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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: October 9, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Kadyrov Brags About Operations Outside Chechnya; Dagestani Fighters Returning from Syria Suspected in Killing of 5 - Jamestown
6 years
Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Banned from Travel; Bailiffs to Seize His Property Monday

As we reported when Russia launched its offensive in Syria, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said he was ready to send his troops into battle.


Jamestown's North Caucasus Weekly now reports that Kadyrov has held several exercises recently to demonstrate his willingness to be involved in the Syria operation.

While waiting to see whether Chechen special forces would be sent to Syria, Kadyrov held military exercises to show the military preparedness of his forces. On September 30, he looked in on his “Flying Squad” special forces unit, with his aide on cooperation with law enforcement agencies, Daniil Martynov, saying that “just in the past two weeks, the troops have made over forty parachute jumps. The troops acquired the experience of landing on mountain slopes, in the forest, and in deep snow. All officers have acquired the skills of carrying out special operations under a variety of conditions” (Lifenews.ru, September 30).

Two days later, on October 2, large-scale counterterrorist exercises were conducted in the village of Chervlyonnaya, in Chechnya’s Shelkovskoi district, with the participation of the regional police and the security services (Kavkazsky Uzel, October 2). In September, the Southern and the North Caucasian Federal Districts jointly held large-scale command post and special tactical exercises in Chechnya for the first time. Media coverage primarily focused on the counterterrorist part of the exercises (Chechnyatoday.com, September 17). The head of the Russian Ministry of Interior’s Support Division for the Activities of Special Forces and Aviation, Major-General Ivan Birnik, expressed high regard for the preparedness of the Chechen special forces. Birnik’s mission was to assess the ability of the Chechen forces to operate in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, as well as in a larger context inside Russia. It appears that the Russian officials were satisfied with what they saw in Chechnya and appreciated Kadyrov’s efforts to create special services units that are on a par with some of the best such units in the Russian armed forces.

Martynov is a former special forces officer in the FSB's elite Alpha Group who now serves Kadyrov.

Kadyrov also bragged about operations he has ordered outside of Chechnya, Jamestown reports:

Kadyrov has indicated that the Chechen special services carry out more operations than those officially reported. Chechnya’s governor said his government works outside Chechnya to identify terrorists and Islamic State recruiters. “We send people to fetch them from Syria. We return those who have not reached their destination and did not participate [in military action],” Kadyrov said (Rusnovosti.ru, October 2).

Read  more here and article about how Circassians in Russia are intensifying their efforts to demand repatriation of their co-ethnics in Syria and how Dagestanis who fought in Syria and returned home to Russia are accused of killing 5 hunters.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick