What did the special unit "Alpha" in the USSR
The creation of this special anti-terrorism unit at the Fifth Directorate of the USSR KGB was preceded by events in Munich, where the Olympics were held in 1972, when the terrorists killed 11 Israeli team hostages.
Two years after the attack, the secret order of the Chairman of the KGB of the USSR, Yuri Andropov, formed the group "A" (from the word "antiterror").
Where did this name come from
The sonorous name of the anti-terrorist group “Alpha” (translated from Greek as “first”, “most important”, “best”) is a beautiful invention of journalists, which later took root. At first, a special unit among their own was simply called the "Andropov group."
Tasks of the group "A" and the preparation of alfovtsa
When the members of the Palestinian organization Black September, in the fall of 1972, killed 11 Israeli athletes, the leadership of the Soviet secret services decided to create their own anti-terrorist group that could counteract such attacks.Subdivision “A” under the Fifth Directorate of the KGB of the USSR was formed at the end of July 1974.
The main tasks of the Special Forces unit “A” were the actions to prevent the terrorist acts by force, to identify and neutralize the terrorists, to free the hostages. Alfovtsy passed hard competitive selection. Not everyone could get into group “A”. They selected fit for service in the Airborne Forces, strong and resilient, with impeccable characteristics, resistant, mentally stable and loyal to the Motherland. In "Alpha" took only volunteers. Subsequently, the group "A" was transferred to the subordination of the Seventh Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, since its base was more perfect for the preparation of this unit.
The training complex of the fighter of group “A” included the fulfillment of standards for combat and physical training, hand-to-hand fighting, shooting from various kinds of weapons and other exercises. According to the results of all these tests, the best of the best were selected.
Where did the Soviet group "A"
The first task of group “A” in December 1976 was associated with the support of the exchange procedure of the Chilean Communist Party’s Secretary General Luis Corvalan to the Soviet political prisoner Vladimir Bukovsky.
Subsequently, Alpha had insignificant actions at the US embassy in Moscow, when the mentally ill demanded going abroad and self-detonating, exchanging Soviet intelligence officers for five dissidents from the USSR, guarding Afghan leader B. Karmal (1979).
At the end of December 1979, Group A took part in the famous assault on Amin’s Palace in Afghanistan. This operation was stellar in the history of "Alpha". In parallel, alfovtsy participated in the seizure of the strategically important facilities of the Afghan capital - they successfully stormed the guards (the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Afghanistan), the headquarters of the Air Force and the Central Telegraph.
In 1980, Alfa ensured the security of the Moscow Olympics-80. In 1981, special forces officers performed combat missions in Afghanistan and North Ossetia. In December of the same year, alfovtsy defused two armed deserters from a military unit in Udmurtia, freeing the 25 pupils they had captured. There were no casualties in this force action.
The subsequent operations of Alpha were no longer bloodless. In 1983, a passenger plane was hijacked on the flight Tbilisi - Leningrad.The raiders killed two pilots, a stewardess and two passengers and demanded that the crew fly to Turkey. “Alpha” stormed the board in Tbilisi and captured all the terrorists without a loss (one of them was killed before the assault by the Tu-134A pilots).
In 1986, the Alpha unit once again prevented the seizure of the Tu-134A - this time in Ufa. Three armed deserters from the regiment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs fled from the location of the unit, shot two policemen. Having penetrated the airfield, two criminals (the third one, frightened, broke away from the group) seized the plane with passengers, killing two of them. The terrorists demanded that the crew fly to Pakistan. During the assault, one of the invaders was killed by Alpha soldiers, the second was wounded.
In these and many subsequent actions of Alpha, the main role was played by its commander, Hero of the Soviet Union G. N. Zaitsev. In the late 80s, a special unit neutralized twice the terrorists who hijacked airplanes from the territory of the USSR and repeatedly carried out successful actions to eliminate organized bandit groups in the Union republics. Alfovtsy neutralized the fugitives from the Saratov and Sukhum insulators (1989 and 1990).
In early 1991, Group "A" took part in the Vilnius events.In June of the same year, special forces officers in Moscow in a sightseeing bus neutralized a terrorist who had taken a seven-year-old girl hostage.
In the days of the August 1991 coup, which preceded the collapse of the USSR, Group A refused to carry out an order to storm the White House, since this operation would inevitably lead to large civilian casualties.