Russian soldiers fight to qualify for special forces crimson beret

Russian soldiers beat each other black and blue in gruelling annual test to qualify for Spetsnaz crimson beret

  • Volga Federal District’s National Guard special forces servicemen took part in the gruelling test today
  • The soldiers fought each other at the Bars training ground in the Republic of Tatarstan, southwest Russia
  • Elite members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz units wear the beret and have to take the test
  • It is split into three rounds including a run through minefields, a weapons stage, and a 12-minute fist fight 

Russian soldiers have been captured slugging it out in a gruesome boxing fight as part of their qualifications for a special forces beret in a spectacular set of photos.

Volga Federal District’s National Guard special forces servicemen took part in the gruelling test to earn a crimson beret today.

Striking pictures show the men battering each other’s faces bloody at the Bars training ground in the Republic of Tatarstan, southwest Russia.

The soldiers also performed a series of other qualifications tests, including weapons and ammunition drills, kickboxing and obstacle courses.

Volga Federal District’s National Guard special forces servicemen fight each other to earn a crimson beret in the Republic of Tatarstan, southwest Russia, today

A soldier with a black eye and bloody nose is held by an existing crimson beret wearer in the final stage of the military test

The soldiers also performed a series of other qualifications tests, including weapons and ammunition drills, kickboxing (pictured) and obstacle courses

One of the troops listens to stern instructions from a Spetsnaz crimson beret wearer before he fights. The beret is referred to as It is referred to as ‘krapoviy’ meaning crimson

They hope to earn a crimson beret, worn by elite members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz units. It is referred to as ‘krapoviy’.

The special annual exam to earn the honour of wearing the beret was devised by Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the MVD.

He told Russia Beyond: ‘It all started when I read the book “Alpha Team” by Miklós Szabó, a former US special forces soldier.

‘There, the right to wear the green beret was earned by a gruelling test, with blood and sweat. 

Soldiers have to go through three stages in the test: a physical fitness test, a weapons and ammunition test, and a final ’12 minutes of hell’ round, which is split into four periods of hand-to-hand combat with a purple beret opponent

The special exam to earn the honour of wearing a beret was devised by Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz units

The physical fitness stage involves a five-mile run through rugged terrain, including chest high stagnant water as well as a 100-metre sprint

A crimson beret hopeful is hit in the face in the ’12 minutes of hell’ third stage of the test, which requires soldiers fight existing beret wearers

A soldier fires a machine gun while abseiling down a wall in an obstacle course during the second stage of the annual test

A soldier has his head stood on while another climbs up the obstacle course wall. The physical test is accompanied by mental battery from a group of ‘psychological manipulation’ soldiers who shout at the runners and throw mud and smoke puff charges at them

‘The book made a very strong impression on me and led me to think of establishing a test for my division, for the right to wear a crimson beret that was not simply a hat, but became a symbol of a highly qualified Spetsnaz commando.’

The programme, including special physical and tactical training, has been used in all Spetsnaz units of the Interior Ministry troops since since May 31, 1993.

Soldiers must go through three stages : a physical fitness test, a weapons and ammunition test, and a final ’12 minutes of hell’ round, which is split into four periods of hand-to-hand combat with a crimson beret opponent.

A soldier does a 100 metre sprint after running five miles through minefields and areas of ground surrounded in smoke and fire

A crimson beret soldier wearing a Spetsnaz uniform watches on as a soldier trains. The beret worn by elite members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Spetsnaz units

The weapons stage requires soldiers show skill in firing an RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher, the AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher, PK or PKT machine guns, the AK74M automatic, Makarov or Stechkin pistols and the SVD sniper rifle

The programme, including special physical and tactical training, has been used in all Spetsnaz units of the Interior Ministry troops since since May 31, 1993

A soldier falls face down during the obstacle course. The test was devised by Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the MVD

The physical fitness stage involves a five-mile run through rugged terrain, including chest high stagnant water, minefields and areas surrounded in smoke and fire.

It is accompanied by mental battery from a group of ‘psychological manipulation’ soldiers who shout at the runners and throw mud and smoke puff charges at them.

The weapons stage requires soldiers show skill in firing an RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher, the AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher, PK or PKT machine guns, the AK74M automatic, Makarov or Stechkin pistols and the SVD sniper rifle.

Finally, the soldiers have to fight an existing crimson beret wearer to earn the right to wear their own. 

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