During the training at the Russian Special Forces University, there were only two classes on shooting and one, theoretical class, on ambushes. After this, the fighters were placed onto a plane and sent to the military operation zone, according to the diary of Rasul Taspenov from Kazan, who did not serve in the army, who in the autumn of 2022 went to fight in Ukraine through the Akhmat special forces. The Kavkaz Uzel (Caucasian Knot) tells about this.
As the publication wrote, Ramzan Kadyrov, the gauleiter of Chechnya, regularly reports on sending groups of fighters to Ukraine. On December 13, he stated that Chechnya had fulfilled the plan for partial mobilization by 1,500%. On December 23, 2023, he reported on sending the next group of fighters to the military operation zone.
Rasul Taspenov runs a cargo transportation business in Kazan. He did not serve in the army, but he decided that he would join the army if war broke out. In the autumn of 2022, he flew as a volunteer under a contract through the Akhmat regiment. For three months, while performing combat missions in the special operation zone, Rasul kept a personal diary.
According to Rasul, he arrived in Grozny at the beginning of October 2022, a holiday was celebrated in the city, “like a city day,” and there were a lot of portraits of Putin. (October 5 is the birthday of Ramzan Kadyrov, on the same day the day of Grozny city is celebrated, and on October 7 mass actions are held in Chechnya on the occasion of the birthday of Vladimir Putin, – note of the Kavkaz Uzel). On the same day, he was registered at the mayor’s office and required to open a VTB card.
“I said I was blacklisted at this bank. Dubious transactions were made on my card 5-7 years ago – that was what the bank told me. They say,without a VTB card one cannot receive payments for participation in the Special military operation,” Rasul said. According to him, the card was opened to him “through the Ministry of Defense.”
After gathering at the mayor’s office, the volunteers were taken in a Gazelle to the base of the Russian Special Forces University in Gudermes.
“It seemed that the Gazelle was rubber. People sat and stood almost on top of each other. <…> At the entrance they asked to lay out all the contents of the duffel bags. They asked us to hand over our phones. We were given 10 minutes to warn our loved ones that we would be without communication,” he noted.
According to him, the fighters were placed in tents, each for 30 people.
“The tents are so huge. They have about 15 bunk beds. This means one tent for 30 people. There are about eight such tents, all for different numbers of people. There is a tent with shower rooms, a tent with a dining room, and a tent with sinks and a laundry room. On the territory of the camp there is a horizontal bar, parallel bars, barbell, and dumbbells. There is a stall with very high prices and very low-quality products,” he wrote.
In the evening, on the day of Rasul’s arrival to the base, another group of volunteers arrived. At one o’clock in the morning everyone was taken to the distribution of uniforms.
According to him, the next morning the fighters were taken to the shooting range and explained the rules for handling weapons.
“They gave us machine guns without bullets. They explained how to reload them, etc. When we had more or less learned our lesson, they gave us bullets and we loaded the magazines. We shot. Not at the targets, but just forward. Probably so that we just get used to the shots,” said Rasul.
After lunch, the volunteers were taken to a theory course.
“The topic of the lesson was ambushes set up. First, we were shown video materials of the ambushes made. We learned the main mistakes. Petrovich explained the basic rules of how to set up ambushes and how to get out of them. Everything was more than clear. He gave us the most concentrated knowledge. Everything was accompanied by video materials. It was very informative. It is a pity, time flew by very quickly,” Rasul writes in his diary.
Already on October 8, the fighters were “invited to sign contracts.”
“The date was tomorrow (October 9). It turns out that we are leaving tomorrow. A lot of people arrive, there is no place to accommodate everyone, so as soon as 200 people are recruited, they send the group to the Special military operation. And the plane takes a maximum of 200 people,” the diary says.
On August 7, Abubakar Yangulbaev, a lawyer, reported that his uncle and three cousins were sent to Ukraine – security forces detained them and, after three days of special forces training at the university in Gudermes, they were sent to the military operation zone.
Before lunch, the soldiers went to the shooting range again.
“I watched the work of snipers and machine gunners. I was lucky enough to shoot from the Rocket Assault Grenade (assault grenade launcher) and Handheld anti-tank grenade launcher-7. After lunch, we were lined up and told that we would not be able to sleep that night, as there would be a lot of work to do,” he said.
The police officers then took fingerprints of the fighters in case they needed to identify the bodies. The priest held “religious activities” for the Orthodox people.
“About two hours later they lined us all up again to hand out 50,000 rubles in cash. The distribution lasted approximately two hours. There are 200 of us, everything is going on slowly. After distributing the money, everyone who needed it was taken to the cash machine. I went too. About half the guys went. They drove us in KamAZ trucks and made three trips. Naturally, a queue formed. There is only one cash machine. I put money on the card and transferred everything to my wife Marina. Everything was going on for a very long time, the cash machine did not accept many bills on the first try,” writes Rasul.
After that, they gave us telephones and lined us up again to compensate for the money we spent on the road. They called everyone by name and gave us money.
“We went to our tents. At approximately 03:00-04:00 at night they started calling us to give us autumn clothes. It is strange, but some people were given jackets, and others were given jackets and pants. I was given a jacket and pants. Walkie-talkies were given out. We went to our tents to sleep. They told us to be ready at 06:00 am. Just a couple of hours were left for sleep,” he wrote. After this, the fighters were sent to Grozny airport to fly to the military operation zone.
On October 30, 2023, the head of Chechnya announced that since the beginning of the military operation, 32,000 soldiers have been sent to the ranks of the Akhmat special forces in the war zone. On November 11, 2023, Kadyrov clarified that since the beginning of the Special military operation, 15,000 volunteers have been sent to the military operation zone, and on November 14 he announced that over 9,000 residents of the republic have been employed in military service during this period.
Military experts interviewed by the Kavkaz Uzel considered the 10-day preparation period insufficient. This period is sufficient only for volunteers who already have military experience. In Afghanistan, Soviet soldiers were trained for battle for six months.
The revenue of the Russian Special Forces University in Gudermes, where volunteers are trained to be sent to Ukraine, tripled in 2022, according to a report published by the tax service. “Voluntary donations” amounting to 349 million are listed in the report as the organization’s only source of income in 2022.