Zamid Chalaev, the Chechen commander in charge of his troops in Luhansk, was taken from a psychiatric facility by the republic’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who also helped him earn the title “Hero of Russia.”
Chalaev, a 41-year-old fighter from Chechnya’s Nozhai-Yurt district, is infamous for his alleged involvement in gross human rights violations in the republic, according to Caucasus Realities, a wing of Radio Liberty.
In 2019, he became the commander of the Akhmat Kadyrov Special Purpose Police Regiment, where he previously held one of the leadership positions. Around the same time, reports began to appear about Chalaev’s brutal acts in the region.
According to a report in Novaya Gazeta, Akhmat Kadyrov’s regiment executed dozens of detainees. Details were provided to the newspaper by a former member of the regiment.
In May 2021, two months after more serious crime evidence was released, Chalaev was awarded the title of Hero of Russia. At an event held in Chechnya during the Benoevskaya spring festival, Chalaev thanked Kadyrov for “getting him out of the psychiatric hospital.”
“Today I am here and I accept this award. But how did I end up here, on this level? You took me out, you took me out of a psychiatric hospital, then you made me a regimental commander, and today you made me a Hero of Russia. May the Almighty be pleased with you for this,” Chalaev said, comparing himself to a man who was “pulled out of the pit.”
According to Bogdan Chechensky, head of the intelligence service of the Sheikh Mansur Volunteer Battalion fighting in defense of Ukraine, Chalaev’s subordinates in Luhansk will play the usual role of “protection detachments”.
“The Kremlin knows that it will be impossible to force a Russian officer to shoot deserters, and Chalaev and his subordinates, who killed and tortured their fellow Chechens, will do so with great pleasure, as long as the owner is satisfied,” the source said. . Caucasus realities.
Meanwhile, Mykhailo Savva, a member of Ukraine’s war crimes documentation group, said Chalaev is easy to control and vulnerable to his superiors. “He needs a ‘defender’ at the top to cover him. And in return, this defender receives all the services. They expect him to obey unconditionally, to carry out any order, even the most inhumane ones,” he told the news. plug.