The hardline newspaper Vzglyad today looks at Ukrainian special forces, which may matter a great deal if the Russians intend to occupy the country for any length of time.
Formalised in 2016, they now amount to some 15,000 men, making up in quantity what they lack in quality from hasty training, according to the Russians. A particular object of concern for them is the 140th separate centre of Spetsnaz which has at its core officers focused on operating behind enemy lines in both occupied territory and the territory of the enemy. They have been assisted by psychological warfare specialists from Britain’s 77th Brigade and the 4th Group from the United States. At the centre of special operations of the Ukrainian bureau of state security (SBU) a new covert action branch was set up with US assistance for operations abroad, with operatives selected by the Americans themselves. A training ground was set up at Svetlovodsk in the Kirovograd region for snipers and underwater operations. The threat from such quarters is something the Russian special forces are fully aware of and can in some ways measure.
What, however, they cannot fully account for and prepare against is the fact that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians live and work throughout Russia.