KEY POINTS

  • Ramzan Kadyrov said they could take over Poland in less than 10 seconds should Putin issue the order
  • Kadyrov is asking Poland to apologize for an incident wherein Russian ambassador Andreev was doused in red paint
  • Some Polish leaders previously expressed concerns about a possible Russian attack against Poland

An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently expressed his interest in attacking Poland next, adding that he is already prepared for assault should the Russian leader give the order. 

Chechen leader and Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov threatened to take over Poland in less than 10 seconds unless they issue an official apology for an incident earlier this month involving Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreev. 

"The issue of Ukraine is closed. I’m interested in Poland. After Ukraine, if we're given the command, in six seconds we'll show you what we're capable of," Kadyrov said in a video published Wednesday on Twitter by BBC journalist Francis Scarr.

"You should better take back your weapons and your mercenaries. And beg official forgiveness for what you did to our ambassador. We won't just ignore it."

The incident Kadyrov is referring to involved Andreev who was doused with red paint during a Victory Day event in Poland by demonstrators protesting against the invasion of Ukraine. Some protesters wore white sheets smeared with blood, symbolizing the victims of Russia’s invasion, and chanted "fascist" and "murderer" at the ambassador. 

In addition to the red paint, the demonstrators also prevented Andreev from laying flowers at a cemetery for Soviet soldiers. The Russian ambassador and his delegation were forced to leave the event.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, later took to Telegram to condemn the attack and claim that it was done by neo-Nazis. 

"The admirers of neo-Nazism have again shown their faces," she said. "But as I have said before, we cannot be intimidated. It must be terrible for the inhabitants of Europe to see their own reflections in the mirror."

Kadyrov’s recent statements appear to cement concerns by some Polish leaders that Russia could potentially attack Poland in the future. While Putin has yet to indicate any concrete plans to launch an attack outside Ukraine, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski in late March told Al Jazeera that the Russian leader would be willing to attack Warsaw. However, Jablonski added that Putin will unlikely wage a war against Poland until after the invasion of Ukraine. 

It was not immediately clear when or where Kadyrov filmed his statement. 

A service member from Chechen Republic looks on during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol A service member from Chechen Republic looks on during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict in the city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 15, 2022. Photo: Reuters / STRINGER