Vladimir Putin’s protégé and leader of the Chechen Republic has threatened to attack Poland in retaliation for its support for Ukraine.
Ramzan Kadyrov is one of Putin’s strongest supporters and often describes himself as the president’s “foot soldiers”.
The leader has frequently shared his criticism of the West in bold statements on social media, particularly Instagram.
Now he has turned his attention to Poland, which has been one of Ukraine’s strongest allies since Russia invaded the nation on February 24.
It has pushed for an EU-wide ban on Russian oil and imports and has taken in thousands of refugees fleeing the war.
“Ukraine is a done deal. I’m interested in Poland,” Kadyrov said in a video message on Monday.
“What does Poland want to achieve? When Ukraine is ready, in six seconds we can show you what we can do if there is an order.”
Kadyrov also demanded an apology for an incident in Warsaw earlier this month in which Russian ambassador Sergei Andreyev was doused in red when he tried to lay flowers in the Soviet military cemetery.
“You’d better take away your weapons and your mercenaries and make an official apology to our ambassador,” he added.
Kadyrov’s troops have been accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine.
The leader himself has been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses by the United States and the EU, which he denies.
Chechen forces were known to have taken part in the siege of Mariupol and were allegedly among the occupying forces that killed civilians in the Kyiv suburbs.
Kadyrov is known to follow his troops on field trips, although he himself denies taking part in extrajudicial killings.
Kadyrov’s hostile remarks come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the West to give his nation more support and impose tougher sanctions on Russia.
Mr Zelenskyy’s criticism of the West has increased in recent days as the EU ramps up its offensive on the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk amid a possible Russian oil embargo and Putin’s troops.
Russia is currently trying to tighten control of the industrial eastern Donbass region, where it has supported a separatist revolt since 2014.
Western military analysts see the battle for Seyerodonetsk and Lysyhansk as a possible turning point in the war after momentum shifted towards Russia following last week’s capitulation of Mariupol.
Russian forces are currently attempting to encircle Ukrainian forces in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.
If the two cities on the Seversky-Donets river fall, almost the entire Donbass province of Luhansk would be under Russian control.
Russia’s advance in the Donbass was supported by massive artillery fire.
According to the Ukrainian military, 50 cities in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces were shelled on Thursday.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/27/russia-putins-chechen-protege-threatens-to-attack-poland-16721043/ Russia: Putin's Chechen protégé threatens to attack Poland