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Why is it wrong to call Kadyrovites Chechens? Questions and answers with Oleg Pokalchuk

We continue our new regular column ‘questions and answers’ with military psychologist, expert in the field of informational and psychological operations and counter-intelligence defence, Oleg Pokalchuk

Why is it wrong to call the Kadyrovites Chechens?

Chechens are now often mentioned in the media in descriptions of hostilities as part of the occupants armed forces. As a result, a negative connotation is applied to the whole nation. Which is wrong, because the Chechens in Ukraine are fighting on our side. On the russian side, these are the Kadyrovites who are participating in the war.

In appropriate terminology, for the Chechens, Kadyrov is Judas who betrayed his people and actually sold them into slavery to the russian empire.

The Chechens are Dzhokhar Dudayev, Ichkerians, the people who won two wars in russia, the people who defended Grozny and sturck an ubelievable blow on the russian army of that time. These are courageous and brave warriors who wanted to have their own republic. But due to Kadyrov's betrayal, due to extremely disgusting collaboration, they failed to achieve their goal at that stage.

Some of them emigrated, some of them fought and continued to fight against the muscovites on Ukraine’s side, while some stayed at home under the rule of Kadyrov.

Therefore, the Kadyrovites cannot be called Chechens, they have no moral right for that. Just as we did not call the separatists of Donbass Ukrainians, but called them “separs”. Russian propaganda said that those were Ukrainians who were fighting there. But for us, they stopped being Ukrainians from the moment they took up arms and started fighting against their own people.

The Kadyrovites have no right to bear the proud name of a brave nation that fought for its independence, for its country under the leadership of Dzhokhar Dudayev.

Dhozhar Dudayev was the leader of the Chechen liberation movement in the 1990s and the first president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He died in 1996 from a russian missile explosion

Kadyrov also disgraces the name of his father, who fought against russians. His father is a famous man, he was a glorious warrior who said that he had killed his first russian at the age of 16.

Similarly, the Kadyrovites have no right to call themselves Muslims. All fundamental world religions are very peaceful. The Qur'an, like the Bible, is a proclamation of peace-loving tendencies and spiritual development. Everything that has later happened to Islam, as well as to Christianity and other religions, was the interpretation, modification and addition to their doctrine.

If we talk about jihad, a term often used to explain why Muslims are fighting, it is purely a war for the faith. This is not a war against someone, but a war to protect their own values.

The priority in the Qur'an is given to the jihad of a soul. These are the words of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said that people were moving from a big jihad to a small one. Meaning, from the struggle with oneself, with one's own shortcomings (he called it the Great Jihad), we move on to the armed struggles in the Arabian territories with some tribes [a small jihad]. Thus, the armed struggle is a secondary element in the defense of the Muslim faith, and this is a very important point.

Also, only imam can send a Muslim to the war according to the doctrine. A spiritual person who, referring to the texts of the Qur'an or the suras of the Qur'an, argues why they need to fight.

Putin is by no means an imam. He is a kafir from the point of view of Islam. He is infidel. I would even say that he is shaitan - perpetrator

In the war in Ukraine, Putin uses Kadyrovites exclusively for psychological influence. [This became possible] because the muscovites very skillfully transformed the fear of Chechen soldiers (remember Shamil Basayev's unbelievable raid on Moscow) into the fear of Chechens in general. For them, a Chechen is such a terrible person, from whom one can expect anything, so you'd better be afraid.

This is a psychological operation, and its effect must be minimized. Yes, the Kadyrovites are criminals, but they are the same criminals as the muscovites, there is no difference between them. First, they die the same way. Second, in quantitative terms in such battles, they are not a significant element. Maybe if they were pilots or tankmen. But they aren’t. Running with Kalash [Kalashnikov rifle] and shouting "ahmat is power" is the limit of tactical capabilities of the Kadyrovites.

They are sent here as punishers. Their task is to terrorize the civilian population, and this is part of psychological terror. In this sense, everyone understands that there can be no Kadyrovites captured [alive]. And they are outlawed, as are the Wagnerians. They are not covered by the Geneva Convention because they are not military servicemen.

To summarize, there are Chechens who fought for the freedom of Ichkeria and won two wars against Russia. There are Chechens who are fighting on our side. They fight courageously, bravely, and we thank them for that. Of course, it’s unpleasant for them to hear when all Chechens are called bandits and traitors. It's as if we, Ukrainians, were equated with separatists and called names. Therefore, a recommendation for Ukrainians: put yourselves in the shoes of Chechens who are fighting for us.

And there are Kadyrovites who have no right to be called Chechens because they are traitors to their people and rebelled against people of honor and conscience. They have no right to be called Muslims because they distort Islam in the worst possible way and obey the orders of a man - Putin - who by no precepts of Islam can be the man who sends them to war.

Viktoriya GuerraViktoriya Guerra, Journalist, deputy editor in chief
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