CIA Intel File #573.87 (last file update: 09/16/2003)
Above Photo is only known one of all Unit 17 members together, believed to been taken in '82.(Left-right: Byelobog, Lucifer, Dragunov, Prizrak)
55th Army, Unit 17, codenamed The Devils Hand.
The real names of the member are unknown, codenames have been given to all.
Team leader: Lucifer ([Believed to the same person reported in Vietnam War] Missing, last seen near Jalalabad in 1987)
Heavy support: Byelobog (deceased, K.I.A. in 1985)
Team Sniper: Dragunov (Missing, last seen in Moscow in 1990)
Unknown role: Prizrak ([Update: KGB called him Voyevoda] Missing, last seen in Krasnoyarsk in 1992)
The unit was first mention in a wire-tap within the KGB in '78. The Units first known combat role was in mid-January '80, when a village, in the Murghab District of Badghis Province of Afghanistan, was wiped off the face of the earth. Over the next 5 years, a number of reports pointed towards the Unit's heavy involvement in major operations within Afghanistan.
In June '85 the unit took part in one final operation, together with the 13th Independent Spetsnaz Brigade, in the Laghman Province of Afghanistan. It is unclear as to what happen, Unit 17 lost Byelobog and the 13th Indepndent Spetsnaz Brigade was all but wiped out. Following the this event, the unit was broken up. Both Lucifer (who went missing in '87) and Dragunov staying within Afghanistan. Prizrak was sent back to the U.S.S.R. in '85 follow the Laghman event.
In 2003, a small CIA unit with British SAS escort, went into Laghman. The mass grave of the 13th Indepndent Spetsnaz Brigade was found. It contained the bodies of over 30 men. On closer medical examination, the skulls of 18 men showed signs explosive force coming from within the skull, but no signs of bullet or blut object entering the head. The remaining bodies had been contorted until the bones, muscles or ligaments had broke or been ripped from the body. The body of Unit 17 member Byelobog was not found within mass grave. Locals say his body was removed some time in 1988, just as the Soviet army was withdrawing from the area. The Russian government has been informed of the mass grave being found. The bodies will be transported back to Moscow in the next 2 weeks.