Kyiv/Moscow, March 29: Russian President Vladimir Putin has promoted Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to the rank of Lieutenant General and sent him to Ukraine to seize Mariupol.
Russian media cited Mohammed Daudov, head of the Chechen Parliament, and Akhmed Dudayev, the Minister for National Policy, Foreign Relations, Press and Information, as confirming the development, reports Ukrayinska Pravda.
In a statement, Daudov said that “the Chechen leader’s contribution to the victory over international terrorism in the Chechen Republic, and to the preservation of Russia’s integrity cannot be overestimated”.
“In the next few days the city will be taken and cleared of nationalists and Nazis,” he said.
Kadyrov, according to Daudov, “came to Mariupol to talk, to raise morale, to provide additional technical equipment, and to adjust and refine the strategy for further actions in the next couple of days”.
On March 14, the Chechen leader had published a video on social media, saying that it was taken in Hostomel near Kyiv.
On Sunday, he posted a video of Chechen involvement in the siege of Mariupol, featuring Ruslan Geremeyev, who is believed to have masterminded the murder of opposition Russian politician Boris Nemtsov.
Mariupol has been under a continuous siege by the Russian military, Ukrayinska Pravda reported.
Since the Russian blockade in the coastal city began on March 1, some 5,000 people have been killed, 170,000 others still remain under siege, while 150,000 were evacuated, according to preliminary estimates. Of the 5,000 victims, 210 were children.