REUTERS/Chingis Kondarov/File Photo
- A Putin ally said he wants to turn to Poland after Ukraine, to “denazify and demilitarize” it.
- Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said “I personally have such an intention.”
- Russia has been struggling in Ukraine, but Kadyrov said the war would end this year.
A key ally of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said he wants to invade Poland after Russia takes over Ukraine.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-appointed leader of Chechnya, said on Monday that Poland is in his sights as the next country that Russia could “denazify and demilitarize” — the excuse Russia gave in justifying its invasion of Ukraine.
“What if, after the successful completion of the NMD, Russia begins to denazify and demilitarize the next country? After all, after Ukraine, Poland is on the map! I will not hide that I personally have such an intention,” Kadyrov said on Telegram, according to a translation by the Daily Beast.
“I have repeatedly stated that the fight against Satanism should continue throughout Europe and, first of all, on the territory of Poland,” he added.
It’s not clear how Russia could go about this, given its ongoing struggles in Ukraine, where its military has been bogged down for almost a year in a grinding conflict.
Many had expected Ukraine to be captured within days after the invasion began.
Poland is also a NATO and EU member, which means it would get more support from the West than Ukraine has.
Kadyrov also suggested, without justification, that the war in Ukraine could be over soon, telling a minister that the war would be “over before the end of this year,” according to Russian news agency TASS.
“European countries will admit they have been wrong, the West will fall to its knees, and, as usual, European countries will have to cooperate with the Russian Federation in all spheres. There should not and will never be an alternative to that,” he said.
Ukraine’s neighbors were initially worried at the start of Russia’s invasion that Russia could confront them next, or launch attacks while it was still fighting in Ukraine.
Many ramped up their defense spending and agreed to new defense pacts to act as a deterrent and be ready for any attacks.
But as the war ground on, any immediate fears subsided.
Kadyrov, a close ally with Putin, has also been critical of the Russian army’s performance in Ukraine, calling for even more brutal tactics.
He has made some of the more outlandish comments and threats to the West since the invasion began, including saying in October that Russia should use a low-yield nuclear weapon, and that his three sons, aged between 14 and 16, were fighting in Ukraine.