Before Wagner Group chief Yevgeniy Prigozhin struck a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin that halted the Wagner march on Moscow, another leader encouraged his men to join the fight — this time to back Putin.

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Muslim-majority Chechen Republic, said in a Saturday Telegram post that Chechen fighters were “moving into the zone of tension” and that “the rebellion must be put down,” in a move to support Putin, his longtime ally.

Videos posted Saturday and verified by The Washington Post showed Chechen forces loyal to Kadyrov on the move in Russia’s Rostov region.

“The fighters of the Ministry of Defense and the Russian Guard in the Chechen Republic have already left for the zones of tension,” Kadyrov said on Telegram. “We will do everything to preserve the unity of Russia and protect its statehood! The rebellion must be crushed, and if this requires harsh measures, then we are ready!”

Here’s what we know about the leader of Chechnya and his close ties to Putin:


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