Special: Russian Spetsnaz

What are they:

The Russian Spetsnaz is a special operations force team for intelligence services that worked with the ministry of interior and the ministry of emergency situations. They divide in different branches such as the ground forces, airborne forces, Navy and Marine, and the National Guard. 

When were they founded:

Colonel Mikhail Svechnykov was the first to propose the concept of Special Forces. Ilya Starinov who is regarded as the grandfather of the Spetsnaz eventually made this idea a reality in 1930. Around that time was when they were lightly implemented in the Second World War with the red army. General Marshal Georgy Zhukov helped with the creation of 46 Spetsnaz companies which then became battalions and then brigades. The Spetsnaz thrived during and after the dissolution of the KGB and they’re still a very powerful military group. 

Hard training:

The Russian Spetsnaz training brutality goes beyond what people think. It not only trains their bodies to become extremely resilient, durable, and powerful but it also conditions their minds for some real toughness. The training involves technical skills such as using some of the military tools such as drones, missiles, training in different extreme conditions such as arctic weather, dry hot weather, extreme wind conditions, and tough terrains. 

One of the things that characterize this special army is their use of hand to hand combat training style that is very reminiscent of Krav Maga which is a very technical military style of training to defend against, attack, and neutralize opponents. They train with live ammo, how cray.

Used weapons and ammo:

The Spetsnaz use a variety of weapons and ammunition. The standard Spetsnaz weapons of choice area version of the 5.45mm AK-74 attack rifle or the "Krink". These weigh around 8 pounds and have the 30 round magazine capacity. This is a great weapon for trained individuals because it’s light enough to be carried around, but it’s also sturdy and heavy enough for aiming. 

As for sniping, the Spetsnaz favor the SVD Dragunov or SVDS Dragunov that fire7.62 mm rounds, these can also hit targets 1312 yards out. As for side carry, the Spetsnaz take the 9mm GSh-18 which is perfect for close range and it has an 18 round magazine. 

Another commonly known weapon that the Spetsnaz carry for stealth is VSS Vintorez silenced sniper rifle. These rifles fire a heavy 9x39mm round. This is a perfect weapon for the close to mid close range and it has been used by the Spetsnaz a lot in Crimea.

As for a mid-range to mid-long-range, the PKP Pecheneg general-purpose machine gun is the weapon of choices. It fires a 7.62x54mm round and it’s quite similar to the US' M249 machine gun.

Tactical gear:

The list of weapons used in the Spetsnaz reservoir is a very long and extensive one and it also includes tactical gear. The uniforms are usually climate and area dependent for camouflage purposes. However, a commonly used tactical uniform is the gray-green-dark mustard combo. They range from heavy to light for purposes such as the carries, tasks, and even the weather. The boots used in Russian armies are very sturdy and long, they’re also durable and made for close combat. 

Belts are used strategically for the side carry and the weapon of choice, they can hold many items such as rifles, guns, knives, and directional tools for navigation. Russian armies are also known for SPOSN pouches such as toggles and pouch bags that can carry a lot of items such as tents, axes, maps, MRE and other tools. 

Dog tags:

The Spetsnaz dog tags have a distinct quote that’s usually present in most brigades and task forces. The ‘ any time, any place, any task’ quote is seen at the bottom of the tag with some symbolism at the top. A classic pattern is a ‘ any time, any place, any task’ quote at the bottom and a signifying animal such as eagle, Phoenix, or sphinx for the air forces. The bear, scorpion, tiger, death reaper and other symbols for the ground force or the navy. 


Patches are another way that the Spetsnaz get creative. They’re typically placed on the tactical uniform to signify the task force. One of the most commonly seen tags is the red star fist with the rifle in hand. Other tags are also used such as the red beret skeleton and the red star rifle fist with the Russian flag in the background. 

Example of Spetsnaz patch worn by Spetsnaz team members

Military embroidered Russian subdued country flag patch

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