The uniform on this page was obtained from a veteran of the American Berlin Brigade who acquired it in 1986 while in Berlin. He said it originally came from someone who had contact with Soviets through a Middle Eastern embassy. An article about the Mabuta uniform was published in the US Army’s Red Star Thrust journal in May 1989, although the author saw pictures of Soviet Spetsnaz (SPF) troops wearing this type of Mabuta uniform in Fuerstenberg around 1987 from a civilian source.

The Mabuta 2 features some design improvements over its predecessor, the Mabuta 1, such as hidden pockets, likely to prevent snagging on foliage, and ventilation mesh material at the armpits and crotch. The material appears to be the same poplin as the Mabuta 1.



Pockets are hidden inside the body with covered buttons, possibly to protect them from snagging on foliage.

Inner rubberized pocket has plant material inside.


Totally sterile with no stamps, tags, or any other markings.

Armpit Vents:

Armpits have mesh material for ventilation. It is more rigid than typical “gym short” mesh material.





Similar layout as the Mabuta 1, except only left back pocket (as worn) is external.


All buttons are also hidden.

Knife Pocket:

Knife pocket is secured with snaps and its width is also adjusted by elastic, not a buckle.

The snaps on the female side (flap) are backed with leather for reinforcement.


Totally sterile on the inside with no markings or tags.

Button-up fly also has a hook.

Crotch has same mesh material as armpits for ventilation.


Usage Photos:

The Mabuta 2 appears more often than its predecessor in photos from the Soviet Afghan War.

The Mabuta 2 was also used after Afghanistan:

GRU Spetsnaz around 1989. Note Poyas A Lifchik chest rig on second from left in the back row (from

At least one example has been recovered from Africa: