Putin stalwart Kadyrov criticizes Russian army’s performance in Ukraine withdrawal | Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-appointed leader of Chechnya, criticized the leadership of the Russian military after it appeared to be caught off guard by Ukraine’s response to the Russian invasion in the northeast.
In a sign that the Kremlin could face serious fallout over the loss of territory that Russian occupation administrations have repeatedly said they plan to keep “forever”, Kadyrov also suggested that Vladimir Putin may not not be aware of the real situation.
“They made mistakes and I think they will draw the necessary conclusions,” Kadyrov said in an audio message posted to his Telegram channel on Sunday.
“If today or tomorrow no change in strategy is made, I will be forced to speak with the leaders of the Ministry of Defense and the leaders of the country to explain to them the real situation on the ground. It is a very It’s astounding, I would say,” said Kadyrov, a former rebel-turned-Kremlin ally who rules Chechnya — a Russian republic in the Caucasus — with an iron fist and has a paramilitary force at his command.
Since the invasion in February, the Kremlin has focused on silencing liberal voices critical of the war, but as things turn sour on the battlefield, Putin struggles to know what to do with the old pom- cheerleaders who want Russia to commit more forces to the war to turn the tide.
Many units from Chechnya took part in the Russian war effort, and although Kadyrov is apparently hyper-loyal to Moscow, he is one of the few Russian political figures whose messages the Kremlin does not entirely control.
All eyes will be on how Putin responds to the retreat. He has previously glossed over claims he made a terrible miscalculation in February when he thought the Russian army could invade Ukraine within days. In a recent appearance, he said Russia had “lost nothing” in the war, but the heavy losses in recent days might be a harder sell to the Russian people.
On Saturday, as dire news from the front spread, Putin was busy opening a huge observation wheel in a Moscow park as part of Moscow Day celebrations. Military bloggers heavily criticized him for organizing the celebrations.