Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Thursday that his three underage sons have been fighting with the Russian military on the frontlines of the war in Ukraine.
"Akhmat, Eli and Adam visited the contact line, where fierce battles with Ukrainian nationalists are currently taking place," Kadyrov, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, wrote on his personal Telegram account.
"[They] made their way close to the enemy positions and provided fire cover to advancing fighters,” Kadyrov added.
Video footage posted by Kadyrov appeared to show Akhmat (16), Eli (15) and Adam (14), shooting from camouflaged positions among the trees and later posing with assault rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade.
Kadyrov said that his sons, who he recently described as having received military training from their "youngest years," spent several days fighting alongside Russian forces.
One of the most vocal cheerleaders of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kadyrov has rarely been out of the news since the conflict began, and his family has also seen their public profile raised.
Kadyrov’s claims of his sons' military activities come days after his daughter Aishat, who is also Chechya's culture minister, was pictured receiving the Order of Friendship from Denis Pushilin, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Russian President Vladimir Putin promoted Kadyrov to the rank of colonel general in the Russian army earlier this month.
According to figures given by Kadyrov last month, Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya has deployed over 20,000 troops to fight in Ukraine.