In February, the head of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced the creation of a “state-of-the-art Special Forces training center the size of a city” in Gudermes, Chechen Republic. Kadyrov stated that the construction of the training center would not take longer than a year and that the facility would provide services to a number of foreign militaries and security forces:

That seems like an ambitious timetable given what Kadyrov says he has planned (among many other things, facilities for training in ‘underwater combat’), but if it ends up actually being built, negotiations are underway with Belarus and Kazakhstan to train their forces at the center. Latin American, Arab, and other ex-Soviet countries are other potential customers, Izvestia reports. (Joshua Kucera,, February 16)

The planned center will be led by Chechen Special Forces instructors who have real-world experience and can apply any number of training methods and skills acquired from forces around the world. Belarus and Kazakhstan have already been mentioned as potential partners in the facility. According to observers and experts noted in Russian media publications, the long-term plan of the center appears to concentrate on recruitment of personnel from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Arab world, and Latin America. Among the training events highlighted in plans for the vast, sprawling complex are hostage rescue operations:

Under the project, the center will highlight a unique tactical town – a complex where you can fulfill the skills to free the hostages from the high-rise apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, kindergartens, and theater. In addition, the center will be able to conduct parachute, mountain, forest, water and other types of training. Also, there are plans to build a wind tunnel for testing operations in different physical conditions. (Interfax, February 16)