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Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991

Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991 Book Review

By Rachel E. Veres

Date of Review September 2013 Title Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991
Author Mark Galeotti Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2013 ISBN 9781780961057
Format 64 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


Historically, Russia's security and paramilitary forces tended to be closer to the political establishment than to the regular military. In Osprey's Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991, author Mark Galeotti explores these units' increasingly powerful and disproportionate role since the partition of the Soviet Union.

Galeotti begins with a brief introduction recounting Russia's internal security forces' evolution from pre-Soviet Union to the present-day spetsgruppy, or special forces groups, under president Vladimir Putin.

Subsequent segments focus on the diverse components within Russia's politically powerful security agencies.  Here, the author highlights the vast range of services – from the Interior Troops to elite commando elements and even Cossack Irregulars.

Galeotti dedicates the final portion to the body armor and numerous weapons every troop employs, such as the commonly known and respected Makarov PM pistol and AK-74 rifle.

Fifty historical photographs complement the author's narrative.  Detailed artwork by Johnny Shumate illustrates the different uniforms, insignia and equipment of each organization.

A bibliography and index conclude this handy publication.  Individuals desiring further information need only look at the back cover for additional Osprey titles.

Recommended reading.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!