This Chechen devil wears Prada — and has reportedly been promoted to lieutenant general in the Russian military amid his efforts to help strongman Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Chechen Republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov, 45, a notorious warlord and Russian army member accused of multiple human rights abuses, was elevated in rank by the Kremlin and traveled to the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol to boost troops’ morale, according to the Times of London, which cited Russian state media.
“Friends, the city of Mariupol daily receives liberators represented by the Russian armed forces. Today, I decided to pay an unexpected visit there together with my dear nephews,” Kadyrov said Monday on Telegram, where he cited a group of Chechen officials with him, the Washington Examiner reported.
“At the moment, most of the city is under the control of the Russian armed forces,” added Kadyrov, who recently taunted Elon Musk over the Tesla founder’s tongue-in-cheek suggestion to engage in “single combat” with Putin.
Shortly after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine last month, Kadyrov delivered a speech in which he mocked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and demanded that the leader beg for Putin’s forgiveness, the outlet reported.
It reportedly emerged later that Kadyrov had worn a pair of $1,500 Prada boots while delivering his address.
The Russian media’s report on Kadyrov’s military promotion included a video showing the longtime Putin crony reputedly shaking hands with Kremlin Lt. Gen. Andrey Mordvichev. Ukrainian officials have claimed March 23 that Mordichev was killed in Ukraine’s port city of Kherson.
Kadyrov is notorious for torturing his critics in Chechnya, a Muslim, Russia-controlled republic into which Putin has poured billions of rubles in exchange for his fierce loyalty, according to the Times of London.
Chechen official Ruslan Geremeyev, a suspect in the 2015 assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, also was reported to be taking part in the offensive against Mariupol.
“My dear brother Ruslan Geremeyev always completes tasks entrusted to him,” Kadyrov said, according to the Mirror. “He was assigned the most difficult sector in Mariupol. And the commander completed the mission with flying colors.
“This time, too, he lived up to his name of an experienced and fearless commander,” he added.
On Monday, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said Russian forces are in control of large swaths of the southern port city on the coast of the Sea of Azov after weeks of siege and bombardment.
“Not everything is in our power,” Boichenko told CNN. “Unfortunately, we are in the hands of the occupiers today.”