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Special Operations Forces Day – February 27, 2023

Special Operations Forces Day is marked in Russia every February 27. The Special Operations Forces (SOF) are part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. They are strategic-level special forces under the Special Operations Forces Command of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, making them a structural and independent unit of the Armed Forces. Wow, that was a mouthful. While formed in 2009, the day did not come into effect until 2015.

History of Special Operations Forces Day

In early 2015, President Vladimir Putin declared February 27 as Special Operations Forces Day (SOF). Some say this also marked the establishment of Russian control over the building of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Simferopol, Crimea, in 2014. SOF are distinct from the Spetsnaz GRU and are exclusively manned by professionals on contract — all of whom are full-time commissioned officers and regular soldiers. It is no wonder that the SOF are highly mobile, well-trained, and supremely equipped.

Always prepared for combat, they perform specific tasks and can function both within the country and abroad, in peacetime and wartime. The Russian Ministry of Defense considers special operations to be, “methods and ways of fighting not characteristic of conventional forces — reconnaissance and sabotage, subversion and sedition, counter-terrorism, counter-sabotage, counterintelligence, guerrilla, counter-guerrilla and other activities.” The SOF has been working in Syria.

This team is always manned exclusively by full-time servicemen consisting of commissioned officers and also regular officers.

Special Operations Forces Day timeline

2009
The Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Rebrands

GRU transfers the first units of what became the Special Operations Forces (SOF).

2012
The SOP Comes Together

The Special Operations Forces unit comes into existence.

2013
The Formal Announcement

The SOF is officially announced in 2013 by the Chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov.

2015
The SOF Day is Established

President Vladimir Putin declares that February 27 is Special Operations Forces Day.

Special Operations Forces Day FAQs

What are Russian Special Forces called?

They’re called Spetsnaz, a Russian language umbrella term for special forces. The term is also used for task forces of other ministries in post-Soviet countries.

How good are Russian Special Forces?

Regarding the performance of the Spetsnaz in combat, they are known for their tactics, intuition, and instinct. They shoot well, are good at handling their weapons, are in great shape, and are disciplined.

What does Spetsnaz mean?

Spetsnaz is an acronym meaning special purpose.

How to Observe Special Operations Forces Day

  1. Research on them

    See what you can find on SOF, for they have been involved in more than you’d expect. From Syria to Idlib, they have been vital for Russia in the past few years.

  2. Play video games

    Many first-person shooter games and other warfare games are based on such forces. This simulation is the closest you’ll be to becoming like them, from home.

  3. Take a moment of silence

    A handful of SOF lives were lost in Syria. There are more, which would go unreported, so taking a moment of silence is a great way of showing them respect.

Why We Love

  1. SOF and FIFA

    When Russia hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the SOF was also in charge of security.

  2. They are like ninjas

    They conducted counter-terrorism during the insurgency in the North Caucasus region disguised as other units.

  3. They train in high altitudes

    SFO conducted special tactics exercises at Elbrus mountains at an altitude of 4,500m.

  4. They are always fully armed

    With hand, submachine and machine guns, assault and sniper rifles, and explosives.

  5. The total population is unknown

    While not official, it is rumored that the SOF comprises 2,000 to 2,500 personnel!

Why Special Operations Forces Day is Important

  1. They are essential

    The special forces of any country have played important roles throughout warfare history. They especially pick up potential disruption by sabotage.

  2. They are significant

    Their significant roles lay in reconnaissance, providing essential intelligence about the enemy, and combating irregular forces. And that is just what we know.

  3. They protect

    In 2019 a group of more than 30 terrorists was eliminated in a special operation by the SOF. There have been many such incidents over the past few years.

Special Operations Forces Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 27Monday
2024February 27Tuesday
2025February 27Thursday
2026February 27Friday
2027February 27Saturday

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