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Apr 26, 2022
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Special Forces Universities: How and Whom They Train in Chechnya

Special Forces Universities: How and Whom They Train in Chechnya

Photo: Elena Afonina / TASS

Located in Chechnya, the Russian University of Special Forces (RUS) is a unique educational institution. This is a military town, which includes almost a hundred buildings and structures, several dozen shooting galleries, obstacle courses, a climbing wall, several assault facilities – models of a bus, train and aircraft. Their local cadets storm several times a day. The beginning of the action is usually announced by the characteristic sound of breaking glass, explosions of stun grenades and the screams of the attackers.

There is even a specially dug pond for the training of combat swimmers. Future combat scuba divers learn underwater shooting and freeing captured ships from sea pirates here.

The university was established in 2013 at the initiative of the President of the Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. Ramzan Akhmatovich dreamed of creating an educational institution where high-class special forces of various profiles would be trained. The instructors here are both combat veterans from the legendary special forces, and active military personnel working in various hot spots of the world. Many are fighting now – in Ukraine.

On the basis of the university, several volunteer detachments are being trained at once. Volunteers come to Gudermes from all over Russia, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. The flow of applicants does not dry out. More than half of the cadets are Caucasians. Chechens, Avars, Laks, Ossetians, Circassians… There are even Jordanian Kabardians. They do not know Russian (although they are trying hard to learn it), and local Kabardians from Nalchik serve as translators for them.

One of the instructors is responsible for preparing volunteers for combat in urban areas. Together with “polite people” he liberated the Crimea. I was twice on a business trip to Syria. In the first days of the special operation, he worked in Ukraine.

All volunteers arriving in Gudermes are being sorted by nationality. According to the instructor, said in an informal setting, “it’s easier to get rid of all sorts of such disagreements, because some peoples even have their own hygiene.” “There are not only nationalities here, even races are different,” continues Umar. – Descendants of the Mongols – Buryats and Kalmyks – we bring down in the same units. Caucasians – to others. Yakuts, Altaians and Tuvans – in the third. We are also trying to collect Russians on the principle of community. For example, the guys from Vologda are so loud that it causes a Homeric laugh from other Russians. He hangs in the window on a rope upside down, threatens with a machine gun and shouts to the enemy: “Calm down, the Vologda OMON is working!” And laughter interferes with study … “.

It is no longer clear where Umar is joking and where he is serious.

Sometimes the situation is simplified by the fact that whole detachments of volunteers come to Gudermes from some republics. Now fighters from Tuva and Kalmykia are training in Gudermes.

There is even one ethnic Mongol in the Buryat detachment. His correct name is Ariunbold, but the Buryats call him Ariuka. Ariuka once served in the Mongolian peacekeeping battalion in Afghanistan as a sniper. “He protected the Anglo-Saxons from the Tajiks and Pashtuns,” he says. – Now I’m going to defend the Russians. Seven hundred years ago, my ancestors, along with the Russians, fought with knight dogs on Lake Peipsi. Now, together with the Russians, we will crush the Nazi dogs.”

According to the instructor, every fourth fighter in the “Russian” units has a Ukrainian surname. “The Angles fooled our brother’s head,” says Taras Moseychuk. Taras is from the Urals. Many years ago, his distant ancestors moved there from Ukraine. “And some “particularly gifted” Ukrainians were destroyed by the conceptual apparatus and made fascists,” continues Taras. – We have become Europeanized, vigorous louse … I went to Ukraine five years ago to my relatives – I couldn’t even talk to them. As if brains were dislocated. I now have a nephew in the Donbass – he serves under a contract, he beats Bandera. Hope we meet. My blue dream is Zelensky get out of the bunker. From people like him, all the evil in Ukraine…”.

There is one ethnic Kyrgyz among the cadets, a native of Osh. His correct name is Kubanychbek, but in the center he is called Nikolai. “Nikolai-Kubanychbek” is not offended. He is a citizen of Russia. Therefore, formally has the right to be a volunteer.

Kolya-Kyrgyz suggested that I consider a very interesting idea. “Hundreds of thousands of migrants from Kyrgyzstan are working in Russia today,” Nikolai develops his thought. – There are those who work here for 25-30 years. The overwhelming majority of them are ardent patriots of Russia. Now Russia has a big pain – Ukraine captured by the Nazis. But it is also our pain. We, the Kyrgyz, do not separate ourselves from Russia. And we are good warriors. Our grandfathers fought on all fronts of the Great Patriotic War. In every village, grey-bearded front-line soldiers hung with medals are still alive. And tens of thousands of young Kyrgyz are burning with the desire, like their grandfathers, to fight the Nazis. But they don’t have the right to do so. After all, they are not citizens of Russia. Otherwise, hundreds or even thousands of Kirghiz would have come here with me to Gudermes. I propose to submit a draft law to the State Duma so that citizens of the Union republics who are ready to serve in the Russian army under a contract (how many years is being discussed) would be entitled to receive Russian citizenship. This practice exists in the French Foreign Legion. Let it be in Russia. And then many Kyrgyz will be ready to defend the interests of Russia throughout the world. And if necessary, fight and die for her. How our grandfathers fought for our common country…”.

Eduard, a volunteer from St. Petersburg, explained his stay in Gudermes briefly, but poetically. No wonder he has a call sign – “Poet”. “It’s just that a Russian heart is beating in my chest. And my soul flies after him … “.

Thousands of volunteers of different races, nationalities and religions are now being trained in Gudermes. But it seems to me that this very “Russian heart” beats in the chest of each of them.

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