Russian Spetsnaz: Learning from Experience

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As part of military reforms begun in 2008, Russia has overhauled its special purpose forces, or Spetsnaz to expand its capabilities and professionalization. It also created a new Special Operations Command known as the KSSO. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and military support of the Assad regime in Syria have afforded it the opportunity to put this new command to the test in combat. The Cipher Brief spoke to Michael Kofman, a CNA research scientist and Wilson Center fellow specializing in the Russian military, on how Russia has expanded and improved its special operations forces.

The Cipher Brief: How are Russian special operations organized within the military?

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