Incorporating lessons from Western special operations forces (SOF), the Kremlin had established its own equivalent of the U.S. Army’s elite 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta.
Nonetheless, the 2000-man strong KSSO—which perhaps bears more than a passing resemblance to Delta’s parent command JSOC—is still a work in progress and Russia continues to build up its capabilities. The unit is part of a much larger community of special designation forces in Russia, known as Spetsnaz, and special operations outfits that belong to intelligence agencies like the FSB. According Kofman, Spetsnaz units exist among Russia’s land forces, naval infantry, and airborne brigades, with a community that is likely 9,000-10,500 men strong.
Incorporating lessons from Western special operations forces (SOF), the Kremlin had established its own equivalent of the U.S. Army’s elite 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta—better known as Delta Force. This new force is called Special Operations Command, known by its Russian acronym as KSSO.
The Russian General Staff first announced the creation of this command in March 2013. Though it is relatively young, the new force have been quick learners and has accumulated a fairly significant amount of combat experience during its short existence. Indeed, while the KSSO is likely not as lavishly funded as Delta or the U.S. Navy’s elite DEVGRU (better known as SEAL Team Six), the Russian unit has performed well.
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