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Kadyrov Tells of Plans to Create International Mercenary Force

Taisia Borshigova / TASS

Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, has revealed in an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosti that he is considering creating a private army that could potentially fight anywhere around the world to protect what he called "oppressed peoples."

Kadyrov, who has previously refused to rule out the creation of his own mercenary force, explained that he'd lately been thinking more and more about creating a private army "so they can move to different states and defend the peoples who are oppressed by those countries that call themselves the most democratic."

While Kadyrov said that he was prepared to recruit people from all over the world to serve in his proposed army, he stressed that potential recruits shouldn't be motivated by money and that the "patriots" that fought for him would need to be motivated by "order" rather than "pennies."

Kadyrov first spoke of his plan to lead an army of mercenaries in February, praising the effectiveness of the notorious Wagner mercenary group in his Telegram channel and promising that he would one day be competing with his "dear brother" and Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Last year, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine began to falter, Kadyrov and Prigozhin both regularly criticized the Russian army's top brass, though Kadyrov subsequently took a markedly more cautious position as the conflict between Prigozhin and the Ministry of Defense worsened early this year, even claiming that he enjoyed "excellent coordinated relations" with the Defense Ministry.

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