The Soviet “Lifchik” (Russian for brassiere) chest rigs are clearly based on the original Chinese design which was commonly encountered by the Soviets during their Afghan War.

Sample 1:

Shorter webbing straps at bottom are attachment points for a Poyas B VOG grenade belt (was not found with this item).  East German AKM sling was added to reversibly expand harness length. 

Ends of straps have white material with blue markings:

Tabs are leather:

White fabric reinforcement at tops of pound on inside:

Stamps on back:

Unsure if chest rig is original or reproduction for now (as of April 7, 2019, waiting on positive, cite-able proof of either case).

Sample 2:

Same materials and very similar features as Sample 1, but more wear and tear.

Leather tabs for magazine pouches:

Also has white material on inside lip of pouches.


On back side.


Cloth tabs at bottom are not white with blue markings like Sample 1.

Usage Photos:

GRU Spetsnaz around 1989. Several are wearing Mabuta 2 uniforms (from

The Poyas A shown on this page with the leather pouch flap and metal stud pouch securing mechanism was most commonly used after 1989. It is most often associated with the Chechen Wars.

First Chechen War (December 11, 1994 – August 31, 1996):

Summer 1996: 173rd Special Operations Forces in Chechnya (from, originally posted on Instagram by @rosgvardiia_russia).

Second Chechen War (August 26, 1996 – April 16, 2009):