- A Putin-allied Chechnyan warlord said he was delighted the US is sending more weapons to Ukraine.
- Ramzan Kadyrov said he “drooled” thinking about how his fighters will be able to get them.
- Russia is also not immune from having its equipment taken, as gleefully documented by Ukraine.
Ramzan Kadyrov, a major ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, thanked US President Joe Biden for sending weapons to Ukraine and said he would be able to capture and use them for Russia.
Biden on Wednesday announced an $800 million military-aid package for Ukraine, which he said includes the “most cutting-edge systems” from US arms-makers.
Kadyrov, who leads Chechnya — a quasi-autonomous part of Russia — reacted to Biden’s news on Telegram later on Wednesday.
He called it “Gorgeous, joyful, encouraging news coming from Washington!” and complained that he was unimpressed with equipment captured from Ukraine so far.
“We thought for a long time how to cheer up our fighters, but we did not expect that the Americans would help with this,” he said.
He said that he “drooled” when reading about the weapons the US will send and asked himself “is it really all going to be ours soon?”
Kadyrov’s bravado did not capture the reality that Russia is losing much of its own equipment, some of which ends up being used by Ukraine.
Several videos have gone viral showing Ukrainian tractors purportedly recovering abandoned Russian vehicles from muddy fields, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week joked that Russia is now Ukraine’s top arms supplier because so much was taken.
—🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 16, 2022
The US is among many countries to send weapons to Ukrainian forces since Russia invaded. Others include the UK, and even EU countries like Sweden and Germany, which historically limited themselves to defensive or humanitarian military aid.
As Insider’s Mia Jankowicz previously reported, Human Rights Watch describes Kadyrov as an authoritarian leader who has overseen the rolling back of gay rights and an extensive use of torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings.
He has been a boastful commentator on the war in Ukraine, which involves his own Chechen troops, and got in a social-media fight with Elon Musk over Musk’s offer to face Putin in single combat.