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    • Soldiers of the Central Military District’s Special Purpose Units pass the tests for the right to wear a blue beret at the Samara training center. Blue berets are traditionally worn in the Russian Airborne Forces (paratroopers, or VDV).
    • A sniper is seen during the Southern Military District’s Special Purpose Brigade drills in the Krasnodar region.
    • Soldiers that stormed the Reichstag, Reconnaissance platoon of the 674 Infantry Regiment, 150th Infantry Division of Idritsa of the Red Army.
    • Soldiers on a military boat during the opening ceremony of the 7th International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg.
    • Paratroopers of the reconnaissance platoon in Chechnya rest after combat operations.
    • Soldiers of the Russian Northern Fleet’s Underwater Sabotage Forces and Means (PDSS) perform a combat mission in the Barents Sea.
    • Soldiers of the Chechen Republic’ Special Forces units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) during the training exercise near the North Pole.
    • A soldier of the Special Purpose unit of the Federal National Guard Troops Service is seen during a ceremony, held after trials for the right to wear the maroon and dark green berets at the training center Gorny in the Novosibirsk region. Maroon and dark green berets are worn by members of elite Ministry of Internal Affairs Spetsnaz units.
    • Fighters of Sabotage and Reconnaissance Forces of the Russian Navy march during the celebration of the Navy Day.
    • A Russian special police soldier (L) carries an injured colleague as two soldiers and two women take cover behind the APC during the Beslan School rescue operation, northern Ossetia, September 3, 2004.
    • Soldiers of the Central Military District’s Spetsnaz hold blue berets and blue-and-white striped vests after passing the qualification tests for the right to wear a blue beret at the training center’s base in the Samara region. Blue berets are traditionally worn in the Russian Airborne Forces (paratroopers, or VDV).
    • Marines of the Pacific Fleet participate in the Race of Heroes in Vladivostok at the Gornostai military training grounds. The Race of Heroes is a sports project with simulated combat operations.
    • Soldiers of the Alpha special troop control the entrance to the Supreme Council building in October 1993. Alpha was one of the Soviet and Russian special forces units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
    • Soldiers of the Central Military District’s Special Purpose Units pass the trials for the right to wear a blue beret at the training center’s base in the Samara region. Blue berets are traditionally worn in the Russian Airborne Forces (paratroopers, or VDV).
    • Soldiers of the special reconnaissance platoon of the 45th regiment of the Russian Airborne Forces during an operation to identify and destroy Chechen militant camps in a mountain gorge at the Bass River in the Vedensky District of Chechnya.
    • Member of the Open Championship among Special Forces troops on the practical shooting from small arms at the shooting range in the village of Yavas, the Republic of Mordovia.
    • Soldiers of the reconnaissance platoon during ski training in the mountains of Dagestan.
    • Spetsnaz soldiers prepare to storm a hospital in Budyonnovsk in the Stavropol Krai. The Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis took place on June 14-19, 1995, when a group of Chechen separatists attacked the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk, killing 129 people and injuring 415.
    • Russian Special Forces officers descend on a Russian coast guard seized ship during joint Russian-Korean maneuvers in the Pacific Ocean near the far eastern Russian port of Vladivostok on August 2, 2007.
    © Sputnik / Nikolay Hiznyak
    Soldiers of the Central Military District’s Special Purpose Units pass the tests for the right to wear a blue beret at the Samara training center. Blue berets are traditionally worn in the Russian Airborne Forces (paratroopers, or VDV).

    Russian Special Forces Day is a professional holiday of the Special Purpose Forces, or Spetsnaz, celebrated annually on October 24. The history of these units dates back to March 1918, when during the Civil War the Red Army created a special intelligence department mainly engaged in reconnaissance and diversionary work behind enemy lines.

    The modern Spetsnaz carries out anti-terrorist operations, searching out and detaining especially dangerous and armed criminals, dismantling of criminal groups, hostage release and other perilous operations.

    Tags:
    Spetsnaz, military, special forces, Russia
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