The organisation of one of the world’s most famous, elite commando forces began in the 1930s, but the first major deployment units were created during WWII to counter the forces of the Ukrainian uprising. Later, in the 1950s Marshal Zhukov ordered the organisation of almost 50 elite units in the Soviet Union. In the 1970s the Russians transferred the Spetsnaz troops to the control of the Chief Directorate of the Intelligence Service and some years later the Spetsnaz anti-terrorist unit was also formed. We talked to police colonel Ferencz Szekeres, Hungary’s former Internal Affairs Attaché in Moscow, about Spetsnaz.

When was Spetsnaz established and what does it mean exactly?
– In direct translation it refers to an anti-terrorist unit operating in a military form and is available for special deployment. The original principal of a special military unit for secret military operations was defined in the middle of the 19th Century and the unit was actually established then. Cossack special units were used almost 150 years ago, for example, in the Russian-Turkish war. Even then they were to use various conspiratorial methods to pass behind the opposition lines and take hostages or assassinate military or political leaders. The principles of the current formation of Spetsnaz were defined at the end of the 1950s and the organisation has developed into one of the world’s best trained elite units.

 

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