The Putin ally has criticized a top Russian general for “mediocrity” and said his 14, 15 and 16-year-old sons will go to war.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he will send his three teenage sons to the front lines to fight in the war in Ukraine after admonishing Moscow’s military leaders for a series of defeats on the field. of battle.
Kadyrov, who commands a personal army fighting in Ukraine, earlier demanded that the commander of Russian forces in eastern Ukraine be stripped of his medals and sent to the front lines to fight. He criticized Colonel General Aleksandr Lapin, calling him “mediocre”.
The Chechen leader has increased his virulence towards military commanders since the withdrawal of Russian forces from the key city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine.
On the Telegram messaging app, Kadyrov posted a video of his sons, Akhmat, 16, Eli, 15, and Adam, 14, firing guns. He wrote that they will soon be “in the most difficult sections of the line of contact.”
He said the teens had been trained for combat “almost from their younger years” and insisted he “wasn’t kidding”.
“It’s time to prove yourself in a real fight, I can only welcome this wish,” Kadyrov said.
The video showed the boys in camouflage clothing and dark glasses, in tanks, weapons strapped to their waists, firing rocket launchers and machine guns. Sometimes teens smile while shooting or give a thumbs-up gesture.
Kadyrov has been one of the most outspoken supporters of Russia and its invasion of Ukraine. He also suggested that Russia should consider using a small tactical nuclear weapon.
The Kremlin on Monday rejected his call to use low-yield nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to Kadyrov’s comments by saying: “This is a very emotional moment. The heads of region have the right to express their point of view. Even in difficult times, emotions must be excluded from any evaluation.”
However, Peskov praised the Chechen leader’s “heroic contributions” to the military operation in Ukraine.
“Ramzan, you rock man!”
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group of mercenaries and known as Putin’s chef, congratulated Kadyrov for his comments.
“Ramzan, you rock man!” Prigozhin said in a statement. “All these bastards should be sent barefoot to the front lines with automatic weapons.”
Asked if his words should be seen as criticism of the Defense Ministry, Prigozhin replied: “God forbid.”
“These statements are not criticism, but simply a manifestation of love and support,” said Prigozhin, whose mercenary army has ventured into conflicts in Mali, the Central African Republic, Libya and Syria.
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