ISW: Chechnya’s Kadyrov reluctant to send his troops to Ukraine for offensive

    WORLD  01 June 2023 - 12:54

    The Russian military command has likely ordered Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov’s forces to begin offensive operations in Ukraine following the withdrawal of Wagner Group forces from Bakhmut.

    On May 31, Kadyrov claimed that Chechen forces received a new order and assumed responsibility over the Donetsk Oblast frontline, Caliber.Az reports citing a new report by the US think tank "Institute for the Study of War" (ISW).

    He also said that Chechen units need to start “active combat activities” and “liberate a series of settlements. ”Chechen “Akhmat” Special Forces (Spetsnaz) and the “Sever-Akhmat” Special Purpose Regiment transferred to the Marinka direction southwest of Donetsk City.”

    The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) also claimed that assault detachments of the 5th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st Army Corps and Akhmat Spetsnaz conducted offensive operations in the Marinka direction.

    Kadyrov noted that the Russian military command ordered Russian, Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard), and Chechen Akhmat forces to begin offensive actions along the frontline in Zaporizhia and Kherson oblasts as well.

    Kadyrov claimed that these units have already begun tactical preparations for these offensive actions and claimed that “Akhmat” units’ offensive operations began before Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive.
    ISW experts said they had observed no indications of Chechen offensive operations in Zaporizhia or Kherson as of this writing.

    Chechen forces have been largely operating in the rear after participating in the battles for Mariupol, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk - with the exception of some offensive activities around Bilohorivka, and Luhansk Oblast.
    ISW also observed Kadyrov’s forces operating as a police force in the rear in southern Ukraine and performing localized reconnaissance-in-force operations in Zaporizhia Oblast.

    Kadyrov also claimed that 3,300 personnel of the “Sever-Akhmat” Regiment were in Chechnya as of May 8, and ISW assessed that Kadyrov may have been conserving his forces instead of sending them to the frontlines.

    Chechen units’ limited participation on the frontlines alongside Kadyrov’s heavy emphasis on recruitment may suggest that Kadyrov is hesitant to commit his forces to grinding offensive operations in Ukraine despite his ultranationalist narratives.

    Key takeaways of the think tank analysts:

    • The Russian military command has likely ordered Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov’s forces to begin offensive operations in Ukraine following the withdrawal of Wagner Group forces from Bakhmut.
    • The claimed return of Chechen forces to offensive operations would break Kadyrovites from a nearly yearlong hiatus from participating in high-intensity combat operations.
    • The Kremlin may be attempting to reintroduce Kadyrovites as the main offensive force following the culmination of Wagner forces and their withdrawal from the frontlines.
    • The Kremlin may also be attempting to sever Kadyrov’s relationship with Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin and re-emphasize federal authority over Chechen forces.
    • The official Russian responses to recent attacks against Russia remain likely insufficient to satisfy the Russian ultranationalist information space’s desire for escalation in the war.
    • Russian forces conducted ground attacks northwest of Svatove and south of Kreminna.
    • Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
    • Russian forces continue to concentrate in southern Ukraine.
    • The Russian State Duma appears to be considering measures to legalize the military recruitment of current or formerly incarcerated Russian men.
    • Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lyubinets announced that Ukraine has a new avenue to repatriate Ukrainian children abducted to Russia.

    Caliber.Az

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