"Latvia" Former Soviet Union Military Bases
The Spetsnaz GRU
               Spetsnaz GRU Emblem
Spetsnaz GRU was an elite military formation under the control of the military intelligence service GRU. It was the first Soviet/Russian Spetsnaz "special forces" force, more than two decades older than its KGB/FSB and MVD counterparts.
The full acronym is "GRU GSh" – Russian: "ГРУ ГШ" or Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye Generalnovo Shtaba – Russian: "Главное Разведывательное Управление Генерального Штаба" meaning Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff "of the Russian Federation". The acronym, however, is usually shortened to just GRU – Russian: "ГРУ" which stands for Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye – Russian: "Главное азведывательное Управление" English: "Main Intelligence Directorate" – The word "Spetsnaz" is often written in all capital letters "SPETSNAZ".
The concept of using special forces tactics and strategies was originally proposed by the Russian military theorist Michael Svechnykov "executed during the Great Purge in 1938", who envisaged the development of unconventional warfare capabilities in order to overcome disadvantages that conventional forces may face in the field. Practical implementation was begun by the "grandfather of the spetsnaz" Ilya Starinov. During World War II, reconnaissance and sabotage forces were formed under the supervision of the Second Department of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces. These forces were subordinate to the commanders of Fronts.
The situation was reviewed after the war ended, and between 1947 and 1950 the whole of GRU was reorganized. The first "independent reconnaissance companies of special purpose" were formed in 1949, to work for tank and combined-arms armies. The primary function of Spetsnaz troops in wartime was infiltration/insertion behind enemy lines "either in uniform or civilian clothing", usually well before hostilities are scheduled to begin and, once in place, to commit acts of sabotage (such as the destruction of vital NATO communications logistics centers) and the assassination of key government leaders and military officers. In 1957, the first Spetsnaz battalions were formed, five to eliminate enemy nuclear weapons systems. The first brigades were formed in 1962, reportedly to reach up to 750 kilometers in the rear to destroy U.S. strategic weapons systems. Two 'study regiments' were established in the 1960s to train specialists and NCOs, the first in 1968 at Pechora near Pskov, and the second in 1970 at Chirchiq near Tashkent. According to Vladimir Rezun, a GRU defector who used the pseudonym "Viktor Suvorov", there were 20 GRU Spetsnaz brigades plus 41 separate companies at the time of his defection in 1978.
Its operations included Operation Storm-333, the successful mission to kill the Afghan president in 1979. During the 2000s, ethnic-Chechen Special Battalions Vostok and Zapad existed.
Since 2009-2010, Spetsnaz GRU forces have been disbanded, and their former brigades were cut in size and turned into independent brigades and reconnaissance battalions attached to military districts of the Ground Forces of the Russian Federation and subordinate to the operational-strategic commands, due to Anatoliy Serdyukov's military reforms. In 2011, it was announced that some former Spetsnaz GRU personnel might return under control of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in some form separate and distinct from GRU, and answering directly to the General Staff.
During Soviet times, "Spetsnaz GRU" operatives would have to complete training that included the following: "weapons handling, rappelling, explosives training, marksmanship, counter-terrorism, airborne training, hand-to-hand combat, climbing "alpine rope techniques", diving, underwater combat, long-range marksmanship, emergency medical training, and demolition".
An incomplete list of the Soviet Spetsnaz brigades and the locations at which they were stationed: 
  • 2nd Detached Special Operations Brigade - Promezhitsy, Pskov Oblast; "Leningrad Military District"
  • 3rd Guards Spetsnaz Brigade - Roshinskiy, Samara Oblast; "Volga-Ural Military District"
  • 12th Detached Special Operations Brigade - Asbest-5, Sverdlovsk Oblast; "Volga-Ural Military District" transferring: Chaikovskyy "Perm". Began 1990s at Lagodekhi in the Transcaucasus Military District
  • 14th Detached Special Operations Brigade - Ussuriysk, Primorsky Krai; "Far Eastern Military District"
  • 16th Detached Special Operations Brigade - Teplyi Stan, suburb of Moscow, "Moscow Military District"
  • 22nd Guards Detached Special Operations Brigade - Kovalevka, Rostov Oblast; "North Caucasus Military District"
  • 24th Detached Special Operations Brigade - Kyakhta, "Siberian Military District"
  • 67th Detached Special Operations Brigade - Berdsk, Novosibirsk Oblast; "Siberian Military District"
  • 216th Detached Special Operations Battalion - Moscow "Moscow Military District"
Spetsnaz Weapons
NRS-2 is a knife with a built in single-shot firearm able to fire an 7.62x42mm SP-4 cartridge "the same used in PSS Silent Pistol".
Revised: 02/09/2013 – 20:28:06