After the annexation of the Crimea, not only specialists, but also the general public, became aware of the existence in the structure of the Russian Armed Forces of the Command of Special Operations Forces (CSCO), the conversation about the necessity of which began several years earlier. The newly created KSSO is protected by secrecy about its activities and tasks. There is no reliable information about the structure, hence a lot of speculation on the part of pseudo-experts and the media. In particular, the creation of the SSO is attributed to the former Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov and the ex-Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov. So what are special operations and how did they appear?
With the filing of domestic journalists who do not differ in professionalism, the newly created command seems to the inhabitant an analogue of the US Special Operation Command (SOCOM), although apart from the similarity in names and subordination (SOCOM reports directly to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the FSS - General Staff) . SOCOM unites in its structure the command of the special operations of the types of troops - the Army, the Air Force and the US Navy, and recently the newly created Command of the Special Operations of the Marine Corps has been included in its structure. The Russian KSSO has a different scale, and it is more correct to compare it with the SOCOM structure, which is on a par with other joint commands of the Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC) - the Joint Command of Special Operations.
It is noteworthy that JSOC, which includes the famous "Delta", DEVGRU (Combat Marine Special Rapid Deployment Group) and the 24 squadron of special operations, according to official documents of the Pentagon, is engaged only in studying the criteria for conducting special operations, methods for ensuring interoperability and standardizing technical operations. equipment, planning and conducting exercises and training, as well as the development of tactics and methods of conducting joint special operations. That is, formally, a kind of research and training structure, although this is the only command in the SOCOM structure, which includes units that perform the “Special Missions” (Special Mission Units). This refers to top-secret strategic operations on the enemy’s territory, such as the destruction of enemy leaders, sabotage on specially protected sites, hunting for weapons mass destruction, etc. A well-known example of a “special mission” is the elimination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by “fur seals” from DEVGRU.
“In the structure of the KGB of the USSR from the beginning of the 80-ies existed the group“ Vympel ”. Its tasks and application geography intersected with the American “Delta” ”
In the armed forces of Great Britain, the 22 th SAS regiment belongs to units performing “special missions”, whose soldiers, acting through intelligence methods, eliminated IRA militants not only directly in Ireland, but also in other European countries, which also falls under the definition special mission.
The actions of the American Green Berets during the war in Afghanistan, where they acted as advisers, organized the Northern Alliance units in battles with the Taliban, and in Iraq in 2003, where they conducted in-depth reconnaissance in the interests of the advancing 3 Army Infantry Division The United States is not “missions”, but classic examples of special operations (CO).
Of the variety of Russian special purpose units (not only the Ministry of Defense, but also the FSB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, internal troops, etc.), the most popular units of the special intelligence unit of the Main Intelligence Directorate are common among ordinary people and journalists, and special forces of the GRU are in use. Therefore, the new Russian Special Operations Command was presented to the media as a kind of structure uniting the ground SPN brigades and naval reconnaissance points (special military units operating in the interests of the Russian Navy) and reporting directly to the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff.
But it is impossible to put an equal sign between the concepts of “special operations” adopted in the Russian power structures and the NATO “missions”. According to domestic documents, special operations (also referred to as special reconnaissance), which are carried out by special forces units, include reconnaissance deep in the rear of the enemy, raids, ambushes, and the destruction of nuclear weapons delivery vehicles. That is, indeed, some kind of analogue of Western special operations. Although in NATO and the US Armed Forces the term is understood much more widely. In simple terms, special intelligence is just one of the elements of CO.
The concept of “special operations” in Russian military terminology appeared relatively recently. The first test of strength was the spring events in the Crimea. If we analyze it, it becomes clear that Russian special operations are analogous to American “missions”. Therefore, special forces brigades and naval reconnaissance points intended for conducting special reconnaissance are superfluous in the structure of the Russian KSSO. They are not there, as in the American JSOC there are no groups of "green berets".
At present, the forces and means of special operations of the Russian Ministry of Defense are represented by two SPN centers, which are analogues of the American Delta and DEVGRU, as well as the British 22nd CAC regiment, the German KSK and the Special Action Division (SAD), which is part of the CIA . It is possible that in the future not only your JSOC will appear in Russia, but also an analogue of SOCOM, which will include the land and sea parts of the Special Forces, aviation units, units and subunits of the Airborne Forces, but so far the project to create such a structure has not even been voiced by the leadership of the military department.
Legends and dissertations
An important feature of the “special missions” is that they are mostly carried out by agent intelligence methods, when soldiers are entered into enemy territory (sometimes under a legend and with forged documents) and start performing assigned tasks with a special signal. In particular, before the start of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Baghdad and other cities of the country were introduced by CAD SAD personnel and Delta military personnel who, with the outbreak of hostilities, carried out raids on key facilities and, according to some sources, eliminated several high-ranking Iraqi government officials.
The book "Delta" from the inside, written by a former soldier of this elite part of sergeant Eric Hanni, says that the CIA staff learned the techniques of intelligence work of deltoes, and the task of the final exam was to organize sabotage on one of the important objects in the United States in countering the police and the FBI.
It is necessary to understand that the preparation of a fighter takes from three to five years and requires a fairly large cash investment. Conscripts for such work, of course, are not suitable.
Russian specialists and media representatives, talking about the creation of the Russian KSSO, like to say that “we are a couple of decades behind NATO and the Pentagon”. At the same time, for some reason it is overlooked that in the structure of the USSR State Security Committee, since the beginning of 80, there was a Vympel group, whose task was precisely strategic sabotage, or, in modern military language, special operations using agent intelligence techniques. At the same time, “Vympel” in practical work and geography of application practically overlapped with the American colleagues from “Delta”.
The collapse of the USSR and the reorganization of the KGB also affected Vympel, which reoriented itself to the fulfillment of tasks on the territory of Russia: the fight against terrorism and countering organized crime. In 1993, a special unit was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior under the code "Vega". True, in 1995, Vympel returned to the Federal Security Service.
At the beginning of the 80-x in the structures of the Main Intelligence Directorate, experiments on the creation of groups and detachments of special forces, staffed by officers and warrant officers, were carried out. In exceptional cases, they were allowed to be appointed as an extra-term military serviceman. In several brigades, “officer” groups and troops were even enshrined in the states. This practice persisted after the 1991 year. In particular, in the newly created 45-th separate reconnaissance regiment of the Airborne Forces, a special detachment staffed by officers, warrant officers and contract servicemen was nominally deployed. It is also worth noting that at the end of 80-x - the beginning of 90-x research was carried out and even several dissertations were defended on possible combat use of SSO.
With the one attempt
The idea to revive special operations forces appeared under the first Russian defense minister, General of the Army Pavel Grachev. But in the absence of full funding, the matter did not go further. We again returned to the issue of deploying the MTR in 1999, just before the beginning of the second Chechen war and the invasion of militants in Dagestan. After the FSB reoriented itself to solving tasks inside Russia, it was decided to form the forces of special operations in the structures of the Ministry of Defense. But at that time almost all units and units of the Special Forces were involved in the counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus and no one decided to withdraw officers and warrant officers from the combat area to the new structure, because at that time there was a strong enough personnel shortage.
A more or less meaningful plan for creating special operations forces appeared under the head of the General Staff, Army General Yuri Baluyevsky. There is a legend that the draft of the new command was prepared by Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov, by the way, who defended a thesis on this topic at the time. And supposedly after the failed assassination attempt on Anatoly Chubais, the plan and the directive of the NHS were rejected and almost destroyed. In fact, as before, the project fell through because the issue of financing, as well as the subordination of the new structure to the chief of the General Staff or the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, was not resolved. SpN brigades and marine reconnaissance points are intelligence agencies of military districts and fleets. If in peacetime units and units of Special Forces were subordinate to the constituenciesfleets, and the GRU, then in war conditions, only operational-strategic associations are responsible for their use.
The first step in creating a new command was the deployment in 2008 of Solnechnogorsk near Moscow on the basis of advanced training courses for special forces soldiers of the so-called Sunflowers - fully staffed by officers and warrant officers of the detachment subordinate to the head of the GRU, although this went against previous decisions. It is necessary to clarify that this detachment received the informal name after the railway station of the suburban electric train Podsolnechnaya - colloquially Sunflowers, located near Solnechnogorsk.
But after the war with Georgia and the transition to a "new look", this squad, like all military units, underwent reductions, in particular, a number of posts were eliminated not only in the administration and logistics support structures, but also in combat units. Many officers and ensigns "fell out of state." True, by the end of 2009, the new Chief of the General Staff, Army General Nikolai Makarov, made another attempt to create special operations forces. It was helped by the fact that this time the government of the Russian Federation allocated sufficiently large funds for the “new look”. “Sunflowers” became “Senezh” and were personally subordinated to the NGSH, and in the media they began to be called nothing less than “personal special forces of the Minister of Defense”. According to one version, the former officer of the Center for Special Purpose of the FSB, Major General Igor Medoev, headed the SSO then. However, in the fall of 2010, he and several other senior military were suddenly dismissed from the ranks of the Armed Forces.
But in the KSSO itself, the founding father is considered to be Lieutenant-General Alexander Miroshnichenko, former head of the A (Alpha) department of the FSB Special Purpose Center, appointed to the post of Assistant Minister of Defense of Russia at the same time as Medoyev resigned.
In addition to Senezh, another Special Purpose Center (CPS) appeared in the structure of the KSSO, which was planned to be located in Kubinka near Moscow. It is noteworthy that in Solnechnogorsk, the activity of General Makarov is assessed negatively, recalling the time when the “Sunflowers” switched to a “new look” during a painful reorganization. But in Kubinka, Makarov is respected, as he paid close attention to the creation of this particular center.
In addition to the two mentioned TsSN, the MTR brigades were planned in each district (!), As well as the projects for the inclusion of "helicopter special forces" in the SSCO on specially upgraded combat vehicles. The question of strengthening the new structure of a squadron of military transport aviation was being worked out. Surprisingly, Anatoly Serdyukov himself opposed these plans, and there is still no logical explanation for why he lost interest in his brainchild at the last moment, effectively blocking all decisions to create a Special Operations Command. In the autumn of 2012, the media passed information about the minister’s refusal to create the FSC.
Following the resignation of Anatoly Serdyukov and Nikolai Makarov, the creation of the Special Operations Command in March 2013 was announced by the new Army General Valery Gerasimov. At the same time, it became known about the deployment of the Special Operations Center on the territory of Kubinka, and even the estimated number of military personnel of the TsNS - 500 people, for whom it was planned to build a new housing and social infrastructure, was announced. In the same place, as it was stated, an educational center will also be deployed for the training of MTR specialists.
The time has come
There is unconfirmed information that the military personnel of the two TsSN took part in ensuring the security of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, but the Crimea was the high point of the special operations fighters. Judging by reports from the scene, as well as video chronicles, a number of combat missions were carried out by agent-based methods.
After 23, after the first decisions in the Ministry of Defense, the Command of Special Operations Forces finally appeared, which proved its effectiveness. But for some reason, the laurels of the creator of the KSSO are given to Nikolai Makarov and Anatoly Serdyukov, although in fact their achievements are highly questionable. Yes, the ex-Minister of Defense and the former NGSH supported the creation of a new command, but all the heads of the military department since Pavel Grachev did so. Moreover, under Yury Baluyevsky, the project even began to be implemented, but for years, 20, everything came down to the lack of funding. And the fact that the Russian government allocated money under Serdyukov cannot in any way be taken as the personal merit of the former minister or NGSH. As already mentioned, Serdyukov in the fall of 2012, even rejected the project of the KSSO. You should also pay attention to the fact that, according to some information, in the very forces of special operations, the creator is still considered to be Lieutenant General Alexander Miroshnichenko. The KSSO has already become a accomplished fact under the current Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu and NGS Valeria Gerasimov.
At present, it is necessary not to share the laurels of the winners, but to continue to improve the structure and combat training in the centers of the KSSO, actively procure new weapons, communications equipment, special equipment, etc. And it is time to start creating the Joint Special Operations Command - the Russian equivalent of SOCOM.
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