Military Review

"Oak" special forces not a hindrance

27 December 1979 of the year Soviet intelligence agencies stormed the palace of the Afghan ruler Hafizullah Amin in Kabul. However, the storming of Amin’s palace, which was held in Soviet secret documents as the Oak object, was only part of a multi-pass operation called “Baikal-79”.

"Oak" special forces not a hindrance

In addition to the residence of Amin, the Taj Beck Palace, our special forces were to take on more 17 objects, including the General Staff building of the Afghan army, military camps located on the outskirts of Kabul, as well as the building of the Afghan Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Central Committee of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, and the television and radio center and a number of others. Special operations of the KGB of the USSR "Alpha", "Zenith", "Grom", a special forces detachment of the border troops "Gvozdika", airborne and motorized rifle units of the Ministry of Defense were involved in the operation. The head of the illegal intelligence department of the First Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, Major-General Yuri Drozdov, led the operation “Baikal-79”.

The operation was prepared for a long time and thoroughly. A few weeks before the start of Baikal, the Kabul military airfield transport aviation delivered soldiers and officers of the 103rd Guards Airborne (Vitebsk) Division. At the same time, the 108th motorized rifle division of the Turkestan military district arrived at the place of new deployment, crossing the Amu Darya near Termez. In addition, two more regiments were additionally deployed to Afghanistan - the 345th separate guards paratrooper and separate motorized rifle of the Central Asian military district.

Head of Operation “Baikal-79” Major General Yuri Drozdov

Finally, before the arrival of all these units, the so-called Muslim battalion of GRU special forces with a total number of 520 people was already in Afghanistan. It was formed in the summer of 1979, from conscript soldiers - Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmen.

These were the forces intended to be used for the successful conduct of Operation Baikal-79. Looking ahead, we note that over the past three decades, nowhere in the world has an operation been carried out, which can be compared to Baikal in terms of the effectiveness of the interaction of various security forces.
Our fighters were opposed by two infantry divisions of the Afghan army of 10 thousand people each, two tank brigades, as well as 3 thousand fighters of the Commandos regiment, 2 thousand guards of the palace of Amin and other government buildings, and, finally, 1,5 thousand security personnel.

So, on the evening of December 27, the storming of Amin’s palace began. Special Forces soldiers rushed to the Taj Bek on six Beterah. The “Muslim” battalion covered the capture group from a possible stab in the back.

Overcoming in a few minutes a well-swept space in front of the palace, the special forces fighters broke through to the first floor of the building. A shootout ensued with the internal guard of the palace. After a short but hot battle, the assault group of our special forces split up: some of the men led by Colonel Grigory Boyarinov went to the communications center of the palace to destroy it, another officer, Mikhail Romanov, contused by the grenade explosion, remained to cover them from the rear. The rest of the special forces rushed to the second floor.

Their main goal was Amin. The Afghan dictator, according to Soviet intelligence, was on the second floor of the palace, and our special forces had to take him alive or dead.

Amin's body was found in a few minutes. The dictator was killed by a grenade splinter. Actually, at this main stage of the operation to seize the palace was completed. However, the guards, despite the death of their boss, still resisted, and in some places quite tough. So for the Zenit and Thunder Special Forces, the battle lasted another fifteen minutes - until all the guards of the palace were killed or surrendered. Only ten people survived from the inner guard of Taj Bek. The operation to seize the Oak object took 45 minutes.

Soviet special forces fighters and foreign journalists in Amin's office

But even after the capture of the palace, the battle did not stop. The remains of the third battalion from the brigade of the palace guards continued to shoot back the whole day. The paratroopers and the "Muslim" battalion were engaged in suppressing resistance. However, the lion's share of Afghan soldiers guarding the palace surrendered almost without a fight. Then 1700 fighters from among the guard of Taj-Bek were taken prisoner. Several hundred were killed, the few survivors managed to infiltrate the mountains and subsequently replenished detachments of the Mujahideen.

Our losses are as follows. Three people from the Zenit group were killed: Colonel Grigory Boyarinov, Captain Boris Suvorov and Lieutenant Andrey Yakushev. The group "Thunder" lost two: captain Gennady Zudin and captain Dmitry Volkov.

Five people killed lost the "Muslim" battalion.

Simultaneously with the storming of the Amin Palace, the special units of the KGB of the USSR, with the support of paratroopers and motorized riflemen, took possession of other strategic facilities in Kabul and its surroundings. Everywhere our losses were minimal. So, during the storming of the General Staff building, which was guarded by more than two hundred people, only two of our special forces were wounded. Afghans, however, lost only two dozen people killed. Another two hundred surrendered.
Meanwhile, the enemy was quite experienced, since many officers of the Afghan General Staff participated in military coups and battles with insurgents, and in addition, received excellent training in military schools of the USSR. Of particular danger was the chief of the General Staff of Afghanistan, who at that time was serving as Minister of Defense, Muhammad Yakub. This energetic 40-year officer had tremendous power in the army.

He was feared as fire. There is a case when Yakub, conducting a review of the troops, was so angry with some officer that he snatched an automatic rifle from a soldier standing nearby and discharged the entire store of the perpetrator. Jakub was especially famous for the suppression of the rebellion of the Jalalabad division. Then Yakub, fanatically devoted to Amin, personally flew to Jalalabad and crushed the insurrection literally in a matter of hours. At the same time personally shot 120 people from the curfew company.

And nevertheless, neither Yakub’s sharp temper, nor overwhelming numerical superiority, nor the experience gained in previous battles, saved the enemy from complete defeat. By the way, Yakub was wounded during the exchange of fire with the fighters of the Soviet special forces and was killed by his own Afghans ...
In January, 1980, analyzing the results of the first operations of the Soviet special forces in Afghanistan, Yuri Drozdov came to the conclusion that a special unit should be created in the structure of the KGB to perform special tasks abroad.

“In January, 1980, I wrote my first note addressed to the KGB chief, Yuri Andropov,” recalls Yuri Drozdov. - The note in detail justified the need to create special forces. In fairness, I want to note that similar units in the KGB already existed by that time. This group "Thunder" and the detachment "Zenith".

But they were created only for a certain time to conduct a specific special operation in Kabul, and their personnel were recruited from specially seconded employees of territorial state security agencies, border guards officers and graduates of higher educational institutions of the KGB of the USSR. At the end of the special operation, the Zenit and Thunder fighters plunged into airplanes and flew home, and the special forces themselves ceased to exist.

So, I proposed to form a special unit that would operate on a permanent basis. Soon Andropov called me. I remember our conversation very well. “Why do you need such a unit in intelligence?” Asked Yuri Vladimirovich. I explained. “And how many fighters do you need?” Andropov asked. “At least a thousand and a half,” I reply. “Well, well, prepare concrete proposals, we will consider them.” This conversation is over.

During the year, Andropov did not return to this topic. Suddenly, in August 1981, Yury Vladimirovich again calls me and sends a copy of the decree of the Politburo and the Council of Ministers on the creation of a special group of the KGB of the USSR “Vympel”. “Here are the documents for you, and prepare the people,” Andropov said goodbye. - And so they were the best!

Soon a subdivision appeared in the structure of the First Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR history under the name "Pennant". However, this is a topic for a separate conversation, and we will definitely return to it.
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  1. avvg
    avvg 11 January 2016 14: 37
    "Polite people" are always needed, take off always calmly and reliably.
    1. Sasha 19871987
      Sasha 19871987 11 January 2016 14: 40
      severe grandfathers, of course ... and it’s a pity that Andropov died early, so he wouldn’t let the humpback go to power ... but this can’t be verified ...
      1. Now we are free
        Now we are free 11 January 2016 14: 54
        I bow to you, Major General Yuri Drozdov for the creation of the MTR. Who knew that they would be needed first of all in the ongoing Third World (Hybrid) war.
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. PHANTOM-AS
        PHANTOM-AS 11 January 2016 15: 02
        The history of special forces is inextricably linked with the history of a great country.
        Despite all the idle arguments, the operations of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan were very effective with minimal loss of drugs, and at the time of the withdrawal (Gorbachev's betrayal), the Soviet army controlled more than 80% of Afghanistan.
        Nice to recall the glorious pages of the history of the Soviet Army! soldier
      4. Geronimo73
        Geronimo73 11 January 2016 15: 13
        heh, there is an opinion that the humpbacked one is just a product of Andoropov, which is also quite difficult ....
      5. Geronimo73
        Geronimo73 11 January 2016 15: 13
        heh, there is an opinion that the humpbacked one is just a product of Andoropov, which is also quite difficult ....
      6. Black Colonel
        Black Colonel 11 January 2016 17: 58
        Humpback, by the way, Andropov introduced into the political bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Sadness, however.
    2. Sober
      Sober 11 January 2016 15: 17
      Quote: avvg
      remove always calmly and reliably.

      there was power, there was sincere faith in one’s country, there was loyalty to one’s people. There was a fighting spirit and professional training. Now there is a process of revival of our army and its fighting spirit. Highly professional army.
  2. Al_oriso
    Al_oriso 11 January 2016 14: 46
    Andropov was a tough comrade. It is a pity that he headed the USSR for a short time.
  3. vobels
    vobels 11 January 2016 15: 08
    Yes, the time was cool under Andropov, but reliable. And the guys from the special forces - well done, there is someone to take an example of youth from.
  4. Anchonsha
    Anchonsha 11 January 2016 15: 30
    The operations were glorious, the fighters and the leaders of these units were glorious, but the authorities in the country stood in line for the post of Secretary General of the CPSU, such interference in the politics of another state was not always calculated, and the people paid for it. They thoughtlessly handed out unsecured loans to the right and left, as well as military equipment, idioticly hoping that communist ideals were spread all over the world, and they kept their people in a black body. Therefore, a person in Russia can elevate a country, or it can ruthlessly and idioticly clatter on the ground with all his strength, as the foolish Gorbach did
  5. Yak-3P
    Yak-3P 11 January 2016 15: 43
    the warriors on the Russian land did not transfer ...
  6. SklochPensioner
    SklochPensioner 11 January 2016 15: 52
    From the article: "How many fighters do you need?" - asked Andropov. "At least one and a half thousand," - I answer. "

    And let the adversaries suffer now, asking themselves the question: "How much now?" smile
    1. Egen
      Egen 12 January 2016 05: 41
      Quote: SklochPensioner
      From the article: "How many fighters do you need?" - asked Andropov. "At least one and a half thousand," - I answer. "
      And let the adversaries suffer now, asking themselves the question: "How much now?" smile

      Everything was simple then. My former boss was then part of the "Thunder", he said. And then I still ... not under the table but walked on foot :) Then, people were taught locally, in the territorial divisions, and when they arrived at the place, in the temporary unit, taking only an alarming suitcase, there were no questions, no confusion, nothing ... There was an order and the word "must". No, of course, a new theater of operations, people, tasks - but these are the usual nerves and confusion before the case. But everyone around was their own, they felt a shoulder that they were the same as you, acts and thinks like you - both in battle and in everyday life, and not so that you get 100 re and he is the same but 1000, for example. Just right away, without any adjustments and checks, they knew that the same person was nearby.
      Now somehow everything is different.
      On the one hand, even in my youth there was no such thing as it is now - screw cutters with silencers, etc. For example, I just had a PC and ... health :) On the ground there is equipment that 25 did not even dream of years ago, but on the other, today everywhere paper bureaucracy has risen to such a level that they think a lot about the so-called. pieces of paper, not about business. There was an order before, and they themselves thought and understood to the lieutenant how to carry it out. There wasn’t such that they waited for them to show, tell, order, DISCUSSION, they themselves understood and did the situation from small to large. Probably because there was an IDEA, a common one, from above, and somehow we either adhered to it, or EVERYTHING in accordance with it - I don’t know how to say it, but it helped, never arose whether you were right or wrong and how they will look at it, but now it feels like something important is not enough in the leading role ... Well, yes, there were no cell phones, Western propaganda, people listened to each other more than the Internet, everything is clear, stratification in society since parents , now everything is different ... but anyway ...
      Or maybe it was in my youth that there was simply a wind in my head, and by old age I begin to play it safe and become nostalgic? ... :))
  7. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 11 January 2016 16: 00
    But why was all this started? ...

    Americans about Hafizullah Amin:
    "He studied at our university with our money, although we thought he was
    sharply anti-American. We were very surprised at the time when rumors were circulating in Kabul that
    that the KGB considered him an American agent. "

    Former DRA Finance Minister Abdul Karim Misak considers Amin to be Stalinist and Pashtun
    a nationalist, but not a CIA agent. He noted that Amin “in every possible way inflated his own cult,
    Moreover, the thirst for fame not only in Afghanistan, but throughout the world - these are his ambitions in
    literally knew no bounds. ”
    Amin enthusiastically talked about Fidel Castro, envied his authority,
    popularity and heroic past.
    1. Black Colonel
      Black Colonel 11 January 2016 18: 04
      But why was all this started? ...
      Who will tell about it now? There are no others, but those farther
    2. fif21
      fif21 11 November 2016 20: 24
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Americans about Hafizullah Amin: "He studied at our university with our money, although we considered him strongly anti-American. We were very surprised by the rumors circulating in Kabul that the KGB considered him an American agent."

      The KGB did not count! The KGB knew! And Amin himself did not particularly hide this, admiring the United States. tongue and removing advisers from the USSR from themselves. Oh yes, you did not read the messages of the Ambassador of the USSR in Afghanistan to the Foreign Ministry laughing
  8. Aroma77
    Aroma77 11 January 2016 16: 23
    “Here are the documents for you, and prepare the people,” Andropov said goodbye. “And so that they are the best!” And these very best ones returned Crimea to Russia without casualties and prevented bloodshed on the peninsula!
    1. fif21
      fif21 11 November 2016 20: 12
      Quote: Aroma77
      cook people, ”Andropov said goodbye. “And so that they are the best!” And these very best ones returned Crimea to Russia without casualties and prevented bloodshed on the peninsula!

      These very "best" sat like mice in 91 wassat
      Crimea has already been returned to Russia by others! As they say - you can't throw out a word from a song. A naive attempt to prove the continuity of the secret services of the USSR and the Russian Federation is like proving the continuity of the secret services of Tsarist Russia and the USSR! Yes, in the USSR, at the initial period of formation, they used "old-regime" specialists, but only a few of them died by their own death wassat
  9. evge-malyshev
    evge-malyshev 11 January 2016 17: 52
    It's a shame ... After all, Taraki, Amin, and Babrak Karmal built socialism.
    1. fif21
      fif21 11 November 2016 19: 57
      Quote: evge-malyshev
      After all, Taraki, Amin, and Babrak Karmal built socialism.
      Unfortunately, the leadership of the USSR believed in this. fool Bai overthrew the Shah, Taraki staked on the USSR, Amin on the USA, Amin and his assistant Yakub strangled Taraki's "teacher" with a pillow! Babrak was brought from the USSR and imprisoned to rule in Kabul after the physical elimination of Amin, and Najibul, who replaced him, was killed after the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Socialism in Afghanistan was not accepted, the mentality, you know, is not the same. hi Amer’s democracy will not be accepted hi
  10. TsUS-Air Force
    TsUS-Air Force 11 January 2016 20: 47
    it is unfortunate that the top of the country swayed and drank while the conflict in the Caucasus flared up and that would have saved so many lives with one throw of specialists at the right time at the right place ...
  11. fif21
    fif21 11 November 2016 19: 44
    What then is "Operation Storm"? recourse Uncle, did you sign the orders with a pencil? lol Since when did Amin become the dictator of Afghanistan? Maybe he is still the successor of the "revolutionary" Taraki? Are the Alc and Parcham parties telling you something? All Amin's fault is flirting with mattress mats! The KGB attempt to poison Amin (agent cook) failed! He survived. Special forces finished off the sick Amin, who went out to the shots, holding saline in his hands! In case of failure of the operation, wasn’t the task of the Muslim battalion to destroy the Soviet special forces? And present this to Amin as suppressing the attempts to eliminate him by the United States? The article smells like a smell! am