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Chechen soldiers appear to attack Russian military police in occupied Ukraine

23 January 2024
Vakha ‘Askhab’ Khambulatov, the leader of the Vostok-Akhmat Russian battalion. Image via social media.

The commander and other members of a Russian military unit from Chechnya appear to have attacked and beaten a Russian military police officer in Russian-occupied Ukraine. 

The incident involved members of the Vostok-Akhmat Battalion, and reportedly took place in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol after the officer attempted to examine their documents while they were in the car.

Footage of the incident circulated on Telegram on Monday appeared to show a Russian soldier stopping several cars, including a black Mercedes in which the Chechen soldiers were driving.

In the video, the officer asks if those in the car are military personnel and requests their documents. The officer then states that the date and validity period of their documents were invalid, to which the Chechen soldier states that the pass was ‘indefinite’.

‘I don’t give a fuck what you count. I am a battalion commander. The regiment commander gave me [the document]; end of story’, answered one of those sitting in the car, after which the officer asks them to turn the car around and park.

Several soldiers then emerge from the car cocking their pistols and repeatedly striking the officer amidst heavy cursing. 

According to VChK-OGPU, a Russian anti-government Telegram channel, the footage shows members of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov’s, personal security. They identified the commander of the battalion as Vakha ‘Askhab’ Khambulatov, once a staunch supporter of Chechen independence. They stated the man still held a ‘negative attitude towards the federals’. 

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