The Dudayev battalion has been in the country since the annexation of Crimea. Viewed with disdain by the population, they continue to fight, emphasizing that the struggle in Ukraine and Chechnya “are part of the same whole.”
“We don’t want to know what they think of us; We’ll do what we have to do.”. The phrase of Tor (code name), a Chechen soldier, reveals much of the mentality of a battalion fighting against the current: against the country itself, an ally of Moscow, and on the Ukrainian side of the war.
The Dzokhar Dudayev battalion, named after the first president of independent post-Soviet Chechnya, is one of those fighting alongside kyiv’s forces. Not for now: the unit sided with the Ukrainians in 2014, during the Russian annexation of Crimea. According to Tor, the battalion was created as a “peacekeeping unit,” which, these days, means fighting the Russians.
We are fighting for a free future for ourselves and for Ukraine, and for the younger generation. For us they are more important than the old Soviet generation. We cannot take into account the views of the victims of Russian propaganda, we cannot worry about that,” the Chechen soldier told The Guardian.
The members of this unit are less famous than the other contingent fighting in the Ukraine: the unit kadyrovsty, named after Ramzan Kadyrov, the pro-Russian Chechen leader and fond of Vladimir Putin. Kadyrov’s soldiers are known for their barbarism on the ground, with numerous reports of their involvement in the genocide of civilians during the occupation of Bucha and other territories around kyiv during the first months of the war.
This article is exclusive to our subscribers: subscribe now and benefit from unlimited reading and other benefits. If you are already a subscriber, log in here. If you think this message is an error, please contact our customer service.