Threatologist Profile: Yug-Akhmat Battalion — One of Chechnya’s Defence Ministry units

This profile provides key details about the Yug-Akhmat Battalion, one of several “Chechen” units created within Russia’s Ministry of Defence. Created in summer 2022, it has participated in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The emblem of Yug-Akhmat Battalion
The badge of Yug-Akhmat (23)

How to use these profiles

These profiles are intended as a research resource, consolidating reporting on the origins and operations of key security units. You can use them to provide background information when writing about individual units, or you can use them to compare different parts of the Chechen security services.

Key takeaways from the profile

  • Yug-Akhmat is one of four “Chechen” units within the Russian Defence Ministry created in mid-2022. It is constituted as a battalion; Zapad-Akhmat and Vostok-Akhmat were likewise designated as battalions, whereas Sever-Akhmat was constituted as a regiment.
  • The Yug-Akhmat Battalion is subordinate to the 42nd Motorised Division, part of Russia’s 58th Army of the Southern Military District.
  • It has participated in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since September 2022, but appears to have been less active there than the Sever-Akhmat regiment.

Profile last updated: 6 March 2024.

What is the Yug-Akhmat Battalion?

The Yug-Akhmat Battalion is a “Chechen” unit within the Russian Ministry of Defence. It has been commanded since its creation by Musa Iblayev/Borziyev (Zveroboy).

Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov announced plans to create four such units — the Sever-Akhmat regiment and the Yug-Akhmat, Zapad-Akhmat, and Vostok-Akhmat battalions — on 26 June 2022 (10). He declared that the process of forming all four had been completed by 18 July 2022 (4).

Yug-Akhmat is subordinate to the 42nd Motorised Division, which forms part of Russia’s 58th Army of the Russian Southern Military District (3). It should not be confused with the 249th Detached Special Motorised Battalion Yug, which is part of Russia’s National Guard (Rosgvardia) Kavkaz Realii noted that it was unclear why Sever-Akhmat had been constituted as a regiment, when the other three Akhmat Ministry of Defence units had been designated as battalions (12).

Full name (English)Yug-Akhmat Battalion of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
Full name (Russian)Батальон «Юг-АХМАТ» МО РФ
Parent organisation42nd Motorised Division, 58th Army
Date created26 June 2022 (announced); 18 July 2022 (completed)
Date of first observed deployment19 September 2022
Reported sizeIn July 2022, Kadyrov reported that the combined strength of four newly created units would be 1800 (6)
Social media channels

Where is Yug-Akhmat based?

The base of the Yug-Akhmat Battalion is in Khankala, Chechnya (43°17’53.74″N, 45°45’18.27″E) (13).

Delimkhanov also associated the military base 16544 — which is located in Borzoy, Shatoyskiy Rayon, Chechnya — with the unit in a post about Borziyev (24).

Who is a member of the Yug-Akhmat Battalion?

CommanderMajor Musa Iblayev/Borziyev (Zveroboy)*
Deputy commanders
Other reported members
* Musa Iblayev and Musa Borziyev are the same person: Both are referred to at different (non-chronological) times as commander of the unit by Chechen official sources, and some of these sources identify both as having the call sign Zveroboy (1, 2, 13, 21, 5, 17, 24, 26).

When the unit was created, Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov stated it would be comprised exclusively of Chechen fighters (10).

Members of Yug-Akhmat reported killed

DateNameRankPlace of originLocation killedSource
20 January 2023*Roman Sultanovich BersunkayevSenior police sergeantChechnyaNot specified(7)
* Date reported; date of actual death unknown

Gallery of Yug-Akhmat members

Commission a profile of a security actor

You can gain in-depth knowledge of a security actor of interest to you by commissioning one of these profiles. Guarantee coverage, gain reliable information — and save time in the process.

Where does the Yug-Akhmat Battalion operate?

Ukraine

Kadyrov reported that two deployments from Yug-Akhmat had left Groznyy to participate in the “special military operation” on 19 and 27 September 2022, having been trained at the Russian University of Spetsnaz (13). This appears to have been the unit’s first deployment.

In June 2023, Russian prisoners’ rights NGO Rus Sidyashchaya published a video of the interrogation of Sergey Medvednik, a captured fighter from Spetsnaz Akhmat. According to Medvednik, Sever-Akhmat and Yug-Akhmat were fighting alongside his group near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast (8).

The following table details the activities of the unit, as reported by the Chechen authorities, the unit itself, or other pro-Russian sources. These constitute an admission of the unit’s involvement in specific parts of Russia’s broader aggression in Ukraine:

DateArea of operationDetails
December 2022Zaporizhzhia OblastKadyrov claimed the Akhmat Kadyrov foundation had delivered “humanitarian aid” to fighters from Yug-Akhmat, Sever-Akhmat, and Zapad-Akhmat (18).
December 2022Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia OblastChechnya Today reported that fighters from the unit had attended prayers in the Ar-Rakhma mosque, led by a delegation from the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Chechnya (19).
February 2023Zaporizhzhia OblastKadyrov claimed that Sever-Akhmat, Yug-Akhmat, Vostok-Akhmat, and Zapad-Akhmat had all received “humanitarian” supplies from the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation (11).
April 2023Zaporizhzhia frontKadyrov claimed that the unit was using drones to identify Ukrainian troops (21, 23).
May 2023Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Orikhiv frontKadyrov claimed that troops were active in the area (20).
June 2023Zaporizhzhia OblastKadyrov reported that Russia’s 58th Army — including units from the regiments Akhmat-Rossiya, Akhmat-Chechnya and Sever-Akhmat and the battalions Vostok-Akhmat, Yug-Akhmat and Zapad-Akhmat — had destroyed a large number of Ukrainian tanks participating in a counteroffensive in Zaporizha Oblast (3).
August 2023Orikhiv frontKadyrov claimed the unit had destroyed Ukrainian Leopard tanks on the front (14).
February 2024Zaporizhzhia OblastIn an interview, Iblayev claimed a resident of the village of Mikhailovka had appealed to him and the Akhmat Kadyrov Foundation for support for an eye operation. Iblayev also claimed that, on the request of local residents, the unit had repaired a water station (15).

Other notable details

Noteworthy incidents and events

In February 2023, the Telegram channels Baza and ASTRA claimed that soldiers from Yug-Akhmat had illegally tried to transport cartridges and grenades from Zaporizhzhia Oblast to Kalinovskaya, Chechnya, but were stopped by police in Stavropol Kray. The channels did not provide any evidence to substantiate their claims (22).

Iblayev was awarded the Hero of Chechnya medal for his services in Ukraine in October 2023 (16). He received the Order of Courage in the same month (25).

International response

Neither Yug-Akhmat nor Iblayev have been sanctioned by the US, the UK, the EU, or Ukraine, despite their extensive involvement in Russia’s “special military operation.”

Graphic showing failure to sanction by all listed countries

Do you have a project that could benefit from research support?

If you have a project that could benefit from language and research skills, subject-matter expertise and cross-sectoral experience, I offer tailor-made research support services that can help you deliver high-quality work in less time.

Analytic report writing

Data collection & fact checking

Research project management

Sources

Show sources
  1. Kavkaz Realii. 28 November 2023. В Чечне уже 14 полков и батальонов носят имя отца главы региона Ахмата Кадырова. Accessed at https://www.kavkazr.com/a/v-chechne-uzhe-14-polkov-i-bataljonov-nosyat-imya-ottsa-glavy-regiona-ahmata-kadyrova/32702887.html on 5 December 2023.
  2. Caucasian Knot. 23 January 2024. Список отрядов “Ахмат” пополнился за счет райотделов полиции. Accessed at https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/396502 on 29 January 2024.
  3. ChGTRK Groznyy. 10 June 2023. Рамзан Кадыров: Гордимся, что в составе 58 армии в Запорожской области бьет врага 42 дивизия из ЧР. Accessed at https://grozny.tv/news/main/55333 on 26 February 2024.
  4. Caucasian Knot. 18 July 2022. Кадыров отчитался об укомплектовании полка “Север-Ахмат”. Accessed at https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/379242/ on 26 February 2024.
  5. Caucasian Knot. 7 June 2023. Кадыров заявил о трех дивизиях спецназа “Ахмат”. Accessed at https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/389433/ on 26 February 2024.
  6. Caucasian Knot. 7 July 2022. Кадыров назвал численность новых чеченских батальонов. Accessed at https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/378892 on 28 February 2024.
  7. Kavkaz Realii. 14 April 2022. Груз-200: список убитых в Украине военных с Северного Кавказа и Юга России. Accessed at https://www.kavkazr.com/a/gruz-200-spisok-ubityh-v-ukraine-voennyh-s-severnogo-kavkaza-i-yuga-rossii/31785720.html on 28 February 2024.
  8. Kavkaz Realii. 18 July 2023. Под Бахмутом попал в плен боец “Ахмата” – он заявил, что половина его взвода бежала. Accessed at https://www.kavkazr.com/a/pod-bahmutom-popal-v-plen-boets-ahmata-on-zayavil-chto-polovina-ego-vzvoda-bezhala/32508564.html on 28 February 2024.
  9. RKadyrov_95. Telegram. 10 September 2022. Untitled post. Accessed at https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2809 on 28 February 2024.
  10. RKadyrov_95. Telegram. 26 June 2022. Untitled post. Accessed at https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/2438 on 28 February 2024.
  11. RKadyrov_95. Telegram. 22 February 2023. Untitled post. Accessed at https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3379 on 29 February 2024.
  12. Kavkaz Realii. 18 July 2022. В Чечне отчитались о создании нового именного полка “Север-Ахмат”. Accessed at https://www.kavkazr.com/a/v-novyy-imennoy-polk-v-chechne-voshli-sotrudniki-mvd-voennye-i-grazhdanskie-litsa/31948140.html on 28 February 2024.
  13. Caucasian Knot. 27 September 2022. Кадыров отчитался об отправке в Донбасс бойцов “Юг-Ахмата” и добровольцев. Accessed at https://www.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/381538 on 4 March 2024.
  14. Groznyy Inform. 20 August 2023. Батальон «Юг-АХМАТ» МО РФ успешно отбивает атаки ВСУ в Ореховском направлении. Accessed at https://www.grozny-inform.ru/news/society/153632/ on 05 March 2024.
  15. Chechnya Today. 16 February 2024. Командир батальона «ЮГ-Ахмат»: «В зоне СВО доверие местных жителей к нам обусловлено авторитетом Главы ЧР». Accessed at https://chechnyatoday.com/news/372766 on 5 March 2024.
  16. Argumenty i Fakty Stavropol. 7 October 2023. В Грозном награждены сотрудники силовых ведомств, отличившиеся на СВО. Accessed at https://stav.aif.ru/society/v_groznom_nagrazhdeny_sotrudniki_silovyh_vedomstv_otlichivshiesya_na_svo on 5 March 2024.
  17. Chechnya Today. 24 July 2023. Кадыров рассказал об успехах «дроноводов» из батальона «Юг-Ахмат» на СВО. Accessed at https://chechnyatoday.com/news/366993 on 5 March 2024.
  18. Chechnya Today. 24 December 2022. В Запорожскую область из Чеченской Республики отправлен груз с медикаментами. Accessed at https://chechnyatoday.com/news/361345 on 5 March 2024.
  19. Chechnya Today. 21 December 2022. Чеченские богословы посетили Мелитополь. Accessed at https://chechnyatoday.com/news/361244 on 5 March 2024.
  20. Vesti Chechenskoy Respubliki. 30 May 2024. Рамзан Кадыров сообщил, что в Запорожской области на Ореховском направлении успешно действует батальон «Юг-АХМАТ» МО РФ. Accessed at https://vesti095.ru/2023/05/ramzan-kadyrov-soobshhil-chto-v-zaporozhskoj-oblasti-na-orehovskom-napravlenii-uspeshno-dejstvuet-batalon-yug-ahmat-mo-rf/ on 5 March 2024.
  21. Chechnya Today. 2 April 2023. Рамзан Кадыров рассказал об успехах чеченских бойцов в Запорожском направлении. Accessed at https://vesti095.ru/2023/04/ramzan-kadyrov-rasskazal-ob-uspehah-chechenskih-bojtsov-v-zaporozhskom-napravlenii/ on 5 March 2024.
  22. Kavkaz Realii. 2 February 2023. Кадыровцы пытались привезти из Украины в Чечню десятки гранат и сотни патронов – СМИ. Accessed at https://www.kavkazr.com/a/kadyrovtsy-pytalisj-privezti-iz-ukrainy-v-chechnyu-desyatki-granat-i-sotni-patronov/32252092.html on 6 March 2024.
  23. RKadyrov_95. Telegram. 2 April 2023. Untitled post. Accessed at https://t.me/RKadyrov_95/3490 on 6 March 2024.
  24. Adelimkhanov_95. Telegram. 30 April 2023. Untitled post. Accessed at https://t.me/adelimkhanov_95/2170 on 6 March 2024.
  25. Sever_ahmat_mo. Telegram. 25 October 2023. Untitled post. Accessed at https://t.me/sever_ahmat_mo/206 on 6 March 2024.
  26. Adelimkhanov_95. Telegram. 9 February 2024. Untitled post. Accessed at https://t.me/adelimkhanov_95/2616 on 6 March 2024.