June 29, 2023

Ramzan Kadyrov’s ‘TikTok battalion’ seeks to replace Wagner in Ukraine

Source: Financial Times

Journalist: Courtney Weaver

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.”

Read the full story and more from the Financial Times.

Authors

  • Samuel Bendett

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. His work involves research on the ...