Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov 'extremely unhappy' about Russia-Ukraine prisoner exchange
In a Telegram post on Thursday, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov expressed his disbelief and dismay at Wednesday’s prisoner exchange in which Russia traded 225 prisoners of war, including soldiers who defended Mariupols’ Azovstal steel plant, for only 56 men in return.
“I’m extremely unhappy about yesterday’s news. The whole situation doesn’t even make sense to me. Whenever combat or tactical decisions have been made, they’ve always consulted with us, the active participants in the special [military] operation. But now…” Kadyrov wrote.
Chechnya’s head referred to the Azovstal defenders as “fascists” and “terrorists,” saying it was unacceptable to trade them for Russian soldiers. “Handing over even one of those Azov terrorists should have been out of the question,” he wrote.
At the same time, he added, “those at the top of the Defense Ministry and the FSB can see things much more clearly.” He vowed to continue following “our main unshakeable principle: that we will follow all orders from our Commander in Chief!”
On September 21, Russia and Ukraine conducted a major prisoner exchange. Russia released 215 people, including five commanders responsible for defending Mariupol’s Azovstal iron and steel works and 108 members of the Azov Regiment. Ukraine released 55 Russian POWs along with pro-Kremlin Ukrainian opposition politician Viktor Medvedchuk.