To finish off last weeks special forces posts, here are some who will face those already posted on the styrofoam fields of glory… Russian SpetsnaZ.
Now it is hard to write something about these units like I did on their NATO counterparts. For one the term SpetsnaZ refers to all the different units the Soviet Union (and now Russia) had. [EDIT: SpetsnaZ stands for Otryad Spetsialnogo Naznacheniya, meaning: troop for special purposes / functions in English.] All the branches of the Russian military, the police and secret services have at least one unit and western literature frequently mixes them up.
The unit I have gone for is modeled on the GRU GSh (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye Generalnovo Shtaba, meaning: Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff in English). Their primary missions are sabotage, assassinations as well reconnaissance and direct support for regular forces. Especially the former two were what attracted my attention. In my hypothetical WW III setting Russian attacks Europe and a unit like that would be needed to attack force multipliers behind NATO lines. This is only underlined by the fact that this unit was tasked with taking out nuclear first strike weapons even inside the US.
The unit itself was created in 1949 and there are currently nine brigades and one battalion attached to various military districts. Exact numbers are hard to establish, especially since these men wear regular uniforms (usually airborne) to make sure they do not blend in. This is not only done in an attempt to confuse other nations intelligence, but also to keep them secret within their own nation and military. In combat these men have full choice of weapons and equipment (even western).
The minis above all from Devil Dog Designs, the sniper being a slight conversion. I feel these were some of the finest DDD did back then and they are not that far behind some of the minis produced today. But I painted them nearly a decade ago and one can clearly see how much my style (especially with the skin) has changed since then.