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6 Apr, 2024 09:56

Thousands of ex-Wagner fighters to join Chechen unit – Kadyrov

The regional head has hailed the addition as a boost to Russia’s defense capabilities
Thousands of ex-Wagner fighters to join Chechen unit – Kadyrov

The Akhmat special forces unit from the Chechen Republic will absorb 3,000 ex-Wagner PMC fighters, the regional head, Ramzan Kadyrov, has announced.

A renowned Wagner commander with the call sign Ratibor will also join the elite Chechen unit.

After now-deceased Wagner chief Evgeny Prigozhin’s failed mutiny attempt in June 2023, the Russian authorities gave the group’s members the choice of either signing contracts with the Defense Ministry or moving to Belarus.

In a post on his Telegram channel on Friday, Kadyrov wrote that Russia’s Defense Ministry had already allocated the necessary number of vacancies to accommodate the newcomers in Akhmat. He added that other arrangements and formalities “will be sorted out in the near future,” and the ex-Wagner fighters will soon see action.

The Chechen leader hailed the fighters as experienced and “very effective warriors,” who have proven their mettle in Ukraine. He described the incorporation of such troops into Akhmat as a “strategically important step toward beefing up the country’s defense capabilities.”

“We are united by a single purpose – to defend the motherland and its interests. I am convinced that this decision will very soon have a considerable impact on the way the special military operation progresses,” Kadyrov concluded.

In February, the commander of Akhmat, Apty Alaudinov, told the Russian media that there were three separate units composed of former Wagner PMC fighters in his detachment.

Akhmat is a part of the Russian National Guard, which is an internal military force that reports directly to the president and the head of the National Security Council.

The Wagner Group played a key role in seizing the city of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) in Donbass last May.