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Chechen commander Muslim Madiyev: You cannot negotiate with Russians, they always deceive

Chechen commander Muslim Madiyev: You cannot negotiate with Russians, they always deceive Muslim Madiyev (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

After USSR collapsed, the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR Boris Yeltsin said his famous phrase: "Take as much sovereignty as you can swallow." Immediately after, Chechnya announced it no longer wanted either to be part of the Union or become one of the Russian Federation's subjects. Despite the "permission" given to the newly formed republics to have their sovereignty, Russia did not want Chechnya to let go.

Between 1994 and 1996, Russian forces tried to occupy Chechnya but faced fierce resistance. In 1999, terrorist attacks shocked several Russian cities, after which Russia blamed the Chechens and invaded Chechnya again. Justifying the bombings of houses in Grozny, Vladimir Putin, who was heading the Russian government at the time, stated that he would "wipe out terrorists in the outhouse." The Second Chechen War lasted for 10 years and ended with Chechnya being occupied by Russia and becoming one of its subjects.

About Chechen wars

Madiyev explained how they managed to win in the First Chechen War and why they couldn't in the second. He said Russia did not expect such resistance in the First Chechen War, planning for a quick operation. The Russians were surrounded in Grozny, defeated, and forced to retreat.

Chechnya understood that the Russians would attack again. A few days before the attack, Madiyev had to leave Moscow, where he worked in the Security Council of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

"I evacuated documents marked 'top secret' from there. Each page in that folder was classified. It contained everything - how to divide Chechens, how to behave, suck a manual for special services. I gave it to Aslan Maskhadov, Dokka Umarov, and Vakha Arsanov," he said.

"That day I was told - they would come for me. I quickly left Moscow, leaving my wife and son. I had to leave, and I did. Later, the family, of course, arrived."

During the Second Chechen War, Russians sent 400,000 troops to the country, while there were about 8,000 soldiers in Chechnya. No mobilization was announced in the Chechen state, and there were significant problems with weapons.

"We had the most challenging situation with weapons. Against aviation, helicopters, everything... Now they do the same as then. Then they chased after mobilization, while we had 8,000 fighters, and they pulled in 400,000 troops," Madiyev said. "They never had problems with cannon fodder. And we couldn't even replace one person on duty so that they could rest. There were no opportunities."

Чеченський командир Муслім Мадієв: Якщо говорити з Росією, її треба ставити на рівень нижче

Muslim Madiyev (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Madiyev also talked about the Chechen village of Chernorechye, as a marker of Russian barbarity. His battalion was stationed in Chernorechye at that time. Right after they left, Russian special forces from St. Petersburg entered. Within a few days, they completely "cleared" the village, killing almost everyone who lived there.

"They are prone to this. To violence. This is not the first time. They have always been like this. We had wars with Russia all the time before. They always wanted our territories, wanted to crush us," he stressed.

About war in Ukraine

Madiyev has been fighting on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) since 2016. He didn't go into specifics on what Chechen battalions are doing but mentioned that units communicate about their areas of responsibilities and conduct reconnaissance with specific pinpoint operations there. According to Madiyev, the Ukrainian army is one of the best in the world.

"The Ukrainian army, in my opinion, is one of the best in the world. They have made it into history. Very brave. When battles were going on in Azovstal, the Ukrainians showed themselves very well. You are excellent in war," he said

Russians also learn quickly, but their main trump card is human wave attacks. According to Madiyev, nobody will be held accountable in Russia for soldiers sent into mass attacks because Russians are slaves.

"Well, you've read about slaves, right? People were sold, and exchanged for two greyhounds... And today, it's dumplings and a car."

For Ukraine to win, it needs weapons in large quantities. According to Madiyev, Ukraine's Western partners are not fully fulfilling the conditions of the agreements and promises they made. If the UAF receives all the weapons promised to them by the West, Ukraine will win the war against Russia. Russians, on the other hand, save on weapons and give their soldiers the minimum of ammunition.

Чеченський командир Муслім Мадієв: Якщо говорити з Росією, її треба ставити на рівень нижче

Muslim Madiyev (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

About Ramzan Kadyrov

Madiyev mentioned that Kadyrov intimidated the Chechens. In today's realities, a revolution in the Chechen state is unlikely, but he and his associates monitor the situation and take certain actions. The so-called Kadyrovtsy go to war not on their own but for a salary and mainly stand in defensive units, not going to the front lines.

Madiyev also noted that Kadyrov forced Chechens to cross that mental line that previously prevented them from killing their own. Today, it is widespread in Chechnya.

About Russia, negotiations and possible freezing conflict

Madiyev is confident that negotiations are impossible with Russia. In his opinion, Russians will deceive just as they deceived the Chechens, giving them security guarantees. Madiyev believes that Chechens should have "finished their victory" in the first war, as Russians were weak and agreed to terms, rather than trusting them.

A freezing of the Russia-Ukraine war is also impossible as Russians will prepare and attack again.

"They will regroup and come back. If they feel they can, they will attack again. We need to create a gray zone, so that they are 200 kilometers away, and drive them towards Moscow," he said.

Чеченський командир Муслім Мадієв: Якщо говорити з Росією, її треба ставити на рівень нижче

Muslim Madiyev (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

The Kremlin can justify any war it sends thousands of its citizens to again. Putin has enough human resources, so there can be no talk of any agreements. If Russia is defeated, an internal shift will begin, which may contribute to Russia's collapse. As for Chechnya, Madiyev is confident that after Ukraine wins, he will return to his homeland and free it from the Russians.

"We have a lot of work, an endless amount. There is no doubt in my mind that Ukraine will win now. We will fight to the end until we win, otherwise, there will be nowhere for us and our children to live."