Vladimir Putin has promoted Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov to the rank Colonel-General following rumours the warlord is set for a new role in the war against Ukraine.
The 46-year-old Chechen leader announced his promotion in a video and said that he had been "personally congratulated" by the Russian President.
Kadyrov has been an ally and supporter of Putin's invasion of Ukraine and even urged the Russian leader to make use of nuclear weapons after Russian forces were pushed back in Ukraine.
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He also claimed he was sending three of his underage sons – Akhmat, Eli, and Adam, aged 16, 15, and 14, respectively, to fight in the war on the frontlines in Ukraine, following years of training them from a young age.
Kadyrov announced his promotion by saying: "Putin's foot-soldier became a Colonel-General today – order number 709.
"The president personally congratulated me, I give my word I will honour this trust."
Kadyrov previously served as a Lieutenant-General in the Russian national guard and previously said "Putin should be made President for life" when asked how he would avenge the murder of his father who was assassinated in 2004.
Kadyrov has been vocal about his criticism of the Defence Ministry's war strategy and believes his promotion is evidence that Putin is now listening to him.
In the midst of Putin's partial mobilisation of reserve forces, he had also recruited tens of thousands of "volunteers" for Putin's war.
"We will do everything to quickly finish the special operation," Kadyrov said.
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"There is no war without casualties. This is war, what are men born for?"
He posted: "Your Ramzan is now a Colonel-General -for the evil of his enemies, and the joy of his friends."
Kadyrov has boasted about having more Western sanctions on him than North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
"I have even left the North Korean leader behind, while they have made movies about him in Hollywood," said Kadyrov.
When speaking on the addition of his sons to the frontlines, he said his sons are "ready to use their skills in the [war] zone.
"It's time to show themselves in a real fight, and I only welcome their desire, soon they will go to the front line and will be on the most difficult sections of the contact line."
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