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Prolonged concern about Ramzan Kadyrov's health highlights Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's dependency on Kadyrov for continued stability in Chechnya, the Institute for the Study of War stated in their daily report on Sept. 17.
The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) reportedly confirmed that Kadyrov was in a coma on Sept. 15, sparking rumors about serious health concerns. However, Kadyrov denied rumors about his health in a video posted on Sept. 17.
The ISW stated that destabilization of Kadyrov's rule in Chechnya would be a major blow to Putin's regime partly because of "how central the establishment of stability in Chechnya through a brutal and bloody war was to Putin’s early popularity in Russia." Russian officials, including Kadyrov, may be concerned that continued rumors about his health will affect the long-term stability of his control of Chechnya.
Additionally, the ISW highlighted Ukraine's liberation of Klishchiivka, south of Bakhmut. ISW analysts noted that Ukrainian control of Klishchiivka is a tactical gain of strategic significance because it allows Ukrainian forces to fix a considerable portion of Russian airborne (VDV) elements in the Bakhmut area.
According to Ukrainian military spokesperson Illia Yevlash, Russian forces will lose control over the southern flank of Bakhmut as a result of the Klishchiivka liberation, allowing the Ukrainian military to advance deeper and conduct “more accurate and deeper strikes, using various artillery systems, drones, and available weapons.”
Currently, the main task ahead of Ukrainian forces, he said, is to take control of the logistical routes, especially railway, by which the Russians deliver the necessary ammunition to the occupied city of Bakhmut.
Klishchiivka, which had a population of around 500 before the full-scale invasion and located just five kilometers south of Russian-occupied Bakhmut, was occupied in January by Russian forces.
The successful recapture of the village was first announced on Facebook on Sept.17 by the Liut ("Anger") Brigade, formed by the Ukrainian police and under command of the National Guard.