Moscow: “Almost half a million Ukrainian soldiers eliminated”


By John

Russian Defense Minister Serghei Shoigu said Ukrainian forces had lost nearly half a million men since the conflict began. Russian troops maintain “the initiative along the entire front line”, added Shoigu, quoted by the ministry's Telegram channel.

“Kadyrov seriously ill”, but he reappears in the gym

Talk about the health conditions of Razman Kadyrov is back, and the latest news released by independent Russian media describes the Chechen leader as terminally ill, so much so that the Kremlin is apparently considering his successor. New potentially destabilizing rumors for the future of the turbulent former Soviet republic which have pushed Putin's strongman to publish a video in which he shows off great shape, exercising in the gym. Novaya Gazeta Europe published a report that Kadyrov was diagnosed with pancreatic necrosis in 2019, and his condition has worsened recently.

The indiscretion of the foreign-based newspaper did not go unnoticed by the person concerned, who was immortalized on social media doing exercises on the bench and fighting against a sparring partner. “A busy day ended with exercise and positivity,” reads a message accompanying the video, without mentioning the illness. Persistent rumors have been circulating for months that the 47-year-old leader of Chechnya, accused by human rights groups of leading a totalitarian regime that persecutes minorities and opponents, may be ill. And despite his constant denials, Kadyrov has often been seen in public over the past year with a swollen face, eyes barely open and in some cases very uncertain in his speeches. Last September he was even put into a medically induced coma after an overdose of sedatives, again according to Novaya Gazeta.

On that occasion, several senior members of the Chechen elite were photographed visiting the hospital, raising speculation that Kadyrov might be on his deathbed. At the moment the only certain thing is that the Chechen general has begun to train the next generation of his dynasty. Younger son Adam, aged 15, was appointed head of security, while the eldest, 17-year-old Akhmat, visited the Kremlin last year for an unusual meeting with Putin. The Russian president has been counting on Kadyrov since 2006 to preserve the stability of the small oil-rich Caucasus republic, where the separatist forces that led to the brutal conflict with Moscow in 1999 have never subsided. In exchange, the Tsar arranged for thousands of Chechen paramilitaries to be sent to Ukraine to support the Russian army in the invasion.