Executive Summary

The Russian Spetsnaz (Special Designation forces are infantry light forces which are designed to perform reconnaissance, counterinsurgency, as well as power projection missions. They are more similar in terms of those of the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment or the British 16th Air Assault Brigade rather than true special forces. The Russian Special Operations Forces Command, however, is an actual military unit that is a special force.

Spetsnaz missions range from battlefield reconnaissance to behind-the-line sabotage, to training guerrillas and, more recently helping allied regimes fight protests and insurgencies. They’ve played a major role in all of the recent operations, including Crimea and the Donbas and Syria.

what is Spetsnaz

Its Spetsnaz (Special Designation forces are infantry light forces which are mostly designed for counterinsurgency, reconnaissance, and power-projection tasks which are more similar in terms of that of U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment or the British 16th Air Assault Brigade as opposed to genuine special forces. Its Special Operations Forces Command, however, is a real Special Forces unit.

Spetsnaz missions range from battlefield surveillance and behind-the-lines sabotage and, in recent years aiding allied regimes in fighting protests and insurgencies. They’ve played an important part in recent missions, including in Crimea as well as the Donbas and Syria.

There are currently up to 17,000 Spetsnaz however, this number has to be verified. They are certainly an elite group within the Russian military, however there are elites, and they are also elites. The Spetsnaz have conscripts that serve one-year terms, but they are among the top picks from the draft and typically possess some experience prior to joining the military-patriotic schools and their Young Army movement. There have been significant efforts to create this Spetsnaz an all-volunteer organization but, while this isn’t achieved however, they are more close to this goal than the majority of the military. Special Operations Forces Command (KSSO: Komandovanie Sil Spetsial’nykh Operatsiy4 and some brigades are currently all-volunteer. The other forces could be between 70 or more professional. In general, it is the recommended and the most accurate way to evaluate them against other light infantry, mobile intervention forces like those of the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment or the British 16th Air Assault Brigade and not with Tier One truly special forces of operations. The designation of Tier One should be reserved only for high-readiness and top-quality elements like the reconnaissance companies that are part of regular Spetsnaz brigades as well as the combat swimmers from the Naval Spetsnaz, and (above all) the KSSO combined they comprise more than 1,000 personnel.

The Independent Special Designation Brigades are regular. Special Operations Command. Brigades are made up of at least two Independent Special Designation Detachments (OOSN Ot’delnyi Optryad Spetsial’n naznacheniya),5 that constitute, in essence, regiments that are around 500 effective however the specifics of strength and equipment, establishment and training differ based on the local environment or mission. Every one of four Fleets have the Independent Naval Reconnaissance Spetsnaz Point (OMRPSn: Otdel’nyi Morskoy Razvedyvatelnyi Point Spetsial’nogo naznacheniya), an army-strength group of different composition, and an maximum of 1,400 people.

It is comprised of its 346th Independent Spetsnaz Brigade, which is an “light” force of just one OOSN and possibly 500 members. It has its own helicopter squadron, with Ka-50/52 assault transports and Mi-8/17 assault vehicles gunships that are based at the Torzhok base (home to the 344th Army Combat Training Centre) and an authorised airlift squadron.

The distinctness of the Spetsnaz is in large part an expression of Russian operational code that has shaped the way the country conducts its business of war , and consequently the demands it puts on its soldiers. A worldview of strategic importance that places Russia constantly in danger of subversion and war has led to a distinct blurring of the line between peace and war. This worldview, combined with an understanding of the strength of NATO as Russia’s primary potential antagonist and the perceived need for Russia to find ways to reassert itself on the wider world stage, has contributed to the emergence of the Spetsnaz’s particular roles as power-projection assets and forces that support wider campaigns of covert intelligence-gathering and subversion.


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