The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday it had signed a contract with the Chechen special forces group known as "Ahmed's Forces", a day after the founder of the Russian military special group Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin refused to sign a similar contract.
The signing followed an order stating that all members of the so-called "volunteer units" must sign contracts by July 1 to be under the control of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, at a time when Moscow is trying to tighten its control over the special armies fighting on its behalf in Ukraine.
In return, volunteer fighters will receive all the benefits and guarantees that regular forces receive, including support for them and their families if they are injured or killed.
Prigozhin has consistently been at odds with Russia's Defense Ministry, accusing it of not providing sufficient ammunition supplies to his military group in Ukraine.
He said on Sunday he would refuse to sign any contract with the ministry. Shoigu "cannot manage military formations well", he added.
On Monday, the Defense Ministry signed a contract with the Ahmed paramilitary battalion, described as the special army of Chechen region commander Ramadan Kadyrov.
Ahmed's forces, a Chechen force of 4 battalions, named "Ahmed's Forces" after Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov, are 10,<> strong and have carried out several attacks in Ukrainian cities, and are semi-affiliated with the Russian army despite the inclusion of volunteers from outside the army.
On June 26, 2022, Chechen President Ramadan Kadyrov announced his intention to form 4 Chechen special military battalions and declared them subordinate to the Chechen Ministry of Defense.
and the four battalions (Ahmed Shamal, Ahmad Janoub, Ahmad Sharq and Ahmad Gharb). These battalions will include huge numbers of exclusively Chechen fighters who will join the ranks of the Russian Defence Ministry, he said.
The Chechen president gave the four battalions the name of his father Ahmed, also known as the "Akhmat" forces in a special symbolism for him, and a motivator for Chechen soldiers, especially since Akhmad Kadyrov is considered a national leader in Chechnya.
The Ukrainian media sees Ahmed's special forces as "terrifying", as they are the only forces from outside Russia and Ukraine that participate in the war directly, while the rest of the non-Chechen countries have only provided logistical support, especially European countries supporting Ukraine.