Russia is accused of kidnapping Chechens to fuel the war in Ukraine

According to several human rights organizations, citizens of the Russian Republic of Chechnya report that they are being kidnapped against their will and forced to fight as “volunteers” in the Russian war in Ukraine.

Hundreds of Chechens are being arrested for “mass kidnappings,” reported 1Adat, a human rights group campaigning against corruption in Chechnya and Russian propaganda.

“The abductees have to sign a paper stating that they are volunteers to be posted to Ukraine, otherwise they are threatened with fabricating criminal proceedings,” 1Adat said in a statement. “Anyone who goes to Ukraine like this will be used on the front lines like cannon fodder.”

Vayfond, another human rights organization, said earlier this month that it had received “dozens” of messages from people in Chechnya that they were being forced to prepare for a trip to Ukraine, even though they weren’t law enforcement officials or the military either .

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most aggressive supporters during the war in Ukraine, has also suggested citizens who volunteer to fight in Ukraine could receive 300,000 rubles.

The reported violent recruitment of fighters in Chechnya is just the latest indication that Russian forces in Ukraine are faltering. According to Ukrainian military counts, they lost tens of thousands of soldiers in the three months of the war, so they had to abandon some ambitious goals in the war and regroup to focus their attack on eastern Ukraine.

In view of the losses, US intelligence estimates that Moscow has been working for months to rely on other sources of personnel and mercenaries, such as the Russian Wagner Group.

Recently, Russian forces have “found it difficult” to wage the war in Ukraine, Kadyrov noted in a speech in Moscow last week.

Kadyrov has previously claimed he is working in Ukraine to help with the war effort. And although the Kremlin has dismissed Kadyrov’s claims – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had “no knowledge” that Kadyrov was in Ukraine – according to several intelligence services, Chechen fighters are in fact based in Ukraine.

Corresponding British Secret Servicethe Russian government has already relied on Chechen fighters in its attack on Mariupol. After encountering fierce resistance from Ukrainians, Russian forces suffered significant losses in manpower and had to be supplemented with alternative fighters, according to an intelligence assessment by the UK Ministry of Defense earlier this month.

“The so-called “Kadyrovites” began to penetrate the territory of Ukraine in the first days of the large-scale military invasion of Russia.”

“Heavy Ukrainian resistance delayed Russia’s ability to take full control of the city,” the UK MoD said. “In an attempt to overcome Ukrainian resistance, Russia deployed significant auxiliaries. This includes a deployment of Chechen forces, likely to consist of several thousand fighters, mainly concentrated in the Mariupol and Luhansk sectors.”

Those forces likely included individual volunteers and National Guard units, according to British intelligence. Kadyrov and his cousin Adam Delimkhanov had the stakes firmly in hand.

“The combat deployment of such diverse personnel demonstrates Russia’s significant resource problems in Ukraine and likely contributes to a divided command that continues to impede Russia’s operations,” the defense ministry added.

Ukrainian intelligence has also accused Chechnya of recruiting fighters for the war in Ukraine, mainly for Mariupol and Luhansk. The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine shared a list of names of 2,425 Chechen fighters allegedly involved in the fighting earlier this month.

“The so-called ‘Kadyrovites’ began entering the territory of Ukraine in the first days of the large-scale military invasion of Russia,” the intelligence service said. Russia is accused of kidnapping Chechens to fuel the war in Ukraine


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