Chechen warlord incorporates 3000 former Wagner mercenaries into his forces: ‘Fulfilling the state’s mission’

A Chechen warlord has added 3,000 to his growing forces, giving him control over a sizable force inside the Russian army. “One of the Wagner commanders with the call sign Ratibor will join the legendary Akhmat special forces,” Chechen commander Ramzan Kadyrov said. “With him, 3,000 former fighters of the Wagner PMC [private military company] will join the special forces.”The Chechen commander, Maj. Gen. Apti Alaudinov, said the former mercenaries joining Ratibor will have previously served him . Ratibor hailed the Chechen forces, insisting that the former Wagner troops “can once again prove our efficiency and that we are fulfilling the task of the state,” according to East2West.Kadyrov, the 47-year-old head of the Chechen Republic since 2007, proudly touted the “great news” that the much-feared mercenaries would bolster his army. While not giving clear indication as to how involved the Chechen military could be in the coming months, he said they could have a “significant impact” in Ukraine. Some have speculated that Kadyrov is keeping the force at the ready to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin against another potential coup – the first of which, ironically, Wagner had carried out under its founder and leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, which led to the force’s dissolution. Prigozhin, killing him and some fellow passengers, along with both pilots. Another theory suggested that Kadyrov may be waiting in case Putin should die, leaving to establish its independence and shore up power in the scramble to fill the vacuum Putin’s death would leave. Kadyrov has proudly tried to integrate Wagner to his forces since the group’s dissolution, bringing in a large contingent of the mercenaries to train his Akhmat Special Forces, . “I am glad that today the ranks of the famous (Akhmat) unit have been joined by fighters who have excellent combat experience and have proven themselves as brave and efficient warriors,” Kadyrov wrote in a message on Telegram posted in Nov. 2023. “I am confident that in the upcoming battles they will fully live up to their reputation.”The new additions help to strengthen what some consider Kadyrov’s “personal army” on the Russian federal dime, according to Kavkaz Realii, an independent media outlet that is part of . Kadyrov’s approach to governance relies on highly repressive measures, including a ban on all music outside 80 to 116 beats per minute – a measure seen as generally helping to ban Western music and helping to align with the “Chechen mentality and musical rhythm” to help preserve “the future” of the Chechen people, . “(I) have announced the final decision, agreed with the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Akhmatovich Kadyrov, that from now on all musical, vocal and choreographic works must correspond to a tempo of 80 to 116 beats per minute,” Chechen culture minister Musa Dadayev said, according to the Russian state new agency TASS.United Nations human rights experts in 2017 also urged authorities to investigate allegations that gay men in the almost entirely Muslim republic were targeted, detained, tortured and murdered for their sexuality. Reuters contributed to this report.