Russian and American special forces constantly "intersect" in various parts of the world. This gave grounds to compare both forces on the pages of the Strategy Page (USA).
At the height of the Cold War, about 30 thousand. Special Forces. Most of them were conscripts (70-80%), but careful selection and a tough training program made it possible to make elite fighters out of them. As the author writes, special forces effectively proved themselves during the Afghan campaign:
Afghans have learned to retreat from any area, where the special forces operated. From his words, after the collapse of the USSR, the "rapid degradation" of the Russian special operations troops began. He thinks, its peak was on 1999-2004 years, mentioning as "failures" the operation to free the hostages in the theater "Nord-Ost" and the school in Beslan.
Hundreds of civilians were killed in the first case, in the second - the storming of the building was carried out in a combined arms style, using RPG, rocket launchers and tanks. However, after that the situation began to change. So, during the Georgian campaign 2008 of the year, the reconnaissance battalion of special forces in the rearguard entered enemy territory, "demonstrating a high degree of skill". As the author explains, In Syria, Russian special forces managed to keep Bashar al-Assad in power, "in spite of, it would seem, an insurmountable threat from the rebels in 2011 year ".
Here, Russian special operations troops clashed with their American counterparts and found, that US forces are more formidable, than expected- author writes.
As the reviewer points out, at present, the American special forces evaluate the Russian MTR as "quite combat-ready force", which “may compete” and “poses a more serious threat, than during the Cold War. But in terms of the number of this type of troops of the Russian Federation (about 10 thousand. pers., of which more than half are contractors) seriously inferior to the United States, where there are five times more fighters).
SOCOM military personnel, having met with their Russian counterparts in several regions of the world, found, that Russian special forces are still impressive, but far from meeting Western standards- noted in the US press.
Not quite clear, why Russian special forces, who have their own richest school of training and combat use, should generally comply with Western standards.