Apti Alaudinov, commander of Kadyrov’s Akhmat battalion, said that his fighters had been deployed to Rostov to stave off the rebellion and came within 500 to 700 metre distance from Wagner fighters.
Alaudinov said many Chechen fighters had not travelled to Rostov as they were “responsible” for holding the front line in Ukraine. He claimed that the Russian ministry of defence specifically requested the Chechen forces “not to engage in any combat because there was a hope to resolve everything peacefully”.
However, some military analysts remain sceptical. “It appears [Kadyrov’s forces] were biding their time to see what happens next,” said Samuel Bendett, adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
“No one really wanted to step in front of Prigozhin’s forces last weekend, except those few aircraft and helicopters that were shot down.”
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