Russian army chief General Valery Gerasimov has sparked a row with certain factions after ordering troops to cut their hair and shave. Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov slammed the order as a deliberate “provocation”. He added that it was a distraction from Russia‘s invasion efforts in Ukraine.
Mr Kadyrov said on his Telegram channel: “Let’s just drop our guns and go and shave.
“What kind of nonsense is this?”
Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was characteristically sarcastic when responding to Gerasimov’s order.
He suggested Kadyrov should double the length of his beard and claimed his fighters were too busy to stop for a shave.
Prigozhin added: “War is the time of the active and courageous, and not of the clean-shaven.”
Gerasimov has been trying to promote more discipline in the Russian army since taking over as overall commander earlier this month.
The UK’s MoD said: “General Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s Chief of the General Staff and newly appointed commander in Ukraine, has likely started his tour with a drive to improve deployed troops’ day-to-day discipline.
“Since he took command, officers have been attempting to clamp down on non-regulation uniform, travel in civilian vehicles, the use of mobile phones, and non-standard haircuts.