Kadyrovtsy (Russia)

Country: Russia
Details of Formation: Akhmad Kadyrov formed a personal militia, named Kadyrovtsy, during the First Chechen War in 1994. The group was then a rebel group fighting against the Russian army. After the outbreak of the Second Chechen War in August 1999, Kadyrov defected with his Kadyrovtsy to the Russian side. When Kadyrov was appointed Chechen president in July 2000, the Kadyrovtsy became de-facto state police units.
Details of Termination: On April 29, 2006, Ramzan Kadyrov disbanded the Kadyrovtsy as such. Members were then rearmed and transferred to two new battalions. They were legalized by the Russian government as a law enforcement unit and became a motorized regiment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 2007 it became the personal protection service of Ramzan Kadyrov. The Kadyrovtsy remained active even after their official integration as regular units (Wikipedia).
Purpose: At formation, the main purpose of the group was to act as private security guard to protect the head of the Chechen administration (Akhmad Kadyrov). When it became a de-facto unit of the state police, its purpose was also to fight Chechen rebels, and to intimidate the population as well as political opponents of the Kadyrovs (Wikipedia). In 2004 Akhmad Kadyrov was murdered, pointing to a failure of the Kadyrovtsy’s purpose to protect him at that time point. The group was very active in intimidating civilians and opposition and killing rebels (Wikipedia).
Organisation: The Kadyrovtsy were headed by Akhmad Kadyrov until his death, his son of the founder Ramzan Kadyrov then took over the command. In 2004 they were formed into two Special Forces battalions, as well as a patrol regiment of the police and the Oil Regiment. The Kadyrovtsy are considered to be the personal army of Akhmad Kadyrov and later of his son Ramzan Kadyrov (Wikipedia).
Weapons and Training: The Kadyrovtsy own guns, but not heavy equipment, which they were only given when they were integrated into regular forces (Wikipedia).
Size: In 2003, the Kadyrovtsy numbered 3,000 men, and their number rose to up to 7,000 men in 2005 (Wikipedia). In 2006, there are ambiguous reports on the number, with 5,000 mentioned by Wikipedia and 8,000 mentioned by news sources.
Reason for Membership: While still a rebel group, members joined because they were personally devoted to the Kadyrovtsy clan and Chechen separatism. When the leader Akhmad Kadyrov died many remained in the Kardyrovtsy because of pressure on their relatives (especially hostage taking) (Wikipedia).
Treatment of Civilians: The Kadyrovtsy are infamous for their mistreatment of civilians. They employ a wide range of violence against them with the aim of intimidation and preventing them from voicing malcontent with the government. They have become the organization must feared among the civilian Chechen population. The leader of the Kadyrovtsy allegedly participates in these actions and orders them (Wikipedia).
Other Information: The Kadyrovtsy are named after their founder Akhmad Kadyrov. They are also known under their English version “Kadyrovites”. The category “aid worker” of the variable “target” refers to human rights activists.
References: Wikipedia. “Kadyrovtsy”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadyrovtsy