Russian soldiers fight to qualify for special forces crimson beret

Russian soldiers have been captured slugging it out in a gruesome boxing fight as part of their qualifications for a special forces beret in a spectacular set of photos.

Volga Federal District's National Guard special forces servicemen took part in the gruelling test to earn a crimson beret today.

Striking pictures show the men battering each other's faces bloody at the Bars training ground in the Republic of Tatarstan, southwest Russia.

The soldiers also performed a series of other qualifications tests, including weapons and ammunition drills, kickboxing and obstacle courses.

Volga Federal District's National Guard special forces servicemen fight each other to earn a crimson beret in the Republic of Tatarstan, southwest Russia, today

Volga Federal District's National Guard special forces servicemen fight each other to earn a crimson beret in the Republic of Tatarstan, southwest Russia, today

A soldier with a black eye and bloody nose is held by an existing crimson beret wearer in the final stage of the military test

A soldier with a black eye and bloody nose is held by an existing crimson beret wearer in the final stage of the military test

The soldiers also performed a series of other qualifications tests, including weapons and ammunition drills, kickboxing (pictured) and obstacle courses

The soldiers also performed a series of other qualifications tests, including weapons and ammunition drills, kickboxing (pictured) and obstacle courses

One of the troops listens to stern instructions from a Spetsnaz crimson beret wearer before he fights. The beret is referred to as It is referred to as 'krapoviy' meaning crimson

One of the troops listens to stern instructions from a Spetsnaz crimson beret wearer before he fights. The beret is referred to as It is referred to as 'krapoviy' meaning crimson

They hope to earn a crimson beret, worn by elite members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz units. It is referred to as 'krapoviy'.

The special annual exam to earn the honour of wearing the beret was devised by Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the MVD.

He told Russia Beyond: 'It all started when I read the book “Alpha Team” by Miklós Szabó, a former US special forces soldier.

'There, the right to wear the green beret was earned by a gruelling test, with blood and sweat. 

Soldiers have to go through three stages in the test: a physical fitness test, a weapons and ammunition test, and a final '12 minutes of hell' round, which is split into four periods of hand-to-hand combat with a purple beret opponent

Soldiers have to go through three stages in the test: a physical fitness test, a weapons and ammunition test, and a final '12 minutes of hell' round, which is split into four periods of hand-to-hand combat with a purple beret opponent

The special exam to earn the honour of wearing a beret was devised by Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz units

The special exam to earn the honour of wearing a beret was devised by Sergei Lysyuk, a former commander of the elite Vityaz special forces unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Spetsnaz units

The physical fitness stage involves a five-mile run through rugged terrain, including chest high stagnant water as well as a 100-metre sprint

The physical fitness stage involves a five-mile run through rugged terrain, including chest high stagnant water as well as a 100-metre sprint

A crimson beret hopeful is hit in the face in the '12 minutes of hell' third stage of the test, which requires soldiers fight existing beret wearers

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