation against Ukraine was on the capture of Kyiv and the physical removal of the country's top leadership, including the President. This assignment was entrusted to the Chechnya leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, that he was personally instructed to carry out during the meeting on February 3, 2022.
The Chechens were tasked to clear Kyiv, physically remove and prevent the activity of the Ukrainian leaders.
According to media reports, after that, an assault team was urgently established in Groznyi led by Kadyrov's assistant Daniil Martynov. Later, an assault team became a part of the Russian Guard forces attached to the units and detachments of the Eastern Military District, deployed on the territory of Belarus, which launched an invasion of Ukraine along a Kyiv axes on February 24.Later, the group entered Ukraine as part of a 250 military vehicle convoy with over 1,500 personnel of “the best militia of the Chechen Republic”.
However, on February 26, the Kadyrov’s guard suffered heavy losses in the outskirts of Kyiv in the area of Hostomel airport. On February 26, following the UAVs reconnaissance, the Armed Forces of Ukraine inflicted a devastating blow to two positions of Kadyrov forces in the Hostomel region. As a result, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the commander of the 141st motorized regiment of the Russian Guard of Chechnya, Magomed Tushaev, who was close to Kadyrov, was killed.
According to Oleksii Danilov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, the Ukrainian leadership became aware of the special operation to assassinate the President Volodymyr Zelensky that the Kadyrov forces were supposed to carry out. Danilov informed that the FSB representatives, who did not want to be involved in a bloody war, passed this information to the Ukrainian authorities which allowed to destroy the elite Kadyrov group. “They were split into two groups, we tracked them. One group was destroyed in Hostomel, the other is now in gun sights. We will not give up our President or our country to anyone. This is our land, get out of here,” said Oleksii Danilov.
There is an interesting point though that speaks volumes. The neutralization of the Kadyrov force was made possible by the FSB, as they promptly shared operational information “to avoid bloodshed”. Although in reality, according to data gathered by Ukrainian intelligence and later confirmed by the intercepted information, Putin not only tasked Kadyrov with such an important mission, but also tasked the FSB with controlling the process. A special ad hoc operational team was established in the FSB headquarters to record every move of Kadyrov and those close to him.
Why? Well, because by sending Kadyrov troops to Ukraine senile Putin tackles a key issue – he weakens the potential of Kadyrov himself. The security forces of Chechnia established based on nationality amount to around 30 000 service members today. It is 30 000 people who only take command from the head of the state. This is a serious capability. These people are well-equipped and well-trained. Thus allows Ramzan Kadyrov to be more confident in his own decisions. His actions over the past couple of years are a testament to that. The leader of the Chechen Republic has a free rein in the state and can do whatever fits into his agenda. All of this happens against the background of complete political impotence of the government. A great example of that is the incident with the Supreme court judge Saida Yanhublayev. Chechen security forces broke into his apartment in Nizhniy Novhorod and kidnapped his wife, Zarem Musayeva, bringing her to the city of Groznyi against her will. She was arrested for two months for resisting arrest. All of that was punishment for public criticism of the leadership of the republic.
Kadyrov also claimed that the journalist from Novaya Gazeta Elena Milashyna, who writes about the Caucasus region, and the head of Committee against torture Ihor Kaliapin are terrorists. He urged the security forces to arrest the two. The Chechen leader also made the same claims about the entire editorial offices Novaya Gazeta and Dozhd TV channel. Fearing Kadyrov’s retribution, Milashyna has temporarily left Russia.
At the same time, the President of the Russian Federation does not intervene, allowing Kadyrov to do what he pleases. This gives Mr. Kadyrov a false sense of confidence. Putin, as the embodiment of Kremlin, is well aware that when the moment comes, he will be able to deprive Kadyrov of all his might and power. That means, he will keep the Chechen leader on a short leash. One of the ways to do so, is to wage a war abroad sending Chechen fighters to die there for God knows what. Are they dying in a fight against the mythical Nazis and Bandera worshippers that no Chechen has ever seen? If Kadyrov actually loves his people the way he says he does, he should have done everything in his power to improve their welfare, not destroy them.
In the near future people will come to realize yet another thing. The international sanctions, enacted as a response to Russian aggression against Ukraine, will affect Chechnia as well. Today Moscow is becoming more and more of an outcast in the global economy, ruble is crashing, international companies are withdrawing their businesses from the state, the airspace of many countries is off the limits for the Russian planes and Russian ships are not welcome in many ports. This is just the beginning. It is going to get worse. In circumstances like these, it is very unlikely that the budget assignations that constitute a significant part of the funding of Chechnia will grow. The Chechen Republic and its leadership will have to adjust to a different lifestyle.
In circumstances like these, we believe it is time for Mr. Kadyrov to rethink his strategy and stop being a puppet in the hands of Putin. If “the Chief” lacks the ability to analyze and evaluate the situation, then maybe Kadyrov should consider playing his own, personal role.
On numerous occasions have the Chechen people demonstrated that they deserve their own path, different from the one chosen by Kremlin, loosing lives of thousands of heroes in battles against Moscow in the process. These people also understand that the future of Putin partially depends on the stance of the small but proud Chechen nation.