Chechen warlord desperate to keep fighting in Ukraine as he fears losing political grip

Khabib Nurmagomedov meets Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov

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But a political and security analyst has said that Kadyrov’s own “reputational bubble has burst”, noting how much of a “gamble” the war in Ukraine has been. Kadyrov, an ally of Vladimir Putin, said he did not think the peace talks, currently taking place in Turkey, would result in any progress. The warlord himself – accused of multiple human rights abuses and known for his brutal grip on Chechnya – has a lot to lose if Russia loses the war.

According to political and security analyst Harold Chambers, Kadyrov’s support for the invasion is a “gamble” as his support in the Kremlin “does not reach much further than the president’s office.”

This is because, throughout Kadyrov’s rule, he has been seen “clashing with security services and even flouting federal policies”.

According to Mr Chambers, Kadyrov’s rule in Chechen “is characterised by brutal, indiscriminate violence”, including a “campaign to purge the republic of its LGBTQ community” and “mass kidnappings of critics’ relatives”.

But he warned that Kadyrov’s “reputational bubble has burst”, saying: “Almost everyone, except the Chechen propaganda circus, has noted that his army has not engaged in fighting, but has still sustained significant casualties.

“This is likely to embolden his opponents among the Russian political elite, who may fear him a little less, making increased confrontation possible.”

Writing in UnHerd magazine, Mr Chambers concluded: “When the dust finally settles, Kadyrov may not be standing where he thought he was.”

Speaking in a voice note on Telegram on Tuesday, Kadyrov said he believes Russia should “end what has been started” in Ukraine.

He said: “I am thinking about the negotiations, which are taking place in Turkey.

“My deep conviction is that the negotiations will prove to be pointless.

“I believe we must end what has been started, to destroy the Banderites and the Nazis and the devils.

“Only then we need to make a decision about what to do next.”

The Banderites were a group of right-wing nationalists formed during World War II.

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The term is now often used to refer to Ukrainian nationalists.

Kadyrov also repeated Putin’s claim that the purpose of his invasion was the “denazification” of Ukraine – a claim that is widely regarded as being baseless.

Peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv have been described as “constructive” by chief Russian negotiator Vladimir Medisnky.

However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US has not seen any evidence that peace talks between Ukraine and Russia were advancing in a “constructive way”.

He added: “There is what Russia says and there is what Russia does, and we’re focused on the latter.

“And what Russia is doing is the continued brutalisation of Ukraine.”

This came after Russian deputy defence minister Alexander Fomin said Moscow has decided to “fundamentally cut back” operations near Kyiv and Chernihiv in order to “increase mutual trust” at the talks.

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