Chechen leader Kadyrov says his forces deployed to Ukraine
The Putin ally is infamous for multiple human rights abuses
Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Russia's Chechnya region and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Saturday that Chechen fighters were deployed to Ukraine and urged Ukrainians to overthrow their government.
In a video posted online, Kadyrov boasted that Chechen units had so far suffered no losses and said Russian forces could easily take large Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, but that their task was to avoid loss of life.
"As of today, as of this minute, we do not have one single casualty, or wounded, not a single man has even had a runny nose," Kadyrov said, denying what he said were false reports of casualties from Ukrainian sources.
"The president (Putin) took the right decision and we will carry out his orders under any circumstances," said Kadyrov.
Kadyrov has often described himself as Putin's "foot soldier" and his words echoed those of the Russian leader who on Friday urged Ukrainians to rise up against their own government, which he said was made up of "neo-Nazis". Ukrainian officials say that description of them is absurd.
Kadyrov, infamous for multiple human rights abuses, had deployed his forces abroad to support Kremlin military operations before - in Syria and Georgia.