Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Douglas Patient

Vladimir Putin’s warlord henchman urges Russia to use nuclear weapon in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s warlord henchman from Chechnya has urged Russia to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine after a humiliating defeat on the battlefield.

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia's region of Chechnya, said on Saturday that Moscow should consider using a low-yield nuclear weapon in Ukraine after its loss of the stronghold of Lyman.

Kadyrov slammed top commanders for their failings and wrote on Telegram: "In my personal opinion, more drastic measures should be taken, right up to the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons."

He was speaking a day after President Putin proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions - including Donetsk, where Lyman is located.

They were placed under Russia's nuclear umbrella, saying Moscow would defend the lands it had seized "with all our strength and all our means".

Kadyrov is head of Russia's region of Chechnya (Reuters)

Russia has the world's largest atomic arsenal, including low-yield tactical nuclear weapons that are designed to be deployed against opposing armies.

Other top Putin allies, including former president Dmitry Medvedev, have suggested that Russia may need to resort to nuclear weapons, but Kadyrov's call was the most urgent and explicit.

The influential ruler of the Caucasus region of Chechnya has been a vocal champion of the war in Ukraine.

The ruler of the Caucasus region of Chechnya has been a vocal champion of the war in Ukraine (SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Chechen forces forming part of the vanguard of the Russian army there.

Kadyrov is widely believed to be personally close to Putin, who appointed him to govern restive Chechnya in 2007.

In his message, Kadyrov described Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, commander of the Russian forces fighting at Lyman, as a "mediocrity", and suggested that he should be demoted to private and stripped of his medals.

"Due to a lack of elementary military logistics, today we have abandoned several settlements and a large piece of territory," he said.

Russia testing a new nuclear-capable missile earlier this year (EyePress News/REX/Shutterstock)

Kadyrov said that two weeks before he had raised the possibility of a defeat at Lyman with Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia's general staff, but that Gerasimov had dismissed the idea.

Russia's Defence Ministry on Saturday announced a withdrawal from Lyman, a major stronghold and logistical hub for Russian forces in Ukraine's Donetsk region saying that a Ukrainian advance had threatened its units with encirclement.

It was the latest in a series of battlefield humiliations for Russia, after its forces were routed from Kharkiv region by a lightning Ukrainian counteroffensive last month.

After Russia's defeat in Kharkiv, Kadyrov said he would be "forced to go to the country's leadership to explain to them the situation on the ground" unless urgent changes were made in the conduct of the war.

Putin said last week he was not bluffing when he said he was prepared to defend Russia's "territorial integrity" with all available means.

Washington says it would respond decisively to any use of nuclear weapons and has spelled out to Moscow the "catastrophic consequences" it would face.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.