According to Ukraine Today correspondent Andriy Tsaplienko, the Chechens overcame a lot of difficulties when crossing many borders to get to Ukraine and personally purchased all their gear and equipment, while some weapons were provided to them by their fellow countrymen, Ukraine Today reports.

The long history of Russia-Chechnya conflict resulting in two Russian military campaigns in the region has led to a split among the Chechen troops, some of whom eventually joined the ranks of a vocal Putin supporter Ramzan Kadyrov, the 37-year old current president of Chechnya.

However, some veteran Chechen fighters still believe in their nation's independence and continue their struggle alongside Ukrainian forces against a common enemy, and see the war in Ukraine as a continuation of theirs.

Short of ammunition and arms, volunteer battalions are still actively engaged in fighting near Mariupol against Russia-backed militants, learning from their Chechen comrades how to make weapons. 

According to one of the Chechen fighters many more Chechens are willing to join Ukrainian forces in the battle for “common freedom” as they understand the meaning of the term “Russian occupier” and also hope that Chechnya will break free from Russian influence if the Kremlin is beaten here in the Ukrainian Donbas.

He also added that Moscow is using the same tactics against Ukraine in the Donbas as it used to back in Chechnya over a decade ago – massing up an overwhelming number of troops, although not caring about their needs, and using the skills of the security services to slowly advance and take over territories.

See’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine in video from Ukraine Today, Ukraine’s 24-hour English-language news channel.