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The Special Rapid Response Unit or SOBR (Russian – специальные отряды быстрого реагирования = Spetsial'nye Otryady Bystrogo Reagirovaniya), is a spetsnaz unit of the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD). SOBR also continues to exist in Belarus, where as of 2006 was headed by Dmitri Pavlichenko.
Russian SOBR units are composed of senior-ranking police officers, better trained than the members of OMON (which is a cross between riot police and paramilitary police), and tasked with SWAT type special operations under the jurisdiction of MVD, including apprehension of dangerous criminals, high-profile raids, etc. They also fought during the wars in Chechnya. In 2007, in Russia there were 87 units OMSN, counting over 5,000 officers stationed in major Russian cities, such as OMSN "Rys" (English OMSN "Lynx", Russian ОМСН "Рысь").
Russia's SOBR were formed on February 10, 1992, and were subordinated to the Directorate for Combating the Organized Crime under the MVD. On September 16, 2002, the SOBR was in the process of being dissolved and the SOBR units have been reclassified as OMSN and subordinated to the regional criminal police offices. Due to the popularity of the name, as well as the similarities between SOBR and OMSN, the OMSN was usually referred to as SOBR by both its officers and civilians alike. Since the 2011's establishment of the SKR, Investigative Committee, the unit is cooperating with the Federal investigative authorities. The units got back their historic name SOBR as a part of the Ministry of Interior reform late 2011.
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