Before you report in Cuban, where we walk through the 45 th Special Forces Airborne Regiment. The Russian Airborne Troops or VDV is an arm of service of the Armed forces of the Russian Federation, on a par with the Strategic Rocket Forces and the Russian Space Forces. First formed before World War II, the force undertook two significant airborne operations and a number of smaller jumps during the war and after 1945 for many years was the largest airborne force in the world
The word desánt, as used in the Vozdushno-Desantnye Vojska, is a borrowing of the French descente (‘debarkation’ or ‘landing’). It is also used by the Russian Ground Forces for the desantno-shturmoviye batal′ony, the airmobile assault battalions, and by the Russian Naval Infantry in voyenno-morskoy desant , an amphibious landing. The airborne, air-assault, and amphibious troops of all services are referred to as desantniki, which literally means ‘those who land’. The term desant is defined by Radzievskii as:
Troops intended for landing, or which have already landed on enemy-occupied territory for the purpose of conducting combat operations. According to the transportation method used, a landing force may be amphibious, airborne, or combined; and according to its scale and purpose, such a force may be strategic, operational, or tactical.
Originally formed in the Soviet Union during the mid 1930s, they were massively expanded during World War II. They then formed up to ten Airborne Corps with numerous Independent Airborne Brigades, with most or all achieving “Guards” status. 9th Guards Army was eventually formed with three Guards Rifle Corps (37th, 38th, and 39th) being of Airborne divisions. At the end of the war they were reconstituted as Guards Rifle Divisions.
The Soviet airborne forces were mostly used as ‘leg’ infantry during the war. Only a few small airborne drops were carried out in the first desperate days of Operation Barbarossa, in the vicinity of Kiev, Odessa, and the Kerch peninsula. The two significant airborne operations of the war were the Vyazma operation of February–March 1942, involving 4th Airborne Corps, and the Dnepr/Kiev operation of September 1943, involving a temporary corps formation consisting of 1st, 3rd, and 5th Airborne Brigades.