Vene eriüksused (Spetsnaz)

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Vene eriüksused (Spetsnaz)

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Spetsnazi sisseastumis nõuded
what_is_spetsnaz.pdf (Nõukogude eriväed)
Viljandi desantnikud ja sptznasnikud

Üldiselt võib õelda, et Venemaal on väga palju igasugu üksuseid, kes tahavad või on ka spetsnaz ehk siis  mingile jõustruktuurile alluv eriüksus. Paraku on paljud neist heal juhul lihtsalt head showmehed ja akrobaadid. Kõige tõsiseltvõetamad ja maailmatasemel eriüksused on GRU alluvuses.


Подразделения специального назначения Российской Федерации

For the Russian Army special forces, see Spetsnaz GRU.

Russian special purpose regiments or Spetsnaz, Specnaz (Russian: Войска специального назначения, (спецназ) tr: Voyska spetsialnogo naznacheniya, pronounced [spʲetsnas]) is a general term for "special forces" in Russian, literally "special purpose". These Russian special forces can specifically refer to any elite or special purpose units under subordination of the Federal Security Service (FSB) or Internal Troops of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the units controlled by the military intelligence service GRU.

Currently, the term is used as well to describe any special purpose units or task forces of other ministries (even the Emergency Situations Ministry special rescue unit) [1] Foreign special forces are also commonly referred to as Spetsnaz on Russian television, for example "American Spetsnaz." Spetsnaz specialists have trained the Republican Guard of Syria, Iraq and Iran and they have been involved in training other special forces units across the world.

Internal troop units of the Cheka were originally raised for internal use against counter-revolutionaries and other undesirables; the most acclaimed is the Vityaz (MVD), or scarlet berets. Today they carry the same role as gendarmerie or National Guard units in other countries.

In the Armed Forces, spetsnaz is a term mainly used in connection with GRU-controlled COMINT, ELINT and radio-surveillance units. Spetsnaz carry out reconnaissance and social warfare missions in "peacetime" as well as in war. According to Vladimir Rezun, a GRU defector who used the pseudonym "Viktor Suvorov", there were 20 Spetsnaz brigades plus 41 separate companies. Thus, total strength of Spetsnaz forces was around 30,000 troops at the time, their numbers are unknown today.


    * 1 Federal Security Service units
          o 1.1 Alpha Group
          o 1.2 Vympel
          o 1.3 Special Operations Service
          o 1.4 Regional units
    * 2 Ministry of Interior units
          o 2.1 Internal Troops
          o 2.2 Militia
    * 3 Russian Army special forces
    * 4 Russian language use
    * 5 See also
    * 6 References
    * 7 Sources
    * 8 External links

Federal Security Service units
Main article: FSB (Russia)

The Center of Special Operations (CSN) of the FSB is designed to combat terrorism and to protect the constitutional order in the Russian Federation. The CSN FSB consists of 3 different "operative" subdivisions - Department A (also known as spetsgruppa "Alfa"), Department V (also known as spetsgruppa "Vympel"), and so-called SSO (Special Operations Service). The headquarters of CSN FSB is a huge complex of buildings and training areas (dozens of hectares worth of land, 76 training facilities, etc). It is located in the town of Balashikha-2, only 10 km away from the Moscow ring. The average training of a solid CSN operative lasts about 5 years.

Alpha Group

"Alfa" is a well-known counter-terrorist unit begun in 1974. Today "Alfa" is a highly professional unit, which consists of roughly 700 servicemen. The majority of the unit is stationed at Moscow, the rest of the unit is located in three other cities - Krasnodar, Yekaterinburg, and Khabarovsk. All the "Alfa" operatives undergo special airborne and firearms training. Roughly one third of them have special mountain training; another third have special counter-sabotage diving training. Spetsnaz operatives always improve on their skills in countless exercises and special operations (including constant service in North Caucasus). The unit utilizes a wide range of modern Russian and foreign weapons and equipment, some modified from the original versions to fit the unique needs of the unit.

Alpha Group

Spetsgruppa A
Alpha antiterror group emblem.png
Active Since July 28, 1974
Country Soviet Union
Russian Federation

Type Counter-terrorism

The Alpha (Alfa) Group (also known as Spetsgruppa A) is an elite dedicated counter-terrorism unit that belongs to OSNAZ (special-purpose forces) of the FSB (former KGB), or more specifically the "A" Directorate of the FSB Special Operations Center (TsSN).


    * 1 Function
    * 2 Training and equipment
    * 3 History
          o 3.1 Soviet Union
          o 3.2 Russian Federation
    * 4 See also
    * 5 Notes
    * 6 References
    * 7 External links


Alfa Group's primary function is believed to be to carry out urban counter-terrorist missions under the direct sanction and control of the Russian political leadership. However, little is publicly known and other plausible missions would include a variety of paramilitary, policing and/or covert operations, similar to the missions of its secretive pennant, the "V" Group (Vympel).

Training and equipment

Alfa Group has access to state of the art small arms and equipment. They have employed chemical agents in hostage rescue operations (see Moscow hostage crisis chemical agent) and are capable of functioning in an NBC environment. Little further information is publicly available. It is assumed that Alpha is equipped with sniper and counter-sniper capability, tactical emergency medical services, demolitions, tactical intelligence and other functions typical of both police special teams and the special operations community. It is unknown whether they have dedicated hostage negotiators.


Soviet Union

"Alfa Group" or Group A, a special forces (spetsnaz) or special operations detachment OSNAZ unit attached to the KGB was created on 28 July 1974 within the First Chief Directorate of the KGB on the orders of Yuri Andropov, then Chairman of the KGB. It was intended for counter-terrorism operations to give the KGB the capacity to respond to such incidents as the 1972 Munich massacre on its own territory. However, from the beginning, its assigned missions far exceeded its formal scope.[1] The Group was tasked with liberating hijacked airliners within the Soviet Union, such as Aeroflot Flight 6833 as well as making sensitive arrests such as that of CIA spy Adolf Tolkachev.

Their most notable mission during the Soviet period was the attack on the Amin's palace in Afghanistan on 27 December 1979, the special operation which began the Soviet-Afghan War. According to many Russian sources of information (including the memoirs of the Alfa and other special units' officers that took part in the seizure), the operation was called "Storm-333". The operation involved storming a high hill under extremely heavy fire and lots of intense close combat resulting in the death of the Afghan president, Hafizullah Amin, and his approximately 200 elite guards. In the operation Alfa group (called Thunder at the time) lost only two men while the other Soviet forces lost 19. Other governmental buildings such as the Ministry of Interior building, the Internal Security (KHAD) building and the Darul Aman Palace were also seized during the operation, which Alfa group's veterans called the most successful in the group's history. The unit served extensively in the following Soviet occupation of Afghanistan as well.

In October 1985, Alfa was dispatched to Beirut, Lebanon, when four Soviet diplomats had been taken hostage by militant Sunni Muslims. By the time Alfa was onsite, one of the hostages had already been killed. The perpetrators and their relatives were identified by supporting KGB operatives, and the latter were taken hostage. Following the standard policy of 'no negotiation', Alfa proceeded to sever some of their hostages' body parts and sent them to the perpetrators with a warning that more would follow if the Russian hostages were not released immediately. The tactic was a success and no other Russian national was taken hostage in the Middle East for the next 20 years,[2] until the 2006 abduction of Russian diplomats in Iraq.

During the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 the Alfa group (under the command of Major General Viktor Karpukhin) was assigned the task of entering the White House, Russia's parliament building, and killing Boris Yeltsin and the other Russian leaders following a planned assault on the entrance by paratroopers. This order was unanimously refused.[3] Unit members mingled through the crowds and assessed the possibility of undertaking such an operation. According to their statements in the following months, it could have been carried out with success, and achieved its main objectives within 20 to 25 minutes, but would have resulted in hundreds if not thousands of civilian deaths.

On March 11, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR announced its secession from the Soviet Union and intention to restore an independent Republic of Lithuania. As a result of these declarations, on January 9, 1991, the Soviet Union sent in a small team of Spetsnaz Grupp Alfa to quash the uprising. This culminated in the January 13 attack on the State Radio and Television Building and the Vilnius TV Tower, killing at least fourteen civilians and seriously injuring 700 more. One KGB operative was also killed in. When the media questioned why a KGB officer was in Lithuania the Soviet Union denied all knowledge.These events are known as January Events.

Russian Federation

According to some Russian military sources, the unit was "degraded" and demoralized by the political manipulation it suffered in the political battles surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union, with the KGB seeking to use it in the hardline 1991 plot against Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Russian president Boris Yeltsin also using it as an instrument of power when attacking the Russian White House during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis.[4] Following the 1993 crisis, Alfa and Vympel were briefly transferred to the MVD (Interior Ministry).[5]

The unit continued to exist after the collapse of the Soviet Union and has been used in a variety of crisis situations such as their highly controversial actions ending the Moscow theater hostage crisis in 2002 (called by the Alfa men "our first successful operation for years"[6]) and the Beslan school hostage crisis in 2004 in which the group suffered its highest official losses in history.


"Vympel" (the Pennant) – formerly known as an elite cold war-era KGB sabotage unit – is now also a counter-terrorist and counter-sabotage unit. But, unlike "Alfa", instead of learning how to storm airplanes and buses, they operate in an entirely different environment. They are experts in 18 special disciplines (among which - how to infiltrate guarded buildings, extensive marksmanship training, driving APCs and flying airplanes, and medical training) and are Russia's last defense against possible terrorist acts involving nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams, and other industrial complexes. However, "Vympel" operatives are still heavily used in special operations missions in the Northern Caucasus, along with their counterparts from "Alfa" unit. "Vympel" has 4 operative units, "Alfa" has 5 operative units. One unit from each Department is always participating in offensive operations in Chechnya. They constantly rotate their troops, and each operative unit is stationed in Chechnya at least 2-3 times per year. "Vympel" is stationed in Moscow, but it also has multiple branch offices in virtually every city where there is a nuclear power plant.

Department A and V operatives' standard BDU color is black. However, in Chechnya they use different kinds of camouflage such as the official woodland camouflage, "Flora".


Vympel (Russian: Вымпел, meaning "Pennant" from German "Wimpel", also known as KGB Directorate "B" ,Vega Group or Spetsgruppa V, Group B (cyrilc for V)) is a Russian special forces unit.

The exact lineage is not known but the unit was formed in 1981 by the KGB Gen. Drozdov within the First Chief Directorate of the KGB as a dedicated OSNAZ unit specialised in deep penetration, sabotage, universal direct and covert action, embassy protection and espionage cell activation in case of war. Most of the Vympel operatives mastered two or three foreign languages, for they were supposed to act in foreign countries, deep behind enemy lines.

Vympel quickly gained the reputation of being the best Soviet special forces unit,[citation needed] surpassing its GRU and MVD counterparts. However, after the collapse of the USSR, Vympel was decimated by endless re-organisation and re-definition: it passed under the aegis of the Security Ministry before being receded to the GUO (both institutions were short-lived offspring of the ex-KGB during the Boris Yeltsin era) and finally passed to the MVD. The militsiya had no use for such a unit. The bulk of the Vympel operatives could not stand the humiliation of being subordinated to the police, and duly resigned (of 278 officers, only 57 accepted to remain within the MVD). The unit was re-named Vega.

In 1995, the FSB Special Operations Center (TsSN FSB) was logically granted control over Vympel. Vympel regained its original name and was re-integrated in the Intelligence Service structures. The emphasis shifted from covert and clandestine sabotage operations to counter-terrorism and nuclear safety enforcement. Vympel operatives undergo special training related to improvised or special explosive devices, permitting them to use 'terrorist-like' tactics to carry out their operations. Physical training includes close hand combat, parachute training, diving, underwater combat techniques, climbing, ropetech alpinism. Regional groups of Vympel were deployed in cities with especially important nuclear objects.

Vympel (i.e. the Directorate "V" of the TsSN FSB) is still a classified and secretive unit. It took part in Russia's Chechen campaigns and on 4 October, 1993 in storming the Supreme Soviet building. Little is known about its current operations and activities, the exception being the capture of the Chechen terrorist and rebel leader Salman Raduyev in March 2000 and the assault on the school in Beslan in September 2004.

Special Operations Service

Special Operations Service - Not much information about SOS can be obtained, but it is known that they also participate in FSB special operations in the Northern Caucasus and also act as highly skilled bodyguards for government officials.

Regional units

Together with Center of Special Operations and its elite units, there are many FSB special forces units of regional significance. Such operative detachments are usually called ROSN (Regional Department of Special Designation). The most powerful ROSNs are said to be at Saint Petersburg (ROSN "Grad") and Nizhny Novgorod.

Ministry of Interior units

Internal Troops

Spetnaz MVD includes 15 Internal Troops units, which are of good quality and intended for use to combat insurgency, border security and for counter-terrorism purposes. These units usually have a unique name and official OSN number. Here is a list of some of these spetsnaz units (the list is deliberately not full due to obvious reasons):

    * 1st PSN (former 6th OSN) VV "Vityaz" - stationed in Moscow;
    * 7th OSN VV "Rosich" - Novocherkassk;
    * 8Th OSN VV "Rus" - Moscow;
    * 12th OSN VV "Ratnik" - Nizhni Tagil;
    * 15th OSN VV "Vyatich" - Armavir;
    * 16th OSN VV "Skif" - Rostov.

and many others.

They are generally well-trained and equipped, being far superior to the regular Russian infantry. Their missions may include reconnaissance missions and regular combat operations (mostly house-to-house CQB assaults). They (especially "Vitjaz") have sometimes served as the back-up team during the counter-terrorist operations by team "Alpha". Such as United States Army Rangers working with 1st SFOD-D (aka "Delta Force").

Rus (special forces)

Rus (Russian Русь) is a special forces unit (OSNAZ) of the Interior Troops (VV), of the interior ministry (MVD) of the Russian Federation. Its full name in Russian is OSNAZ VV MVD Rus.

According to an MVD official press release, Rus was created on August 1, 1994, as the heir of an unspecified Operational Purpose Distinct Division (ODON) unit of the MVD. The dedicated role of the unit is counter-terrorism and direct action in times of crisis. Officers and members of the unit regularly travel abroad to meet their foreign counterparts (especially in Israel, Austria and Germany) in order to share and gather their common experience and training techniques.

Rus actively participated, along with other MVD units, in the military and paramilitary operations in Chechnya. Since 1999, the unit is involved in active counter-terrorist operations there, along with other FSB, MVD and GRU special forces units. According to official data, the unit claims the destruction of hundreds of hidden weapons caches and hideouts. The liquidation of a certain number of terror cells, or rebel groups, is also claimed to be a collective work of FSB, GRU and MVD units operating alongside Rus.

Rus is one of the most decorated Spetsnaz (special forces) units in Russia. Since its creation, eight hundred Rus servicemen have been decorated for courage, six have been awarded the title Hero of Russia (three posthumously). A monument commemorating the fallen members of the unit was unveiled on February 25, 1997 at the home camp of the unit (location unknown).

In 2005, the unit was said to be still operating in Caucasus.

Vityaz (MVD)

Vityaz (Russian: Витязь, "Knight") is a Russian Spetsnaz unit of the MVD.

Vityaz is assigned specifically to counter-terrorism duties. Vityaz unit regularly conducts counter-terrorism patrols in Chechnya and along the Caucasus border. Vityaz troops are also trained to stop rebellions in prisons and regular army units, should they occur. Approximately 75 members of Vityaz have been awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation for their bravery.


    * 1 History
    * 2 Selection and training
    * 3 Uniforms and insignia
    * 4 Weapons and equipment
    * 5 See also
    * 6 External links


Selection and training

All volunteers for the Vityaz unit undergo the same selection course and training as regular GRU Spetsnaz trainees. The training is rigorous and very physically demanding, and less than 2 in 10 candidates pass the course. The training for Spetsnaz is described in fuller detail in the book Spetsnaz : Inside the Soviet SAS by the GRU defector Vladimir Rezun writing as Viktor Suvorov. The training course lasts for several months and includes training in hand to hand combat, weapons, intelligence gathering, hostage negotiation and rescue, riot control, field medicine and a large emphasis on physical fitness.

Uniforms and insignia

Vityaz wear the regular uniforms of the Russian army with the MVD Internal Troops flag patch worn on the left sleeve. Also they sometimes wear MVD specific patterns that are dissimilar to the VSR uniforms, such as tigerstripe and partizan. During specific high-profile counter-terrorism operations, vityaz troops usually wear black combat uniforms with special insignia, with uniforms clearly marked 'CПEЦHAЗ' (spetsnaz) on the front and rear to aid identification by friendly forces. Characteristic blood group patches are also worn to aid medical help in the event of injury. The distinctive Vityaz patch is worn on the right sleeve. The patch shows a fist imposed on an AK-47 rifle which is in turn imposed on a red star. On the left sleeve a special flag patch is worn which reads troops of special purpose and displays a sword and flag above the legend MVD. Vityaz members usually wear body armour and balaclavas and generally present a very intimidating appearance.

Weapons and equipment

Vityaz use the same weapons and equipment as other Russian units but are generally given preference over access to the newer weapons. Not very much information is available, but they are believed to have fielded the NR-2 combat knife which incorporates a 7.62 pistol, fired by clipping the knife and scabbard together.


Aside from the Interior troops special forces, MVD has plenty of Militsiya (police) special forces, which are stationed in virtually every large Russian city. While OMON units are mostly used as riot police and during drug busts, they are not really considered a significant counter-terrorist force and simply lack the sufficient expertise. For these reasons MVD has numerous OMSN units (formerly known as SOBR), which consist of senior ranked police officers and are properly trained and equipped to combat terrorists, insurgency, and to participate in any kind of high-risk mission in general.


The Special Rapid Response Unit or SOBR (Russian - специальные отряды быстрого реагирования = Spetsial'nye Otryady Bystrogo Reagirovaniya}}) (СОБР (акроним от Специальный Отдел Быстрого Реагирования - Special Rapid Response Unit) — подразделения специального назначения МВД.) is an elite commando unit of the Russian Interior Ministry, involved in anti-criminal operations.

On September 16, 2002, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov ordered that SOBR be dissolved; however this order was never carried out. It was active in Chechnya. SOBR continues to exist in Belarus and as of 2006 was headed by Dmitri Pavlichenko


    * 1 Reorganization into OMSN
    * 2 In popular culture
    * 3 Equipment
    * 4 See also
    * 5 References

Reorganization into OMSN

On September 16, 2002, the SOBR was officially dissolved. To date almost all of the SOBR units have been reclassified as OMSN (Otryad Militsii Spetsial'nogo Naznacheniya, Special Police Unit), and are subordinate to the regional criminal police offices. OMSN units are very similar to the SOBR, and are composed of highly professional, senior-ranking police officers (as opposed to OMON units).

OMSN units are tasked with fighting criminal elements, drug trafficking and other special operations under the jurisdiction of MVD. Lately, OMSN's premier task has been to combat terrorism for which they have received extensive counter-terrorism training, special weapons and equipment for this role. Due to the popularity of the name, as well as the similarities between SOBR and OMSN, the OMSN is usually still referred to as SOBR by both soldiers and civilians alike.

In popular culture

    * The standard operations style of SOBR was seen in the movie The Jackal (1997) (in the scene where a Russian Mobster is arrested inside a Moscow night club). SOBR was mislabelled as "MVD" by the producers.

    * The SOBR and the OMON feature heavily in sections of the Frederick Forsyth novel, Icon, in which Jason Monk uses them firstly to mount raids against the Dolgoruki mafia and then to percipitate Igor Komarov's failed coup d'etat of New Year's Eve 1999.


OMON (Russian: Отряд милиции особого назначения; Otryad Militsii Osobogo Naznacheniya, Special Purpose Police Unit) (ОМОН) is a generic name for the system of special units of militsiya (police) within the Russian and earlier the Soviet MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs). As of 2008, there is an OMON unit in every oblast of Russia, as well as in many major cities; for example, there is an OMON unit within the Moscow City police department, and a separate unit within Moscow Oblast police department. Their motto is "We know no mercy and do not ask for any."[1] OMON also continues to exist in Belarus and some other post-Soviet territories following the collapse of the Soviet Union.


    * 1 History
          o 1.1 High-profile operations
          o 1.2 In Chechnya
    * 2 OMON in Russia
    * 3 See also
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links


OMON originated in 1979, when the first group was founded in preparation for the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, to ensure that there were no terrorist attacks like the Munich massacre during the 1972 Summer Olympics. Subsequently, the unit was utilized in emergencies such as high-risk arrests, hostage crises, as well as in response to acts of terrorism. The OMON detachments were often manned by former soldiers of the Soviet Army and veterans of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

The OMON system itself is the successor of that group and was founded in 1987, with the commando duties largely taken over by the SOBR (dangerous criminals) and Vityaz (counter-terrorism) units of the MVD. The OMON units were initially used as the riot police used to control and stop demonstrations and hooliganism, as well as other emergency situations, but later became accustomed to a wider range of police operations, including cordon and street patrol actions, and even paramilitary and military-style operations.

High-profile operations

    * On January 20, 1991, the Soviet Riga OMON attacked Latvia's Interior Ministry, killing six people during the January 1991 events following the republic's declaration of independence.[2] Seven OMON members were subsequently found guilty by the Riga District Court and received suspended sentences.

    * A series of attacks on border outposts of the newly-independent Republic of Lithuania during the January-July 1991, resulting in several summary execution-style deaths of the unarmed customs officers and other people (including former members of Vilnius OMON), were attributed to Riga OMON; some sources say that the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev had lost control of the unit. Lithuanian government continues to demand that the persons suspected in these incidents should be tried in Lithuania; one suspect was arrested in Latvia in November 2008.[3]

    * Violent and often armed clashes between the Georgian SSR's OMON and the opponents of the first Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia prior to the Georgian Civil War of 1991-1993.

    * The April-May 1991 Operation Ring by the Azerbaijan SSR OMON and the Soviet Army against the Armenian irregular units in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, resulting in several dozen people killed and the forced displacement of thousands of ethnic Armenians.

    * Prior to the creation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the bulk of the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh on the Azeri side was conducted by the post-Soviet OMON units and irregular forces. This included the defence of the village of Khojaly by the force of Azeri OMON and volunteers against the Armenian insurgents and the Russian Army forces prior and during the Khojaly massacre on February 25, 1992; most of the group involved died during the ensuing slaughter in which several hundred of Azeri civilians died.

    * The Moscow OMON and units brought from the other cities clashed with the anti-Yeltsin demonstrators order during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, reportedly even beating up some members of the Supreme Soviet of Russia (the Russian parliament at the time).[4]

    * Cordon duties during the Russia's mass hostage crises, including the 1995 Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis, the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis and the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis.

    * Breaking up of several opposition rallies (including Dissenters' Marches since 2006), sparking reports of police brutality, including excessive use of force and arbitrary detention of participants.[5] In November 2007, the brutal actions of OMON against peaceful demonstrators and arrests of opposition figures were harshly criticised by the European Union institutions and governments.[6]

    * On March 24, 2006, Belarusian OMON stormed the democratic opposition's tent camp at the Minsk October Square without provocation, violently ending the peaceful Jeans Revolution against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. Thousands of people were beaten and hundreds detained as the result of the attack, including the opposition's presidential candidate Alaksandr Kazulin.[7]

    * In June 2007, the Moscow OMON prevented the gay rights activists (including the European Parliament members) from demonstrating the parade by detaining the activists. This is because they were instructed to do so, as the mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov did not allow the parade to take place.[8]

    * In August 2008, the South Ossetian separatist OMON took part in the fighting with the Georgian national forces during the 2008 South Ossetia war and were accused of "special cruelty" in the ethnic Georgian villages.[9] Subsequently, South Ossetian OMON fighters were included into Russian regular forces in area as a contract soldiers and continued to be deployed in the highly-disputed Akhalgori zone.[10]

In Chechnya

The force was active in the First Chechen War where the unit was used as light infantry and in the notorious "mopping-up" operations (zachistka).[11] In February 1996, a group of 37 officers of the Novosibirsk OMON were captured by the Chechen militants during the Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis;[12] 17 of them were later swapped for the Chechen fighters captured in the same incident. In August 1996, group of 30 Chechen OMON members answering to Said-Magomed Kakiyev were reportedly captured and executed in Grozny, the Chechen capital, during the battle for the city.

OMON is active in the Second Chechen War. Almost every Russian city sends, on a regular basis, small units of police (often composed of OMON members) for tours of duty in Chechnya lasting several months, while the Chechen Republic also formed its own OMON detachment. The force sustained heavy losses in the second conflict as well, including from the March 2000 ambush which killed more than 30 OMON servicemen from Perm (including nine captured and executed),[13] the July 2000 suicide bombing which inflicted more than 100 casualties at the Chelyabinsk OMON base in Argun,[14] and the April 2002 attack which killed 21 Chechen OMON troops in central Grozny.[15]

Control and discipline is questionable in Chechnya, where the members of the group were noted to engage in or fall victim of several deadly friendly fire and fratricide incidents. In the bloodiest incident, at least 24 Russian OMON officers were killed and more than 30 wounded when two units (from Podolsk and Sergiyev Posad) fired on each other in Grozny on March 2, 2000.[16] Among other incidents, several Chechen OMON servicemen were abducted and executed in Grozny by the Russian military servicemen in November 2000,[17] members of the Chechen OMON clashed with the Ingush police on the Chechen-Ingush border resulting in eight fatalities and about 20 injuries in September 2006,[18] and the Ramzan Kadyrov-controlled Chechen OMON clashed with a group of rival Chechens belonging to the Kakiyev's GRU commando unit in Grozny, resulting in five dead and several wounded in 2007.

In the course of the Chechen conflict the OMON was accused of severe human rights abuses,[19] including abducting, torturing and killing civilians. As of 2000, the bulk of war crimes recorded by international organisations in Chechnya appeared to have been committed by the OMON.[20] An OMON detachment from Moscow region took part in the April 1995 rampage in the village of Samashki, during which up to 300 civilians were reportedly killed in the result of a "cleansing operation" conducted there by the MVD forces.[21] The OMON unit from Saint Petersburg[22] is also believed to be behind the Novye Aldi massacre in which at least 60 civilians were robbed and then killed by the Russian forces entering Grozny in February 2000;[23] one officer, Sergei Babin, was reported to be prosecuted in relation to the case in 2005 and then to disappear.[24][25] In 1999 a group of unidentified OMON members shot dead around 40 refugees fleeing Grozny.[26]

In April 2006, the European Court of Human Rights found Russia guilty of the forced disappearance of Shakhid Baysayev, a Chechen man who had gone missing after being detained in a March 2000 security sweep by the Russian OMON in Grozny.[27] In 2007, the Khanty-Mansi OMON officer Sergei Lapin was sentenced for kidnapping and torture of a Chechen man in Grozny in 2001,[28] with the Grozny court criticising the conduct of the OMON serving in Chechnya in broader terms.[29] In an event related to the conflict in Chechnya, several OMON officers were accused of starting the May 2007 wave of the ethnic violence in Stavropol by assisting in the racist murder of a local Chechen man.[30]

Before and early during the Chechen wars, there were also OMON formations belonging the Interior Ministry of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Chechnya's separatist government.[31]

OMON in Russia

OMON personnel in Red Square, Moscow
An OMON ZIL-130 truck bus and troops in Tambov

Information from different sources suggests that there were between 10,500 and 15,000 OMON members stationed at population centers and transportation hubs around the country in the 1990s, yet by 2007 this number officially rose to about 20,000 nationwide (as referenced to as Innner Armed Forces). Members receive a comparatively small salary of about $700 per month in Moscow (regional units offer less). Most members retire at the age of approximately 45 years, and receive practically no financial aid from the state afterwards. They are also sometimes not paid for their service (in 2001, for example, some 50 OMON members from Moscow filed the lawsuit claiming they were not paid for one month of combat operations in Chechnya[32]). Due to the use of OMON members in high risk situations, especially in Chechnya and elsewhere in North Caucasus, the group often loses members in combat.

Members of OMON are supposed to be extremely fit and experts in small arms and hand-to-hand combat. Males between the ages of 22 and 30 who have completed their two-year military service can apply to join OMON (the application includes medical and psychological tests, and tests of speed and fitness). The initial training lasts for four months. The applicants are extensively trained in the use of different weaponry and close combat, and are also trained to follow orders at any cost. Special emphasis is put on urban combat and the entering and clearing of buildings. The training also includes legal training. The application procedure closes with a final test, where the applicant has to fight three to five trained members of OMON by hand wearing boxing gloves. Fewer than one in five applicants pass and are selected to join.

The OMON groups use a wide range of weapons, including but not limited to AK-74 assault rifle, AKS-74U carbine assault rifle, 9A-91 compact assault rifle, and PP-19 Bizon submachine gun. OMON units during a combat operations may also use other weaponry typical for the Russian light infantry (the OMON troops in Chechnya were sometimes called "OMON soldiers" in the reports,[33] especially in the so-called active phases of the conflict), such as the PK machine gun, the GP-25 underbarrel grenade launcher for AK-74 or the GM-94 pump-action grenade launcher, and the Dragunov and Vintorez sniper rifles.

OMON vehicles include specially-equipped vans, buses and trucks of various types, as well as limited number of armoured personnel carriers (BTR-60, BTR-70 and BTR-80). OMON's headgear remains a black beret (they are thus sometimes called "Black Berets") although otherwise there were significant changes in uniform and insignia. The group members often use the blue urban camouflage uniforms and black face masks while on duty, and various Russian Army and Internal Troops uniforms while in Chechnya. OMON of the Chechen Republic also frequently wear American-made military uniforms similar to these often used by the separatist fighters.

See also

    * Rus - A counter-terrorist and emergency situations unit of the Russian MVD
    * SOBR - A system of the Russian MVD special units specializing in combating dangerous criminals
    * SWAT - The American model for the initial OMON squads
    * Vityaz - Another counter-terrorist unit of the Russian MVD

Russian Army special forces

Main article: Spetsnaz GRU
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Soviet Spetsnaz team prepares for a mission at Kabul airport, in Afghanistan, 1988. Photo by Mikhail Evstafiev.

Spetsnaz GRU, or Russian army special forces, are considered the best trained units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The Spetsnaz have created a fierce reputation as one of the best special forces in the world today due to the very harsh standards of their training. They are controlled by the GRU. The units of Spetsnaz GRU have no official names, such as the case with units of MVD Spetsnaz. They are generally referred to by unit numbers, for example, "16th Separate Brigade of Spetsnaz", much like any other military unit.

Few details are actually known about the operations of Spetsnaz GRU, but it is known that the units were heavily involved in operations in Afghanistan and Chechnya. Spetnaz GRU teams usually wear standard-issue VDV uniforms, light blue VDV berets and unit patches in order to avoid identification. However, they can also wear different uniforms, for instance, they would wear the uniform of a unit which is stationed nearby, in order to blend in.

Spetsnaz GRU

Spetsnaz GRU
Active Origins Second World War; first units formed 1949
Country Russia
Branch GRU emblem.svg GRU
Type Special Forces
Role Reconnaissance
Direct action
Size ~15,000
Part of Soviet/ Russian Armed Forces
Engagements Soviet War in Afghanistan
First Chechen War
Second Chechen War
2008 South Ossetia War

The Spetsnaz GRU, or Russian army special forces, are the original Spetsnaz and are generally considered the best trained units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.[citation needed] They are a special unit under the control of GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye is the acronym for the foreign military intelligence directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation). GRU is the English transliteration of the Russian acronym ГРУ, which stands for "Главное Разведывательное Управление", meaning Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff. The full name is GRU GSh (GRU Generalnovo Shtaba (or "GenShtaba"), i.e. "GRU of/for the General Staff").

Spetsnaz soldiers function in much the same way as the British SAS or the United States Delta Force. They specialize in reconnaissance, sabotage and assassination.


    * 1 History
    * 2 Organization
    * 3 Equipment
          o 3.1 Spetsnaz Knife
    * 4 See also
    * 5 References
    * 6 External links


During World War II reconnaissance and diversionary forces were formed under the supervision of the Second Department of the General Staff. These forces were subordinate to the commanders of Fronts.[1] The situation was reviewed after the war ended, and between 1947 and 1950 the whole of the GRU was reorganised. The first 'independent reconnaissance companies of special purpose' were formed in 1949, to work for tank and combined-arms armies. In 1957, the first Spetsnaz battalions were formed, five to eliminate enemy nuclear weapons systems such as MGR-3 Little John and MGM-1 Matador. The first brigades were formed in 1962, reportedly to reach up to 750 kilometres in the rear to destroy U.S. weapons systems such as the MGM-52 Lance, MGM-29 Sergeant, and MGM-31 Pershing. Two 'study regiments' were established in the 1960s to train specialists and NCOs, the first in 1968 at Pechora near Pskov, and the second in 1970 at Chirchik near Tashkent.

Later operations included Operation Storm-333.


Here are the Spetsnaz Brigades and the location at which they are stationed:[2]

    * 2nd ObrSpN - Promezhitsy, Pskov Oblast; strength around 960 (Leningrad Military District)
    * 3rd Guards ObrSpN - Roshinskiy, Samara Oblast; (Volga-Ural Military District)
    * 10th (Mountain) ObrSpN - Molkino, Krasnodar Krai; activated July 1, 2003 (North Caucasus Military District)
    * 12th ObrSpN - city of Asbest-5, Sverdlovsk Oblast; (Volga-Ural Military District) transferring: Chaikovskyy (Perm'). Began 1990s at Lagodekhi in the Transcaucasus Military District
    * 14th Separate Brigade Ussuriysk, Primorsky Krai; (Far Eastern Military District)
    * 16th Spetsnaz Brigade - formerly Teplyi Stan, suburb of Moscow, now Chuchkovo, Moscow Military District
    * 22nd Guards ObrSpN - Kovalevka Rostov Oblast; (North Caucasus Military District)
    * 24th Spetsnaz Brigade - Kyakhta, Siberian Military District;
    * 67th ObrSpN - Berdsk, Novosibirsk Oblast; (Siberian Military District)
    * 216 INDEP SPETZNAZ BN Moscow (Moscow Military District)


Further information: List of equipment of the Russian Ground Forces

Spetsnaz (ballastic) Knife

A specialized ballistic knife was developed for the use of Spetsnaz. A powerful spring installed within the grip allows the blade to be ejected. Another form of Spetsnaz knife is the NRS-2 (Knife Reconaissance, Shooting) knife with a built in handle single-shot firearm able to fire SP-4 silenced cartridge (the same used in PSS silenced pistol).

See also

    * Alpha Group
    * Vympel
    * Rus (special forces)
    * Vityaz (MVD)
    * OMON
    * SOBR
    * Russian Airborne Troops


   1. ^ Carey Schofield, 'The Russian Elite: Inside Spetsnaz and the Airborne Forces, Greenhill, London, 1993, p.34-37
   2. ^ Interim reference is Carey Schofield, 'The Russian Elite: Inside Spetsnaz and the Airborne Forces, Greenhill, London, 1993, Appendixes, p.259

External links

    * Camouflage uniforms used by Russian Federation armed forces
    * Russian Army
    * Russia Military Guide Includes satellite photos of bases

Russian language use

The word "Spetsnaz" is a syllabic abbreviation typical for the Russian language since the Soviet era, with its proliferation of new organizations. However, the widespread use of this word is actually a relatively recent, post-perestroika development in the Russian language. The existence of these special forces units was not known to the general public during the Soviet era. In a sense, this became yet another state secret that was published during the glasnost of the Gorbachev's perestroika. There were a number of well-known books written about the Spetsnaz, the best known of these being "Aquarium" by Viktor Suvorov, a GRU agent who defected to England.

Suvorov also wrote a book specifically on the subject. The stories about the Spetsnaz and their allegedly incredible prowess, from the more serious to the highly questionable, have captivated imaginations of the more patriotic, and perhaps less critical, Russians, particularly being set against the background of a generally known decay in the Russian military during perestroika and the post-Soviet era. It merits noting that the great interest in all things Spetsnaz ran parallel to the similarly intense interest in all things related to intelligence, KGB, etc. The popularity of Spetsnaz was all the more enhanced by the reports of their very real accomplishments during Russia's second campaign in Chechnya starting in 2000.

At the turn of the 21st century, many of what would be generally considered as inaccuracies were written about Spetsnaz, GRU, KGB, and similar "top secret" and "exciting" topics. The word "Spetsnaz" was sometimes frivolously used to refer to anything the speaker deemed somehow special or exclusive. For example, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a well-known populist and nationalist politician, once referred to his and his political party comrades' going for a swim at a party-organized festival as a "Spetsnaz on the water", while speaking on camera. This somewhat intentionally extreme incident should give some sense of the extent the term has been debased for many people.

Nowadays, in Russia "spetsnaz" have become a colloquial term gradually losing its umbrella function; special operations became much more commonplace, be it a police drug raid, terrorist scenario or military operation. Heavy news coverage of such events allowed the public to address these units by name - OMON, SOBR, Alfa, Vympel, Vityaz and so forth. The Interior Ministry units like OMON are especially close to everyday life now, as they are acting as riot police and SWAT, so they're even less likely to be called Spetsnaz. The word itself is always spelled in lower case in Russian, even when referring to the GRU Spetsnaz.

In the United States, despite the focus on the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is still some training conducted at Fort Irwin's National Training Center and Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center for countering Spetsnaz in the rear areas of NATO[citation needed]. Spetsnaz is still, twenty years after the end of the Cold War, regarded as a significant threat[citation needed].

See also

    * Spetsnaz GRU
    * Alpha Group
    * Vympel
    * Rus (special forces)
    * Vityaz (MVD)
    * OMON
    * SOBR
    * Russian Airborne Troops
    * Spetsnaz (TV miniseries)


   1. ^ The Degradation of Russia's Special Forces, by Stanislav Lunev, The Jamestown Foundation


    * Isby, David C., Weapons and tactics of the Soviet Army, Jane's Publishing Company Limited, London, 1988
    * Carey Schofield, 'The Russian Elite: Inside Spetsnaz and the Airborne Forces,' Greenhill, London, 1993
    * Swjatoslaw Nikolajewitsch Koslow (Hrsg.): Speznas GRU: Pjat’desjat let istorii, dwazat’ let wojny. Russkaja Panorama, Moskau 2001, ISBN 5-93165-037-7.
    * Swjatoslaw Nikolajewitsch Koslow (Hrsg.): Speznas GRU-2: Wojna ne okontschena, istorija prodolschajetsja. Russkaja Panorama, Moskau 2002, ISBN 5-93165-064-4.
    * Viktor Suworow: Speznaz: Geheimnis hinter Glasnost. Produktion: Erwin Grothe. Verlag Dissberger, 1. Auflage 1989, ISBN 3-924753-25-3.

Dessantniku definitsioon
Üldiselt oli omal ajal levinud müüt, et dessantvägedes teenisid vaid ehedad venevägilasmõõtu musklimehed. Tuhka see nii oli. SpetsNaz-is olid jah, jubedamad tüübid, aga need polnud ju ajateenijad, need olid tavaliselt ohvitserid ja vaid abiteenistuses olid tavasoldatid ja neil polnud tegelike kõrilõikajatega miskit pistmist. DShB e. Dessantno Shturmavoi Bataljon oli pisut leebem värk kui SpetsNaz ja see koosnes tõesti valitud vennikestest, kelle lihasmass ja ajupotentsiaal olid parlanksis ning tugevalt üle keskmise.

Tavaline dessantdiviis ei erinenud peale 80-ndate keskpaigas käsivõitluse õpetamise keelustamist tavalisest jalaväest enam millegi muu kui vaid langevarjuga kargamise, mundri ja topelt toiduportsioni poolest. Tavalised dessantdiviisid olid mõeldud vaenlase tagalasse massiliseks sissetungiks ja maksimaalseks pasa kokkukeeramiseks võimalikult lühikese aja jooksul. Ainsateks kõrilõikajateks koolitati diviisides luurajaid ja neid oli vaid sadakond 15-tuhandelise diviisi kohta. Kui oleks läinud madinaks, oleks sellele 15-tuhandele lisandunud veel 5000 reservväelast ja oligi kõik.


Earning the maroon beret: how the special forces (spetsnaz) are tested

The two-day national qualification trials for the right to wear the maroon beret took place at the Mercury Special Forces training center in Zhornovka in the Smolensk Region. The trials finished on October 10.

Some 183 servicemen from all regional departments of Russia’s Interior Ministry took part in the trials. Only officers who have served in the Special Forces for at least 12 months were allowed to participate.

The qualification trials included a 12-kilometer battle march…

…an obstacle course…

…sharp shooting…

…storming buildings…

…and acrobatics, courses of special exercises with and without weapons, and hand-to-hand combat.

“The Spetsnaz spirit, the spirit of those who wear maroon berets, is born in pain, in overcoming oneself. The right to wear the maroon beret is, first and foremost, the highest moral stimulus, which gives them [Spetsnaz servicemen] the right to carry out the most dangerous missions, which require special responsibility, as they are mainly connected with the saving of people’s lives,” Russian interior minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said.

He said more than 500 military officials wear maroon berets, setting an example for excellent fighting skills and high moral qualities.

“Servicemen of Special Forces operational detachments are the elite of the country’s Interior Ministry troops. Just this year, 113 bandits have been detained and 145 destroyed, including several militant leaders, with the involvement of Spetsnaz servicemen,” Nurgaliyev said.

According to the minister, Russia’s Interior Ministry troops solve complex problems connected with global threats, including terrorism, extremism, and organized crime.

“When the task cannot be completed by police and criminal investigators, the Spetsnaz come to the rescue. Qualification trials are not only a tradition, but also the spirit of the Spetsnaz,” the head of Russia’s Interior Ministry said.

The two-day national qualification trials for the right to wear the maroon beret took place at the Mercury Special Forces training center in Zhornovka in the Smolensk Region.

The two-day national qualification trials for the right to wear the maroon beret took place at the Mercury Special Forces training center in Zhornovka in the Smolensk Region.

Some 36 Spetsnaz and military reconnaissance servicemen were found to be worthy of wearing maroon berets.


 ''I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying''
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