ISIS-trained militants are fighting alongside a state army in a European country, the Times reports – but that detail is buried in an article explaining that Putin is a common enemy of Ukrainians and Chechens.
Presented as a glimpse into what prompts the Chechens to join Kiev’s “counterterrorism operation” against the separatist republics of eastern Ukraine, the Times article contains some juicy quotes from a Mansur, a member of the a battalion of volunteers made up of Chechens. .
Putin is our common enemy… He only brings evil.
Anti-Putin writer and veteran Marc Bennetts echoes official message from Kiev and its Western allies, calling on rebels in eastern Ukraine “Supported by the Kremlin” and pretending that Moscow is “preparing for a full-scale invasion.”
He also mentions once, in the middle of the text, that some of the Chechen fighters in Ukraine admit to training with the Islamic State (ISIS, formerly ISIS / ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. Kiev, he writes, has no official ties to them, but has been criticized for turning a blind eye to their actions.
No more formalities, the article discusses more important things such as how the “Installed by the Kremlin” leader Ramzan Kadyrov is not representative of the Chechen people.
“We want the world to know that it was not the Chechens who attacked Ukraine but the Kremlin,” he added. he quotes Mansur as saying. “Kadyrov and the Chechen people are very different things. “
Kadyrov, a staunch supporter of Putin and Russia’s fight against global terrorism, is not a popular figure in the West – he has been accused of human rights violations, blacklisted by states – United and generally described as Putin’s representative. “attack dog”.
The Chechen Battalion in Ukraine – known as the Sheikh Mansur Battalion – operates effectively outside the law. Its leader, Muslim Cheberloevsky, claims he is not subordinate to the military or the police – which is a legal requirement for any paramilitary organization in the country.
Yet in a 2017 interview, he spoke of having excellent relations with the Kiev forces: “If there are difficulties in one area or another, they call us and we help. “
This is not the first time that the Sheikh Mansur Battalion’s links with ISIS have surfaced. In September, Ukraine extradited one of the group’s fighters to Russia, where he was wanted by the FSB for fighting alongside ISIS in Syria. Ukrainian nationalists, including some lawmakers, were outraged by Kiev’s decision to hand over an ally to the “aggressor country”.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military is set to receive $ 250 million in military aid from the United States in 2019 – and with a history of the Pentagon losing track of U.S. arms and weapon supplies ending up in the hands of terrorists. It will take close monitoring – and, more importantly, will – on Washington’s part to prevent some of this aid from ending up with Kyiv’s unofficial allies linked to ISIS.
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