The underage sons of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov – 16-year-old Akhmat, 15-year-old Eli and 14-year-old Adam – have arrived in Mariupol brandishing weapons and posing for TV cameras holding firearms. Kadyrov posted a clip of his sons in his Telegram channel.
Kadyrov's daughter Aishat Kadyrova – the region’s minister of culture – led the Chechen delegation's “work visit” to the occupied Donbas, appearing in the full version of the video report on the Chechen state-run “Grozny” TV channel. Kadyrova walked through the streets of Mariupol accompanied by Chechnya's Press and Information Minister Akhmed Dudayev and several dozen security troops with automatic weapons. On October 16, the acting head of the so-called “DPR,” Denis Pushilin, presented Aishat Kadyrova with the Order of Friendship “for [our] cooperation as a symbol of gratitude for supporting Donbas.”
“Undoubtedly, she is distinguished by her kind and courageous heart, which brought her to Donetsk in such dangerous times. Aishat Kadyrova is known as a defender of human rights, and does a lot to keep the spirits of the fighters involved in the special military operation. [She] supports them with art, her word, and, of course, prayer,” Pushilin wrote.
In early October, Kadyrov promised to send his sons to the war in Ukraine. According to him, young age “should not interfere with the training of defenders of the homeland.” At the time, he published a video of them going through training exercises. Later that day, Viktor Zavarzin, a member of Russia’s Duma Defense Committee, commented that children “are categorically not subject to conscription” under Russian law. Zavarzin also called Kadyrov a “fighting general,” and added that the Chechens were “fine soldiers.”
Since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the head of Chechnya has actively supported the actions of the Russian authorities and all the statements of President Vladimir Putin, commenting on them in his Telegram channel, which has over three million subscribers. In September, Kadyrov advocated “self-mobilization” in all regions of Russia – almost a week later, on September 21, Putin announced a “partial” mobilization across the country.