Chechen volunteer fighters and Ukrainian troops join forces (Video)

15:41, 27 May 2015

Ukraine Today's war reporter Andriy Tsaplienko talked with the volunteer fighters from a none-too-ordinary unit consisting of Chechen nationals, the “Sheikh Mansur Battalion”, which joined the Ukrainian ranks in the Donbas in the battle against Russia-backed militants.

Muslim, a member of the unit who has neither family nor property, tells of the story of his twenty-five-year fight for Chechen independence against the Kremlin, recalling that he rejected an offer from the officials from Kremlin loyalist Ramzan Kadyrov’s entourage to form one of the power structures in the region, Ukraine Today reports.

 After losing six family members to the war with Russia, having seen the atrocious murders of children in carpet bombings, he realized that the fight for independence from Moscow had become the purpose of his life, the fighter said.

The unit is now stationed near the war-torn village of Shyrokyne, once a seaside resort just ten kilometers from the strategic port city of Mariupol, which is seen by many as the enemy’s primary target. The exact number of troops in the battalion is kept secret, but one of the fighters reveals that hundreds of Chechens from across Europe are ready to become their brothers-in-arms - whenever Ukraine gives a clear signal that they would be welcome. Today, the Sheikh Mansur Battalion fights along with the Right Sector and Donbas battalions.

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.

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