Kadyrov’s Main Enemy Is the Russian Military and His Fighters Are Overhyped Trash

Russia is seriously overpaying for these disruptive jokers

Russia is seriously overpaying for these disruptive jokers

Turns out Kadyrov’s shit-slinging and public attacks on the military have not done him any harm. Shortly after scapegoating general Lapin for failures far beyond Lapin’s pay grade, Kadyrov received a promotion to a three-star general from Moscow on his birthday.

Gotta love the whole ‘banana republic’ aspect of Kadyrov receiving a promotion from his personal friend in the Kremlin timed as a birthday gift. The cringe is kept in check only by the fact that Kadyrov’s rank is in the internal troops (police) rather than the military. Kadyrov did serve in, and then rose to command of, his father’s “Kadyrovtsi” turncoat gang that was eventually regularized as the 141st Regiment of the Troops of the Interior (now Rosgvardia).

The newly-promoted Kadyrov then turned to more of what Kadyrov does best: self-promotion. Two days later a giant assembly of local Rosgvardia was held in the Chechen capital so that Kadyrov could once again remind the Kremlin what a great service he is performing by sending these to Ukraine. — Which is only a great service if you forget that these are some of the least quality, least available, and most expensive troops in Russia’s arsenal.

Trash-Quality Troops

Unlike all the rest of the Russian troops, who are in principle not allowed smartphones, the Chechens can’t stop making TikToks of themselves. The videos are hilarious. They are almost always staged, with the Chechens engaging in pretend combat. But even while trying to play-act as soldiers, they still can’t help themselves but produce unintentional comedy by firing machine guns from the hip, firing rifles overhead, and in general spraying unaimed and ineffective fire at phantoms.

That Chechen Rosgvardia doesn’t care an iota for how to soldier isn’t a secret to Russian Rosgvards. Last year there was a big scandal when Russian Rosgvards were sent to an obstacle course in Chechnya to earn their maroon berets that would mark them out as Rosgvardia Spetsnaz only to discover that the Chechens had institutionalized a culture of cheating. The Chechens were getting the berets and the associated perks after failing the obstacles, and after using cars for the hiking portion of the test.

After a mass brawl, the scandal was “resolved” by making the ethnic Russian Rosgvards (who declared they would stop wearing their berets in protest) shut up about it.

Unavailable Troops

Aside from being partial to the “spray & pray” approach to warfare the Chechen TikTok brigades are also highly unavailable. Where numerous Russian troops have by now spent an interrupted 8 months in the theater, the Chechens are doing brief stints of around 2 months before returning home again.

I’ve actually heard the observation that “at least Kadyrov takes care of his troops, unlike the Russian MoD”, but what this actually means is that Chechens are (once again) privileged above the Russian troops. Simply mathematically speaking if the Chechens get to have such short stints then naturally some other troops have to pull double.

This touristic approach to deployments works insanely well for Kadyrov however, since it allows him to make a big show out of sending out the same troops to Ukraine over and over again.

Can’t ever send troops without a giant, self-promoting spectacle first, and notice the hi-tech gear

Expensive Troops

Ironically enough, Chechen police paramilitaries have better gear than Russian regulars. They always have good body armor, and are far more likely to have hi-tech optics on their firearms. Ironically good aiming equipment is being wasted on precisely the troops the least likely to aim.

That’s not all. 70% of Chechnya’s budget is financed by federal subsidies, plus there is an indirect subsidy in that Rosgvardia (before 2016 Ministry of the Interior) salaries a greatly disproportionate number of people in Chechnya. People who like Kadyrov happen to be ex-rebels or their sons.

The truth is that in Chechnya Moscow didn’t stumble into any magic formula on how to defeat an insurgency. Instead what was done was to simply bribe the guerrillas to proclaim they had switched sides. (The US would do the same in Iraq with the abortive Sunni Awakening that was the real reason why “the Surge worked”.)

Lush in subsidies and Rosgvardia salaries for not much work, the Chechens are pacified and “loyal”, but Kadyrov understands very much that in times like these he has to provide some extra value to repay the privileged, subsidized position his powerbase enjoys.

It is for this reason that Chechens, unlike all other troops, can’t stop filming themselves. I keep hearing supposed “experts” falling over themselves in praise of Chechens as supposedly the only ones in the Russian force any good at psy-ops, completely missing the point that Chechen videos have the intended audience of one.

Chechen videos have nothing to do with trying to strike fear into the Ukrainians, and everything to do with trying to promote and enlarge the Chechen role in Russia’s war. Everything from the mass assemblies in Grozny to the cringe spray & pray videos from the front have one purpose, and one purpose only — to signal to Putin “hey look what great value you’re now getting for sending all those tasty Moscow rubles our way for 15 years”.

But the truth is different. The truth is that Russia is spending more on these troops (evident from their equipment and their vacations) than on Russian counterparts while getting poorer fighters in return.

Actually — eager to overdramatize Chechnya’s contribution to the war, but also not desiring to see his Rosgvardia ex-rebel powerbase bleed out in the trenches of Donbass — Kadyrov has made Chechnya into a hub for non-Wagner mercenaries. Often nominal “Chechen” units are full of Dagestanis and Russians on short-term contracts. It’s a clever way of enlarging the Chechen role while actually preserving Chechen blood.

It’s not clear if these mercenaries are salaried through a federal program or locally by Grozny, but it is a moot point, since 70% of Chechnya’s budget rubles come from Moscow anyway.


Chechnya is and always has been a net-negative for Russia. I can’t for the life of me understand why Russia can’t proclaim the region independent and save itself the billions in subsidies.

For these ruble flows Russia gets nominal suzerainty over what is a de facto independent Islamic Emirate complete with its own near-total alcohol ban.

(Ironically Kadyrov, the son of Chechnya’s chief rebel-appointed mufti, is more of an Islamist than Maskhadov whom the Russians deposed had been.)

This nominal suzerainty means that Russia can color in this part of the Caucasus as its territory, but also means that an Islamist hillbilly like Kadyrov has national visibility and even a measure of influence in Moscow.

I say nominal because in fact there is no such thing as Russian patriotism in Chechnya. How it works is that certain clans are loyal to Kadyrov (as long as he is bringing in the bacon) and he in turn is personally loyal to Putin. However, there is no direct Chechen loyalty to Moscow or anything Russian.

Dirty Games

When Kadyrov attempts a hatchet job against a Russian general what you’re seeing isn’t a concerned Russian patriot trying to get the Russian war effort back on track.

What you’re seeing is a guy who provides Putin with some military capacity, trying to blacken his competition. The worse he makes the military out to be, the better his Chechens look by comparison, and the better spent the rubles Moscow spends on Chechnya seem.

Moreover, it’s best to keep in mind that these people hate each other. This is more than an Army vs Marine Corps rivalry. This is more like the rivalry you would have if Iraqi insurgents were integrated into the US National Guard.

Akhmat and then Ramzan Kadyrov were always an FSB project. They had to be an FSB project because the military hated the separatists through and through. The guy the military championed was Said-Magomed Kakiyev. A Chechen who had never been a rebel, but who fought with the Russians in the First Chechen War already.

Actually, Kakiyev and the northern clans were already facing off against Chechen seperatist on their own for two years before Yeltsin ever got involved. The guy is a “sole survivor” type of legend who fought his way out of Grozny in 1994 and lost an eye trying to assassinate the top rebel Dudayev the year before. He is enough of a legend that he has a song by Alexander Buinov (the burly VDV guy).

This is why Kakiyev’s troops sponsored by the military intelligence were regularized as a Russian army outfit, while the FSB-sponsored Kadyrovtsi posed as Troops of the Interior (MVD then Rosgvardia).

Later on, the military sponsored ex-rebels of its own as a counterweight to Kadyrov. They had the Yamadayev clan organize a second Chechen GRU battalion. Once Kadyrov sufficiently entrenched himself, he had the Yamadayevs (aka assets of the military intelligence) exterminated.

Kakiyev — who had already found himself forgotten after the First Chechen War, and knew how forgetful and ungrateful official Moscow could be to its true friends — saw the writing on the wall well ahead of time and wisely retired before it ever came to that.

In fact, During the Georgian War in 2008, the Chechens that you saw participating in the Russian counter-attack were none other than the GRU-sponsored Yamadayevtsi. They were doing exactly what Kadyrov is doing now, but from a much more desperate position.

At the time the sun was already very much setting on the Yamadayevs, but in one last desperate bid for survival they tried to make their participation in the Georgian war as visible as possible, advertising their loyalty and value, trying to win some much-needed protection of Moscow against Kadyrov.

The latter had better sponsors (FSB trumps the military every time) and Yamadayevs were hunted down anyway, and the GRU Special Battalion “Vostok” disbanded.

The same way the main enemy of the Yamadayevs’ at the time was Kadyrov, the main enemy of Kadyrov today is the military.

Advertising Kadyrovtsi’s value isn’t a psy-op against the Ukrainians. It’s a psy-op in the internal struggle for the favor of the Kremlin and the resources of Moscow. — And between two camps who not so long ago were elbow-deep in each other’s blood.


“Vostok”, Georgia, 2008 — the soon-to-be-disbanded non-Kadyrov Chechens
  1. YakovKedmi says

    Kadyrovs are the future of Russia (them and the New-Slavs from Cameroon). These days they shoot Slavs in the back if they try to retreat. They get better food, better clothing, better camping gear (which they don’t need, they sleep in houses), better equipment than any Slav in the Expeditionary Force. They never go near the front-line where there is much shooting, but when the war is over they will be the ones lording over the remnants of Slavs.

    The KGB high-priest of the Church of Muscovy sends the stupid-dumb animals off to war “your sins are forgiven of you join the expeditionary force”, but Moskau is the mosque capital of Pan-Slavia.

    What are we fighting for ?!? to save the Rusins in Carpathia ?
    “I would like to dwell on the destiny of Carpathian Ruthenia” (because their fate is so close to my heart)

    Why is the ministry of investigation spreading the lone truck-driver narrative ?

    There is a clip in which an asshole drives all the way to the scene of the explosion. (how come the bridge wasn’t closed right away ?) It is now broad daylight, at least 8:00; there are still some flames around the railway cars —clearly, none of them exploded (was there any fuel in them ? fuel would expand and blow a gasket); a locomotive can simply tow them off the bridge. By this time more segments of the road, far from the truck, also caved —although the asphalt looks brand-new (at the time of the fire-ball, the segment under the 18-wheeler didn’t cave)

    The clip shows that:
    a) at 8:00 there are no soldiers or security guards protecting the crime scene
    b) at 8:00 there are no investigators on the scene !!

    Nonetheless, at 8:00 the ghost of lone truck-driver already visited Espresso TV. Why ? Was is a failed NATO operation, or a successful Mother Russia operation ?

    1. YakovKedmi says

      In August Dugina was blown to pieces. The reasonable conclusion was that the Russian Cheka did it because they expected to put the incident to good use. It didn’t work, no one cares about Dugina. Five days ago, out-of-the-blue, the U.S. government announced to the world that it was the Ukrainian Cheka that blew Dugina to kingdom-come. Why ?

      we’ll not let you down
      “Мы берём с вас пример, работаем с вами в унисон, мы вас не подведём.”

      1. Arraya says

        “In 2011, the party youth under the leadership of Dugin staged the occult mystery play Finis Mundi (The End of the World) at the ESM’s summer camp. Darya [Dugina], by the way, played the role of a sacrificial victim who voluntarily self-immolates in order to save Russia. As the girl is burning, a man’s voice proclaims, “Cross yourself with fire, Rus! Burn up in the fire and save your diamond from the black furnace!” The extravaganza’s director described the concept of the production as follows: “We have to bring the end of the world closer. Antonin Artaud said there is only one means of curing the world’s disease—burning the world, which I illustrated in the play’s final scene, in which the burning of the universe takes place.” In the finale, Dugin came on stage and said, “We have lived three days of our life towards death. I don’t think that the scenes you have staged need to be deciphered. The hermeneutics of the world’s end is the task that faces you in the future.”

  2. Blackledge says

    Excellent essay. Taken with YakovKedmi’s points addendum, I am stunned to learn that things inside Russia are so much worse than I ever knew or suspected. Facts that Dmitry Orlov conveniently omits.

  3. Bankotsu says

    There is value in the Chechens. The chechens are respected fighters in Islamic world and when muslims see chechens on the battlefield, they are going to support them, which means they support Russia. There are no muslim countries opposing Russia in this war and a lot of them are siding with Russia as seen in the OPEC+ deal.

    These chechens carry weight in Islamic propaganda war with the West.

    1. YakovKedmi says

      Are you the same “Bankotsu” whose favourite book is:

      1. Bankotsu says

        How many Bankotsus can there be on internet that want to destroy U. S. global hegemony? There is only the same one guy. lol, that book is not my favourite book, but I quote it to talk about WWII UK agenda. I also comment on RT website as well under the usual name.

        1. YakovKedmi says

          I uploaded that text in 2004. Since then you’ve keept in touch, and we “meet” occasionally.

          1. Bankotsu says

            Wow, 18 years. Time flies man. Thank you for uploading that text. Carroll Quigley is one of the rare few historians writing in english that actually tells the truth about UK agenda in directing Hitler eastwards to destroy Soviet Union. This piece of historical fact is totally suppressed in anglo histories. Get any account on RT website, I comment there regularly.

  4. RegretLeft says

    “Chechens are massing for the great battle against Dajjal” – hmmm… I think someone got their film-making degree from the Leni Riefenstahl School of Cinematography! Soundtrack is updated – otherwise, directly from the master.

  5. Traveller says

    They have trashed ukronazi scum and NATO mercs in Mariupol superbly. So, as bad as they may be, they are way, way superior to western spec ops operators. Who than must be absolutely useless trash, if Chechens are as bad as you claim.

  6. Gregory Puecell says

    You are such a doomer playing up Kadyrov’s and Chechnya’s role is great for Russian relations with the Islamic world, that is why they are doing it.

    1. Gregory Puecell says

      The very heart of diplomacy is trying to turn enemies into friends, I think the Kremlin might have succeeded in this with Chechnya.

  7. aa3 says

    I noticed when Ukraine has been taking city after city, the Chechens are as usual nowhere to be found. And not responding to calls for backup from Russian soldiers on the frontlines.

    We finally found where the Chechens are.. they had ran back to Chechnya.. again.

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