Pravda, the well-known and questionably legitimate Russian news source, has just published an article citing a book by an American historian who doesn't seem to exist about a top-secret and highly experimental program that turned 300 Soviet volunteers into super soldiers during WWII. It's probably all made up. Probably.
Apparently (and let me stress that apparently), between 1936 and 1941 the Soviet Union decided that it would be handy to have an elite squad of indestructible super-soldiers to take care of those evil Nazis. According to eyewitness accounts referenced from a book that I can't find any mention of anywhere, 300 young Soviets were "implanted [with] gold electrodes in their brains, eliminating the pain center," since that's how that works, right?
Their limb bones were replaced with titanium implants that protected the soft tissues against landmines or shells, as well as from gunshot injuries. In this case, any injury was not threatening and would not cause crushing bones and amputations.
During his "investigation" Sergei Konovalenko came across a copy of a video tape intended "for official use." The footage looked horrible: a soldier's leg is cut at the knee and the bone is pulled out, then something metallic is tucked in its place. At the same commentator says that the operation is performed without anesthesia, as the pain center was removed from the human brain. The soldier exposed to these brutal manipulations is smiling. In the second part the soldier's arm is cut off at the elbow — a fountain of blood is splashing. And again, the "volunteer" has a humble smile on his face.
So why aren't the Soviets in charge now? Pravda says that the unit was sent to the Brest region, and on the first day of WWII, they were completely obliterated by German artillery. And after the war, nukes rendered super soldiers obsolete anyway.
Let me just stress once again that I've been unable to find any information to suggest that Pravda didn't just make this all up. They say there's "considerable evidence" offered by American historian Jeff Strasberg in his book. That's great, but I can't seem to find a trace of poor Jeff, likely because they (you know, "they") decided that he was getting too close to the truthiness, and that's a titanium-reinforced hornets nest that I have no intention of stirring up. So, let's just say "cool story comrade," and leave it at that.