KGB Alpha team training manual

KGB Alpha team training manual

(Parte 1 de 8)

How the Soviets Trained for Personal Combat,

Assassination, and Subversion

How the Soviets Trained for Personal Combat,

Assassination, and Subversion

KGB Alpha Team Training Manual:

How the Soviets Trained for Personal Combat, Assassination, and Subversion

Copyright © 1993 by Paladin Press

ISBN 0-87364-706-8 Printed in the United States of America

Published by Paladin Press, a division of Paladin Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 1307,

Boulder, Colorado 80306, USA. (303) 443-7250

Direct inquires and/or orders to the above address.

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the publisher.

Neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for the use or misuse of information contained in this book.

Pr-eface•................... !
1:-anslator's Note61
Chapter 1. The Foundations of Special Physical Training67

Foundations of Special Physical Training Organization Principles of Instruction

Penetrating/Storming Buildings87

Chapter 2. Movement; Overcoming Obstacles;

General Systematic Directions for Teaching

Basic Methods of Movement

Fundamentals of Movement and Overcoming Obstacles Movement under Special Conditions Special Features of Night Movement Leaping Natural Obstacles Running and Crawling Movement in Mountains Movement in Deserts Overcoming Man-Made Obstacles and Positions Crossing Water Barriers

Teaching Personal Combat .•••••.....•..........•......... 123

Chapter 3. Techniques and Methods for

Recommendations for Methods in Teaching Tactics of Personal Combat

Basic Vulnerable Areas and Points of the Human Body Techniques of Inflicting Effective Blows A Graduated Series of Warm-Up Exercises Special Exercises Blows

Safety and Self-Protection in Falls Self-Protection in Falls to the Side Safety in Forward Falls

A Series of Exercises in Learning Safety/Self-Protection

Special Physical1'raining••.•.•..............•............••.......... 14 7

Chapter 4. A Practical Section in Basic Methods for Capturing

Basic Methods for Silently Killing an Armed Enemy Additional Methods for Silent Killing Cold Weapons

Choking Techniques Attacks by Teams

Silent Attacks on the Enemy from Concealment Attacking an Enemy in Its Position Capturing an Enemy Traveling by Bicycle,

Motorcycle, or Horse

Signs and Signals for Silent Operations Some Training Exercises and Tasks

Methods for Securing and Transporting Prisoners Methods for Securing

The Use of Handcuffs for Securing Methods of Conveying a Prisoner Methods for Evacuating the Wounded

Physical Attacks; Mutual Aid; Throws ••..•••.•.•.......... 191

Chapter 5. Escaping from and Fighting OtT Escaping Attacks from the Front

Escaping Attacks from Behind Escaping from Holds in Fights on the Ground

Defense and Mutual Aid ·Self-Defense against an Enemy with a Firearm

Basic Methods of Defense against a

Firearm Aimed from in Front

Basic Methods of Defense against a

Firearm Aimed from Behind

Defense against Cold Weapons The Overhand Arm Knot Lock Inward Arm Twist against an Overhand Stab

Underhand Stabs Backhand and Lateral Stabs Self-Defense Using Additional Means

Basic Techniques Additional Ways to Defeat an Enemy without Using Weapons

Twisting the Neck Vertebrae Choking Techniques Using Weapons and Other Objects for Self-Defense Throwing Cold Weapons at a Target

Chapter 6. Penetrating Buildings in an Attack•.............. 277
Monitoring the State of Health ..••.........•.•.•................ 285

Chapter 7. Models for Restoring Work Capacity and

Steam Baths Nutrition in Times of Heavy Physical Exertion


Water Ways of Monitoring the State of Health Some Possible Breakdowns in Human Health under

Heavy Stress Injuries


The information presented in this book is for reference and historical purposes only! The author, publisher, and distributors do not in any way endorse nor condone any illegal or dang~rous activity or act that may be depicted in the following pages. Therefore, the author, publisher, and distributors disclaim any lia- bility and assume no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information herein.

Editor's note: The KGB Alpha Team Training Manual was provided to Paladin Press by Jim Shortt, who, as director of International Bodyguard Association (IBA), has trained numerous Western military and police units in anti-Spetsnaz activities. Shortt was the first outsider to train KGB personnel, and he has been active in the Baltic States both before and after independence, training these republics' police and security forces. Shortt also trained mujahideen forces during the war in Afghanistan.

Several pages in chapters 5 and 6 of this manual are missing. The same pages were missing in every copy of the manual that Shortt examined. This leads one to believe that the pages were either deliberately pulled because of sensitive information found on them, or the Soviet military suffered from the same inefficiency as bureacuracies everywhere and the pages were inadvertently left out of the original printing. The places with missing text have been footnoted.

In the following, Shortt briefly examines Soviet special operations to show the relationship of various organizations and to document how the information contained in the manual was used by the KGB, GRU, MVD, and other "special assignment units." He also includes some personal accounts of his training missions in various Soviet republics to illustrate how many of the functions formerly performed by the KGB and GRU are now being assumed by police units in the various republics or local mafia groups.

I was sitting in a small apartment in the Latvian capital of Riga in January 1992 with members of the Latvian Security Service's bodyguard department. Between us we were-as the Irish in me would say--doing justice to a goodly number of bottles of Krista/ Dzidrais, Latvian vodka, and melnais balzams, a potent tarlike local liquor. Our host, a major with the service, had been in his time a graduate and later instructor at the Soviet Defense Intelligence (GRU) #4 Spetsnaz' Brigade based near the Estonian town of Viljandi.

While the snow and minus-16-degree temperature kept the

Latvian vodka-in-waiting correctly chilled, I pored over the photograph c:tlbum of my host and mused that it was, in many ways, similar to my own. Although the uniforms and equipment were different, the scenarios were similar. When I came to the training manuals used by the Soviet Spetsnaz, I noticed that they were surprisingly few and all written in 1945 by veterans of the partisan units, OSNAZ Brigade, and Reconnaissance Scouts. Their primary emphasis was on physical capability, daring, and conditioning.

Next, I looked over more recently produced close-quarter-battle (CQB) manuals from the army physical training department and the Naval Infantry/ termed in Russian rukopashnyi boi. They covered unarmed scenarios, edged weapons (such as the bayonet, entrenching tool, and knife), and finally projectiles, as well as the techniques for throwing bayonet, rifle and bayonet, entrenching tool, and a special sharpened steel plate. Just when I thought I had seen it all on special combat techniques!

The manual you now hold in your hands has been translated from its original Cyrillic format. I was told that it was a very special manual because it was produced by A. I. Dolmatov, the man who had trained the KGB special units codenamed "Alpha" teams at the Moscow Dynamo sports club. If you had asked any official of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) what Dynamo was, he would have answered, "Just a sports club; policemen use it." Ask any Western sovietologist the same question, and he would add that the Dynamo organization existed in every major Soviet city and was dominated by the KGB and the MVD (Soviet Interior Ministry). It was not your usual after-work squash facility, but rather an integral part of the training and update of the Soviet regime's countersubversion forces. This manual was produced for the special forces of the MVIY and the KGB,4 as well as Defense Ministry personnel seconded to them. This manual was intended for the training of personnel operat- ing on internal security duties within the Soviet Union and also in in-depth missions against enemies of the Soviet Union. Soviet Spetsnaz troops operated from front lines of battle up to 1,0 kilometers to the enemy's rear. The Interior Ministry controlled two types of personnel: the

MVD militia, or Soviet police, and the MVD (V), or Internal

Forces. The MVD militia had their special forces in the OMON formations while the MVD units-which were the de facto inter- nal army of the Soviet Union-had specialist units called

Spetsnaz Soviets. The task of the internal army was putting down rebellion and hunting Western special forces that landed in time of war behind Soviet lines. Sandwiching the interior army of the MVD and the Defense Ministry's exterior army was the KG B-its First Chief Directorate that had the exterior army was the "Cascade" (Kaskad) program for offensive special forces operations against the West, including assassination and sabotage. The Second Chief Directorate with the Chief Directorate of Border Guards that had control of special units within the Soviet Union, especially the KGB Alpha teams that cross-trained for the Cascade program. To understand the different types of Soviet special assignment forces that existed (and still exist to a large extent within the Confederation of Independent States [CIS], the successor to the USSR), it is necessary to examine the development and evolution of such units from the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917.

The Bolshevik Revolution was not in fact a Russian revolution.

Lenin maintained himself in power by force of arms. First he used Latvian infantry to guard the Kremlin in Moscow against the Russian people, and second he appointed a Pole, Felix Dzerzhinsky,

to be in charge of state security. On 20 December 1917, the All- Union Supreme Commission to Combat Counterrevolution, Sabotage, and Speculation was set up under Dzerzhinsky; it was known by the abbreviation VChK or Cheka. It was to the Communist party what the S was to the Nazis. The Cheka command structure held no Russians, just international Communists who were Czechs, Latvians, Austrians, Poles, Hungarians, Finns, and other non-Russians. The VChK would subsequently become known as the GPU, OGPU, GUGB, and then finally the NKVD (The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs).

Stalin formed special units to carry out assassinations abroad (of rivals such as Trotsky in Mexico) and to rid Stalin of internal opponents and those who did not actively support him. In 1936, the Cheka created an Administration for Special Tasks to kill or kidnap persons outside of the territory of the USSR who were deemed enemies of the state. However, in mid-1919 the Cheka had already created its first special-operations units, the CHON5 and later (as the GPU) the elite Dzerzhinsky Division, which, with the break up of the NKVD, became part of the MVD.

In June 1941 when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, large numbers of NKVD border guards fought against the Nazis and, as Communist party faithfuls, were among the first partisan units operating behind German lines. The NKVD formed a partisan training program at Tiflis, which they christened the "0" program, and the NKVD border guards formed the core of the first NKVD special operations units called istrebitel'nye batal'ony, which operated on sabotage missions behind German lines. Soon after the invasion, special NKVD Unit #10 gained control of partisan activity.

The NKVD internal forces formed 15 divisions, which though sometimes committed to front-line fighting were normally used at the rear of the Red Army to prevent retreat or desertion. They were also used to punish populations that collaborated with the Germans. By the close of World War I, the NKVD had 53

NKVD divisions and 28 NKVD specialized brigades in addition to its border-guard units. They fought antiguerrilla actions in

Ukraine and the Baltic States.6 They also carried out political

"cleansing" operations, deporting and murdering whole communities whose loyalty to the Communist Party was suspect. During World War I, the NKVD created a special operations brigade, OMSBON.71ts members were not called Spetsnaz but rather Osnaz. 8 I have found the term Osnaz applied to designate special purpose units of political origin (i.e., KGB, NKVD, MVD), whereas Spetsnaz is used to designate a tactical or strategic unit of politically reliable personnel. Osnaz are politically superior in role to Spetsnaz. OMSBON had roles both behind German and Soviet lines. It launched 212 units behind German lines-a total of more than 7,0 men. But it also operated against Ukrainian and Baltic States nationalists in hunter teams and extermination squads. OMSBON alone boasted a head count of 140,0 people it had killed. The NKVD ran Osnaz teams in to northern Norway in opposition and duplication to Spetsnaz teams operated by the Soviet Naval Infantry during the German occupation of Norway.

The Soviet army created its own Spetsnaz teams of razvedchiki or reconnaissance scouts responsible for diversionary reconnaissance, which meant gathering information by penetrating behind enemy lines, intercepting communications, taking and interrogating prisoners-all while they were there murdering senior officers, and destroying headquarters, weapon dumps, stores, roads, bridges, etc. The Naval Infantry followed the army's example and created its own razvedchik units.

The KGB was formed in March 1954. The Central Committee of the CPSU9 split the NKVD into two distinct organizations. Simply put, this was a security measure by one part of the central committee to prevent a state security body from ever wielding the type of concentrated power the NKVD had exerted under and on behalf of Stalin.

Many figures in the central committee of that period ended up arrested, tortured, and even murdered by the NKVD. The concept behind bisecting the NKVD was to return state security from being the watchdog of the Central Committee to being its lapdog

KGB Alpha Team officer with prisoner. Photo courtesy of Novosti Press Agency and, sometimes, guardian. From the NKVD were created the KGB and MVD, one to supposedly watch the other.

The MVD took responsibility for the militia or Soviet police force and for the vast internal army, including OMSBON units such as the zagraditel'nye otryady, or blocking battalions of the NKVD, which were placed behind Soviet army combat units to prevent retreat and desertions, and also the istrebitelnye otryady, or NKVD hunter battal- ions used to find and liquidate anti-Soviet guerrillas. The MVD also assumed responsibility from the NKVD for the guarding and security of more than a thousand prison camps (gulags ).

KGB border guards. Photo courtesy of Jim Shortt 7

KGB Hunter Groups mounted (above) and on foot (right). Photos courtesy of Jim Shortt

The KGB, through its First Chief Directorate, took responsibility for espionage and, through its Second Chief Directorate, for countersubversion and counterintelligence in the civil population. SMERSH, 10 founded in 1943 as military counterintelligence, became the KGB 's Third Chief Directorate. The NKVD's Border Guard units came under the control of the KGB's Chief Directorate of Border Guards. The NKVD's Administration for Special Tasks became the Partisan Fourth Directorate in 1941; in 1946 it evolved into Special Office 1 and later Department 13 of the First Chief Directorate. It later became an independent Department V under the direct control of the KGB chairman and was reserved, euphemistically, for "Central Committee special tasks" only.

(Parte 1 de 8)