Russia Sends Chechen Soldiers to the Ukrainian Border to Confront Sabotage Groups
Russian President Vladimir Putin with Ramzan Kadyrov. (Wikimedia Commons / bagel

JAKARTA - Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Thursday his troops had been deployed in Russia's Belgorod region bordering Ukraine to deter attacks from "Ukrainian sabotage groups.

Kadyrov, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who heads Russia's Chechnya region, said fighters from the "Zapad-Akhmat" battalion had been deployed near the border village of Nekhoteevka and a checkpoint in Graivoron district, where the cross-border raid was in May.

"Residents of territories adjacent to the border with Ukraine can rest easy... Anyone who violates our borders will receive a lightning response," Kadyrov said in a post on the messaging app Telegram.

The Belgorod region has in the past month reported a series of cross-border attacks by pro-Ukrainian Russian partisan groups who call themselves opponents of President Putin.

Ukraine denies any involvement in the cross-border attacks, seeing them as a direct consequence of Russia's invasion in February 2022.

As previously reported, Chechen fighters from the special forces group AKhmat Battalion signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry, along with an announcement issued by the ministry for all 'volunteer units' fighting in Ukraine.

In contrast to Kadyrov and the Chechen army, another ally of President Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner Group mercenaries refused to sign the contract, amid criticism and differences between the two sides.

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