Battle Hardened Russian Spetsnaz May Tip The Balance In Syria: “They Are Formidable Opponents To Be Taken Seriously”

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
By Paul Martin

Jeremiah Johnson
November 10th, 2015

The last installment gave the readers a picture of how Russia and the United States are positioning their Special Forces assets, posturing for a potential Ghost War between the two elite groups. The previous article also presented the basic role of the U.S. Army Special Forces (Airborne). Recall that Green Berets function as “force multipliers” designed to optimize civilian human resources in an unconventional (guerrilla) warfare capacity. These resources are drawn from local indigenous personnel within the combat theater of operations.

But what of their Russian counterparts, the Spetsnaz? Not too many people are aware that the Russian warriors have a long and distinguished history that effectively begins with WWII (although their inception as deep reconnaissance battalions stem further). Spetsnaz is an acronym for (phonetic) Spetsialnoygo Nazhacheniye, or Special Reconnaissance-Intelligence units.

Spetsnaz units in combat primarily operate behind enemy lines either overtly (in military uniform) or covertly (in civilian garb). They can be inserted by parachute, submarine, or travel inconspicuously to the LD (line of departure) to their destination by whatever means they see fit. Their primary missions involve assassinations of government officials and military leaders, destruction of enemy command and communication centers, intelligence (spying), counterintelligence (that involves hunting down and killing spies), and sabotage missions (hydroelectric plants, transportation hubs, airfields, etc.)

The next higher elite unit among the Spetsnaz are GRU-Spetsnaz, and the acronym GRU, or Glavnoye Razvedyvatel-noyi Upravlaniye</strong>, or Main Intelligence Directorate. Where Spetsnaz are the Operators, these men are the Specialists: extraordinarily cross-trained in the most precise and surgical techniques of assassination, demolitions, espionage, and special intelligence operations that combine all of these phases of instruction. The missions these men run are usually task organized by three man teams, or cells. Larger missions may have several cells working in conjunction with one another; however, for the most part Operators work as individuals or as cells.

The Rest…HERE

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