Kadyrov refusing to join in Prigozhin's attacks on Russian defense ministry, ISW says

19 February, 11:56 AM
Ramzan Kadyrov (Photo:REUTERS/Chingis Kondarov/File Photo)

Ramzan Kadyrov (Photo:REUTERS/Chingis Kondarov/File Photo)

Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin’s puppet warlord in the Chechen Republic, has refused to join an information campaign against Russian Defence Ministry led by Wagner mercenary company owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Institutefor the Study of War has said.

Kadyrov believes the campaign wouldn't help Prigozhin regain his former influence on the Russian offensive campaign, ISW, a U.S. think tank, said in its report for Feb. 18.

Instead, Kadyrov has stated that Chechen units will follow the orders of any commanders put in place by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, and that his units have well-established relations with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

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"Kadyrov’s endorsement of the Russian MoD follows Prigozhin’s attempt to court Kadyrov’s support through a publicized visit to a wounded Akhmat Special Forces commander on Feb. 16," the ISW assessment reads.

Prigozhin reportedly said on Feb. 18 that Wagner Group mercenaries are not subordinate to the Ministry of Defense and have "nothing to do with the Russian Army," intensifying his campaign against the Russian MoD.

Prigozhin's and Kadyrov's criticisms of the formal military authorities have been remarkable for several months – Prigozhin endorsed a bout criticism of the Russian military by Kadyrov back in October 2022.

"(But) Kadyrov has likely refused to join Prigozhin’s renewed informational attack against the MoD because his formal ties to the Kremlin and his position in the Russian government are more beneficial than any political relationship with Prigozhin could be," the ISW analysts wrote.

The ISW speculates that Prigozhin is trying to engage ultranationalist figures in the Kremlin, along with Russian military bloggers skeptical of the authorities, in supporting his thirst for power in Russia – but these efforts will very likely affect his patronage in the Kremlin negatively.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu is intensifying the conflict with the Wagner Group mercenaries, deliberately downplaying their efforts and ascribing their "successes" to himself.

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