Russia celebrates the Special Forces Day. The date was established in 2006 by order of the President. First special units for 'home purpose' occurred in Russia during the Civil War and were used by the Red Army for reconnaissance and subversion behind enemy lines. In 1941-1945 a significant number of special military units was created, this period may be regarded as flowering of the Soviet special forces. However, during the post-war years the USSR faced a lot of challenges. Given threat of a nuclear war elite intelligence units should have been prepared, which could operate in the territory of an oversea enemy. Military experience of reconnaissance and subversive activity of the Soviet guerrillas and saboteurs was widely used. Suppression of revolt in Prague in 1968 can be regarded as the first large operation of the Russian special forces. In December 1979 the storm of Amin's palace in Afghanistan was an example of an excellent operation: to topple the country's authorities in one day is something that even the Cuban revolutionists didn't manage to do. Today the Special Purpose Units are militarized groups of the Federal Security Service, Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, Emergency Situations, of Justice and other federal government agencies, which are known under the names of Alpha, Vityaz, Vympel, Rus, and others.
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