Spetsnaz (Russian: Спецназ), literally "force of special purpose", is a Russian umbrella term referring to military special forces of Russia and several post-soviet states.
When used with regards to the modern Russian Federation, Spetsnaz usually refers to the Spetsnaz GRU (Russian: Спецназ ГРУ), elite military units under command of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). Formed by the Soviet Union after World War II, the Spetsnaz GRU were trained to execute missions in foreign territory including detection and destruction of missile launch sites, sabotage, and assassination; filling a role in the Russian military comparable to the west's Special Air Service and United States Navy SEALs. During the restructuring of the Russian military in 2010, the Spetsnaz GRU were briefly disbanded and placed under command of the Russian Ground Forces, but were later reformed and returned to the GRU in 2013.
In the Battlefield series, Russian Spetsnaz appear as a playable faction in Battlefield 2: Special Forces, and Spetsnaz GRU appear in the singleplayer campaign of Battlefield 3 and in its novelization, Battlefield 3: The Russian.
Battlefield 2: Special Forces
In Battlefield 2: Special Forces, the Russian Spetsnaz are featured as a new faction in the expansion pack. They are not directly involved in The War, as they primarily engage against Rebel Forces, but do have a single skirmish with the Special Air Service.
The Russian Spetsnaz in-game are presumably counter-terrorism units, fighting Rebel Forces in southern Russia and in northern Kazakhstan over control of chemical and missile launch sites. After a Russian armored column is wiped out near the Caspian Sea, a Spetsnaz unit sent to recover sensitive materials from the site comes into conflict with a Special Air Service unit sent by the United Kingdom for the same purpose.
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Visually, the Spetsnaz kits use two different camouflages, a green woodland camouflage with a three-hole balaclava for classes that have Body Armor (note that in the Special Forces expansion, the Engineer gets Body Armor unlike base game) and a blue urban camouflage with a single hole balaclava for unarmored classes. Like the Rebels, the Spetsnaz speak Russian.
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A three-man Spetsnaz GRU team appears in Battlefield 3, composed of Dimitri "Dima" Mayakovsky, Vladimir Kamarivsky, and Kiril. The squad was initially assigned to capture arms dealer Amir Kaffarov, and later attempted to stop a nuclear attack in Paris.
Amir Kaffarov, a Russian arms dealer working with the PLR and Solomon, had managed to steal three miniaturized nuclear bombs from the Russian Federation. With one of nukes already recovered by American Marines in Iran, the GRU dispatches the Spetsnaz team to capture Kaffarov alive and secure the other nuclear devices before Russia is implicated in aiding the PLR.
The team is deployed to Araz Valley, Iran, and reach Kaffarov's compound via HALO jump from an Antonov An-22. With VDV troops securing the rest of the Valley to ensure he does not escape, the team assaults the villa. Kaffarov attempts to flee in his Ka-60 after they eliminate his security detail, but Dima manages to board and force Kaffarov out of the helicopter. Kaffarov then reveals that he had sold all three nuclear devices to Solomon, and that his is planning on attacking both Paris and New York with the remaining two.
During their assault on the compound, the VDV forces in the Valley had been eliminated by the American Marine unit Misfit, who were also pursuing Kaffarov. The remaining Marines arrive at the compound, and Ssgt. Henry Blackburn comes across Dima and Kaffarov. Dima warns Blackburn of Solomon's plan in New York, and after Blackburn is forced to kill Cpt. Quinton Cole to save Dima, the two agree to do what they can to stop the events from happening.
Unable to warn the Americans or French of the impending attacks without implicating themselves, the GRU sends the Spetsnaz team to Paris to stop Solomon's attack and secure the WMD by any means necessary. The trio infiltrate the EURONEXT Stock Exchange in Paris, and engage PLR soldiers there who attempting to carry out Solomon's attack. The team fights their way through the exchange and pursue the bomb carrier out to the Paris streets, in the process also having to fight the GIGN units responding to the scene. During the chase, Vladimir is killed by shrapnel from an RPG attack, forcing Dima and Kiril to continue without him. Dima manages to kill the bomb carrier in a melee at a metro station, but discover the bomb he was carrying was fake; the actual bomb was still at the stock exchange. The bomb then detonates, incapacitating the operatives and destroying much of Paris.
Dima manages to survive the blast and goes into hiding, with Kiril's fate left unknown. Sometime later, Dima is tracked down and arrested in connection with the attacks, being sent to a Chinese Prison in Tibet.
In the novelization of Battlefield 3, The Russian, many of the events with the Spetsnaz GRU team are depicted differently. The book has the team led by Dima instead of Vladimir, Kiril is replaced by the character Kroll, and two other members of the team, Spetsnaz soldiers Zirak and Gregorin, are also introduced. The unit is also deployed to Iran much earlier than in the game, carrying out an attack on a PLR base and also escaping Tehran during Operation Guillotine while hunting for Kaffarov. After the attack on Kaffarov's villa, Zirak and Gregorin are killed and the remaining trio become fugitives, going to Paris on their own accord. The outcome of the Paris attack is significantly different, with Kroll dying instead of Vladimir and Dima actually managing to stop the attack and clearing Russia of blame.
- The Spetsnaz victory theme in Battlefield 2: Special Forces is based on the national anthem of Russia