Putin ally repeats call for Russia to use more brutal tactics in Ukraine, admits some of his own troops were killed

·2 min read
A head and shoulders shot of Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Chechen Republic, in a baseball cap on February 25, 2022.
Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov speaks during a review of the Chechen Republic's troops, February 25, 2022.Yelena Afonina/TASS via Getty Images
  • Ramzan Kadyrov, a top Putin ally, expressed more irritation at the slow Russian advance in Ukraine.

  • He also admitted two troop deaths and six injuries among his own Chechen forces.

  • It heaps on pressure for Putin to attempt an even more brutal attack on Ukraine.

A top Putin ally admitted troop losses and called for a change in tactics in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has progressed more slowly than expected.

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia's Chechen Republic and a staunch supporter of President Vladimir Putin, said in a Telegram post early Tuesday that two of his Chechen fighters had been killed and six were injured.

Other reports suggest far bigger losses among Kadyrov's forces. The Kyiv Independent, citing the Ukrainian side, reported that a whole column of Chechen armor had been destroyed.

Christo Groze, the executive director of the investigative collective Bellingcat, posted video of burned-out vehicles apparently belonging to the Chechens, which he said were destroyed in a drone attack with many casualties.

Kadyrov's post was ostensibly addressed to Ukrainians, calling on them to fight for Russia against what he called a "tactic of imaginary integration with the West" — a likely reference to the overtures President Volodymyr Zelensky has made towards joining the Ukraine to the EU.

But it also held a message seemingly aimed at Putin, advocating a new strategy in Russia's advance.

"I believe that a new order is needed, without further ado," he wrote.

"It is necessary to move on to large-scale measures to destroy the Nazis and terrorists, to liberate the cities," he continued, echoing the inaccurate Russian characterization of its invasion as a liberation from Nazis.

His posting about deaths, however few, is a notable admission for the authoritarian leader. His forces have been deployed in many of Putin's special operations and have built a fearsome reputation that observers say is often used as propaganda, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

On Tuesday, NBC News reported that US intelligence indicates Putin is furious at the slow progress of his attack, which met unexpectedly strong Ukrainian resistance.

"Logistical failures and staunch Ukrainian resistance continues to frustrate the Russian advance," was the assessment of the UK Ministry of Defence on Monday.

Kadyrov also expressed frustration with the situation on Telegram on Monday, when he claimed Russian forces were merely "fiddling" with Ukraine, and chillingly called for a "decisive assault."

The reports of Putin's frustration have led to speculation that he may launch an even more brutal attack — which has already sparked a call for an ICC investigation into war crimes.

As of Tuesday, satellite images revealed a 40-mile column of Russian vehicles advancing towards Kyiv.

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