The papers presented in this Blue Cover were originally given as talks at the conference
"International Terrorism: New Assessments," which took place in Moscow on 24-26 March 1997.
Topics included political violence, organized crime, terrorism, and chemical, biological, and nuclear
weapons. The hosts for the conference were the Moscow-based Center for Political and International
Studies, the Russian Peace Committee, and the "Arcturus" Political Consultants in coordination with
the Russian Ministry of the Interior, and the U.S. Army's Foreign Military Studies Office, located
at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Russian participation included representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of
Defense, Federal Security Service, Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the State Duma [lower
chamber of Parliament] Committee on Security, among other experts. U.S. participants included
representatives of the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Energy, as well as members of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard.
Kirill K. Babievsky is a Doctor of Chemical Science, an expert with the Russian Pugwash
Committee of Scientists, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
A. A. Bayev is an officer and professor with the Russian Internal Troops, Ministry of the
Interior. He has served in Internal Troops' field and investigative units and is currently oversees a
component dealing with scientific and training issues.
A. Dadonov is a general-major in the Russian Internal Troops, Ministry of the Interior, and is
responsible for major dimensions of Internal Troops training.
Andrei Demurenko a colonel in the Russian Armed Forces, was the first Russian officer to
study at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (1992-93).
Subsequently he served as chief-of-staff of the UN's Sarajevo sector and the on the General Staff
of the Russian Armed Forces.
Anatoly Guskov is the Deputy Chief of the Staff Committee on Security, State Duma of the
Russian Federal Assembly [Parliament].
Y. V. Malyshenko is department chief of the Interpol National Bureau in Russia.
M. F. Saveliy is a specialist with the Russian Ministry of the Interior with expertise in bombs
and explosive devices.
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Laws to Combat Terrorism
by Dr. Anatoly Guskov
Translated by Mr. Robert R. Love
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
Terrorism is a relatively recent social phenomenon in Russia. Prior to the 1980's, only isolated
instances were recorded. Urgent problems in combating terrorism arose with the collapse of the
USSR and Russia's transition to market economy reforms, the so-called initial accumulation of
capital. It was during this period that terrorism was adopted as a method for achieving various goals,
against a backdrop of organized crime and the shadow economy.
The shadow economy was one of the main causes of this terrorism phenomenon. In 1996 alone
the number of purely economic crimes increased by 2.5 times as compared to 1993. In the leading
countries of the world, organized crime groups control four to five percent of the economy. In
today's Russia, according to some estimates, the same figure runs as high as fifty percent. The
country's economic space is becoming increasingly vulnerable, and the country's economic base is
being undermined, with all of the consequences that brings. The country is already experiencing
serious difficulty in supporting its military, the fleet, vessels, law-enforcement agencies and other
essential government organizations. Some data suggest that approximately seventy trillion rubles
are now circulating in the shadow economy and that organized crime is attempting to take control
of several sectors of the economy.
Today's realities in Russia are such that terrorism is becoming firmly established as one of the
manifestations of the social reality of Russian society. Terrorism is taking on various nuances, i.e.,
criminal, political or nuclear terrorism, terrorism that threatens the use of chemical or biological
weapons, "mercury" terrorism, "telephone" terrorism in the mass media. The media further
subdivide terrorism into "religious" and "ethno-national."
Naturally, all of the foregoing creates in peoples' minds the idea that terrorism is an integral part
of reality. This lowers the population's defensive reactions to terrorism, which in turn has great
psychological impact on society, affecting various aspects of the life of society.
Civilization today is burdened with the presence of a phenomenon of global danger and global
importance. This phenomenon is terrorism. Terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, by its
scale and intensity, by its inhumanity and cruelty, is without equal.
The number of terrorist acts in the world is growing relentlessly and is unprecedented in scale.
In 1980 some 500 terrorist acts were recorded in the world, about 700 were registered in 1984, and
856 in 1989. By the end of 1996 this figure had grown to 5,000.
The battle against this evil, which affects not only the fate of individuals, social groups,
nationalities and regions, but all of humanity, should know no limits and show no mercy. The world
community must solve one of mankind's global problems -- how to stop terrorism at the threshold
of the 21st century.
The battle with terrorism is not an easy one. It requires joint efforts and the best possible
strategy and tactics on the part of the entire world community.
On July 30, 1996, a meeting of the "eight" was held in Paris to discuss combating terrorism.
This meeting yielded a summary document with twenty-five practical recommendations on the broad
spectrum of anti-terrorist problems. These recommendations called for steps to be taken on the
national level, as well as steps aimed at strengthening bilateral and multilateral collaboration. These
steps were suggested not just to the "eight," but to the entire world community.
Implementing these recommendations would definitely and substantially broaden the
opportunities for collectively repelling the terrorist threat, as well as for taking countermeasures
against the conditions that encourage the growth of terrorism.
In 1994 alone [in Russia] twenty-eight bankers were killed, and forty-one in 1995. In 1996
about fifty people working in the finance and credit system were murdered, judges are being killed,
as are people in the law-enforcement agencies and journalism. Last year an American, Paul Tatum,
was murdered. Mr. Tatum was a co-owner of the Slavyanskaya Hotel, which has an annual gross
of sixty million dollars. Somebody needed to establish his own control of the Slavyanskaya. Last
year a residential building was blown up in Kaspisk, as a result of which personnel of the Border
Troops and their families suffered. From 1992 until the present day, more than seventeen terrorist
acts have been committed on Russian Federation (RF) territory, resulting in many casualties. These
actions include Budenovsk (June 1995), Kizlyar (January 1996) and the village of Pervomaysk
Such a situation raises the following questions for government institutions: When will the
outburst of crime and terrorism be stopped? Is today's state capable of stopping it? What powers
and capabilities does the state have in this regard? Are extreme measures needed in order to place
especially huge means under the control of the state and society and deny crime and terrorism the
economic base they currently control? What legislation and laws are needed for successfully battling
organized crime and terrorism?
In order to answer these questions in more detail, the author will dwell for a moment on the
activities of the RF State Duma in the area of strengthening and developing the legal basis for
combating organized crime and terrorism. The following laws have been adopted since 1992: "On
Security" (1992); "On the Foreign Intelligence Service" (1994); "On the Federal Security Service"
(1995); "On the Internal Troops of the RF Interior Ministry" (1996); "On the RF Tax Police" (1994);
"On Operational-Investigative Activity" (1995); "On the Foundations of RF State Service" (1995);
"On the Upkeep of Persons in Custody Because They Are Suspected or Accused of Crimes" (1995);
and, finally, such important laws as "On the State Protection of Judges and Officials of Law
Enforcement and Monitoring Agencies" (1995). At present, two federal laws, "On Fighting
Corruption," and "On Fighting Organized Crime," are now ready for their second reading.
The draft versions of two federal laws are ready for their second reading: "On Counteracting the
Laundering of Illegally Obtained Profits," and "On the State Protection of Victims, Witnesses and
Other Persons Who Assist in Criminal Proceedings."
Being prepared for its first reading is a federal law that would bolster the legal and
organizational bases for battling terrorism, define the principles of government policy and the
mechanism for protecting and monitoring the implementation of anti-terrorist activity.
The authors of the legislation believe that the law should contain standards that define: the
concept of terrorism and the concepts that accompany it; the organizational bases of anti-terrorist
activity; the over-all state system of preventive measures; the duties of federal government
authorities, of local governments, public groups and organizations of officials and individual citizens
that work to prevent terrorism; state guarantees to citizens who have been the victims of terrorism
and to persons directly involved in combating terrorism; and the responsibilities that citizens and
organizations bear for combating terrorism.
In developing this law, the greatest possible use was made of foreign experience in combating
terrorism, including anti-terrorist laws in the USA, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Israel and France.
The law has nine chapters and thirty-five articles. The first chapter, "General Provisions,"
defines the legal bases and principles for fighting terrorism. The chapter contains a definition of the
concept of terrorism and its accompanying concepts, i.e., terrorism as a socio-political phenomenon,
terrorist activity, the terrorist, a terrorist act, a terrorist group, the terrorist organization, a counter-terrorist operation, a hostage.
The draft calls not only for organizational, legal and special measures to combat terrorism, but
also for measures to preempt terrorist actions while still in the preparation stage.
The law formulates such important principles as: legalities; the inevitability of punishment for
a terrorist act; the combination of public and non-public methods for combating terrorism; minimal
concessions to terrorists; unity of leadership in the operational management of forces and assets
brought to bear in the conduct of counter-terrorist operations; the personal responsibility of
executive and command agencies in carrying out decisions made by the staff for the conduct of
counter-terrorist operations; minimal publicity during the conduct of a counter-terrorist operation.
The new RF Criminal Code took effect in January of 1997. The new legislation described above
takes into consideration the circumstance that many of the crimes envisioned by the new Code may
be carried out for terrorist purposes. Article 27 of Chapter 6 of the legislation lists those crimes
which under certain circumstances may be deemed terrorist in nature.
The second chapter is devoted to organizing anti-terrorist activity. It clearly reinforces the
rights, obligations, limitations of competence, sequence in the coordination of action, and centralized
management of all persons involved in anti-terrorist activity.
A provision found in Chapter 2 is especially important. It covers the status of the Inter-Agency
Anti-Terrorism Commission of the Russian Federation, which is to be created and operate under the
government of the Russian Federation. Similar commissions are created in the constituent regions
of the Russian Federation. This should provide maneuverability, flexibility and effectiveness in the
process of localizing and eliminating terrorist threats, should they arise in the Russian Federation's
Chapter 3 contains provisions on conducting an anti-terrorist operation as a special measure in
combating terrorism. This special measure envisions certain limitations on the rights and freedoms
of citizens (in the process of cordoning off and negotiating with terrorists). These sorts of operations
occur under emergency circumstances and require total centralization and precision in their
organization and execution. Hence, the head of the operational staff for the action is invested with
exclusive authority vis-a-vis everyone located in the zone where the operation is conducted. The law
states that no one, other than specially listed persons, may interfere with the actions of the head of
the anti-terrorist operation. The law also places strict limitations on making public the nature of the
terrorist act and any measures being taken to contain and stop it. This requirement, which limits the
rights of members of the mass media, is dictated by international and Russian practice and the
principles laid out in the draft: priority goes to protecting the rights of people who are in danger, and
minimal release of information is allowed while the counter-terrorist operation is underway.
The law also defines the degree of concessions that can be made by representatives of
government offices during negotiations with terrorists (Article 15).
The law calls for establishing responsibility for all forms of participation in terrorist activity.
This would include the criminal responsibility of physical persons, as well as that of the
organizations, which could even include their eradication.
Chapters 4 and 5 of the law call for making restitution for any harm done, the social and medical
rehabilitation of any victims of the terrorist action, and a number of social guarantees to citizens who
participate in anti-terrorist activity.
Chapters 6 and 7 define the standards establishing the responsibility an organization will bear
for its terrorist activity, the grounds on which organizations are declared terrorist, and the provisions
that call for the eradication of a terrorist organization pursuant to a court decision.
Chapters 8 and 9 establish the forms of control and supervision of counter-terrorist activity, and
the sequence in which this law takes effect.
Changes and additions may also be made to existing laws in connection with the passage of this
federal law "On Combating Terrorism." Thus, an adequate legal basis is available for combating
organized crime an terrorism.
Chapter 1. General Provisions
Chapter 2. Organizing Counter-Terrorist Activity
Chapter 3. Conducting a Counter-Terrorist Operation
Chapter 4. Making Restitution for Harm, and the Social and Medical Rehabilitation of
Victims of Terrorist Acts
Chapter 5. Making Restitution for Harm, and the Social and Medical Rehabilitation of
Victims of Terrorist Acts
Chapter 6. Responsibility (i.e., Punishment) for Participation in Terrorist Activity
Chapter 7. Responsibility (i.e., Punishment) of Organizations for Participation in
Chapter 8. Control and Supervision of Counter-Terrorist Activity
Chapter 9. Concluding Provisions
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Acts of terrorism involving the use of explosives and explosive devices constitute one of the
most dangerous assaults on the life and health of citizens and on their property.
The destruction of vehicles and buildings (houses, garages, etc.) by means of explosive devices
(EDs) and explosions in the approach areas to buildings and offices has become fairly widespread.
Home-made explosive devices, as well as military and industrial ones, are all utilized for this
The pertinent Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) order here is titled "Improving Operational
Planning and Enhancing Measures to Assure Duty- and Combat Readiness under Emergency
Circumstances." This order defines the preparedness of MVD services and units to act in eliminating
the threat of explosions and their consequences. This preparedness may be defined as on-going, i.e.,
Internal Affairs bodies work according to their usual procedure by preventing crimes related to
explosives and explosive devices and cleaning up their consequences. Or, it may be defined as
heightened, as when special operational staff teams are created or mobilized during the carrying out
of special operations, including teams activated when there is the danger of an explosion.
Preventing criminal explosions involves a number of MVD organization measures, including:
- prophylaxis of this type of crime;
- searching for explosive devices;
- finding and disarming explosive devices.
These teams search out, disarm, remove and destroy munitions and explosive substances (ES)
and home-made explosive devices. They clear away explosive devices and disarm them at the
specific site of the event and in the entire area of the operation. Specially trained dogs may be used.
The team interacts with other teams, such as assault teams, cover teams, investigation teams,
obstacle-clearing teams, and others. Engineering units form a part of the team, and explosives
specialists are brought in from the Federal Security Service and the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Prophylactic measures for the prevention of explosions mainly involve educating the population and
police in the methods of detecting and eliminating the conditions for this type of crime, involving
the public in this work, and improving the technical fortification of facilities that could become
possible target facilities for such crimes. The authors believe that providing a high level of exposure
for this type of crime and isolating active professional criminals are basic elements in prophylaxis.
As a part of their routine work, the relevant MVD organizations should educate the public as
to how to protect themselves on the street, in public transportation and at home.
During preventive discussions, the State Motor Vehicle Inspection Department should inform
drivers about automobile alarm equipment, inspecting the car for explosive devices and taking any
other actions that might prevent an explosion.
When testing the knowledge of guards and detectives prior to issuing licenses, the various
licensing and permit-granting organizations should include questions on preventing, searching for
and disarming explosive devices.
The public must be brought into this prophylactic work more broadly, as must private security
firms also, so that criminals will be more restricted in their actions in the surrounding space.
Specific steps in searching for explosives and explosive devices must be closely linked to the
general prophylactic measures to prevent explosions. Such devices generally consist of the
following components: a charge, an explosive, a detonator, a time or other trigger device, a battery,
wires and connections. The goal of the search is the detection of the most dangerous explosive-device component, the explosive material. This is because the remainder of the components
generally have the same physical and chemical properties as various ordinary daily objects, with the
exception of the detonator.
The search for ESs and EDs must be a well-planned operation, including a specific sequence
of actions that varies according to the nature of the objective being searched (public transport, roads,
city squares, buildings, people).
The methods of searching for ESs and EDs are usually classified according to three types:
control point, preventive and counter-measure.
The control-point method is widely used in facilities that involve passage, such as airports and
customs controls. The simplest form is the inspection, i.e., a mandatory examination of the person
or his/her property for purposes of finding and seizing EDs.
The inspection is usually performed only by an authorized official of the same gender as the
person being inspected and in the presence of two same-sex witnesses. This occurs under the
- someone is detained at the scene of the violation;
- there are indications of a violation in the form of evidence on the person's clothing or
- eyewitnesses point out someone as the perpetrator;
- an inspection is called for by law.
Personal searches and inspections of personal articles are processes that consume both time and
resources and also border on violations of law themselves. Thus, most security and law-enforcement
services utilize hand-held detectors and arches to watch for EDs.
When using hand-held detectors a security-service worker passes the front part of the instrument
along the clothing (body) or property of the person being inspected. If something is detected, the
device emits a sound or light alarm. If the person being inspected explains the reason for the alarm
signal, or produces the object that caused it, the entire inspection procedure can be accomplished
without physical contact by the police officer or security guard, which is a more acceptable situation
than a direct personal search.
Arches serve as general sensors and are used to detect metal objects. The person being
inspected passes through the arch. If metal is detected, the device sounds an alert signal and the
turnstile locks automatically, detaining the person in question. A security guard can attend to more
than one arch simultaneously, since his/her direct involvement is needed only when an alarm sounds.
At airports and during certain mass inspection measures, x-ray devices are used to check for
possible explosive devices. This method is employed whenever personal objects must be checked
thoroughly and quickly.
It is very difficult to detect non-metallic explosive substances during a checkpoint inspection.
They can be placed in briefcases, handbags and other containers in virtually any quantity desired.
Distinguishing them from other substances based on their appearance is difficult. Every substance
has definite physical and chemical properties. The same is true for explosive substances that are
identified by means of special instruments. Professional training of personnel becomes critically
important. Generally, a preventive search is conducted in one of three circumstances:
- As a prophylactic measure in support of some event (conferences, conventions, rallies, etc.);
The specific methods and locations used for such searches vary widely. In the case of a conference,
in addition to the conference facility itself, the participants' living and dining facilities are checked
(hotels, restaurants, etc.), as are the transportation means used by the attendees. The greater the
event's publicity, the more complicated the search becomes.
- As a means of disrupting terrorist acts; Usually the planning and execution of this type of
search are extremely time-consuming. A vulnerability assessment must be made so that security-service resources can be effectively allocated for the search. Roads can be blocked, transportation
and passengers can be searched, and buildings can be checked -- all based on information received.
Law enforcement agencies need a great deal of time to check such information. Whenever a report
of a possible explosive device is received, these agencies must operate from the assumption that
there is real danger, until such time as the report is proven false. The same rule applies when a
suspicious object is found. If information of a possible explosion is received, anti-bomb personnel
must treat the information as real.
- As a part of regular security measures; Currently many commercial firms regularly conduct
preventive searches in their buildings and surrounding territory.
Security services normally conduct a countermeasure search anytime a bomb threat is received.
Such threats arrive by various avenues, the most common and widely known of which is the
telephone threat. Upon receipt of such a call, the first decision that must be made is whether to
In most cases the search begins before the evacuation, since there is some doubt that a terrorist
act will actually take place, and the location of any explosive device is unknown. In this context,
the question of what further actions to take also arises.
Announcing a bomb search could cause panic. Naturally, it is very unlikely that personnel will
actively participate in the search, since they lack training and will not want to be subjected to such
risk. Much depends in this situation on how well you know your people, your ability to manage
them and your firm resolve. You must convince personnel that the telephone threat is just a
malicious joke, but you cannot disregard it. A search must be conducted before any radical measures
are taken. We strongly recommend that the term "bomb search" not be used, preferring instead the
term "inspecting the area."
Given the security measures in every organization, it is unlikely that an explosive device would
be hidden "deeply." Thus, if each worker inspects the area known best to him, the object will
probably be found. Therefore, the first stage of the search procedure simply involves having the
workers carefully inspect their own areas (offices, work stations, etc.). Next, a team of trained
specialists examine the remaining areas (storage areas, restrooms and other common-use areas.)
The detection devices used will be the most important factor in the success of the search for
In selecting from the broad range of such devices, their capabilities could be analyzed according
to the following criteria:
- technical qualities: range of ES detection; selectivity and sensitivity; minimum number of
false alerts given; immunity to materials that camouflage ES; repeatability of calibration;
- functionality: simplicity and convenience of use; simplicity of the connection between the
sensor and the analyzer; zero- or little need for the operator to interpret data; ability to record and
store data; and mobility.
- reliability: reliable operation; average time between failures; average time between repairs;
on-site serviceability by the vendor; degree to which it meets standards of quality and security;
- training: vendor's ability to train users;
- cost: basic capital outlays; cost of replacement parts and supplies; and servicing costs;
- demonstrability: the vendor's ability to demonstrate how well the device works under real-world conditions in the search for explosives and explosive devices.
Search methods involve the use of a variety of technical devices. Airport checkpoints use x-ray
equipment to check handbags and luggage, metal arches, and a large number of complicated
instruments to detect explosives, explosive devices and even detonators. A preventive search
involves an even greater spectrum of devices: hand-held detectors of explosives and explosive
devices; metal detectors; flexible and silhouette detectors; even optical devices, such as borescopes
and fiber optic devices. Probably the greatest variety of devices is used in checking mail, including
x-ray equipment, fluoroscopes, and aerosol devices for finding explosives inside envelopes.
Specially trained dogs are an important tool for detecting ES and EDs. They are often used in
searching conference facilities and rally areas, and for checking postal bags, large warehouse areas
and city squares.
It must be remembered that the success of the various search methods and devices used depends
to a great extent on the personnel who are the first to find ES and EDs. Several recommendations
have been formulated on this subject.
Employees of various MVD agencies, and also MVD troops in Chechnya, are given the
following recommendations on actions to be taken upon finding sites where weapons, ammunition
and explosives are stored:
- Guard the discovered site until the arrival of the investigator or the investigation-team leader;
prevent access to the site by outsiders;
- Prior to the arrival of the aforementioned personnel: determine who the facility or site belong
to; determine the identity of the persons found at the site and hold them there until the
aforementioned personnel arrive; prevent anyone from touching the weapons, munitions, explosives
or other analogous objects;
- When the investigator or investigation-team leader arrives, and once you have assured
yourself of his authority, surrender the guarded objects to him. When searching motor vehicles,
prior to starting the search, the driver and all passengers should be asked whether they are carrying
weapons. If weapons are subsequently found, people cannot then offer the explanation that they
were only transporting the weapons for turn-in.
If weapons, munitions or explosives are found in the vehicle, an explanation should be obtained
from every person traveling in the vehicle. If it becomes necessary to detain someone who has a
weapon, do the following, in accordance with safety measures: disarm the individual; perform an
external search for any documents, weapons or ammunition that could be hidden under clothing; and
if possible, touch nothing that is found, so as not to disturb any fingerprints. The investigator or the
investigation-team leader must be provided with reports from all workers and military personnel who
were involved in finding and seizing the weapons or explosive devices. Whatever has been
confiscated should be placed in a polyethylene bag, a box, or in the extreme case, paper.
The following actions are recommended to citizens and to workers in business, security and law
enforcement if a suspicious object is found. Examine the object to determine its nature and
individual characteristics (sounds that a timing device might be running, odors, etc.), and then:
- Report the event to the duty unit of an MVD organization;
- Act according to the instructions received;
- Summon emergency services (fire, medical, gas, etc.);
- Organize and conduct an evacuation of personnel and valuable items;
- Block access to the danger area.
To protect against a possible explosion, the following prohibitions must be understood:
- Do not touch or move the suspicious object;
- Do not pour liquids on the object or cover it with anything such as dirt or any other
substances or materials;
- Do not use electronic or radio devices near the object;
- Do not allow or cause any temperature, sound, mechanical or electromagnetic effects on
In the event of an explosion, immediately summon medical help, a fire crew, an emergency
rescue squad and other emergency services.
The scene of the blast should be placed under guard and all information relevant to the incident
should be recorded. Steps should be taken to locate any witnesses and to find and detain any
Successful completion of the tasks of finding and disarming explosive devices depends to a
great extent on the efficient actions of the Interior Ministry organization. If a message is received
that an explosive device has been planted or discovered, the duty individual must record the exact
time and content of the message, and the greatest possible amount of the following information: site
where the device was found (address, name of the object, specific location); nature of the explosive
device (is there a timing mechanism and are there wires, string, etc., emanating from the object); and
information about the person sending the message and the individual's location. If at all possible
the message should be recorded on audio tape, which would make further clarification and more
sophisticated examination possible. Once the message has been received the duty individual must
dispatch teams to confirm the information and to guard the area. The duty individual notifies his
superiors, the district attorney, the Federal Security Service, the regional administration and sees that
a pyrotechnic team is dispatched to the scene. Further, he activates emergency rescue crews, the fire
department and ambulances.
When the person in charge arrives at the scene he must determine what the situation is, evacuate
personnel, close off the facility and guard it until the pyrotechnic teams arrive. It must be
determined whether there are explosives, fuels, toxic or radioactive substances in the area that would
multiply the effects of the explosive devices. He must also make sure that all internal instructions
have been followed for shutting off the gas, electricity, etc.
Steps must be taken to determine who planted the explosive device and whether there were any
eye-witnesses to the event. Any suspects detained at the scene must be searched. Finally,
information must be constantly relayed to the duty individual at the unit and at the management
Given the relative novelty of crimes involving explosives, as well as their numbers, it is
essential to increase the level of readiness of MVD organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations and also of businesses. Each organization must be prepared to take the
necessary actions in the event that such extreme situations arise.
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The Russian Interior Ministry's Special Internal Troop Units for Combating Terrorism: Organization, Training System and the Conduct of Special Operations
by General-Major A. Dadonov
Translated by Mr. Robert R. Love
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
Terrorism, regional separatism and nationalism, organized crime and armed conflict have all
entered the spectrum of threats to Russia. They impinge on the vital interests of the individual,
society and the state.
One primary factor in the spread of terrorism in Russia is that terrorism has become "available
on demand." It has practically become an everyday weapon for resolving conflicts, i.e., group, clan,
ethno-national and economic conflicts in various regions of the country. "Progressive" organized
crime has also adopted terrorist methods as a radical means of achieving its ends.
One area of particular concern is the increasing use of criminal acts to achieve political goals.
With the heightened tensions of ethno-national conflict, certain groups use hostage-taking as a means
to pressure governmental organizations in pursuit of their own ambitious political goals. According
to existing data, from 1992 until the present more than seventeen major terrorist acts have been
committed on Russian territory, with many human casualties as the result.
The events in the cities of Budenovsk, Kizlyar and the village of Pervomaysk will long live in
the memories of many. The Chechen outlaws have now assumed the leading position among their
terrorist "colleagues," and have shown how effectively political blackmail of human life can be used.
These actions by Chechen militants have all the basic characteristics of international terrorism: 1.
blackmail of governmental authority 2. foreign (international) financial or other support 3. the
presence of representatives of other states among the ranks of the terrorists 4. a propaganda
campaign outside the borders of Chechnya that presents the terrorists' criminal acts as an effective
means of fighting for independence.
It must be noted that the organizers and leaders of terrorist acts in the Dagestan and Stavropol
have eluded responsibility. Given the express opinion of extremist forces, it should therefore be
assumed that terrorists raids and actions will remain a mainstay in the arsenal for undermining the
peaceful settlement process in the Chechen Republic and the Northern Caucasus.
Recently the Russian Interior Ministry's Internal Troops, along with a number of other law-enforcement forces, have been actively brought into the war on crime, including one of the cruelest
forms of crime, terrorism.
The Internal Troops fall under the system of the Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs
(MVD). Their job is to defend the interests of the individual, society and state, as well as the
constitutional rights and freedoms of the citizens, from criminal and other unlawful infringements.
The core of the Internal Troops consists of operational divisions and regiments [soyedineniya
and voinskie chasti] and special motorized regiments [voinskie chasti] that are used to carry out
hostage-freeing missions and eradicate terrorist and outlaw actions and other criminal
manifestations. They may perform these missions under normal circumstances or under conditions
of a lawful state of emergency, in accordance with procedures defined by the Law on Internal Troops
and the regulations of the Russian MVD Internal Troops. The Special Forces (Spetsnaz) of the
MVD Internal Troops comprise a portion of these units.
The Spetsnaz came into being in 1977 when a special unit was created on the eve of the Moscow
Olympics in order to protect the public safety, assure law and order, and combat terrorism. In the
years that followed, the Spetsnaz proved their merit by carrying out responsible, official, combat
missions in various hot spots. The following represent only a few episodes in the activity of the
MVD's Internal Troops Spetsnaz regimental and smaller units: Sumgait in 1988; Fergana in 1989;
the Sukhum solitary confinement area in 1990; South Ossetia in 1993; the city of Budenovsk in
1995; the village of Pervomaysk in 1996; and Spetsnaz actions in the disarming of illegal armed
formations during the Ossetian-Ingushetian conflict in Chechnya. The organizational structure of
Spetsnaz subunits [battalion and below] was continuously improved throughout this entire period
and continues to be improved today. Thanks to their courage and determination, the Internal Troops'
Spetsnaz contributed greatly to the struggle to defend democratic victories won in Russia during the
well-known events of October 1993.
In one Spetsnaz unit alone, the "Vityaz," two commanders and a deputy commander earned the
Hero of Russia medal in the performance of their missions.
Organizationally, the Spetsnaz large units and subunits are a part of the Internal Troops okrugs,
or districts, the combined and large operational units, and also the special motorized units. As of
March 1, 1997, the total personnel strength of Spetsnaz units stood at about 6000. The basic
organizational unit of the Spetsnaz is the Spetsnaz Detachment (approximately 500 people), the
Spetsnaz Separate Group (150 people), and the Spetsnaz Group (100 people).
A Spetsnaz Detachment consists of a command group, four combat teams and also combat
The Spetsnaz Group is a small Spetsnaz unit consisting of two combat platoons and a training
platoon. Organizationally, it is part of a larger operational unit.
In accordance with the Article 23 of the federal law on MVD Internal Troops, smaller Spetsnaz
units are entrusted with the following missions:
- Participation in the disarming and eradication of illegal armed formations and organized
crime groups, quelling mass disturbances that involve armed force, and seizing from the populace
any illegally stored weapons;
- Participation in thwarting acts of terrorism;
- Participation in neutralizing hostage-takers, [protecting] important government objectives,
special cargos, communications facilities and buildings of the agencies of governmental power;
- Participation in providing security for officials and individual citizens of the Russian
Federation in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation.
The missions listed above make one point very clear. In contrast to a number of similar units
of other Russian agencies and those of several foreign colleagues, the Spetsnaz units of the Internal
Troops are intended only and exclusively for actions on Russian territory, for protecting the security
of Russia's citizens. The training of all Spetsnaz units, large and small, is based on this concept.
The campaign in Chechnya forced Russia to take a new look at many of the canons in the tactics
of utilizing units of the Internal Troops, including Spetsnaz units. Unexpected and unforeseen
situations shattered the stereotypes about the role of Spetsnaz units and required the making of
unusual decisions, as well as adaptation to unforgiving circumstances.
In addition to performing their purely Spetsnaz work, the "red berets" often have to fight like
any regular warriors in operational units. In a number of instances, both along the main lines of
combat actions and in storming well-fortified outlaw positions, this practice has proven to be
justified. Personnel of Spetsnaz units have performed missions as part of assault teams, search and
reconnaissance teams, weapons-seizure teams, air-mobile and search-and-rescue teams, ambush
squads along suspected outlaw routes, sniper ambushes and raid squads. They have also provided
security for the command groups of Internal Force groupings and for government officials when the
latter were in combat areas.
The training methodology for Spetsnaz within the Internal Troops has much in common with
the training of similar special forces units such as "Delta," "Cobra" and "Bear" units, etc. However,
Spetsnaz training also has a number of unique features.
Spetsnaz units are manned by military personnel who are serving in the Internal Troops of the
Ministry of the Interior, Russian Federation. They were either drafted or are contract soldiers [i.e.,
volunteers] . In order to serve in units of the Spetsnaz, personnel must be qualified in terms of their
health and possess the necessary psychological and moral qualities. As a general rule, personnel
accepted as contract personnel for Spetsnaz units have already completed service as conscripts in
special forces units and have proven themselves, or they have successfully completed a special
course of training.
The training of officers for Spetsnaz units is conducted in special platoons of MVD Internal
Troops military educational institutions and represents a special program within the Russian MVD
Internal Troops' professional education system. Warrant officers, sergeants and junior specialists
are trained in special programs in military training units of the Internal Troops and at training centers
within the system of the Russian MVD.
Contract military personnel serving in Spetsnaz units must be tested at least once per year as to
their fitness for service in Spetsnaz units. Conscript personnel are tested at least twice a year.
Special certification commissions are formed to perform this testing. Personnel found by a
certification commission to be unfit for continued service in Spetsnaz units based on their
professional, physical, moral or psychological attributes are subject to transfer to other military units
of the Internal Troops. In addition, contract military personnel found unfit may be separated from
military service early, or they may be transferred to other units.
Training of Spetsnaz units is carried out under a special program. Service personnel undergo
1200 hours of training over a one-year period in more than ten subjects. Internal Troops training
emphasizes three main areas, with 21% of the training time going to tactical training, 33% to
physical training and 17% to firearms training.
During peace time, combat training represents the basic daily activity of service personnel. The
goal of the training is to teach service members and units the actions involved in a special combat
operation under complex circumstances, and to instill a high degree of moral and combat qualities.
The combat training program has been developed into a ten-month training year, with the winter and
summer training periods lasting five months each. Young Spetsnaz soldiers are trained in training
units over the course of the training year. At the conclusion of each training period, testing sessions
One extremely important ingredient in the training of service members is the willingness to take
risks in order to save human lives. Thus, during the combat training much attention is devoted to
moral resolve. The tradition of earning the right to wear the red beret occupies a special place. This
tradition evolved during the first years of the first Spetsnaz unit. When you encounter an Internal
Troops service member wearing a red beret, you may be assured that before you stands a real
In general terms we have now looked at the staffing and training of Spetsnaz units in the Internal
Troops of the Russian MVD.
Let us now look briefly at the conduct of special operations. Analysis of terrorist acts
committed on Russian territory reveals the chief perpetrators to be national-extremist organizations,
illegal armed formations and bands, organized crime structures and individuals with extremist
leanings and views. These facts are taken into account in the training programs for special
operations. The planning, preparation and conduct of special operations in the Internal Troops are
accomplished in accordance with current law and specially developed methods as reflected in
regulations, special orders and other official documents. In studying the special operations
experience of other countries we see that the design for the training and conduct of special operations
is in many ways similar to that of Russia.
We have analyzed the actions of the Internal Troops, including those of the Spetsnaz, in various
hot spots. Like our American colleagues in their studies of "operations-other-than war," we have
reached a clear conclusion: only well-trained specialized forces should be used in the battle against
bands and terrorism.
In conclusion, I would add my personal opinion, and that of my colleagues from Russian force
structures, that we are awaiting our legislators' new law "On the Battle Against Terrorism," as well
as other pieces of legislation that would address the following issues:
- Coordination of the actions of the force structures in combating terrorism;
- Clear distribution of the functions of all the force ministries in this area;
- Clarification of the rights and obligations of the special operation leader;
- Provision for the equipping of units called to participate in anti-terrorist operations with
contemporary weapons, as well as combat and special gear;
- Description of how to provide for the welfare and security of workers in the special services
and of military personnel involved in the battle against terrorism.
Back to Table of Contents
Organizing and Conducting a Special Operation to Free Hostages
by A. A. Bayev
Translated by Mr. Robert R. Love
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
With increasing frequency, Internal Affairs agencies have been required to carry out hostage-freeing operations. The geography of these crimes is expanding: where before they may have been typical
for Moscow, St. Petersburg and other large centers, such crimes are today occurring in all regions
of Russia. The success of such operations depends to a great extent on the preparedness of forces
and assets to act in the extreme circumstances involved in hostage-taking incidents. The options for
liberating hostages being held by criminals include those that do not involve force as a part of a
special operation to render the criminals harmless. Non-force methods would include negotiations
in which the criminals voluntarily forgo further criminal acts, if some or all of their demands are met.
Special preparation and planning are required, and there is danger to the life and health of the
hostage or hostages. 'Mixed options' are also available, which would include all of the
Many factors affect the carrying out of a special operation, including:
- Location of the operation, e.g., a residence, an administrative building, a mode of
transportation, special shelters, etc.;
- Personal characteristics of the criminal, i.e., gender, age, psychological condition, whether
or how armed;
- Number of criminals and hostages;
- Demands made by the criminals, i.e., acceptable or unacceptable;
- Personal characteristics and physical condition of the hostages;
- Time factor and amount of information about the location of the hostage and criminal;
- Time of action (night, day), weather conditions;
- Personnel's level of readiness for the situation as it has developed, their adequacy, as well
as the availability of special equipment and weapons;
- Availability of a plan for conducting the operation, etc.
The bases for conducting a special operation arise from the following circumstances: legal,
organizational, available resources, tactical circumstances, the moral-psychological preparedness of
personnel, exhaustion of prophylactic measures, etc. Actions to manage the forces and assets of
interior ministry offices, internal troops and the forces brought in to free hostages are all part of an
overall management cycle. This cycle encompasses: the gathering, analysis and evaluation of
incoming information on the taking of hostages; forecasting the further course of events; planning
the actions of the forces brought in for the operation; preparing and making management decisions;
providing coordination among the services and operational units during the course of the special
operation; monitoring and checking; rendering practical assistance; providing staff and logistical
support; record keeping, assessing results, analyzing and implementing lessons learned.
An analysis of practical experience reveals two types of hostage-taking that have a significant
impact on the preparation and conduct of a special operation. The first type is where one or more
hostages are seized and held in a known location. The criminals, seeking to get their demands met,
openly await the response of law enforcement to their demands.
In the second type of hostage-taking, hostages are being held at an unknown location. All that
is known is that hostages have been taken and that the criminals have made certain demands. Even
the whereabouts of the criminals is not known.1
Hostage-taking situations can vary greatly. Thus, the nature and sequence of the actions of
internal affairs organs and other forces used are also diverse and depend on the specific situation.
Information on the hostage-taking incident comes in and is compiled in the duty unit of the internal
affairs organization. It is here that analysis and assessments are made, as well as decisions about
actions to be taken by law enforcement agencies. When hostage-taking information comes in, it is
the responsibility of the operations duty person to determine and gather the most complete possible
information on the following:
- Location, time and circumstances of the hostage-taking;
- Location of the criminals and their hostages, their numbers and composition;
- Weapons of the criminals, their demands and the actions they are taking;
- Situation at the scene of the event as caused by the actions of the criminals, e.g., any injured
victims, damage/destruction, fires;
- Measures already taken in connection with this hostage-taking event (if any information
has come in from other internal affairs departments), etc.
The duty individual reports the information he has gathered to the office chief and acts
according to instructions. The internal affairs section chief heads the operational staff when such
information comes in and must give the following assignments to official personnel located in the
area where the criminals and their hostages are located:
Check the information by sending a reconnaissance team to the site of the event, making
sure this team has transportation and communications;
When the criminals make demands that are political in nature, notify the Federal Security
Service (FSB) leadership and continue to coordinate their own forces with those of the FSB during
the conduct of the operation;
Report the incident up the chain of command.
The chief of the operations staff should do the following: evaluate the nature of the incident
(where, when, for what purpose and under what circumstances were the hostages taken), the location
and actions of the perpetrators and their hostages, and the situation at the scene of the incident at this
current moment; arrange the assembly of staff members at an appointed time and place; determine
the first-priority organizational steps to be taken, their sequence and the time of their execution;
make a decision about conducting a special operation and define its overall concept; determine what
forces and assets are needed to accomplish official operational assignments during the operation;
designate assembly points and times for personnel; give orders about cordoning off the area and
blocking the location of the perpetrators and the hostages, about the sequence of actions should the
terrorists attempt to escape the blocked area, about documenting unlawful terrorist actions and the
collection of other information.
The deputy [chief] from the criminal police is assigned the responsibility of setting up special
communications with specialized equipment that will be needed during the conduct of the operation.
This deputy will also be tasked with carrying out hostage-freeing measures as assigned by a secret-service plan. Depending on the situation, additional orders may be given.
The operation chief evaluates the information coming into the headquarters: about the criminals--their number, composition, weapons, nature of their actions, their demands, intentions, and location
(hideout), availability of intermediaries and their possible actions; about the hostages--their number,
gender, age and health; about any bystanders at the location (shelter) of the criminals and their
hostages, or near them (within range of the criminals' fire); nature of the facility where the criminals
and hostages are holed up, and the grounds/area surrounding it; about the forces and assets of special
units--their strength, composition, weapons and equipment, level of readiness, and their sufficiency
to carry out the operation.
It is advisable to carry out on-site reconnaissance and study the situation according to its
elements: location of the terrorists and hostages, conditions at the site and its adjacent territory;
forces and means available to the operational headquarters and their sufficiency for carrying out a
special operation; best time of day to conduct the operation; weather conditions, and other factors.
The head of the special operation listens to the reports and recommendations of his deputies and
other colleagues involved in preparing and planning the operation. It is desirable to work through
several versions for conducting the operation, selecting the most acceptable. After evaluating the
situation the chief makes the decision to carry out the operation. In his decision he must determine
- Plan or concept of the operation; start time; rules for negotiating with the hostage-takers;
the assembly points and positions for the deployment of operation teams, as well as their
assignments and primary efforts of concentration;
- Forces and assets to be used for the operation; itineraries of their movement and designated
time for arrival at initial positions;
- Nature of pre-emptive measures;
- Rules for using weapons and special equipment;
- Command-and-control points, as well as communications system to be used during the
On a previously prepared map the headquarter's analytical-organizational team enter
information about the concept of the operation and the missions of the special units involved. The
team also records any other separate instructions, and they prepare orders based on the specific
hostage-taking situation. The operation leader reports his decision to his higher levels of command,
- Operation commander;
- Leaders of the local authorities and directorates;
- Appropriate prosecutor.
As soon as a management decision is made to conduct the operation, the next stage of the
management cycle begins. This includes organizing the implementation of the management
decision, to include: making it clearer and more specific; selecting, placement and briefing of action
personnel; providing logistic support to these personnel; monitoring; record keeping; rendering
essential help; coordination with other actors.2 After making a management decision the operation
leader gives assignments to the operation teams. These assignments are given in the form of orders
and cover the following points:
- General situation at the scene of the incident;
- Information on the terrorists and their hostages;
- Plan and means for carrying out the operation;
- Rules of engagement and use of special equipment;
- Rules for coordination;
- Communications system and command-and-control signals in the operation;
- Measures to protect the security of operation team personnel;
- Time of readiness to execute;
- Signal to begin the operation;
- Location of the primary and auxiliary command-and-control centers;
- Rules on reporting on the course of the operation and any changes in the situation.
Special emphasis is placed on coordinating the goals, locations and times of actions to block off
the operation area. Halting any attempts by the criminals to escape from the operation area is also
Assigning missions to personnel (briefing those who will execute the mission) is done by the
team leaders. When personnel arrive at their initial positions (roadblock positions, permanent
dispositions), their missions and rules for interaction are clarified at the site. Personnel equipment
is checked here. It is usually the operation leader who briefs personnel in the assault team, the cover
(direct support) team, the obstacle-clearing team, and the team that uses special equipment. After
reaching the site where the special operation will be conducted, the leader must: provide additional
information about the situation at the scene of the incident; check that the crime scene is sufficiently
sealed off; make sure that the external perimeter of the operation area is well cordoned off; check
that residents who would be within the criminals' range of fire have been evacuated; and make sure
that citizens and vehicles have no access to the operation area. To prevent fires or other
contingencies in the building where the criminals and their hostages are located, upon the order of
the operation leader, gas and electric lines may be cut off, steam heat may be stopped and a fire-crew
is made ready.
The operation leader manages forces and assets personally and through the operation staff at the
command-and-control point. This point is located at a site from which the various teams can be
conveniently monitored, i.e., the fire-prevention team, the assault team, the cover team and other
combat elements. A staff bus or armored personnel carrier may be used for these purposes.
At this stage the operation staff performs the following basic tasks:
- Gathers and analyzes information about the operational situation;
- Prepares management decisions and gives them to the action personnel once the operation
leader has made his decision;
- Monitors the deployment of forces and assets and the timely execution of orders;
- Prepares information and reports for the authorities and for higher levels in the internal
affairs chain of command;
- Provides continuous communications;
- Maintains a journal on the course of the operation, as well as a map and other
In order to develop a plan of action for freeing the hostages, the operation leader needs a
constant flow of accurate information on the criminals, the hostages and the place where they are
holed up. An operations team provides this information. An organizational-analytical team analyzes
all the information coming in to the operations staff and prepares it for reporting to the operation
By interviewing witnesses to the crime, people who know the criminals, and by using
investigational methods, information can be obtained about the personalities of the criminals
(background data, external and unusual markings, personality, inclinations, habits, skills, physical
fitness, links, criminal record, life style), their weapons and intentions.
In conversations with relatives and people linked to the criminals, one establishes what person
or persons might have sufficient influence on the criminals to convince them to surrender to
authorities. If the perpetrators have prior convictions and have been in the field of vision of the
police, valuable information is available from reports of the information centers of the Ministry of
the Interior, Internal Affairs Administration and local Internal Affairs departments. Initial
information can be obtained by directly questioning the criminal--who is he, what are his goals and
It is essential to know the number of criminals and their level of arms in order to determine the
size of the assault team or teams. Exact information on the weapons and ammunition is a top
priority. It is also essential to know whether the criminals are in contact with the outside world and
whether they have food and water supplies.
In preparing the operation, information is needed on the hostages: number; gender; age; national
citizenship; job position held; public activity; place of residence; physical condition and morale;
behavior; location at the hostage site; and any injuries requiring medical attention.
The foregoing information is needed in order to properly construct negotiations with the
criminals and to determine the optimum tactical methods for freeing the hostages. Once all this
information is in place the operation and the current situation is taken into account, the operation
staff must develop a detailed (minute-by-minute) plan for freeing the hostages and detaining the
criminals. This plan should include the following:
- Information on the criminals to be detained;
- Data on the criminals' weapons (type, system, available ammunition);
- Information on the hostages;
- Location of the criminals and their hostages (type and nature of site);
- Operation start time;
- Number and composition, by name, of the combat team, their weapons, clothing, duties of
each team member;
- Itineraries of team movement, giving the initial positions and approach routes to the hostage
- Tactical methods for penetrating the site where the hostages are being held; means of
communications among the teams, the individual participants and the operation leadership; signals
to be used;
- Back-up plans for taking the criminals if the situation changes;
- Measures to diminish the vigilance of the criminals, distract them and exert psychological
influence on them;
- Individual investigative actions to be conducted at the site where the criminals are taken;
- Procedures for delivering the hostages to the Internal Affairs Department (mode of
transport, itinerary, steps to stop any aggressive actions by the detainees).
Next, if negotiations with the criminals fail, the decision is made to conduct the special
operation. Just before the operation begins, the assault-team leader reports to the operation
headquarters the number of personnel to be used, weapons and protective equipment, method of
action and coordination with cover teams, and any special equipment to be used. The assault team
members must act decisively and according to a unified plan, observing safety measures vis-a-vis
one another. To facilitate penetration of the objective, equipment that has been prepared in advance
is used. This would include light- and noise devices to divert attention, as well as the firing of blank
rounds for the same purpose. Special equipment and firearms are used by Internal Affairs personnel
in accordance with the requirements of the Russian Federation laws 'On the Police' and 'On the
Internal Troops of the Russian Federation Interior Ministry.'
After the assault, the assault team also performs the following: evacuates the hostages and sees
that any injured receive first-aid; prior to the arrival of the transport team, establishes guard over the
prisoners taken during the operation, who also receive first-aid if needed; guards the site of the
incident; creates the conditions for an investigation by representatives of the operational-investigative team; and reports the results of the assault to the operation headquarters.
The final stage of the management cycle in conducting a special operation is organizing the
records, evaluating the results of the work, checking accountability, identifying any positive
experience gained in the actions of the forces that took part in freeing the hostages and capturing the
After completing the operation, the operation headquarters sums up the results and compiles
analytical information about the operation, noting both the positives and negatives in the actions of
the Internal Affairs Department in performing their official operational duties. They also prepare
recommendations on the conduct of any future such operations, forward information to the Internal
Affairs Directorate and the Internal Affairs Ministry, and inform the local administration.
The content and results of large operations, as well as measures that would improve the
management and tactics of using elements of forces and assets, are discussed in a collegium or at an
operational conference in the Internal Affairs Directorate and the Interior Ministry. As a rule, an
appropriate order is then issued.
If the location of the hostages is not known, certain unique features are inherent in operations
to free the hostages. Under this hostage-taking scenario the actions of law-and-order forces are
basically the same as described above. However, the following steps should also be taken:
- Determine the circumstances of the hostage-taking in detail;
- Organize a search for those kidnapped and determine where they are being held;
- Gather information about the each victim (age, gender, place of residence) and about his
or her relatives;
- Monitor the actions of relatives of the kidnap victims (are they negotiating with the
criminals, putting together the demanded sum, etc.);
- Investigate and describe in writing the places where the hostages are believed to be held;
- Send to subordinate and nearby Internal Affairs Departments information sheets on
anything that may be known about the criminals and persons being sought;
Further, the person in charge evaluates information about the following:
- Person kidnapped (gender, age, area of activity, physical condition, life style, connections);
- Relatives of the victim (field of activity, connections, life style, response to the demands
of the criminals, willingness to help the Internal Affairs Department in any measures they may take
or whether they might seek to counter any such measures);
- Nature of the terrain in and around the area of the proposed search in order to determine
the probable location of the hostages and possible exit routes from the search area;
- Amount of time the search teams will need to search their assigned areas;
- Itineraries of the movement of units to the areas where they will be concentrated;
- Local population from the standpoint of the possibility that the criminals and hostages
might be hiding with certain individuals, as well as the possibility of using the locals to assist the
- Season, weather conditions that could affect the actions of the persons sought, ones own
forces and cooperating forces.
In conducting an operation it is important to establish contact with relatives and those close to
the kidnap victim. Experience shows that these persons sometimes enter into secret negotiations
with the kidnappers and try to meet their demands, all the while fearing that their compromising
actions may be discovered. Thus, it is important to establish psychological contact with them and
enlist their help in profiling the criminals. An effective measure in finding out more about the
criminals and identifying their accomplices is clandestine observation of the relatives and intimates
of the victim, who often become intermediaries in negotiations with the criminals. In the course of
such observation the amount of the ransom can be determined, as well as the time and place for
handing it over, and other details.
An essential factor in conducting and operation to learn more about and capture criminals is
the organizing of concealed surveillance in the area of the victims' residence, listening in on
telephone conversations, reading correspondence and other operational-investigative measures.
These would include a section-by-section search of the area in which the criminals are believed to
be holding the hostages. If the relatives and intimates of the hostages actively participate in
measures to capture the criminals, a rotating duty shift of Internal Affairs personnel is set up for
purposes of secretly monitoring visitors to this family.
One important task is to establish contact with the criminals and negotiate with them. A
member of law-enforcement or the relatives and intimates of the hostages can become intermediaries
in the negotiations.
A special operation to free the hostages is organized and conducted by an operational staff
according to the general principles and procedures for conducting such operations.
1. A. A. Zhizhko, Managing the Department of Internal Affairs During the Freeing of Hostages (Moscow: 1989), p. 18.
2. G. G. Zuykov, G. I. Chernenko, E. F. Yas'kov, Scientific Organization of the Management of Internal Affairs Agencies (Moscow: 1984), p. 191.
Back to Table of Contents
The Russian Army's Role in the War Against Terrorism
by Colonel Andrei Demurenko
Translated by Mr. Robert R. Love
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
The document "Foundations of Russian Federation Military Doctrine" provides for the
possibility that the Russian military may participate in the state's anti-terrorist activity. As of this
writing, this provision remains nothing more than a declaration, since within the armed forces
themselves the doctrine on such exotic activity has not yet been shaped (I refer here to Ministry of
Defense forces). It is hoped that the conference will provide a new stimulus in this direction.
Specialists in the area of the Russian military's non-traditional operations (the US term is
"operations other than war") are willing to offer their position on the role of military units in counter-terrorist activity. Dividing the battle against terrorism abstractly into its various components, it is
the final two that concern us here:
- Operations of the troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), the Federal Security
Service (FSB) and other services in what has been conditionally termed a "peaceful environment";
- Involvement of military units in the battle against the so-called "terrorism in combat," i.e.,
during armed conflict;
- Joint operations of the special services and the army.
As examples of "terrorism in combat" and methods of fighting it, the author offers two real-world examples from the UN operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina: the taking of hostages in Pale, and
the seizure of French soldiers at the Bratstvo Bridge check point in Sarajevo, May-July 1995.
- On the theoretical level, the following could serve as entry points for the use of Russia's armed
forces in the "anti-terrorist battle":
Given the necessary legal and technical coordination, existing General Staff organizations could
play a substantial role in helping to identify and forecast which groups will use terrorist methods
(areas of Russian armed forces peace operations).
- Collecting, analyzing and exchanging real-world information;
In principle, a number of military agencies could provide such interaction, given a coordination
center and the appropriate agreements.
- Monitoring terrorists' material assets;
With the appropriate support, and by using "marking" methodology, the Russian armed forces
can track down weapons caches, munitions, explosives and radio and technical equipment. The
research institutions of the military-industrial complex can pursue research and development in this
area (within the framework of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional
- Providing practical assistance in the course of blockading (pursuing) and eradicating of
terrorists, as well as during negotiations with them:
- Fire support during an operation to eradicate terrorists;
- Communications support, as well as radio interception using electronic intelligence assets;
- Supporting psychological efforts during operations (displays of power and intent, special
- Combat support (camouflage, engineering and chemical, etc.)
- Logistics support (medical, food, gear).
- Russian Military Resources Available for Practical Implementation of Capabilities
- Existing structures (the General Staff, the staffs of the military districts, Airborne Forces
units, special forces and military police units);
- Newly created units (mobile and military police units, within the framework of security and
their normal duties).
- Recommended Measures
- The Russian Federation Security Council should serve as the coordinating body. An inter-agency commission would be comprised of representatives from the MVD, the FSB, the Foreign
Intelligence Service, the Ministry for Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Defense and other
- The MVD and the appropriate groups within the ministries would serve as executive agents.
Within regions there would be a link to the military districts.
- The state would place orders for the development and fielding of special types of hardware
and weapons ("show-of-force" and non-lethal weapons, pyrotechnics, active and passive personnel
- Close coordination should be maintained with foreign partners.
- Emphasis would be placed on the state's priorities in its counter-terrorism efforts.
Back to Table of Contents
Interaction of the Police and Private Security Services in Combating Terrorism: The Experience of Other Countries
by Yevgeniy V. Malyshenko
(Not a translation)
In individual foreign countries the battle with terrorism is an area of close cooperation between
the police and private security services (investigative and security organizations). The reason for
such cooperation is that the targets of criminal actions by terrorists are now frequently large
industrial concerns, banks, railroads, transportation means (air, underground, water, motor vehicle),
oil and gas pipelines, additional facilities, as well as the owners and managers of all of the above.
In pursuit of their objectives, terrorists are increasingly using explosive devices, or they are taking
hostages, e.g., passengers, employees of industrial concerns, banks and other institutions.
It is often the case that such collaboration is not regulated by laws or other state legal
documents. Therefore, the collaboration is often put together on the basis of commonality of the
missions entrusted to police and private security services for protecting the life and property from
unlawful infringements. Of course, state or government police forces have considerably broader
responsibilities while at the same time fewer personnel and less financial backing [than do private
security services]. For this reason, public police forces have only minimal time and personnel
available to protect private property, its owners and their family members, and other citizens.
In the battle against terrorism the areas of collaboration between police and private security
services usually include:
- Responding to security alarms in order to detect and stop outsider penetration of a protected
facility, as well as to find arms and explosives;
- Guarding important persons;
- Transporting dangerous substances and materials, as well as money and precious metals;
- Monitoring and regulating traffic on roadways;
- Maintaining order during mass public events.
The most effective way to establish collaboration and develop a specific mechanism for
interaction has been to hold meetings between police officers and their former colleagues who now
occupy top positions in private security services. Such meetings have brought about the
development and implementation of goal-oriented programs that combine efforts in fighting crime,
including terrorism. By 1990, one such program, which began as an experiment, had greatly
expanded and encompassed in New York City some 12,000 security service workers from more than
350 organizations, guarding more than 500 facilities. For implementation of this joint activity,
police departments designate personnel who generally engage in preventive work or are responsible
for contacts with the public. Generally speaking, cooperation between the police and private security
organizations is carried out within the context of mutually developed programs.
Private detectives and security guards in the USA, Japan, Germany and Great Britain widely
employ the most modern technology for communication and for detecting weapons and explosive
devices, as well as photo, video and electronic devices, powerful shortwave radios, radio-telephone
satellite communications devices, computers. Public police agencies, on the other hand, often use
Practice shows that private security services give the greatest amount of support to police
whenever there is a threat of explosions or other acts of terrorism, or when these explosions or acts
actually occur. Thus, when such acts occur, the security services allow the police to use their
technical and other resources, simultaneously sharing specific knowledge that has been gained in the
process of guarding the institutions and property entrusted to them. This would include information
on violations of the law and the individuals who committed these violations. In Japan the top
managers of private security services believe that such cooperation is much more effective than the
most modern alarm systems and therefore maintain direct communications with the police.
Within the framework of the aforementioned programs, the police provide private security
services with information on terrorist acts that are being planned or have been committed, as well
as on the persons involved in them, on terrorists who are being sought, the methods they use in their
crimes, and the explosive devices they use. They also share the experience they have gained, as well
as specific information important in protecting the security of objectives being guarded, including
the security of VIPs (political or public officials, businessmen), while at the same time also
providing other feasible help.
Private security services also coordinate with police on the transport routes for explosives and
other hazardous substances and materials, as well as large amounts of money and precious metals.
They also coordinate plans and flow-charts for actions in the event that explosive devices are
discovered at a protected facility, if hostages are taken by terrorists, or in the event of any other
unlawful actions. The ability of the police to respond effectively, i.e., police who are located near
guarded objectives or transport routes for valuables of hazardous materials, is taken into
consideration. It is not unusual for such plans, flow-charts and routes to be created in duplicate.
These copies are kept in sealed envelopes at the duty units of police and security services and are
opened when a signal is received that an event has occurred. Joint actions are worked out in advance
in the course of training programs.
In the implementation of joint programs, great importance is attached to raising the professional
training level of private security service workers in the area of combating crime. Frequently the top
managers of these services receive training based on the training programs of police agencies. Such
training includes both legal and police disciplines, and the battle against terrorism is among these.
Police departments participate in developing professional training programs for guards. These
programs include study of: procedures involved in detaining people; using weapons and force;
guarding a crime scene; evacuating buildings after explosive devices are found; gathering evidence;
documentation; and the psychological aspects of interacting with detained individuals, emotionally
distraught people and crime victims. By the same token, the professional training programs of police
forces now often include a course on coordination with private security services.
Everyone understands that without financial support any program is doomed to failure.
American law prevents private business from financing the police. However, it does allow a portion
of the taxes paid by private companies to be used purposefully to reinforce law and order in the
implementation of goal-oriented programs. Generally speaking, appropriate funds are created for
this purpose, so that funding from other sources (voluntary contributions, citizen donations, etc.)
may be accumulated in the accounts of these funds. In central Detroit, Michigan, twenty-one
television cameras were acquired with such funds. These cameras are set up in places where outdoor
political and other public events are held and where these events could become the target of
terrorists. Companies and businesses of Tacoma, Washington, allocated $600K to the
implementation of a program whereby fifteen members of a private security service continuously
help police patrol the streets and perform other measures to protect the citizenry. In some American
cities a portion of the municipal budget is allocated for enlisting the services of private security
companies to protect the public order.
This growing interaction between police and private security services abroad is a fairly recent
development. Hence, it is only now that people are becoming aware of its importance and
effectiveness in protecting life and property.
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