Putin on the brink: Thousands of Chechen fighters sent to Moscow as coup fears grow

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The National Guard (Rosgvardia) is an internal military force that reports directly to the Russian President. It was created in 2016 to fight terrorism and maintain public order. The force is currently headed by Viktor Zolotov, a former bodyguard of the Russian leader.

The Rosgvardia is often referred to as Putin’s “private army” and has mostly been used to violently suppress peaceful anti-regime demonstrations.

Reports have emerged that up to seven thousand Chechens have been drafted into the National Guard’s ranks.

The deployment has led to speculation that the Russian despot fears growing public unrest and a possible coup attempt from his elites.

The news site Kavkaz Center tweeted: “Interesting info from Chechnya.

“KC sources report that a large batch of armed #Kadyrovtsy has been transferred to #МMoscow .

“The numbers vary from 3 to 7 thousand. Allegedly at the command of Zolotov.

“There is no official data, but this information is widely disseminated among the population.”

Chechnya is ruled by the son of a former warlord who fought against the Russians in first Chechen War between 1994 and 1996.

Ramzan Kadyrov is a staunch Putin supporter and has sent some of his fighters to Ukraine to help support the Russian army.

He criticised Russia’s commanders for their failure to deal with Ukraine’s Kharkiv counter and threatened to intervene personally if things did not improve quickly.

The Chechen leader said in an audio post to his Telegram channel on Sunday: “They have made mistakes and I think they will draw the necessary conclusions.

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The local politicians were subsequently detained and questioned by police, before being released.

Dmitry Palyuga, one of the councillors from the Smolensky district, said he and his co-councillors had received a lot of support from the public for their actions.

He said: “After being called to the police, they ask me if I regretted that we made a decision about treason.

“And I am glad that we took that decision, and I am proud of every deputy!

“I received a bunch of messages from strangers with words of support. People found me on VK (Russian FB) and Instagram for this. There are a lot of us!”

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