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Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991 (Elite) Paperback – 20 Aug 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey (20 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780961057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780961057
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 0.4 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"The relatively brief history of these contemporary units is reflective of the story of Putin's rise to a stranglehold on power and the resurrection of the Russian bear's claws. Intriguing insights make this book well worth reading."" --Toy Soldier & Model Figure magazine"

About the Author

Professor Mark Galeotti, formerly senior lecturer in international history at Keele University, is Clinical Professor of Global Affairs, New York University. He is a former Foreign Office adviser on Russian security affairs, and for 15 years (1991-2006) wrote a monthly column on this for Jane's Intelligence Review. Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani, and Edouard Detaille. His interests include karate, running, Bible reading, history, and making English longbows.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. O'Deorain on 3 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great detail on the number of military, police and "black" internal security organisations that now exist in the Russian Federation. Scary bunches of people but varying levels of expertise and experience. Usual excellent quality text, photographs and illustrations of uniforms and equipment from Osprey.
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While even the Soviet Union possibly employed more non-army paramilitary units than would be common in the West, these practically exploded in the years after the collapse. As such the book is a very timely and useful guide to provide the more casual observer a structured overview of the current situation in Russia.

Over the last 25 or so years various agencies, from the police, border guards, to forestry and fishery protection units all spawned various special units with varying degrees of combat / military potential. While some of the more notorious will be possibly known to non-Russian observers, there are many that the majority will not have heard of, in spite of their prominence and use in the last decades.

As the Russian military was historically more geared towards mechanized operations against NATO, there has also existed a higher need for light infantry forces more proficient in counter insurgency operations - as became apparent in Afghanistan - which has been often fulfilled by the paramilitary forces described in this book in the last decades.

The book covers the agencies / paramilitary organizations, providing for each a brief history, role, structure / deployment, equipment / armament and for some a brief summary of some missions they have been involved in. The concluding sections cover the general proliferation of arms in post Soviet Russia, the elements of organized crime, as well as the most frequently used weapons (many being shared amongst the services).

As is usual in the 'Elite' series, you will also get lots of photographs, and colour drawings, allowing a better recognition as well as providing some useful help for modellers.
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By S R Hutchinson on 11 Mar. 2015
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Just what I wanted
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By jockbrian on 7 Dec. 2014
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fine
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The means to keep order in a troubled state... 27 Aug. 2013
By HMS Warspite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991" is a superb introduction into the proliferation and use of specialized security units in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. In this Osprey Elite Series book, author Mark Galeotti makes sense of the many heavily-armed and specially-trained paramilitary organizations created to police dissidents and demonstrations, defeat terrorists and criminal groups, and conduct counterinsurgency inside and outside the borders of Russia.

The old Soviet Union had a variety of specialized security units designed to help the regime maintain internal control. The fall of the Soviet Union created new instabilities and threats to order. The institutional response has been to create and equip units capable of armed response to threats. The MVD or police, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, and other government agencies each have their own specialized units. These specialized units resemble SWAT teams, heavily-armed police, special forces, commandos, or even conventional military units.

The book has an excellent selection of photographs, illustrations, and color plates to specify the uniforms, equipment, and identifying insignia of security and paramilitary units. The author cites a number of case studies, including the Chechen campaigns, the 2004 Beslan Massacre, and the Dubrovka Theater hostage crisis, as examples of unit operating methods. "Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991" is especially impressive given the constant changes in the naming conventions and subordination of some units; highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An awesome book on an interesting subject 18 Sept. 2013
By Josh Baldwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best Osprey books I've seen.
My thanks to Osprey and to the author Mark Galeotti for putting out a book on this subject.
Everything about Russian history is fascinating, especially their military, police, and security organs.

As for the photos and color plates, they are some of the best I've seen. The color plates alone are worth the price of the book.

My highest recommendations.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
RUSSIAN SECURITY AND PARAMILITARY FORCES SINCE 1991 22 Jan. 2014
By Robert A. Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
RUSSIAN SECURITY AND PARAMILITARY FORCES SINCE 1991
PROFESSOR MARK GALEOTTUI
OSPREY PUBLISHING, 2013
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $18.95, 64 PAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, ILLUSTRATIONS, TABKLE, INDEX, BIBLIOGRAPHY, GLOSSARY

Russia has long been a country identified with secretive and elite security and police agencies; from the Oprichina of Ivan the Terrible, the Okrana of the Czars, the Cheka and the KGB of the Bolsheviks and Soviet Union, to the FSB today. Due to the multitude of differing agencies, often times with varying levels of training and duties, it makes understanding their nature and roles in Russian society all the more challenging. This is true when one considers that not only are there competing police units and spetsgruppy (special services) but a quasi-parallel army, in the form of the Interior Ministry's (MVD) VV troops.

Historically, Russia's security and paramilitary forces tended to be closer to the political establishment than to the regular military. In Ospery's RUSSIAN SECURITY AND PARAMILITARY FORCES SINCE 1991, author Professor Galeotti explores these units' increasingly powerful and disproportionate role since the partition of the Soviet Union.

The author's book covers the following topics:

*Introduction-This chapter gives a capsule summary of the historical background of how the Soviet passion for extensive security forces developed and the roles they played in the fall of the former Soviet Union and the rise of modern Russia.

*The Police-Here we have coverage of the OMON, OMSN, and SOBR and their battle against Russian organized crime and suppression of dissent.

*The Interior Troops (VV)-A multitude of units are covered here, from named Spetsnaz units such as ODOn to Vega, MVD and so forth that keep order within the country's borders. Many of these units fought in the Chechnya wars as well.

*The FSB-Here we probably have the ones that most will be interested in such as the elite commando units Al'fa, Vympel, Zenit, etc., as well as border troops and such.

*Warlords In Suits-This covers the bewildering "other" units that spring up in seeming every petty political fiefdom in Russia.

*Guns For The Masses-To add even more complexity, we also get the plethora of private security firms as well as accepted vigilante groups.

*The Opposition-Covers internal anti-government groups.

*Tools Of The Trade-An all too brief section covers some of the more common specialized weapons and equipment these forces use.

The writing is both interesting and engaging and shows a solid knowledge of the units and how they relate in 21st Century Russia. There is one unit that isn't mentioned and that is Zaslom (Screen), a very shadowy unit established by certain accounts in 1998 as a special forces unit of the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service). It is trained to operate abroad in everything from hostage-rescue to assassination missions. It continues to shun publicity. Fifty quality photographs complement the author's account while the detailed artwork by Johnny Shumate illustrates the different uniforms, insignia, and equipment.

Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard
Orlando, Florida
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very specialized book worth the read 25 Sept. 2013
By Maggot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned a lot about the Russian Security Forces and corrected two misconceptions from earlier misunderstandings. This was a good read, albeit I doubt it will be a big seller due to its intensive specialization. Not only was the information good and interesting, it was a pleasure to read it as well as look at photos to gain a better understanding of their operating environment.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces Since 1991 16 Sept. 2014
By warlord - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The reorganization of Russian state security forces following the dissolution of the USSR has left many confused as to who is doing what over there. Some people still think the KGB still exists, though its functions were split between the FSB and the SVR years ago. Anyone who wants to know who is responsible for securing law and order within Russia and securing Russian interests outside of it would do well to read this book.
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