Brutal blow for Putin as Chechens ‘fleeing country’ to avoid war call-up

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has long urged Moscow to invade Ukraine and to “liberate” its people. Since the launch of the “special military operation”, he has urged Moscow to go further and to hold no bars.

He has even criticised the Kremlin when it has voiced possible routes out of the war in talks, insisting: “We’re not going to make any concessions.”

But reports suggest his own men are now leaving for elsewhere to save themselves from falling in the battlefield and leaving their families without a father, husband and son.

Residents of the republic, which is located to the south of Russia, told the Telegraph an increasing number of people are turning against the war.

The main driver for this appears to be the growing number of funerals for local fighters.

One woman in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, told of the upset one funeral of four fighters had caused.

She said: “They were from the Kadyrov regiment, who fought in Ukraine.

“I am very upset because I knew them.”

Another said her son had returned from Ukraine alive but badly injured.

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Ukrainian officials said earlier this month that Russian efforts had entered a new, more aggressive phase.

It is reported that at the beginning of the war, Chechen squads were recruited for failed attempts to assassinate key Ukrainian leaders.

They are also understood to have taken part in the battle for Mariupol, the strategically important port city in southeast Ukraine.

Analysts have argued that Kadyrov’s reputation could now hang on whether Russia is successful in its efforts in Ukraine.

Emil Solomon Aslan from the Institute of Political Studies at Charles University in Prague told the Guardian in March: “Kadyrov seems to have been shocked by the scope of Ukrainian resistance, and it seems that dozens if not hundreds of his people have been killed. He has a lot of people, around 12,000, but to stay in power he needs those fighters.

“If they suffer too much serious damage in Ukraine, this could backfire for Kadyrov. This might explain some of the rumours he rolled back some of his forces. He wants to show himself as a tough leader of these tough fighters who are willing to self-sacrifice. But I’m not really sure if they are willing to give up their lives.”

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