Spetsnaz TsSN FSB “Alpha”

Group “Alpha” or Management “A” CSPS FSB – A special unit of the Federal Security Service of Russia, designed primarily for the release of hostages and anti-terrorist operations.

general information

Formed by order of the KGB Chairman Yu.V. Andropov in 1974 as a response to the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics. Initially it was a group of 30 people, submitting first to the 5th, and then the 7th Main Directorate of the KGB. Currently subordinate to the Center for Special Purpose FSB of Russia; Special units with the same name of a similar purpose are available in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The exact composition and size of the group “Alpha” is strictly classified.

Preparation of CSF FSB “Alpha”

Initially, the “Alpha” group was staffed exclusively by officers and warrant officers (the latter are about 3% of the number, they occupy mainly auxiliary posts, for example, instructors). The maximum age for candidates is 28 years (for those who come from other special forces, this restriction does not exist). For candidates there is also one serious limitation on physical data – the height must be at least 175 centimeters. This is due to the fact that in operations, employees often use heavy armored suits of impressive dimensions. For undersized employees, these remedies just drag on the ground.

Physical fitness requirements:

  • Running 100 meters in 12 seconds;
  • Running 3000 meters in 10.5 minutes;
  • Pulling up on the bar – 25 times;
  • Body bending – 90 times in 2 minutes;
  • Push up from the floor – 90 times;
  • Push up on the bars – 30 times.
  • Comprehensive strength exercise (15 push-ups from the floor, 15 flexions and extension of the body (abdominal pressure check), then 15 times the transition from the “crouching emphasis” to the “recumbent support” and back, then 15 jumps from the crouching position) – 7 once in a row.

The candidate must then pass a hand-to-hand test (stand 3 minutes against a trained employee or instructor).

Candidates undergo special testing and psychological testing. The consent of the parents and the spouse of the candidate is obligatory for enrollment in “Alpha”. Those who have successfully passed all these selection stages are enlisted in the special unit, receiving black berets and Antiterror knives, after which they go down to their groups, where they are trained in their specialty for 3 years.

Combat operations “Alpha”

The first of the most high-profile operations of Alpha was the storming of the palace of the Afghan dictator H. Amin on December 27, 1979. 24 officers of the special forces were part of the consolidated assault group together with the Zenit and Kaskad groups. Alpha operated in Afghanistan throughout the armed conflict, fulfilling the tasks of counter-sabotage protection of Kabul and the direct protection of the Soviet embassy.

One of the types of tasks that only Alpha successfully coped with in the USSR was the release of the planes hijacked by terrorists, which happened very often in the 1980s. Also, this special unit was engaged in the release of hostages, when they were children. The last most notable success of Alpha was a joint assault with the Vityaz group on the seizure of the detention center by prisoners in Sukhumi from 11 to 15 August 1990.

After the collapse of the USSR, Alpha became the responsibility of the Special Purpose Center of the FSB of Russia. It was she who was engaged in the liberation of hostages in Budennovsk, the theater on Dubrovka and Beslan. Also, the officers of “Alpha” on a permanent basis are serving in Chechnya, where they are engaged in the seizure and destruction of particularly important leaders of the terrorist underground.

Armament and equipment

During the creation of the Alpha group in the Soviet Union, there were practically no specialized anti-terror weapons. The main armament of the special units were a Kalashnikov assault rifle with a silencer, Makarov and Stechkin pistols, a Dragunov sniper rifle and cold weapons. There was simply no compact rapid-fire weapon, most suitable for conducting combat at a very short distance. Nevertheless, even with a not very suitable weapon, the subunit successfully freed the hostages, including those captured in airplanes.

The armament situation began to change by the early 1980s, when the Val automatic instrument developed by the KGB and the Ministry of Defense and the Vintorez sniper rifle developed according to the joint requirements of the KGB and the Ministry of Defense began to come into service. They were much better suited for anti-terrorist operations in urban environments, since a heavy 9-mm bullet, when hit the target, transferred all the energy to the tissues of the human body, while breaking through almost any body armor.

The officers of the Alpha were also the first to receive the “Grach” and “Gyurza” pistols, loaded with reinforced cartridges capable of piercing body armor. New models of submachine guns were also primarily taken on the armament of this special unit.

In view of the need to fight in urban conditions, the special forces of the Federal Security Service (FSB) are equipped with heavy body armor and titanium helmets.

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