Chechen leader Kadyrov said 23 of his fighters were killed and 58 others wounded in the Ukrainian shelling.
In a rare admission of battlefield disasters in Ukraine, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov admitted his ranks suffered heavy losses following the shelling of Kyiv troops.
“Earlier this week, one of the Chechen units was shot at Kherson region,” Kadyrov, a prominent ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and ruler of the Chechen Republic, said on Telegram late Thursday.
“23 warriors died and 58 were wounded.”
The Kremlin ally rarely divulges defeat but admits that losses among his fighters, who are pro-Russia, are “major on that day”.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian sources reported that a Chechen unit in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine had given its location through social media photos, causing it to be hit by artillery fire.
Mr. Kadyrov’s comments are unusual as pro-Moscow forces rarely admit large casualties on the battlefield and Russian officials do not publish their own casualty figures.
The Chechen leader also called on his compatriots to be mobilized for the war in Ukraine.
Since the start of the war with Russia more than eight months ago, Kadyrov has identified himself as one of the conflict’s strongest supporters and has also sent units of his own to Ukraine.
But he has often criticized Russian military leadership – often associated with mercenary financiers Wagner units, Yevgeny Prigozhin, because too soft. Kadyrov has also called for the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared his country’s war against Russia to Nazi resistance during World War II, saying Moscow is pursuing the same goals as Nazism did. worked.
“The form of evil has changed, but the essence has not changed,” Zelenskyy said in a video message broadcast in Kyiv on Thursday night.
Russia has gone from neighborly to aggressor to terrorism, he said – and is guilty of war crimes.