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Battle for Freedom: On the frontline

Chechen divisions fight neo-Nazis during the special operation in Ukraine

‘You are all here because you know very well that fascism, Nazi ideology, all kinds of Azov fighters and other scumbags should not exist on the face of this earth. I have seen with my own eyes what those thugs do to civilians,’ said Daniil Martynov, the Deputy Head of the National Guard of Russia in the Chechen Republic. He addressed these words to the volunteers who arrived at the frontlines of the special operation in Ukraine. These soldiers have strong motivation and years of military service experience. They came to end an 8-year long conflict in Donbass, protect its people from the Ukrainian nationalists and secure Russian borders.

The filming crew followed Chechen units of the Russian army on the frontline: how they fight, where they sleep and what challenges they face. The film has a reality effect: viewers have to escape shelling, inspect fortified positions and share simple meals. The Russian soldiers not only fight with Ukrainian neo-Nazis but also help civilians who are stuck in the combat zone. Chechen soldiers share medication, food, water and other supplies. ‘I want to help, so they can return to normal life as soon as possible,’ says codename ‘Shmel’, a soldier of the National Guard of Russia in the Chechen Republic.