A large number of Russian special forces, ranging from elite front-line troops to assassination and sabotage squads, have been deployed in Ukraine with the aim of assassinating the country's leadership, according o reports. Among these are over 10,000 ruthless and battle-hardened Chechen 'hunters' who have been unleashed in Ukraine especially with the aim of detaining or killing a group of Ukrainian officials.
These Chechens are also hunting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his family. According to reports, Russia is recruiting and deploying Chechens mainly form their hometown Grozny, escalating fears the battle for Ukraine will turn into a horrific bloodbath.
The Killer Squad
According to a Moscow Telegram group with links to the security establishment, each soldier was given a special "deck of cards" with Ukrainian officials' images and descriptions on them. According to the article, the list includes officials and security professionals accused of 'crimes' by the Russian Investigative Committee.
On Friday, Zelensky alleged that Kremlin special forces had entered Kyiv to seek him down and were also hunting his family as part of a presumed regime change plot. Zelensky, in a televised interview from an undisclosed bunker in Kyiv, said that he is right now the "target number one" for Russian forces.
The Chechen batch of hunters is believed to be hiding in a Ukrainian forest, with a "order to kill" if people on the wanted list could not be detained or if they try to flee. There is speculation that people labelled as "Nazis" by Moscow will also be targeted.
Putin had earlier stated that one of the main goals of the invasion was to "deNazify" Ukraine. Ramzan Kadyrov, the republic's leader and a close Putin friend, was said to have visited his men in Ukraine, according to state television in Chechnya.
The Chechens are thought to be from the Federal Guard Service's South battalion, which is situated in Chechnya. Another close Putin friend, Viktor Zolotov, director of the Federal National Guard Service and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian National Guard Forces, met with Kadyrov on Thursday.
War Gets Scarier
The Chechen squad of hunters are said to one of the most specialized and ruthless and warfare. Prior to the invasion, US security officials were warned that Russian forces were being given "kill lists" of prominent Ukrainian politicians, officials, and campaigners to be sought down as part of Putin's terrifying threat to "denazify" the country.
Zelensky, who said his wife and his two children were in hiding elsewhere in Ukraine, however, remained confident and said that he will at no cost leave Kyiv. His family, including his wife Oleana, a 44-year-old architect and screenwriter, and their two children Aleksandra, 17, and Kiril, nine, remain in Ukraine, according to Zelensky. However, their lives remain at risk.
"These Chechen forces are fierce, battle-hardened, and completely merciless," a British military source told the Daily Mirror. "They are likely to have little regard for civilian lives as they focus on their mission."
The news comes as waves of Russian tanks continue to penetrate deep into Ukraine, bringing the total number of Russian forces in the country to almost 200,000. So far more than 1,000 Russian troops have been killed by a ferocious Ukrainian resistance but now they have to fight the Chechens.
After seizing control of the critical Chernobyl nuclear power facility earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian troops are now closing in on Kiev's seat of power and will grab it within 96 hours, Zelensky warned, which will bring a "new Iron Curtain" down on Europe.