Special Operations Forces Day

Special Operations Forces Day is a holiday in Russia that’s observed annually on February 27th. This day commemorates Russia’s covert invasion of Crimea—a campaign that began on February 27, 2014.

This invasion annexed Crimea, and Ukraine as well as other countries considered this act to not only be a violation of international law but also a violation of the agreements that Russia had signed with Ukraine safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity.

This led to the Group of Eight suspending Russia from the group and introducing the first round of sanctions against it. The holiday celebrating this event has been observed in Russia since 2015.

The History of Special Operations Forces Day in Russia

Between February 22nd and 23rd, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened with his security service chiefs to discuss returning Crimea to Russia. On February 27, masked Russian forces that had no identifying insignia on their uniforms took over the Supreme Council of Crimea.

They also captured strategic sites across Crimea. This led to the installation of Sergey Aksyonov—a pro-Russian government in Crimea. On March 18, 2014, Russia formally incorporated Crimea. The holiday marking the date on which the Supreme Council of Crimea was taken was made a holiday in 2015.

Facts About Russia

Below are a couple of facts about Russia that people reading about this holiday might want to learn about.

  • The first edition of Tetris was invented by Alexey Pajitnov in the USSR in 1984.
  • Cats are used by the Hermitage Museum to protect works of art from rats.
  • Approximately 60% of Russia is forested.
  • The Trans-Siberian Railroad is approximately 9,289 kilometers long and crosses 8 time zones.
  • Gérard Depardieu was given Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin in 2013.

Observing Special Operations Forces Day in Russia

Although this is a holiday in Russia, it’s too new of a holiday for it to have many traditions associated with it. It’s not a public holiday, so businesses remain open and people continue to work on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Russia (De facto holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 27 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
February 27 Thursday
Last year (2023)
February 27 Monday