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ALFA: Special Forces Unit


Alfa is the name of the special forces unit, which was created within the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) in July 1994, following a decree of the President of Ukraine. Alfa was set up as an anti-terrorist unit which also had to protect those who were to appear as witnesses at criminal trials and those who worked for or helped the law-enforcement bodies.


If members of the Alfa special forces troops happen to be filmed for TV news shows, they always wear masks  for obvious reasons.

Alfas motto is Life can be given to the native land but dignity is always to be preserved. Since 1994, the Alfa special forces troops have taken part in thousands of special operations. Among the most sensational operations that received a lot of coverage in the mass media were: escorting the shipments of hryvnyas, Ukrainian currency, from Canada, where the paper money was printed, to Ukraine (later, Ukraine began to print its own money); protection of the ship in the port of Sevastopol which had on board 624 kilograms of heroine that had been shipped from Latin America (it was known that an international narcotics criminal gang was planning an attack on the vessel); arrests of members of organized crime gangs in the Crimea and other regions of Ukraine. The Alfa special forces troops are trained to conduct anti-terrorist operations, to protect witnesses at criminal trials and detectives, officers and employees of the law-enforcement bodies, and to provide individual protection. Among Alfa troops are units that are trained in mountain and sea warfare, airborne troops, units with dogs trained to search for narcotics, units of specially trained troops to disarm mines and other kinds of ammunition, and psychologists trained to deal and conduct negotiations with terrorists. Alfa troops are armed with Kalashnikovs of various modifications, hand guns with silencers, shooting knives, special equipment at the cutting edge of technology, and personal bullet- and- blast-proof protection. At one of the training exercises conducted at Boryspil Airport near Kyiv, it took Alfa troops three or four seconds to penetrate the plane seized by hijackers, and another half a minute to apprehend the hijackers and free the passengers.

General Vasyl Krutov was the first commander of Alfa special forces unit; now he is the first deputy of the SBUs head.

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