Chechen leader Kadyrov believes that Russian forces can now capture many key Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa if ordered.
“We have enough forces to go to Kyiv and take the city. All units of the Ministry of Defense, National Guard, and police, even those not part of the ministry, are ready to receive orders from the Supreme general commander. The president will decide,” Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said in an interview broadcast on Russian state television channel Rossiya-1 today.
Kadyrov said that withdrawing troops from Ukraine’s Kyiv and Chernihiv provinces in early April 2022 was a tactical move aimed at “implementing necessary military policies.” At that time, the Russian Ministry of Defense described the withdrawal as a redeployment of forces, focusing on the Donbas front.
Leader Kadyrov speaks at a military parade in Grozny, Chechnya, February 2022. Photo: AP.
The Chechen leader said that “Kharkiv and Odesa must be taken” to ensure national security, referring to two important cities in northeastern and southern Ukraine, emphasizing that Russia has not used its full strength and declared ” the missions of the special military operation will be 100% completed this year.”
Kadyrov said it was “wrong” to negotiate with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky unless he was given “direct one-on-one dialogue” with the Ukrainian leader.
Ukrainian officials have not commented on the report.
Ukrainian officials have previously said that Russia has begun to escalate hostilities and increase the frequency of attacks in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, warning of the possibility of Moscow launching a major offensive to mark a year of military operations. The Russian military is stepping up its campaign to control the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, as well as launching several attacks on cities such as Ugledar.
The West and Ukraine assess that Russia can launch a large-scale offensive campaign to reverse the situation after suffering many setbacks.
They assessed that Russia was difficult to launch an offensive operation against Kyiv, like in February 2022, but it is capable of regaining the areas that Ukraine re-controlled in the counterattack last year, as well as finding a way to control the entire Donbas region.
Kadyrov is the son of Akhmad Kadyrov, who served as the president of Chechnya before being assassinated in a bombing in May 2004. In February 2007, he was appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to lead the republic of Chechnya.