Soviet and Russian military special forces
The elite units of the Soviet Armed Forces and Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are controlled, for the most part, by the military-intelligence GRU (Spetsnaz GRU) under the General Staff. They were heavily involved in secret operations and training pro-Soviet forces during the Cold War and in the wars in Afghanistan during the 1980s and Chechnya during the 1990s and 2000s. In 2010, as a result of the 2008 military reforms, GRU special forces came under the control of the Ground Forces, being "directly subordinated to commanders of combined strategic commands." However, in 2013, these Spetsnaz forces were placed back under the GRU, under the wings of the newly formed Special Operations Forces of the Russian Federation . The Russian Airborne Troops includes the 45th Guards Spetsnaz Regiment.
Special Operations Forces, subordinate directly to the MoD
Special Operations Command (KSO)
Russian Ground Forces
2nd Special Purpose Brigade in Promezhitsa, Pskov Oblast
3rd Special Purpose Brigade in Tolyatti
10th Special Purpose Brigade in Mol'kino, Krasnoyarsk Territory
14th Special Purpose Brigade in Ussuriysk
16th Special Purpose Brigade in Tambov
22nd Special Purpose Guards Brigade in Stepnoi, Rostov Oblast
24th Special Purpose Brigade in Irkutsk
Russian Airborne Troops
45th Guards Special Purpose Regiment
Naval Special Operations Units
442nd Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Pacific Fleet)
420th Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Northern Fleet)
431st Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Black Sea Fleet)
561st Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (omrpSpN – Baltic Fleet)
FSB of the Russian Federation special forces
The Center of Special Operations of the FSB is officially tasked with combating terrorism and protecting the constitutional order of the Russian Federation. The CSN FSB consists of estimated 4,000 operators in three operative divisions:
Directorate "A" (Spetsgruppa Alpha)
Directorate "B" (Spetsgruppa Vega)
Directorate "C" (Spetsgruppa Smerch)
Regional FSB units
Spetsgruppa 'A' (Alpha Group) is a counter-terrorist unit created in 1974. It is a professional unit, consisting of about 700 operators and support personnel in five operational detachments. Most are stationed in Moscow, with the remainder in three other cities: Krasnodar, Yekaterinburg and Khabarovsk. All Alpha operators undergo airborne, mountain and counter-sabotage dive training. Alpha has operated in other countries, most notably Operation Storm-333 (when Alpha and Zenith detachments supported the 154th Independent Spetsnaz Detachment—known as the "Muslim Battalion"—of the GRU on a mission to overthrow and kill Afghan president Hafizullah Amin).
Spetsgruppa "B" (Vympel, also known as "Vega" in period 1993-1995) was formed in 1981, merging two elite Cold War-era KGB special units—Cascade (Kaskad) and Zenith (Zenit)—which were similar to the CIA's Special Activities Division (responsible for covert operations involving sabotage and assassination in other countries) and re-designated for counter-terrorist and counter-sabotage operations. It is tasked with the protection of strategic installations, such as factories and transportation centers. With its Alpha counterparts, it is heavily used in the North Caucasus. Vympel has four operative units in Moscow, with branch offices in nearly every city containing a nuclear power plant.
Spetsgruppa "C", or Smerch, but also known as the Service of Special Operations (ССО), is a relatively new unit formed in July 1999. Officers from Smerch are frequently involved with the capture and transfer of various bandit and criminal leaders who help aid disruption in the North Caucasus and throughout Russia. Operations include both direct action against bandit holdouts in Southern Russia as well as high-profile arrests in more densely populated cities and guarding government officials. Because of its initials, this group is casually referred to as “Smerch”. With the Center of Special Operations and its elite units, many FSB special forces units operate at the regional level. These detachments are usually known as ROSN or ROSO (Regional Department of Special Designation), such as Saint Petersburg's Grad (Hail) or Murmansk's Kasatka (Orca).
Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation
The SVR RF, formerly the First Chief Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, has its own top secret special force known as Zaslon (Заслон) (meaning Screen, Barrier or Shield) about which extremely little is known.
Within the Operations Department of Directorate S, there is the elite Special Operations Group called Zaslon. Formerly in PGU KGB USSR called Vympel (e.g. French counterpart; Division Action). However, mere existence of such group within SVR is denied by Russian authorities. Nevertheless, there were some rumors that such group does indeed exist and is assigned to execute very special operations abroad primarily for protection of Russian embassy personnel and internal investigations. It is believed that the group is deep undercover and consists of approximately 300-500 highly experienced operatives speaking several languages and having extensive record of operations while serving in other secret units of the Russian military.
Russian MVD special forces
The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz includes a number of Russian Internal Troops (VV, successor to the Soviet Internal Troops) paramilitary units to combat internal threats to the government, such as insurgencies and mutinies. These units usually have a unique name and official OSN number, and some are part the ODON (also known as Dzerzhinsky Division).
The following is a list of Internal Troops OSNs (отряд специального назначения, "special purpose detachment") in 2012:
Dzerzhinsky Division (O.D.O.N.)
604th Special Purpose Center
7th OSN Rosich (Novocherkassk)
12th OSN Ural (Nizhny Tagil)
15th OSN Vyatich (Armavir)
17th OSN Edelveys (Mineralnye Vody)
19th OSN Ermak (Novosibirsk)
20th OSN (Saratov)
21st OSN Tayfun (Sosnovka)
23rd OSN Mechel (Chelyabinsk)
25th OSN Merkuriy (Smolensk)
26th OSN Bars (Kazan)
27th OSN Kuzbass (Kemerovo)
28th OSN Ratnik (Arkhangelsk)
29th OSN Bulat (Ufa)
33rd OSN Peresvet (Moscow)
34th OSN (Grozny)
Are there any intentions of Russian Defense Ministry to create a Unified Special Forces Command?
Last edited by George1 on Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:32 am; edited 5 times in total