The name “Ahmed’s forces” jumped to the forefront of the war in Ukraine after the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the signing of a contract with the Chechen special forces fighting with Moscow, following Wagner’s refusal of a similar contract. What is the story of this Chechen battalion?
At a time when the Chechen “Ahmed Battalion” affiliated with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov agreed to sign with the Russian Ministry of Defense and officially join the Russian army, Yevgeny Prigozhin, commander of the Wagner Groups, announced his refusal to sign himself, but stressed that none of the Wagner fighters would agree. To be “subject to the Ministry of Defence”.
Ahmed’s forces are Chechen forces consisting of 4 battalions. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced its formation on June 26, 2022, and said that it will include huge numbers of Chechen fighters exclusively, who will strengthen the ranks of Russian forces in its war on Ukraine.
And the four battalions (Ahmed North, Ahmed South, Ahmed East, and Ahmed West) bear the name of Ahmed Kadyrov, in a symbolic stimulus for the fighters, as he was considered a patriotic leader in Chechnya.
“Ahmed’s forces” have always been known for their rituals and traditions in all their combat operations, where they say takbeer and perform the “Al-Fatah” prayer as they call it, before they enter while saying takbeer and cheering for “the liberation of the region from the Ukrainian Nazis,” according to Ramzan Kadyrov’s description.
Volunteers reached 10,000 soldiers, and it represents part of the Chechen army, as it is headed by General Apti Alaudinov, who stressed that “if we are transferred to the Donetsk direction, I guarantee that Ahmed’s special forces will do everything for the liberation of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
The brigades are armed with the latest and most powerful Russian weapons, and they have tanks and vehicles bearing the letter “Z” emblem, which is the symbol of support for the Russian forces in Ukraine, according to a report by a Chechen website.
Moscow is trying to tighten its control over the private armies that fight alongside the official army in Ukraine, but Prigozhin, whom the West describes as “Putin’s cook”, has recently been known for his violent statements publicly criticizing the Russian army’s leaders, and for his attack on Defense Minister Shoigu, whom he describes as “incapable”. to manage the military formations well,” in his justification for refusing to sign with the Ministry of Defense.
Rather, he had threatened to withdraw his forces from the city of Bakhmut due to heavy losses and insufficient supplies of ammunition, so the signing with Ahmed’s forces appears to be a victory for the generals in the Russian army in the open confrontation with the leader of Wagner.
The Wagner Group has been active over the past eight years in Ukraine, Syria and a number of African countries, and has been repeatedly accused of war crimes and human rights violations.