A RUSSIAN colonel has been shot in the head by his own side as he was gunned down by troops working for one of Vladimir Putin’s warlords.
Lieutenant Colonel Albert Atmurzaev, 39, was killed by national guards loyal to close Putin’s ally Ramzan Kadyrov, the warlord leader of Chechnya, according to reports.
Lieutenant Colonel Albert Atmurzaev has been killed by Russian soldiers
East2WestThe colonel (circled) was shot dead after refusing to stop his car in Grozny, Chechnya[/caption]
ReutersThe national guards who shot him are loyal to Russian warlord and Putin ally Ramzan Kadyro[/caption]
The shooting was in Grozny, capital of Chechnya, where Kadyrov is reported to be gathering a vast “private army” ostensibly for use supporting the dictator in the war in Ukraine.
Reports say that Atmurzaev – a Russian interior ministry officer – drove past the Akhmat-Arena stadium when the guardsmen flagged him to stop.
After failing to halt, two warning shots were fired in the air, before aim was then taken at Atmurzaev and he was shot in the head.
The wounded colonel was rushed to hospital but doctors could not save him.
The Russian and Chechen forces have not admitted to the embarrassing friendly fire killing, say reports.
There are suspicions that the forces being amassed in Chechnya are not for Ukraine but could be deployed if Putin is threatened by a coup.
Or in the event of Putin’s demise as a result of the war going wrong for Russia, Kadyrov could attempt to breakaway from Russia and set up an independent state.
Kadyrov was appointed as a Colonel-General by Putin in the Russian national guard and also holds the Kremlin’s highest award of Hero of Russia.
Following Yevgeny Prigozhin’s unexpected death last year, reports claimed Putin was set to replace his mercenary Wagner group with Kadyrov’s ruthless Chechen soldiers.
The experienced mercenaries have been involved in the Ukraine conflict since 2014, when tensions first boiled over in the Donbas, and now more than 7,000 Chechen troops are reported to be in Ukraine.
Kadyrov is necessary for Putin as he keeps Chechnya under his lawless control with an iron fist, terrorising his subjects through “kidnap, rape and murder as standard practice”.
But despite being one of Putin’s most loyal allies, it’s been rumoured that he is testing the 71-year-old dictator’s patience – deliberately, as he senses weakness in his circle.
The Chechen leader – or Putin’s “attack dog” – posted a video to social media in November where his schoolboy son can be seen punching and kicking a 19-year-old prisoner accused of burning the Koran.
Following the attack, Kadyrov then made teenager Adam Kadyrov, 15, his top bodyguard.
He will oversee the protection of a number of officials and VIPs as well as his father.
Elsewhere, Putin has assembled a huge army on Ukraine’s eastern flank as Russia gears up to blitz a key city before the 2024 presidential elections.
Forty-thousand troops, 500 tanks and hundreds of howitzer artillery guns stand poised to unleash hell on Kupyansk as Moscow’s forces edge closer.
And rare footage shows countless coffins of Putin’s dead fighters stacked on top of each other, ready to be taken to families.
Putin’s top brass killed one by one
MANY top Russian generals have been slaughtered since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago.
Admiral Viktor Sokolov was Moscow’s top admiral in Crimea and was said to be killed in September.
Ukrainian special forces apparently took out the commander, 61, along with 33 other officers in a missile attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the port of Sevastopol.
Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky was one of the first to die when he was shot dead by a sniper in March, in a major blow to Putin’s resources.
He was reportedly killed at the battle for Hostomel Airfield about 30 miles outside the capital Kyiv.
Vitaly Gerasimov, another of Putin’s senior officers, was killed in conflict outside Ukraine’s Kharkiv, just days after Sukhovetsky’s death.
Gerasimov was awarded a medal for “capturing” the disputed province of Crimea in 2014, and also received medals after leading troops in Syria and in the second Chechen war.
Major General Andrei Kolesnikov, of the 29th Combined Arms Army, was killed in March 2022, Ukraine’s defence mistry said at the time.
Colonel Andrei Zakharov, commander of a tank regiment, was killed in an a Ukrainian ambush near Kyiv also in March 2022.
Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Safronov, who led a Marine brigade, died along with Lieutenant Colonel Denis Glebov and Colonel Konstantin Zizevsky, who led air assault troops.
Safronov and Glebov were killed when Ukrainian forces have recaptured the city of Chuhuiv, while Zizevsky was killed at in the south of Ukraine.
General Magomed Tushaev died in February 2022 when his Chechen special forces column, including 56 tanks, was obliterated near Hostomel, north-east of the city.