The list of required items for your impression is listed here, on the Requirements page.


- Beret


By Steven J. Zaloga

"Inside the Blue Berets: A Combat History of the Soviet and Russian Airborne Forces, 1930-1995" Presidio Press, 1995

"Chapter 7, Imperial Storm Troopers, Blue Berets," pgs. 151-152

"Elite forces have traditionally distinguished themselves from the rest of the military by adopting distinctive uniforms or insignia. The Soviet VDV was no exception. Colonel General Margelov was an enthusiastic proponent of the effort, feeling that it bolstered unit morale."

"The use of crimson berets by paratroopers can be traced back to the British practice, later picked up by the United States. The initiative for a Soviet paratrooper's beret came from a Russian military artist, A. B. Zhuk, who did some paintings of a proposed paratrooper uniform heavily influenced by the Anglo-American tradition. Margelov thought the idea was a good one, since it would further distinguish his forces from the great dull mass of the Soviet Army. Margelov authorized two berets, a khaki beret with the service uniform and a crimson beret with the dress and parade uniform. The new berets were officially approved in June 1967, and crimson berets began to be issued later in the summer. They first appeared publicaly on 7 November 1967 during the big fiftieth anniversary parade for the 1917 October Revolution."

"The crimson berets were short lived and disappeared within a year. No official explanation has been put forward to explain the sudden change. It may have been that the crimson berets were seen as too heavily influenced by the NATO style. In any event, the crimson berets gave way to cornflower blue berets. These had a more satisfactory Soviet lineage, since the original Soviet paratrooper units of the 1930s used pale blue helmets during the great summer war games. The blue berets were issued in 1968 and became the most popular element of the Soviet paratrooper's uniform. Indeed, Soviet paratroopers have been colloquially known as Blue Berets ever since."


- Soviet Tropical Cap / "Afghanka" "Panamka"


This cap was first introduced during the Second World War (Seen to the right). The cap at that time had a bigger brim, the eyelets were machine embroidered and not all caps had a chin cord. The earlier cap was used throughout the Cold War and wound up fading away during the 1960's. The cap was reintroduced during the Soviet-Afghan War and this version had a shorter brim and the eyelets were metal. It had a faux leather sweat band and chin cord. (Photograps courtesy of Collect Russia and "KGB & Soviet Security Uniforms & Militaria, 1917-1991 in Photographs" by Laszlo Bekesi and Gyorgy Torok)


- Enlisted Sidecap / Pilotka - Enlisted Fur Cap / Ushanka


- Helmet (Ssh-68) / Stal’noi Shlem - Jump Helmet

- Jump Boots - Jack Boots / Kirozoviy Sapogi


- Chinese copy of "Adidas" Sneakers

Because of the harsh, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, regular military issued boots destroyed soldiers' feet. Chinese copies of the Adidas sneaker in the photographs below started to be used by soldiers. These were much more forgiving than the stiff, leather boots. We allow these sneakers to be worn for any event in lieu of boots, but you must have a pair of either jump or jack boots first before getting these. Below is an account from a Soviet veteran of the War in Afghanistan.

The Smack Brigades - How Opium Lost the Afghan War
Sobaka Columnist (June 8, 2005)

by Misha Pozhininsky

"Russia's boots defeated the Nazis 40 years before. Soviet troops were now wearing "sneakers." They held up better on the rocks and you could run in them without carrying the weight of iron on your legs. I got a pair of these myself. They were made by the Chinese and after some problems the merchants got a connection that would supply them. I remember once that some journalists from Poland were in Bagram, but one of the commanders told them to only aim their cameras from our waists to our faces, because they did not want others to know that the soldiers of the USSR were in shoes that joggers would wear."


- Belt and Belt Buckle / Remyen


- AK/AKS-74 Magazine Pouch

(Photographs from Tantal's Avtomats in Action)


- AK/AKS-74 3-Celled or 4-Celled Chest Pouch, "Lifchick" or Bra (First and second patterns shown)

Above is a photographs of a second model, Soviet manufactured "lifchick" (Photograph from To the right are a set of photographs of the first model, Soviet manufactured "lifchick" (Photographs courtesy of FW200). Notice how close the first model "lifchick" is to the chinese rig.


By Desantnik

"Prior to Afghanistan, the Soviet Army used 4-celled ammunition pouches on thir equipment belt. Soviet troops were largely mechanised infantry who would ride into battle in armoured fighting vehicles, then dismount and clear up any survivors of the stattering artillery barrage delivered before hand."

"When they met the counter-revolutionary elements in Afghanistan, the enemy was equipped with Chinese gear. The Chinese had long used chest mounted webbing. The Soviets discovered that in this new type of warfare, the chestrig offered big benefits. Initially they used captured Chicom webbing, then they made their own "bras" (as the Soviets called them) and finally in 1984 (approx.) they started to be issued with Soviet factory made ones. In about 1988 this design changed."

So lets take a look... These two halves of a pic above show an air assault unit returned after a mission and clearing their weapons. They are wearing both Chicom and 1st pattern Soviet chestrigs:

Now, lets look in more detail. Top is a Chicom rig, bottom is a second pattern Soviet rig from 1988:

Now in more detail:

Below: Chicom Chestrig
Below: Soviet 2nd Pattern Chestrig
1) Contains an AK cleaning/takedown kit

2) Cardboard boxes of 5,45mm rounds - for reloading

3) Pocket for a single AK mag - AK-74

4) Rubberised pocket for the oil bottle

As you can see, you only can fit 3 magazines in this chestrig. Loose rounds are kept for reloading instead of ready to use magazines.

1) Hand launched flares - one red, one white

2) Grenades x4 - 3x F1 fragmentation and 1x RDG5 fragmentation is displayed here

3) Pockets for AK mags - 2x per pocket, 6x in total

4) These straps are for attaching a separate piece of equipment which holds grenades for the OG15/OG30 under barrel grenade launcher

Detail photograph of the first model, Soviet "lifchick". Note the magazine and grenade placement. (Photo courtesy of Jean-Paul Bligny)


- Signal Flare

Two signal flares were usually issued to soldiers and stored placed in their "lifchick." The flares are hand held and usually were manufactured in several colors (A red flare is pictured. Note the red paint on cap for recognition). The flare is approximately 10.5 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter. The body is made of cardboard with a tin end-cap. (Photographs courtesy of Eric Serfass)


- RPK-74 Magazine Pouch

(Photograph from Tantal's Avtomats in Action)


- Grenade Pouch / Sumka Dlya Ruchnaya Granata


- BG-15 Grenade Pouch


- Gas Mask Bag with Gas Mask / Sumka Dlya Provizii


- Entrenching "E" Tool / Lopata


By V. Suvorov

"Spades and Men"

"Every infantryman in the Soviet Army carries with him a small spade. When he is given the order to halt he immediately lies flat and starts to dig a hole in the ground beside him. In three minutes he will have dug a little trench 15 centimetres deep, in which he can lie stretched out flat, so that bullets can whistle harmlessly over his head. The earth he has dug out forms a breastwork in front and at the side to act as an additional cover. If a tank drives over such a trench the soldier has a 50% chance that it will do him no harm. At any moment the soldier may be ordered to advance again and, shouting at the top of his voice, will rush ahead. If he is not ordered to advance, he digs in deeper and deeper. At first his trench can be used for firing in the lying position. Later it becomes a trench from which to fire in the kneeling position, and later still, when it is 110 centimetres deep,it can be used for firing in the standing position. The earth that has been dug out protects the soldier from bullets and fragments. He makes an embrasure in this breastwork into which he positions the barrel of his gun."

"In the absence of any further commands he continues to work on his trench. He camouflages it. He starts to dig a trench to connect with his comrades to the left of him. He always digs from right to left, and in a few hours the unit has a trench linking all the riflemen's trenches together. The unit's trenches are linked with the trenches of other units. Dug-outs are built and communication trenches are added at the rear. The trenches are made deeper, covered over, camouflaged and reinforced. Then, suddenly, the order to advance comes again. The soldier emerges, shouting and swearing as loudly as he can."

"The infantryman uses the same spade for digging graves for his fallen comrades. If he doesn't have an axe to hand he uses the spade to chop his bread when it is frozen hard as granite. He uses it as a paddle as he floats across wide rivers on a telegraph pole under enemy fire. And when he gets the order to halt, he again builds his impregnable fortress around himself."

"He knows how to dig the earth efficiently. He builds his fortress exactly as it should be. The spade is not just an instrument for digging: it can also be used for measuring. It is 50 centimetres long. Two spade lengths are a metre. The blade is 15 centimetres wide and 18 centimetres long. With these measurements in mind the soldier can measure anything he wishes."

"The infantry spade does not have a folding handle, and this is a very important feature. It has to be a single monolithic object. All three of its edges are as sharp as a knife. It is painted with a green matt paint so as not to reflect the strong sunlight."

"The spade is not only a tool and a measure. It is also a guarantee of the steadfastness of the infantry in the most difficult situations. If the infantry have a few hours to dig themselves in, it could take years to get them out of their holes and trenches, whatever modern weapons are used against them."


- Mess Kit / Kotelok - Canteen and Cover / Flyaga


- Backpack (RD-54)

(Photographs from Trident Militaria)


- Fragmentation Body Armor


By Lester W. Grau, Michael A. Gress and The Russian General Staff

"The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost" University Press of Kansas, 2002

"Chapter 2, Organization, Armament, and Training of the Limited Contingent of Soviet Forces and Government of Afghanistan Armed Forces," pgs. 41-42

"For the first time in the history of the Soviet armed forces, Soviet soldiers used a wide variety of armored flak jackets for individual protection during the Afghanistan war. At the start of the war, there were not enough flak jackets for everyone. Therefore, flak jackets were issued to soldiers going into direct combat or to those on combat duty. The first battles proved that flak jackets reduced fatalities by two or three times. This made the procurement of sufficient flak jackets a priority, and, by the end of 1988, all the personnel of the 40th Army had flak jackets."

"There were five flak jacket models issued during the war. The first model was the Zh-R1 issued in 1980. It weighed four kilograms and was fairly comfortable; however, it failed to provide adequate protection. The 6B3 and YaB4 flak jackets were developed to correct the shortcomings of the Zh-R1. They were issued in 1983 and 1984 and proved more capable of stopping an aimed bullet. However, they both weighed about 10.5 kilograms (23.15 pounds) and were very uncomfortable when worn in the mountains or when it was hot."

"In 1985-1986, the Soviets began issuing the Zh-85t and Zh-85k flack jackets. They weighed about 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds) and provided chest protection from a bullet fired at the front and spinal protection from fragments impacting in the back. But the area of the body that these flak jackets covered was inadequate. Therefore, these flak jacketswere replaced in 1988 with the Zh-86 single-piece flak jacket that covers 1.6 times more body area. The Zh-86 uses titanium alloys, ceramic armor, and specialty steel." (Photograph from Trident Militaria)


- General Information on Soviet Tactical Infantry Radios

By LTC William L. Howard (Retired),

"In the 1950s the Russian Army adopted a system of radio nomenclature similar to the U.S. Army classification in the 50's but in some corrupted form."

R1XX - are complete radios, RX / TX was used to designate radios no matter what power, from 1 watt and above.
R2XX - were army receivers.
R3XX - were special receivers and radios.
R4XX - were VHF and UHF radio relay systems.
R6XX - Navy systems.
R8XX - Air Force systems.

"Reconnaissance units and experimental units were often marked by nickname, like "Kalina", "Krot" ( Mole ), etc. They were never assigned as RXXX. An interesting fact in this system is that on occasion the Soviets intentionally gave a new radio the wrong designation in an effort to confuse western intelligence agencies as to the true nature of the radios intended use."

- Radios

R-126 Patrol Radio/ R-352 Special Missions Radio

R126 Patrol Radio

R352 Special Missions Radio
Photos from and


By LTC William L. Howard (Retired),

"The R-126 which was first manufactured in 1962 is a ruggedly constructed, light weight battery operated radio designed for short range communication. It has a power output of 0.5 watts and a transmission range of 2 to 4 Km (1 -2.5 miles). The R-126 has a frequency range of 48.5 to 51.0 MHz and comes in two versions, crystal controlled and continuous tune. The crystal controlled version has three pre set frequencies. The crystal controlled version has the model number R-352. It covers 44-50 MHz and puts out 0.8W. According to Fietsch's book the R-352 was used by parachute troops. With the designation of R-352, it "moves" from the category of a patrol radio to a special missions radio, per the R 1XX, R2XX, R3XX designation system. The R-126 set is housed in an aluminium alloy case, 17.8 x 7.6 x 15.2 cm, painted khaki coloured enamel and is powered by two 1.5 VDC silver zinc batteries. With batteries, the set weighs 2.8 kg (6 lb.) It may be carried by a sling or clipped on the belt, copying very closely the WW II Dorette Radio. The main purpose of the R-126 was to provide communication between squads and platoons. Another use of the radio is to provide an off vehicle radio to provide command and control to the operators of SAGGER and SNAPPER missile systems. This set operates in the same frequency range as the AN/PRC 25, AN/PRC 77 and the AN/VRC 12 and can be netted with these radios."

R-255 Paratrooper Radio

Photos from

R-392 Special Missions Radio

Photos from and


By LTC William L. Howard (Retired),

"This is a man pack radio developed in the 1980s. It has 6 fixed channels: 44.3, 44.6,44.9, 45.2, 45.8 MHz. The channel selector on top of the set is normally covered by a circular cover like that used on the R-126. This set has an RF output of about 2 watts and is powered by a 9,6 volt Ni-Cad battery. In operation the set is carried in a canvas carrier strapped to the operators back It uses a single headphone with a cheek microphone connected to the set by a cord through the control unit. It is not certain if this set, which was originally designed as a special mission radio for the paratroopers has been mass produced for use by the entire Soviet Military for use as a patrol radio. If not, nothing has been recovered or found that would fit in the category of a patrol radio."


- Comming Soon

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