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Специальный Отряд Быстрого Реагирования (СОБР)
Spetsial'niy Otryad Bystrovo Reagirovaniy (SOBR)
Active10 February 1992–present
Country Russia
BranchNational Guard of Russia
TypeSpecial forces (spetsnaz)
Police tactical unit
  • c. 5200 soldiers
Moscow OMSN sleeve patch
GАZ-3934 "Siam" SOBR vehicle
SOBR "Rus" operators demonstrate the arrest of armed suspects in a cargo truck with the help of aviation and explosives. AS355N Ecureuil 2 landed a group of Rus.

The Special Rapid Response Unit or SOBR (Russian: СОБР - Специальный Отряд Быстрого Реагирования, Spetsial'niy Otryad Bystrovo Reagirovaniya, lit. Special Unit [with/for a] Quick Reaction), from 2002 to 2011 known as OMSN (Otryad Militsii Spetsial'nogo Naznacheniya, Special Police Unit), is a spetsnaz unit of the National Guard of Russia.

Due to the military nature of their equipment, overalls and training, the OMON and SOBR constitute a rapid-reaction and rapid-insertion military force available to the regular police, normally to be employed at a police’s local command discretion.[1]


SOBR was formed on February 10, 1992, and was subordinated to the "Directorate for combating the Organized Crime" under the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD). SOBR units were 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. The primary function of SOBR is to combat against organized crime, with additional roles including anti-terrorism. They also fought during the wars in Chechnya.

Russia's first SOBR units were formed on 10 February 1992, under the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) within the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime. SOBR units were staffed by senior-ranking police officers and typically received better training than the members of OMON, the paramilitary special police units of the MVD. They carried out SWAT-type special operations under the jurisdiction of the MVD, including the apprehension of dangerous criminals and high-profile raids, while also participating in conventional warfare such the Chechen Wars.

On 16 September 2002, SOBR was dissolved and its units were reclassified as OMSN, becoming subordinated to the regional criminal police offices, and since the establishment of the Investigative Committee of Russia, has co-operated with federal investigative authorities. Due to the similarity in function as OMSN, and the popularity of the SOBR name, OMSN was commonly referred to as "SOBR" and the terms were often used interchangeably despite SOBR being officially non-existent[2].

In 2007, in Russia there were 87 OMSN units, counting over 5,000 officers stationed in major Russian cities[3], the most famous unit of the formation is OMSN "Rys" (Russian ОМСН "Рысь"), established in 1992, which since its inception participated in almost all known special operations in Russia[4].

In 2012, the SOBR name returned into existence during reforms of the MVD, as all special forces units under the ministry's command were renamed from OMSN to SOBR[5].

On 5 April 2016, following the establishment of the National Guard of Russia, the Internal Troops of Russia were disestablished and the command of their units, including SOBR, was transferred from the MVD to the National Guard.[6]

Annual Warrior Competition[edit]

The SOBR placed 1st in the 2015 Annual Warrior Competition held annually in Jordan.[7] Other teams participating were a U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Battalion and China's Assault Hawk Commando Unit of the PAPF which placed second overall.[7] Overall 37 teams from 18 different nations participated in the event.


SOBR also continues to exist in Belarus and as of 2006 was headed by Dmitri Pavlichenko.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ 12 лет СОБРу
  3. ^ Когда ОМОН спешит на помощь. Archived 2011-12-08 at the Wayback Machine //
  4. ^ Рысь мягко ходит, жестко атакует
  6. ^ "Putin's New National Guard Strengthens His Grip on Security as Russian Economy Falters". Vice News. Vice News. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Event - Annual Warrior Competition". Retrieved 28 May 2018.