Russia’s shadow army boss has apparently made himself a new enemy as he continues to vent frustrations with the country’s fledgling war effort: the Chechens.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s henchman is now demanding a face-to-face meeting with Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin. Magomed Daudov, the chairman of the Chechen Parliament, tore into Prigozhin in a video shared on Telegram on Thursday.
“You don’t need the details of our missions. The command knows,” Daudov said, apparently in reference to Prigozhin downplaying the role of Chechen battalions sent to the Donbas to replace Wagner.
“Our fighters also have problems, but that doesn’t mean that a warrior should shout about it. In your statements, you always hint that someone needs to be shot. I need to tell you, for such words, almost every day, you would have immediately been put up against the wall during World War II. Sometimes I just don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve with your daily comments,” he said, accusing Prigozhin of creating a “panicked mood among the population.”
“Don’t forget... thanks to who it is that you have a private military company, airplanes, helicopters, and so on. You also declare that you have the best army, and the [Ukrainians]—the second best. If you continue at this rate, nothing good will come of it. Send me your location, and at any time and in any place, we will meet and talk man to man,” Daudov said.
He also seemed to hint that Prigozhin had flown too close to the sun by trying to make himself the face of the war, writing in all caps that Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov are the ones calling the shots.
Chechen lawmaker Adam Delimkhanov, a cousin and close ally of Kadyrov, also called out Prigozhin in a video posted on Telegram, mocking him as a “blogger” after the mercenary boss said he didn’t understand what Chechen fighters are doing in the war.
“If something is not clear to you, you can contact us at any time, give us a time and place. We will explain to you what you don’t understand. That’s one thing. Secondly, you have become a blogger and are shouting to the whole world that we only have problems. We all know how many people you laid down in Bakhmut over 7-8 months… Enough talking, shouting, and yelling. Name the place: where, what, when—we’ll see you. We will solve any issue face to face with you,” he said.
The simmering feud appears to mark a major falling out between two of the Kremlin’s most notorious warmongers, as Kadyrov and Prigozhin had previously been strangely in sync in their outspoken criticisms of the Defense Ministry.
It also comes after Kadyrov said he’d met personally with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of Wagner’s withdrawal from the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. While Kadyrov’s fighters have largely been absent from the frontline since last summer, the Kremlin has now reportedly tapped them to take Wagner’s place.