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Russian ex-commandos preparing to be deployed in Iraq

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 15:49

Moscow: As more and more local companies are expanding operations for rebuilding Iraq, a special group of Russian ex-commandos are undergoing intensive military
training ahead of deployment in the war-torn state for security duties performed earlier by the infamous US Blackwater agency, according to a report.

"The `Oryol` (Eagle) is made up of ex-military officers go through highly-specialised training, under very tough conditions at their anti-terror centre, which may seem
like an intense action scene from a Hollywood blockbuster, but in fact it is to prepare Russian men to work in Iraq," Russia Today TV reported.

These men from the anti-terror group `Oryol` and, much like their infamous, American counterpart "Blackwater"; provide private security for Russian engineers and businessmen operating inside Iraq.
The company is entirely made up of ex-military officers who wanted an outlet to continue to use their skills and believe they can compete with their British and American
counterparts by adopting a unique approach.

"Before we send people there, we put them through some serious training. This includes psychological training and an educational programme," says Sergey Epishkin, head of Oryol anti-terror training centre told Russia TV.

"In our classes, we even speak the way they speak in this particular region. If you can`t master local slang, you can run into a serious trouble sometimes"

He said even though they have soldiers` backgrounds, one of their main strategies is a unique form of diplomacy.

"We establish a good relationship not only with the Americans and the British, but with the Iraqi police and National Guard as well. To be frank with you, even with opposition forces. In such a region, it is important to find a common language with people," Epishkin said.
He said the Russian could do a lot in the Middle East, much more than American and British private security agencies.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 15:49

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