ODON

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Independent Operational Purpose Division
ODON
Dzerzhinsky Division
Separate division operational use.jpg
ODON shoulder patch
Active June 17th, 1924 - present
Country  Russia
Branch Internal Troops
Type Mechanized Gendarmerie
Role Protection of public order
Size ~ 12,000
Part of Flag of MVD of Russia.png Ministry of Internal Affairs
Garrison/HQ Reutov
Balashikha
Nickname Dzerzhinsky Division
Motto "At any time, any place - any task!"
March "My Division"
Anniversaries June 17th
Engagements Winter War
Decorations Order of Red Banner ribbon bar.png Order of Red Banner
Order of Lenin ribbon bar.pngOrder of Lenin
Order october revolution rib.png Order of the October Revolution
Commanders
Current
commander
Major General Sergey Zakharov

The Independent Operational Purpose Division or ODON, formerly called OMSDON (aka Dzerzhinsky Division) is a rapid deployment internal security division of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and then the Russian Federation.[1] ODON (Russian:Одон) is an initialism for Отдельная дивизия оперативного назначения (English: Separate Operational Use Division).

USSR[edit]

Precursor to the ODON was the ru:1st Automobile Fighting Detachment of the VTsIK which was created in February 1918. The detachment was tasked with guarding the members of the VTsIK and the Sovnarkom and providing them with passenger cars. After relocation of the government to Moscow in March 1918, it was assigned to guarding the Moscow Kremlin as the site of the government alongside the Red Latvian Riflemen then the "Kremlin cadets". The detachment was renamed 1st Armored Car Detachment Ya. M. Sverdlov in 1919, and was transferred to VChK in 1921. At the peak of its strength, the detachment had over 400 troops.

In April 1921, VChK created the OSNAZ battalion which consisted of 1st Armored Car Detachment, three rifle platoons, a cavalry squadron, and various auxiliary units, with a total strength of some 1,100 men. VChK became OGPU in 1922, and the OSNAZ was renamed accordingly.

On 17 June 1924, the OSNAZ battalion, an OGPU rifle battalion and an OGPU rifle regiments formed the Special-Purpose Division (DON) of the OGPU Troops. The DON included 4 rifle regiments with an Armored Car detachment. In August 1926, the division was renamed Special-Purpose Division F. E. Dzerzhinsky of the OGPU Troops. Throughout 1926, one more regiment and five more battalions joined the DON, raising its total strength to some 4,500 troops.

In 1929, the DON was reorganized as a full army division. In 1931, the Armoured Car detachment was reorganized into an armoured regiment. In 1934, OGPU was transferred to the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (the NKVD). The division fought on the front lines of the Winter War against free Finland.

With the onset of World War II, parts of the division participated in the defense of Moscow, the remaining unit guarded particularly important inhalations of the capital, patrolled the streets, and were involved in efforts to liquidation enemy infiltrator groups near the front and in the city.

Along with participation in hostilities, division elements in Moscow detained 485 enemy intelligence agents, 69753 deserters, over 320,000 offenders of the established regime.

On 07.11.1941, the division took part in the military parade in Moscow's Red Square.

In the battle against German troops, the snipers of the 4 Cavalry Regiment (later four motorized infantry) distinguished themselves. On the first deployment of the two sniper Regiments in 1942, they killed 853 German soldiers and officers. In total, in 1942 sniper division has killed 6440 German soldiers and officers.

The OMSDON units surrounded the Allied leaders during the Yalta conference.

In preparation for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, an elite group of OMSDON troops was trained with special forces tactics; the core of this group later became the Vytyaz unit. The final USSR designation of the division was OMSDON (Independent Special-Purpose Motorized Rifle Division of the Internal Troops of the MVD of the Soviet Union "F. E. Dzerzhinsky", Russian: ОМСДОН, Отдельная мотострелковая дивизия особого назначения ВВ МВД им. Ф.Е.Дзержинского).

Russian Federation[edit]

In 1994, the OMSDON was renamed as the Independent Operational Purpose Division or ODON. The full name of the unit is the Independent Orders of Lenin and October Revolution Red Banner Operational Purpose Division of Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (Russian: Отдельная орденов Ленина и Октябрьской Революции Краснознаменная дивизия оперативного назначения внутренних войск МВД России). As always they form the first line of security during important events held in Russia, and represent the Internal Troops during the yearly Moscow Victory Parade and the Moscow November 7 Anniversary Parade (the latter due to the fact that they attended that very October Revolution Day parade which was the only parade held in the midst of the Great Patriotic War).

Composition[edit]

ODON division servicemen from Russian Internal Troops. Photo by Vitaly Kuzmin

The division includes the following military units (as of 01.01.2013):

  • 604th Special Purpose Center, w / h 3179, formed in 2008 combining (Vityaz and Rus)
  • 2nd Operational Duties Regiment, w / h 3186
  • 4th Operational Duties Regiment, w / h 3419
  • 5th Operational Duties Regiment, w / h 3500
  • 60th Training Regiment, w / h 3421
  • 344th independent battalion command, a / h 6771 (ORRiKS in / hr 3486)
  • Separate Battalion, a / h 3128
  • Separate Repair and Refurbishment Battalion, w / h 3187
  • Selected Medical Battalion, w / h 3532
  • 319th separate battalion for the protection and security training centers (centers village. New and Noginsk, Moscow region), in / hr 3058
  • 4th separate company for radiation, chemical and biological protection, w / h 3401
  • Garrison quarters and operations area, a / h 3492
  • 441st Separate Security Battalion, in / hr 6909 (formed in November–December 2012)
  • Garrison military officers

Therefore the entire division employs more than ten thousand personnel, hundreds of armored vehicles, and divisional artillery (mortars and anti-aircraft guns).

See also[edit]

References[edit]