March 25, 2023

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Ramzan Kadyrov: What was his promotion to the war in Ukraine?

War in Ukraine
Putin orders ‘hound’ Kadyrov – what does that mean?

For weeks, Russia has been on the defensive militarily in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin is now promoting Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Republic of Chechnya. Analysts say what is behind this decision.

Vladimir Putin on Wednesday promoted Ramzan Kadyrov, the dictatorial leader of the Chechen Republic, to the rank of colonel general in the face of Russia’s military setbacks. A decree of his appointment has already been published, and he is “incredibly grateful” for Putin’s “high esteem,” Kadyrov wrote on the Telegram online service on Wednesday. Colonel General is the third highest rank in the Russian Armed Forces after Field Marshal and Army General.

Nicknamed “Putin’s maneuver”, Kadyrov’s lack of scruples was demonstrated again last Monday. He announced that he would send his three minor sons to fight against Ukraine. Young Akhmat, Selimkhan and Adam, aged 14-16, are ready to demonstrate their combat skills in a “special military operation,” Kadyrov wrote in a telegram on Monday. And, faced with the difficulties of the Russian military, he demanded the use of “low-yield nuclear weapons” against Ukraine. Kadyrov was highly critical of Colonel General Alexander Lapin and his role in the fight for the recently lost city of Lyman.

Kadyrov is not alone in his criticisms. At the end of September, the Russian nationalist military blog “Rybar” wrote that Ukraine faced the threat of capturing Lyman: “If decisive measures are not taken by the Russian military command within 24 hours, the fate of Balaklia awaits Lyman.”, “Rybar” warned last Friday. As is known, Russia could not capture Lyman. and withdrew its troops from it – according to the official version – in early October.

Kadyrov’s promotion is “particularly significant in light of the recent controversy surrounding Kadyrov and his direct criticism of Alexander Labin, Colonel General of the Central Military District (CMD),” writes the US think tank “Institute for the Study of War” (ISW). ) Putin may have “decided, […] In order to maintain support for Kadyrov and the Chechen armed forces, he pushed back on the Russian Defense Ministry and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, from whom Putin has distanced himself rhetorically.

The ISW analysis suggests that Putin cannot balance the competing demands of Russian nationalists, who have become increasingly belligerent since the mobilization began — despite sharing Putin’s overarching war goals in Ukraine. “Kadyrov’s new position may be a sign that Putin is ready to capitulate to the more aggressive and vocal demands of the siloviki base at the expense of the orthodox military establishment.” The ISW refers to the “Ziloviki” as having a large power base and their own armed forces – that is, apart from Kadyrov, especially the leader of the “Wagner group” Dmitry Valerievich Utkin and his supporters.

Militarily, given the problems faced during his partial mobilization, Putin may try to recruit more pre-trained soldiers from Muslim-dominated Chechnya with Kadyrov’s promotion. Known for his brutal leadership style, Kadyrov has distinguished himself as one of the staunchest supporters of the war since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He also has a long reputation for circumventing Russian laws without consequence. The Chechen leader has been criticized for years by international NGOs for his handling of power marked by severe human rights abuses.

Prior to his appointment as the current colonel general, Kadyrov had already been promoted to general three times, respectively in the Interior, Police and National Guard of Chechnya.

proof’s: DPA, AFP, « Institute for the Study of War» le 4.10.2022, « Institute for the Study of War» le 5.10.22″.