The term Spetsnaz refers to any Russian Special Ops Group, specifically to any units that are considered special or elite and fall under the Federal Security Service, the Internal Troops of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and/or units which are under the control of GRU – a Russian military intelligence service. The name GRU is shortened from GRU GSh, which stands for Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye Generalnovo Shtaba. Translated, this means Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (of the Russian Federation).
The Spetsnaz GRU is the oldest of all special operations forces in Russia, is considered on of the top Special Forces in the world and is regarded as the best trained and most experienced units of the Russian Federation. Spetsnaz GRU first began operations in 1949. Their main role involves reconnaissance, direct action, assassination and sabotage. The Spetsnaz has ten different brigades, each stationed at a different location.
A knife was designed specifically for the Spetsnaz Units. The ballistic knife utilizes a spring installed inside the grip, which allows the blade to eject forcefully enough to use it as a harmful projectile. Another knife used by the Russian Special Ops units is the NRS-2. Built into this knife is a single-shot firearm, capable of firing an SP-4 cartridge. However, how effective these two knives are in actual combat remains unknown.
Top secret no longer accurately describes the Spetsnaz units today. All Russian Special Ops - including the Spetsnaz GRU – are gradually becoming more of a commonplace in Russia as they are often involved in police drug raids, terrorist scenarios or military operations. News media coverage has become so heavy on these events that the public now often addresses the units by name. The OMON unit alone – under the Interior Ministry – is so heavily involved in assisting the riot police and SWAT, that they are losing their connection to the word “Spetsnaz”.
Despite how the views for this Russian special op forces have changed, they still remain Russian’s top trained and experienced military – this includes the Spetsnaz GRU.