The Special Rapid Response Unit or SOBR (Russian - специальные отряды быстрого реагирования = Spetsial'nye Otryady Bystrogo Reagirovaniya) is an elite commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

 unit of the Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n Interior Ministry, involved in anti-criminal operations.
The Russian Interior, in particular the MVD, has many different Counter-Terrorism, and Elite response units, upon which it can draw use of. SOBR is the MVD's first line of homeland defence.

On September 16, 2002, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov
Boris Gryzlov
Boris Vyacheslavovich Gryzlov , is a Russian politician and current Speaker of Russia's State Duma . He is one of the leaders of the largest Russian political party, United Russia...

 ordered that SOBR be dissolved; however this order was never carried out. It was active in Chechnya
The Chechen Republic , commonly referred to as Chechnya , also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria , is a federal subject of Russia . It is located in the southeastern part of Europe in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny...

. SOBR continues to exist in Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 and as of 2006 was headed by Dmitri Pavlichenko
Dmitri Pavlichenko
Dmitri Valeriyevich Pavlichenko , born 1966 in Vitebsk, is head of the Belarusian Special Rapid Reaction Unit .-Allegations of assassinations:...

Reorganization into OMSN

On September 16, 2002, the SOBR was officially dissolved. To date almost all of the SOBR units have been reclassified as OMSN (Otryad Militsii Spetsial'nogo Naznacheniya, Special Police Unit), and are subordinate to the regional criminal police offices. OMSN units are very similar to the SOBR, and are composed of highly professional, senior-ranking police officers (as opposed to OMON
OMOH is a generic name for the system of special units of militsiya within the Russian and earlier the Soviet MVD...


OMSN units are tasked with fighting criminal elements, drug trafficking and other special operations under the jurisdiction of MVD. Lately, OMSN's premier task has been to combat terrorism for which they have received extensive counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 training, special weapons and equipment for this role. Due to the popularity of the name, as well as the similarities between SOBR and OMSN, the OMSN is usually still referred to as SOBR by both soldiers and civilians alike.

In popular culture

  • The standard operations style of SOBR was seen in the film The Jackal (1997) (in the scene where a Russian Mobster
    Russian Mafia
    The Russian Mafia is a name applied to organized crime syndicates in Russia and Ukraine. The mafia in various countries take the name of the country, as for example the Ukrainian mafia....

     is arrested inside a Moscow night club). SOBR was mislabelled as "MVD" by the producers, although MVD is its parent ministry.

  • The SOBR and the OMON feature heavily in sections of the Frederick Forsyth
    Frederick Forsyth
    Frederick Forsyth, CBE is an English author and occasional political commentator. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan and The Cobra.-...

     novel, Icon
    Icon (novel)
    Icon is an thriller novel by British author Frederick Forsyth. Its plot centres around the politics of the Russian Federation in 1999, with an extremist party close to seizing power...

    , in which Jason Monk uses them firstly to mount raids against the Dolgoruki mafia and then to precipitate Igor Komarov's failed coup d'état of New Year's Eve 1999.


  • Makarov PM
    Makarov PM
    The PM is a semi-automatic pistol design. Under the project leadership of Nikolay Fyodorovich Makarov, it became the Soviet Union's standard military side arm from 1951-1991.-Development:...

  • APS Stechkin
  • PP-91 KEDR
    PP-91 KEDR
    The PP-91 KEDR is a 9mm submachine gun developed from a prototype from the 1970s and later adopted by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs .- External links :*...

  • Klin SMG
  • PP-19 Bizon
  • AKM
    The AKM is a 7.62mm assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is an upgraded version of the AK-47 rifle and was developed in the 1950s....

  • AK-74
    The AK-74 is an assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union as the replacement for the earlier AKM...

  • AKS-74
  • AK-74M
  • SVD
  • SVU
    Dragunov SVU
    The OTs-03 SVU is a bullpup configuration of the SVD sniper rifle. The SVU was developed to meet the needs of the security forces of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, such as OMON. The SVU was first seen in usage in the First Chechen War...

  • VSS Vintorez
    VSS Vintorez
    The VSS , also called the Vintorez , is a silent sniper rifle developed in the late 1980s by TsNIITochMash and manufactured by the Tula Arsenal...

  • VSK-94
    The VSK-94 is a 9 mm silenced sniper rifle developed by the Russia KBP Instrument Design Bureau as a low-cost alternative to the VSS rifle. The rifle is based on the 9A-91 assault rifle. The VSK-94 was designed to accurately engage unarmored point targets at ranges up to 400 m.The VSK-94 retains...

Among others.
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