Chechnya’s Kadyrov Raising Military Unit Based On Sufi Order Not For Ukraine But For Use In North Caucasus – OpEd


Reports last month that Ramzan Kadyrov was organizing a military force based on the Batal-Haji wird of a Sufi order for use in Ukraine were disturbing enough given that the Chechen leader was doing so on under the terms of Putin’s mobilization order  (

 But now an Ingush human rights activist suggests something even more disturbing: He says that this new force may never go to Ukraine at all and instead will be used by Kadyrov both against his enemies within the Chechen nation and possibly against Ingushetia and Daghestan against which he has made territorial claims (

There is no confirmation of this report, but it is entirely consistent with Kadyrov’s disregard for the law and his desire to have independent bases of power. It is, however, a worrying sign of just how much power he has arrogated to himself and how unwilling or unable Putin is to do anything about it.

The threat that such a force would pose to Ingushetia is especially great, at least potentially, because a large share of the members of the Batal-Haji wird are Ingush – and many of these are senior officials in Magas. If Kadyrov were to use this force against Ingushetia, he might well expect support within Ingushetia for such a move.

Given that Kadyrov already took ten percent of Ingushetia through a backroom deal in 2018, an act that sparked massive protests there, this report that Kadyrov may be planning to exercise a military option against the republic in the future is certain to raise the political temperature in the republic.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “Chechnya’s Kadyrov Raising Military Unit Based On Sufi Order Not For Ukraine But For Use In North Caucasus – OpEd

  • December 9, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Let’s be very clear…. These are NOT Sufis and this article, while interesting and factual in most (as I’m not qualified with respect to “all”) regards, it absolutely should not represent even “sometimes” Sufis.

    The lineage of this alleged tariqa has no true roots in foundations of Sufism. Sufism by lineage and intent as taught and documented by any of the primary saints and shaikhs has nothing whatsoever to do with proffering violence or politics. It is quite the opposite. If it appears so, it is because of frailties in human nature and owes nothing to the belief system itself.

    It would be no different from saying Christianity is sometimes violent because the Spanish Inquisition taught us so. Or democracy is bad because people stormed the capital resulting in half a dozen unnecessary deaths. These are great ideals, mishandled by a few people with horrible ideas.

    Humans at best are approximations of the ideals they establish within even the most well intended institutions. It is a delicate balance between what begets what… let’s be clear.

    Thank you for the article.


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