Russian Spec Ops storm Everest (PHOTOS)

Olga Smolskaya/TASS
The following collection of photos, depicting Russian Special Operations Officers fighting enemies and overcoming natural obstacles, shows what it takes to be named the top Russian and CIS counter-terrorist team. 

Top Russian and CIS Special Operations Units joined together in early August at the ‘Army Games 2019' military tournament to determine which of them is the best at fighting “bad guys” in mountainous regions. This competition was dubbed the “Elbrus Ring” and was held in one of the most spectacular parts of Russia - the Caucasus Mountains. 

Special Operations groups had to show what they are capable of when dealing with bad guys and climb a number of peaks around Mount Elbrus carrying full 60 lb (27.2 kg) backpacks and holding assault rifles.

The peaks they had to conquer included Terskol village (2,462 meters), Azau glide (2,356 meters) and the two Elbrus peaks (4,200 and 5,642 meters).

The challenge began with officer groups sprinting one after the other up the steep mountain slopes, passing barrier and log obstacles, which were placed along the route.

Soldiers had to walk ropes strung 5 meters above mountain rivers - in full gear. They also had to pass deep canyons and ravines, while remaining in constant danger of being ambushed.

While one or two group members were passing the various water, land and other obstacles, three others had to take cover and cover them from potential “terrorists” hiding in the bushes or behind mountain rocks.

Once the mountain forest obstacles and tough climbs were completed, the groups had to eliminate enemies “hiding in their villages and outposts”, deep inside the mountain peaks.  

It’s a rehearsal for ‘seek-and-destroy’ operations these groups have to be capable of making under any conditions.

Every second counts. Each group barely had enough time to take a breath before advancing to the title of Russia’s and CIS’s top Spec Ops unit.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, more than 150 Special Operations officers in 5-member groups took part in the ‘Elbrus Ring’ tournament.

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