Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has given himself a prestigious medal and declared himself to be a “hero”. Kadyrov’s newly created medal, named Hero of Chechnya, was announced three months ago, and he has reportedly awarded it to himself as the first recipient.
The 46-year-old, power-obsessed despot has declared the medal is intended to be given to soldiers who “distinguished themselves” in Putin’s war in Ukraine and for particular “heroic deeds”.
His own precise “heroic deed” is still a secret.
The honour comes amid rumours that the cruel warlord who Putin promoted to Colonel-General in the Russian national guard during the conflict, has been spending time in his estate in Dubai and the Maldives recently while his forces—known for their brutality—were engaged in combat in Ukraine.
Magomed Daudov, the leader of the Chechen Parliament and a close friend of Kadyrov, gave a groan-inducing tribute to the Chechen leader.
He said: “On behalf of the deputies of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic and on my own behalf, I sincerely congratulate you on the award of the highest title of the republic – Hero of the Chechen Republic for No. 1,
“Your services to the Chechen Republic and the Russian Federation cannot be overestimated, and they are, without exaggeration, worthy of special study.”
It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast Sunday that after Russia suspended its participation in the last arms control agreement with Washington, it would “take into account” the nuclear weapons capabilities not only of the United States but of other NATO countries such as France and Britain.
Putin had said in a speech suspending Russia’s role in the 2010 New START treaty earlier this week that France and Britain, not parties to the agreement, had joined the United States in targeting Russia with nuclear weapons.
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In an interview with Russian TV that was recorded Wednesday and broadcast Sunday, he said he took the action to “preserve our country, ensure security and strategic stability” and added:“In today’s conditions, when all the leading NATO countries have declared their main goal to inflict a strategic defeat on us, to make our people suffer … how can we not take into account their nuclear capabilities? Moreover, they supply weapons to Ukraine worth tens of billions of dollars.”
Putin was repeating his common theme that the West is bent on destroying Russia and that his one-year-old fight in Ukraine is part of a battle for Russia’s very survival.
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He argued a year ago that his overarching goal in invading Ukraine was to reduce what he perceived as threats to Russia’s security and has since cited those as justification for potentially using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
As Western military aid poured into the invaded country, the Russian leader and his foreign minister have portrayed the war as a de facto fight between Russia and not just Ukraine but NATO. Ukraine’s allies have emphasized they want to avoid becoming direct fighting parties in the war while equipping Ukraine to defend itself and to retake Russian-captured territory.
CIA Director William Burns said Sunday that the real issue behind the invasion is Putin’s loss of control over Ukraine and the country’s rise as an independent, democratic state aligned with the West.
Mr Burns told CBS: “He’s seen that as a direct threat to the ambition that cuts to the core of his view as a Russian leader, and I think that’s the backdrop to the horrific aggression that he’s launched.”
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