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The Independent Special-Purpose Motorized Rifle Division F.E.Dzerzhinsky or OMSDON (Russian: ОМСДОН, Отдельная мотострелковая дивизия особого назначения ВВ МВД им. Ф.Е.Дзержинского) is a special forces division of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR and then the Russian Federation.

OMSDON traces its roots to the OSNAZ detachment of the VChK (formerly 1st Automobile Fighting Detachment of the VTsIK). It was created on 1 June 1924. It was later reorganized into the DON (Special-Purpose Division) of the OGPU and then NKVD of the USSR.

Formed as a full army division shortly before the Soviet-Finnish War, OMSDON NKVD fought on the frontlines of World War II against Nazi Germany. The OMSDON units protected 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.

In 1994, the OMSDON was renamed Separate Orders of Lenin and October Revolution Red Banner Division of operational purpose of Internal Forces of Russian MVD (Russian: Отдельную орденов Ленина и Октябрьской Революции, Краснознаменную дивизию оперативного назначения внутренних войск МВД России).


OSNAZ, short for osobogo naznacheniya (or "special purpose"), is a general term used for a variety of special forces or regular forces assigned to special tasks. Modern terminology mostly uses "spetsnaz" to refer to special purpose forces, although many Internal Troops units feature special purpose in their official names.

See also



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