What Makes Russia's Alpha Group Commando Unit Truly Terrifying?
Members of Alpha Group in 1980s. Photo: Soviet Visuals

Russia’s Alpha Group commando unit stands as a formidable force renowned for its elite status and chilling effectiveness in countering terrorism and executing high-risk missions. With a history fraught with daring operations and ruthless tactics, the Alpha Group has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most feared special forces units. From the dramatic release of Soviet diplomats to the infamous Tajbeg Palace invasion, the Alpha Group’s actions have left an indelible mark on history.

In this article, we delve into the spine-chilling tales and strategic prowess of Russia’s Alpha Group, exploring the reasons behind its truly terrifying reputation on the global stage.

Why Is Russia’s Alpha Group Commando Team Truly Terrifying?

Russia’s Alpha group commando is an elite force that works as a root terrifying dominant unit. They are responsible for countering terrorism, which also works as a spying network, providing general services as a commando squad.

There are countless moments when the actions and sharpness of the alpha group have proven themselves as the terrifying squad in the world. Today we are going to dive into those dealings of the alpha group that demonstrates the best.

Role of Alpha Group in Release of Soviet Diplomats

Syrian civil war has brought Russia and Hezbollah(A Lebanese Islamic militia) together to support the governance of the Syrian president in a challenging situation of clash. These two supporters had terrible relations back in 1985 when Hezbollah abducted four Russian diplomats. 

Initially, Russia tried to negotiate the freedom of hostages through communication. It didn’t work out. It became worse when kidnappers killed one of the Russian diplomats. Then KGB’s Alpha squad was appointed to handle this situation. 

Alpha group traced and located one of the kidnapper’s family members with immediate effect, castrated him, and sent his body in pieces to hostage-takers. Alpha group delivered a clear message of threat to release Soviet diplomats. Otherwise, it may result in more brutal behavior with other family members.

Soviet has a long-time policy of targeting families of terrorists to make them weak on emotional grounds. It could be seen in the Beirut incident where the Alpha group brought terrorists on their knees to follow their demands unconditionally.

This severe threat shook their core with fear of losing their loved ones. Resulted, they released the hostages within a week, they were dropped off close to Soviet Embassy, and since then, none of the Russian officers ever got captivated. 

However, there are different views on the hostage’s release, but the Alpha group’s dispatch to Beirut was one of the prominent reasons that led to the freedom of the remaining three diplomats.

The spectacular narrative of the Alpha group in Beirut was one of the most popular operations. Apart from that, they continued their quick response services in the Russian military.

Tajbeg Palace Invasion

What Makes Russia's Alpha Group Commando Unit Truly Terrifying?
Tajbeg Palace.
Image Source: Wikipedia

Alpha group gained its starting infamy in 1979 when they initiated irruption in the Tajbeg palace in Kabul. They were highly active in devastating terrorists, kidnappers, and rebels.

The KGB’s Zenith group and Alpha group took part in an instantaneous assault with 700 troops on the presidential palace. Commandos had a motive of securing the Russian embassy on entering the country.

When the assault took place, there were countless civilians, residents, and guests, which also included women and children in the hosted party of President Hafizullah Amin. 

Rustam Tursunkulov, a Soviet soldier who participated in the assault, shared his experience by saying, “We were trained to accept orders without any question, I was in special forces– it’s the worst job.”

“Please try to understand that when there is a battle going on, it’s hard to know if there are children there,” Tursunkulov added.

This invasion resulted in the assassination of the General Secretary of the People’s democratic party, Hafizullah Amin. 11 years old son of Amin was also murdered. Afghan Armed forces helplessly surrendered in front of the Soviets. All those dead bodies in the assault were wrapped in carpet and buried nearby without any burial ceremony.

The Coup and the Soviet Union

What Makes Russia's Alpha Group Commando Unit Truly Terrifying?
Image Source: foreignpolicy.com

When part of the Russian military and KGB made an effort for a coup in 1990, the Alpha group was appointed to neutralize the situation and create a secure environment at the parliament in Moscow. 

They had a direction of capturing President Boris Yeltsin or executing him if there was some chance of his escape. Alpha group’s twenty officers refused to follow the command, which delayed the operation, resulting in the collapse of the coup.

This failed coup resulted in the instant collapse of the communist party. Alpha group ruined the coup plan of the KGB and part of the Soviet military.  

The collapse of the Soviets couldn’t shake the existence of the Alpha group; it is currently running under FSB, the newly formed successor of the KGB.

Storming at Beslan school to fight terrorist attack

What Makes Russia's Alpha Group Commando Unit Truly Terrifying?
Image Source: sofrep.com

In a more recent event in 2004, dozens of terrorists created a hostage situation at a school in North Ossetia

The alpha group took charge, and 330 people died in this operation. 184 out of 330 were children. The alpha group was highly criticized for excessive use of force at school, especially for killing 185 innocent children.

President Vladimir Putin defended Alpha by saying that they did not have any plan to take such a brutal decision. It was only in response when terrorists started executing children.

Formation of Alpha group for counterterrorism post

Olympic village seize

In 1974, the Alpha group, also known as ‘Spetsgruppa A,’ was founded by the KGB in response to the Munich Olympics attack.

Palestinian Liberation Front seized the Olympic Village by sending eight terrorists into the region. Two Israeli Athletes were executed, and many of them were taken as hostages. A rescue attempt by West German police failed miserably, causing nine more deaths, along with a police officer and five terrorists. 

After this incident, the Alpha group was formed for counterterrorism. However, their efficient and sharp actions exposed them to broader roles apart from counterterrorism. 

They took part in many high-level operations, including a raid against the hijackers of a flight in Georgia. They captured the rest of the hijackers after killing three of them. 


Russia’s Alpha group commandos are truly terrifying on observation of operations performed by them. They can reach any level of brutality to accomplish their mission.

The operation to release Soviet diplomats, targeting family members of terrorists, the Tajbeg palace invasion, denial to follow command for the collapse of the coup, raid against flight hijackers and working for many more purposes apart from counterterrorism make the Alpha group the best elite terrifying commando unit in the world.

The Middle East has a fear of the Soviet Union. The primary reason is the terrible history of operations by Russia’s Alpha group commandos. Any neighbor who brings a thought of messing with the Soviets backs off the fear of the Alpha group.