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Daily Express

Putin faces army mutiny as Russian soldiers turn guns on Chechens – morale in tatters

 30th April 2022

Furthermore, Russian officers are alleged to have gone on strike and are refusing to carry out orders in protest at their conditions and the war. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is a close ally of the Russian despot and has been a strong supporter of Putin’s war in Ukraine. He has sent his militias, known as the “Kadyrovtsy”, to help bolster Russian forces in their invasion.

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The Kadyrovites have a fearsome reputation and, in the past, have faced repeated allegations of abusing human rights.

Part of their role is to prevent Russian soldiers from fleeing battle by threatening to shoot them if they try to desert.

However, this has enraged Russian soldiers who have now taken matters into their own hands and decided to turn the tables on their Chechen oppressors.

Victor Kovalenko, a former Ukrainian army veteran, said Buriat soldiers in the Russian army had turned their guns on Kadyrov’s militias.

He tweeted: “In the occupied Kiselivka village (near the famous Chornobaivka Russian arms storage) in Kherson province, about 50 Russian soldiers of Buriat nationality opened fire at night at fellow Kadyrovites Chechens.

“There are dead & wounded. Source: Intelligence Dept of Ukraine MoD.

“Allegedly, the Buriat soldiers of the Russian military were angry and frustrated that Kadyrovites Chechens didn’t fight along with them, but threatened to kill Buriats in case they retreat from the battlefield.

“Moreover, the Buryat of the Russian military soldiers fired at fellow Kadyrovites because they appropriate most of the stuff Buryat soldiers robbed from the locals and stole from abandoned houses of Ukrainians.”

Kadyrov boasted that tens of thousands of Chechens were ready to volunteer for the war in Ukraine, after hostilities commenced.

The Russian state TV channel RT also claimed that 12,000 Chechens were on their way to fight.

However, experts have been unable to verify the actual number of Kadyrovites deployed in Ukraine, nor in which fields they are operating.

Russian political expert Alexei Malashenko told AFP: “Nobody knows exactly how many Chechens are fighting in Ukraine or where exactly they are deployed.”

Harold Chambers, a North Caucasus analyst, said the Chechens’ role was largely for propaganda purposes – to strike fear into Ukrainians and undermine morale.

He told Al Jazeera: “The Kadyrovtsy in Ukraine have been given conventional objectives (ie, neutralising Ukrainian leadership, counterinsurgency, stopping desertion), while playing a crucial part in Putin’s initial psychological warfare campaign.”

Further signs that Russian military morale is sinking to new lows emerged in the course of last week.

Andrey Shipilov, a Russian military analyst, claimed that middle ranking officers had decided to go on strike and were refusing to carry out orders.

In a post to his Telegram channel, he wrote: “In the Russian army (in any case, in those parts that are on the territory of Russia), a mass strike of the middle command level began. And above all – staff.

“All work is sabotaged, all orders from superiors are put on brakes.”

Russia claimed that parts of an oil terminal and adjacent territory in the Bryansk region came under artillery fire on Saturday.

Alexander Bogomaz, the region’s governor, told the Russian media outlet RIA that there were no “victims”.

The city of Bryansk is located less than 100 miles from the border with Ukraine.

Last week, large fires broke out at two oil depots in the city. Military analyst Rob Lee said that the fire was “probably” a result of Ukrainian sabotage.

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