Ramzan kadyrov

Ukrainians fear Chechen fighters. Russian soldiers hate them

Residents fleeing the Kiev suburb of Bucha reported Chechens machine-gunning cars, even those with the word ‘children’ written in their windscreens. The arrival of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, who claims to lead a force of 10,000 of his countrymen, will have unnerved Ukrainian volunteers defending their city. When the Chechens intervened in eastern Ukraine in 2014, they gained a reputation for undue cruelty. ‘There were stories of Kadyrov’s guys castrating prisoners of war,’ one woman with family still living in the Donbas told me.  Ukrainian fighters won’t be the only ones feeling nervous. Russia’s military has had an acrimonious relationship with the Chechen leader stretching back nearly two decades. I