Conflicts & War

Chechen fighters deployed in Russia’s border region of Belgorod

Moscow, Jun 16 (EFE).- Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov has ordered his troops to protect Russia’s border region of Belgorod, which has been facing Ukrainian strikes and has witnessed at least two armed incursions by anti-Kremlin Russian partisan groups over the past month.

Kadyrov announced on his Telegram channel that fighters from the Zapad-Akhmat battalion had been deployed this week to defend the Russian border province and fight against “Ukrainian sabotage groups” to prevent their incursions into Belgorod.

He added that two of his aides, lawmaker (Russian lower house) Adam Delimkhanov – who had been considered dead or injured in Ukraine last week – and the interior ministry chief of a Chechen district, Rustam Aguev, were already in Belgorod to organize the Chechen defense unit.

Kadyrov said that the Akhmat fighters were strengthening the check-post in Nekhoteevka and had taken control of the border crossing of Kazinka, which was recently attacked by Russian partisans.

He claimed that the border was now closed for “bandits,” referring to the saboteurs.

However, Belgorod’s local media outlet Pepel said that the Akhmat regiment’s volunteers did not form part of the frontline, but were rather deployed in the 3rd-5th line of defenses.

Independent media outlet Meduza, which has been declared an “undesirable” organization in Russia, claimed that new Russian recruits formed the first two lines of defense close to the border.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged in a meeting with journalists and military bloggers that volunteers had been involved in fighting in the Belgorod region, triggering criticism from many citizens who have asked how the border’s defense could be left to young, unexperienced recruits.

On the same day, Delimkhanov met Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, defense ministry officials and the leadership of the regional unit of the Russian National Guard to discuss the protection of the border, on Kadyrov’s orders.

Kadyrov claimed that now the residents living close to the Ukraine border could rest assured about their protection, as the Chechen and other units would offer a prompt response to any invasion. EFE


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