About this Product
While the size of Russia's regular forces has shrunk recently, its security and paramilitary elements have become increasingly powerful. Under the Putin regime they have proliferated and importantly seem set to remain Russia's most active armed agencies for the immediate future. In parallel, within the murky world where government and private interests intersect, a number of paramilitary ‘private armies' operate almost as vigilantes, with government toleration or approval.This book offers a succinct overview of the official, semi-official and unofficial agencies that pursue Russian government and quasi-government objectives by armed means, from the 200,000-strong Interior Troops, through Police and other independent departmental forces, down to private security firms. Featuring rare photographs, and detailed colour plates of uniforms, insignia and equipment, this study by a renowned authority explores the Putin regime's shadowy special-forces apparatus, active in an array of counter-terrorist and counter-mafia wars since 1991.
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.
Introduction: historical overview of Russian security and paramilitary forces, including their part in the failed coup against Gorbachev in 1991, the successful take-over by Yeltsin in 1993, and the rise of Putin
The Police: roles, organization and equipment, OMON riot police, SOBR and OMSN snatch squads, and the fight against the Mafiya
The Interior Troops (VV): roles, organization and equipment, VV Spetsnaz, Vega, ODON, MVD, and the war in Chechnya
The FSB: commando units Al'fa, Vympel, Zenit, etc., and FSB control of Border Troops
'Warlords in Suits': independent ministerial forces, Federal Protection Service, Justice Ministry, Ministry of Emergency Situations
Guns for the Masses: private security firms and vigilante forces
The Opposition: anti-Moscow organizations in the North Caucasus
Tools of the Trade: special weapons and equipment