Putin's Hit Teams Of "Chechen Killers" Head For Syria

Tyler Durden's picture

Having recently won the crucial battle for Aleppo, which has changed the layout of the ongoing Syrian proxy war between the Assad regime (with the Kremlin's backing), and "rebel" forces including various Al-Qaeda elements (supported by the US-led alliance), hardly content with this crucial victory Russian president Vladimir Putin is only just getting started, and as the Daily Beast confirms reports that had previously circulated in the Russian press, dozens of highly trained "Chechen killer" Russian special military units in red berets are being transported to Syria. Their mission there is largely a mystery.

Chechnya, a North Caucasus republic that fought and lost two separatist wars against Russia in 1994-1996 and 1999-2006, is sending hundreds of its highly trained soldiers to the Middle East to fight against Islamist groups, including the Islamic State, where many soldiers and some leaders are Chechen, too. Various Russian reports mention from 3,500 to 5,000 Chechens enlisted with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.

Why the dispatch? Because, as the Beast writes, "it is one thing to tell the world that Russian President Vladimir Putin brought peace to Aleppo in Syria, and a completely different story to maintain control over pro-Moscow regions on the ground. The Kremlin is strengthening its aviation and land troop bases in Latakia. The Russian military, meanwhile, sees an advantage in Syria, a chance for officers to “get under fire,” to grow more experienced."

The effort is relatively new: Chechen commanders have been recruiting soldiers for the “Syrian” special units for several months, Novaya Gazeta, the Russian independent newspaper, reported on Tuesday.

“This year ends in the best way for Moscow, beyond its wildest dreams,” Sergei Markov, a Russian official and adviser to the government, told The Daily Beast. “President Putin has won his battles on many fields, including Syria’s Aleppo, America and the EU. More and more people agree that he is right, that Russia’s power and rightness is growing,” said Markov. “The agenda for Chechens is secret but most probably they will be participating in combat against ISIS in Raqqa [the ISIS capital] in the north of Syria.”

The Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov spent a lot of effort building special units, widely known as “death squads,” of men fearless, merciless, experienced in warfare in the streets and in the mountains.

As the Beast adds, in a video report by a local Chechen TV channel Kadyrov personally reviewed his soldiers. Kadyrov told me back in 2014 it was “a matter of honor” to bring Chechens back home from ISIS. He said that he personally traveled to Syria to consult with Bashar Assad’s military and help Chechen relatives find their daughters and sons in Syria.

That means that alongside various Iranian special forces fighting quietly alongside the Russian, and of course, Syrian government troops, the next line of special forces escalation will be arrival of hundreds of Chechens to keep any ISIS guerilla operations at bay.

Carnegie Moscow Center has argued that the issue of Chechens in ISIS is a crucial test for Kadyrov’s power: Islamists have already promised to support a revolution in Chechnya and even offered a $25 million reward for the heads of Kadyrov and his associates.

Ultimately, It seems that at the end of 2016, Putin’s Russia is in a hurry to fight and keep its ground on many fronts. Inspired by success in Syria, Putin reportedly plans support a strong Libyan military leader, Khalifa Haftar (who once was reputedly in bed with the American CIA). Ukraine continues to blame Russia for attacking its military. And another hacker scandal erupted in the past week: this time the Ukrainian military claimed that its soldiers’ cell phones were hacked by a Moscow group.

* * *

Incidentally, Putin's recent dispatch of Chechen special forces to Syria was also the topic of a recent post by the Saker, whose take on these recent surprising development is presented below:

First, even though the Russian sources make it sound like we are talking about two full battalions, I suspect that this is not the case and that a few companies will be formed from elements drawn from these battalions.  Why?  Because these battalions are part the backbone of the Russian security system in the Caucasus and that to use such elite forces just to guard 2 military installations makes no sense.


Second, this does beg the question of what these “Chechens” (actually a misnomer – see below) will really be doing Syria.  The only circumstance in which it would make sense to send them to protect the Russian bases in Kheimim and Tartus would be if a massive attack was expected against these installations and no other reinforcements were available, which is clearly not the case.


Third, these two battalions are mostly, but not exclusively, composed of Sunni Muslim operators.  That yields obvious advantages.  Furthermore, these battalions have had a history of successfully defeating the Wahabi insurgency in Chechnia.  This might be crucially important because Wahabi Chechens also compose some of the best forces available to the Daesh/ISIS/US command in Syria.

So what is really happening here?


First, it should be stressed that these two battalions are really quite unique units.  While formally they are just part of the larger Russian special forces community, they have a unique history and unique reputation.  Traditionally, Russia has always relied on elite Muslim shock forces, and most of those have been Chechen.  This was true before the 1917 Revolution as it was true after.  For example, the so-called “Muslim battalion” played a key role in the invasion of Afghanistan.  And 2008, the Chechen battalions “West” and “East” played a key role in the Russian counter-offensive against the Georgian forces.  To make a long story short: not only are these battalions known for their amazing courage and skills, their appearance often sends the opposing forces into a panic.


Second, Ramzan Kadyrov has been pouring huge resources, with the full support of Putin, of course, into the creation of a unique special forces training facility Chechnia were special operators from all over Russia are coming to learn, teach and share their experience.  As a result, the so-called “Chechen” units are, in reality, a mix of special operators from all over Russia who have been specially trained to deal with Daesh-like insurgencies.


This means that regardless of the actual size of the force sent to Syria, to use it to protect installations is total overkill and nobody in Russia really believes that all these lads will be doing is manning check-points.  Their true mission will be something very different.


Some Russian analysts have been speculating that their real function will be to clear Aleppo from the remaining al-Nusra/Daesh/ISIS forces.  Maybe, but I doubt it.  I find it much more likely that these men will be sent in to train Syrian special forces in advanced counter-insurgency intelligence operations.  For one thing, the Russians have admitted that they have Chechen intelligence agents infiltrated into Daesh.  It would only make sense now for the Russians to share their experience with their Syrian counterparts.  The key reason here is that rather than fighting the war for the Syrians, the Russians needs to enable the Syrians to fight their own war.


Alas, the actual record of the Syrian security forces has been, according to Russian sources, checkered at best and the Russians are, reportedly, unimpressed.  While the Syrians do have some elite combat units, they do not have high quality intelligence operatives.  What is needed in this case is not just a good solider (say, like a Russian paratrooper or a US Ranger), but a fully trained combatant and a fully trained intelligence officer, something similar to the CIA’s Special Activities Division or the Russian “Vympel” force.  The kind of training needed to prepare for such a function is much more complex, costly and time-consuming than what it takes to train a good paratrooper or Ranger.  My guess is that while the “Chechens” will, when needed, provide immediate support for the Syrians, they will also have a longtime role in organizing an effective counter-terrorist/counter-insurgency force.

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Ghost of Porky's picture

You might want to take that ISIS flag off your front porch now.

Overfed's picture

A couple other things that they won't be there to do; hand out fruit baskets and sing carols.

E.F. Mutton's picture

I wonder how they feel about a gig in Mall Security?

tazs's picture

Or rather wonder how they felt about Israel downing the Russian plane on Christmas Day.


techies-r-us's picture
techies-r-us (not verified) tazs Dec 27, 2016 2:19 PM

That's probably why:

"Their mission there is largely a mystery."

Mystery no longer, maybe. Israel could be the target for a "special mission" by these "killers".


dsty's picture

yes the innocent Russians, never medling in any foreign affairs.

yohoo, Cuba, South America, Asia, the Middle East.

Payback indeed!

froze25's picture

Once Trump cuts off the Obama / CIA / Saudi support for ISIS aka "moderate rebels", watch them start to lose ground big time. Only 23 days to go.

BaBaBouy's picture

You Get the feeling this is the latest Version of Syria War Video Game Just Out, only its the real Thing...

NEW V 4.7 Just Released...

HowdyDoody's picture

Daily Beast? Couldn't you get a source from somewhere more credible like WaPo or NYT?

The forces are actually Chechen MPs (Military Police). They will be guarding the streets allowing the Syrian forces to go after ISIS.


SWRichmond's picture

Special forces are (supposed to be) for special purposes.  The regular gound forces do the bulk of the ifghting, then the special forces go do the "special" stuff.  Like finding and eliminating the deep resistance.

researchfix's picture

Soldiers with red beret are military police. Nearly everywhere.

Where's me jumper's picture

Yes, but as military police go, imagine knowing it's the Chechens coming...

I've a feeling Putin and mil can't give the Chechens free rein. That would definitively be the very end of all trouble or even mild offence taken across a number of countries.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

East european survival lessons  - never ever have a bad idea which will place your name on the Russia's hit list, there is only one way to get out of it, with an X over the name and horizontally with the feet forward, in case somebody manages to find that feet ...

gladih8r's picture

Foreign "advisors" operating in Syria (helping  ISIS) are probably a little bit concerned now. 

Luc X. Ifer's picture

LOL, in the given context u can say that pissing and shitting pants is a sign of little but noticeable concern from the side of the named 'foreign advisors'

laser's picture

I wonder if the Russians could send some to help out in Chicago.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Just to "guard the streets," of course.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Expect a nuclear blast the next weks. Somewhere in EU or US, certainly TPTB resorted to the ultimate solution and passed a device to ISIL to justify enabling emergency situation and keeping the power.

BobEore's picture

Tis indeed 'mysterious,' how many "mysteries" develop in the course of the complicit medias serial misdirections/misreportings of "events."

Those not confused by the efforts of competing factions to control which manufactured storyline gets top billing in the welter of stage "events" which we now call "news," can easily seek remedy from ground-level reportage on stories which have a remarkabe LACK of mystery to them when viewed from the lens of real journalism - the only "real" antidote to "fake" news. As pointed out in this comment here last week -


"Russia has been sending shooter teams into Turkey for some time, tasked with eliminating former Chechen separatists who sought asylum there. It's a war of old grudges - Team Chechen got one on the scoreboard today. That's it, that's all. And Russia will be extremely circumspect in handling this affair. The Chechens who are now being forced out of Aleppo are going to be resurfacing in Turkey soon. The regime has been in a quandry about how to deal with the Russian hit teams. This was likely a ploy to force the Sultan to tell the Russians to back off of going after Ankara's jihadi buddies as more Chechens on the Russian Most Wanted list filter into town"...

mysteries which baffle our scribe tribe endlessly, are usually solved via 'ol skool' methods of dealing with facts in place of fantasy. The Russian Doll of nesting Babushkas within Babuskas which is the middle eastern "theater" of the moment needs the attention of objective reporters committed to 'truth in media'  - as opposed to the mendacious "modern medias" who control the narrative most often.

The Merovingian's picture

Tyler(s), can you PLEASE do something about this retard and his shitty trolling attempts to get people to look at his lame ass site? Thanks in advance for one last little X-mas gift.

Perimetr's picture

Maybe they will personally escort all the NATO troops out of Aleppo

the phantom's picture

These are some bad mother-fuckers... Kadyrov does not play games.

pot_and_kettle's picture

Somewhere on the web there's a video of some armed Chechen volunteers in the Donbass/Novorossya having trapped a lone Ukrainian soldier in a bunker and making the guy shit bricks - " come out here so we can skin you or else we'll rape you and then skin you " .. some shit like that lol.  They were joking.  I think.

I do believe Marcellus Wallace was referring to them when he mentioned calling in " pipe-hitting ni***rs ". 

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

I'm thinking this is a 'hunting' party. Putin has already told the US to get out...but they continue to send in advisors, etc. I suspect, these people are going to hunt the leadership and advisor from other countries and get them out under force. -interesting times, indeed.

BarkingCat's picture

That is my suspicion as well.


BlindMonkey's picture

There are pictures of them doing the "polite green men" bit.  I've got some thoughts on why they are there.  I see them with  3 main functions that they could be doing and they could do any combination of them.

1. They are there to provide on the ground security.  Regardless of what Western MSM says, based on results the Russians are trusted by all sides on the ground.  The militants that have surrendered or negotiate a move have made it to their destinations.  Russian troops can leverage that trust and keep things from getting shitty in Aleppo again.  They can do the "polite green men" thing and ruthlessly kill anyone that wants to do something different.  


2. Training and force building.  In addition to all the hooya bullshit, special forces can act as training cadres and teach the locals how to be better.  These guys are Muslims as well as highly trained professional soldiers.  They have a cultural connection some kid from Duluth is not ever going to have. 


3.  They could act as killer teams but I doubt that is why these guys were brought in.  They are more valuable as 1 and 2 while that mission is already covered by Spetnaz operates that have been there for a while.  One of te reasons Aleppo fell was that anybody that was too well organized was a target of getting whacked.  There were reports of a lot of militant leadership being killed in the weeks before the attacks and that is happening again in Idlib as we speak.  


So my take is that they ar there for security, relationship building and training.  Syria is becoming a long term project for Russia and they are taking it seriously.


Putin is sending in the boys to actually find and kill Bin Ladin, for reels. 

Not like O'Blammie's Photoshopped magical mystery man tour. 

WTFRLY's picture


Laddie's picture

While Assad DOES:
Assad Hosts Massive Christmas Celebration in Liberated Aleppo

Putin will go down in history as the most underrated world leader.

researchfix's picture

The ratings are no more handed out by MSM.

BlindMonkey's picture

I remember reading about the various rumors of Putin's billions stashed away.  It is an accusation without evidence other than he has rich friends in his circle.  I wondered if it was true or not.

Then, over the last few years, I started to think differently.  I see him as the great leader of Russia.  I believe they will still be writing books and songs about him 200 years from now.  I believe he understands his potential role in Russian history and have come to doubt he has really any concern for material wealth.  What is a few billion squirreled away vs being remembered as the Russian analog to Thomas Jefferson?  

If I was ever given the chance to ask him one question it would be how he sees his own place in history.

sinbad2's picture


People judge others by their own values, so people who accuse Putin of stealing from Russia, are the kind of people who would steal from their country.

They simply cannot understand someone who would devote his life to something other than money, because money is their God, they worship the Golden Calf/Bull of Wall St.

mary mary's picture

George Washington died a pretty wealthy man.  That doesn't bother me.

swmnguy's picture

They won't be handing out cookies a la Victoria Nuland in Kiev, either.

evoila's picture

their mission is a mystery? How about to rid the world of bs.

crackheadwilly's picture

let the games begin

BabaLooey's picture

The students of Vasily Zaytsev and the kids are coming to reek havoc.


junction's picture

Preparing for endless wars.

E.F. Mutton's picture

"So they can break things and kill people, but are they LGBTQ Tolerant?" - B.H.O

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

They don't have to be tolerant of GayBLTs, if they're Muslim. The Tolerance requirement applies only to Christians, according to your 'Christian' politicians.


mary mary's picture

Make them take the pizza test.

Vardaman's picture

When I read the headline, I thought "Chechen Killers" meant Russians who kill Chechens.  Oh, well...

Volkodav's picture

      you were correct firstly..

      under Kadyrov to kill any terrs if Chechen or other

seek's picture

I doubt it's that much of a mystery. SOP would be to take out command and control infrastructure of the bad guys so they can't regroup. Where things get dicey is I suspect somewhere in the bad guy's chain of command I suspect the nationalities change from middle-eastern to something decidedly less so. That's where you get into proxy war territory, though I suspect in a month all this bullshit will finally stop.

Blankone's picture

They are going to insure safe passage for the terrorists, who murdered all those in the discovered mass graves, to another city.  As per the agreement forced upon Syria by Putin.  Of course they will also ensure the advisor/coordinator troops of the US/France/Israel that were susposedly found and captured are not only safely and quietly escorted to the US bases but that they are treated like their kings.

BarkingCat's picture

Chechen special forces are moonlighting as insurance agents??

 Are they going to insure anything else?

We can safely assume that with the state of affairs currently in Syria they could corner the entire insurance market there.


Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Certainly from the Department of State you have received Psaki award for outstanding discovery in the field of fantasy.

Stan522's picture

Is obama planning on holding a rally in Syria for the ISIS fighters he is arming to fight Russia and Assad?

Skiprrrdog's picture

He is doing a spare rib buffet...