- The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Russian tactics were “too slow” in Ukraine.
- Kadyrov, a Putin loyalist, said Russia’s attack was merely “fiddling” with Ukrainian fighters.
- The bloodthirsty call came as Ukraine and Russia were negotiating the terms for talks.
A top loyalist of Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that Russia’s attack on Ukraine had so far failed and called for a much fiercer onslaught.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, said in a lengthy Telegram post that the approach in the first days of the war hadn’t worked.
“In my understanding, the chosen tactics in Ukraine are too slow,” the post said. “They take a long time and, in my opinion, are not effective.”
He complained that Russian forces had been only “fiddling” with the Ukrainian army, which he said was “armed to the teeth with new weapons, ammunition, heavy equipment of the latest generation,” a reference to Western military aid.
Addressing Putin directly, Kadyrov called for him to give harsher orders.
He called for “full coordination of the actions of the military, competent alignment of forces and a decisive assault,” adding, “Everything!”
Kadyrov, a longtime Putin ally, is the authoritarian ruler of Chechnya, a notionally autonomous region of Russia. He has a reputation as a bloodthirsty leader; Human Rights Watch has said he’s made extensive use of torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings that the Kremlin has tolerated.
Kadyrov said on Saturday that his fighters had been deployed in Ukraine, according to Al Jazeera. His troops are often stereotyped as brutal, an image that the Kremlin has exploited in its war propaganda, Foreign Policy reported.
The Kremlin has insisted that its military operations are going to plan, though many analysts expressed surprise that key cities such as Kyiv and Kharkiv were still standing after several days of Russian attacks.
The UK’s defense ministry said early Monday that “logistical failures and staunch Ukrainian resistance” had hampered Russia’s ability to achieve its aims.
High-level diplomats from Ukraine and Russia met for talks on Monday around the border between Ukraine and Belarus, a Russian ally. Military action continued during the discussions.