Spetsnaz: Russia's Special Forces (Elite, Volume 206) by Mark Galeotti

By Mark Galeotti

While the shadowy, infamous Spetsnaz have been first shaped, they drew on a protracted Soviet culture of elite, behind-the-lines commando forces from global warfare II or even past. during the 1960s-70s they have been instrumental either in projecting Soviet strength within the 3rd global and in suppressing resistance in the Warsaw pact. As a strong, yet mysterious instrument of an international superpower, the Spetsnaz have necessarily develop into the focal point of many 'tall tales' within the West. during this ebook, a peerless authority on Russia's army distinct Forces debunks numerous of those myths, uncovering truths which are usually much more awesome. Now, because the chaotic dissolution of the USSR and the 2 Chechen Wars, Russian forces have noticeable expanding modernization, related to them ever extra in power-projection, counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism and the Spetsnaz were deployed as a spearhead in almost all of those operations. This booklet bargains a different, soaking up advisor to the secrets and techniques of the Spetsnaz, their so much noteworthy missions and personalities, yet is additionally jam-packed with information comparable to orders-of-battle, apparatus and operational doctrine.

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Although Afghanistan had shown their potential, the Russian military hierarchy were anxious to wipe that miserable conflict from their collective memory, and hoped to ensure that the armed forces would never again be deployed in such a war. The innovations pioneered by Fortieth Army – from relying on more flexible brigades rather than larger divisions, all the way to increasing the numbers of snipers in units – were deemed to be ad hoc responses to a one-off situation, not lessons for the future.

3) Close-combat training, 2014 Even more so than most special forces, the Spetsnaz place a premium on physical fitness and hand-to-hand combat skills. The latter involve their own variant of Sambo, a distinctive Russian martial art, using not just hands and feet but also a range of weapons including knives and, as here, the versatile and lethal saperka short-handled entrenching tool with sharpened edges. He is wearing the VDV’s digital Florapattern battledress, standard issue since 2011 but soon to be replaced with the new Ratnik pattern (see Plates F2 & F3).

They were not Spetsnaz in the true sense of the word. THE MODERN SPETSNAZ Although Spetsnaz would continue to operate in Chechnya sporadically after the end of the main military phase in 2002, they again found themselves in an uncertain position. They had demonstrated their value in the kind of lowintensity, highly mobile brushfire conflicts that look set to dominate the early decades of the 21st century. On the other hand, the regular ground forces and the VDV, jealous alike of their budgets and roles, were disinclined to acknowledge that the Spetsnaz could do what they could not – and what those services did not want to touch, the FSB and MVD wanted to claim for themselves.

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