The military in Chechnya, photo: grozny-inform.ru

28 October 2023, 22:18

Human rights defenders assess motives for creating Sheikh Mansur Battalion in Chechnya

The figure of Sheikh Mansur is very significant for the Chechens, and by naming a new battalion in his honour, Ramzan Kadyrov seeks to break the association of the above name with the Ichkerian battalion operating in Ukraine since 2014. At the same time, such naming is devoid of ideological grounds, since Sheikh Mansur himself fought against Russia, note experts interviewed by the “Caucasian Knot”.

On October 24, Ramzan Kadyrov announced that barracks for a new battalion of the Ministry of Defence “named after Sheikh Mansur” were being arranged in Gudermes. The name completely repeats the name of one of the Ichkerian formations in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Adam Delimkhanov announced that the new battalion would be headed by Ruslan Geremeev, known as a person involved in the murder of Boris Nemtsov, although investigators never interrogated him in connection with the above high-profile crime.

Units formed from migrants from Northern Caucasus, including the Sheikh Mansour Battalion, participate in the battles in Ukraine against the Russian Armed Forces.

The appointment of Ruslan Geremeev as a commander of a new unit of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will allow Ramzan Kadyrov to gain new leverage over army bodies, suggests Svetlana Gannushkina*, the chair of the “Civic Assistance Committee”*.

“All power bodies in Chechnya are directly subordinate to him, now gradually all agencies of the Ministry of Defence in Chechnya will come under the control of the people most loyal to Ramzan Kadyrov,” said Svetlana Gannushkina*.

According to the human rights defender, the name of the new battalion was chosen by Ramzan Kadyrov in an attempt to break the association of the name of Sheikh Mansur with the defenders of Ukraine.

“The unit with such name protects Ukraine, and it includes mainly people from Northern Caucasus who consider it their duty to fight for the Ukrainian people,” explained Svetlana Gannushkina*.

Sheikh Mansur or Ushurma (1760-1794) was the leader of the people’s liberation movement of mountaineers of Northern Caucasus in 1785-1791.

Ruslan Kutaev, the president of the Assembly of Caucasian Nations, believes that the creation by the Kadyrovites of their battalion named after Sheikh Mansur has no ideological basis.

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 27, 2023 at 03:19 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Roman Kuzhev Source: СK correspondent

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