Mabuta is uniform of Russian (Soviet) Special Forces.
Linguists have not yet given a detailed explanation of the origin of this term and the history of the appearance of this word form.
The creator of the largest electronic dictionary of synonyms of the Russian language (it contains more than 300 thousand words and more than a million synonyms) Vitaly Trishin defines the meaning of “mabuta” as follows:
1) uniform (in the sense of clothing); 2) a soldier.
Trishin is limited to this.
“Mabuta” was called the uniform of GRU special forces who fought in Afghanistan in the 80s.
The first “mabutas” appeared in the early 70s, suit were made for both summer and winter clothing. The shoulder strap and other insignia on the “mabuta” were not, the color is protective, the raincoat fabric was water-repellent. There is a version that the etymology of the term “mabuta” is directly related to the participation of Soviet troops in the fighting as part of the peacekeeping mission in the Congo (70s – 90s): supposedly “mabutas” (“mabuteans”) our soldiers scornfully called poorly trained militarily, fighters of pro-American formations supported by Congo President Mobutu Sese Seko.
According to another version, the Congo was the first to use the new field uniform of the GRU special forces, which later got its name from the head of the African state.
A manifestation of airborne chauvinism?
In the folklore of the Airborne Forces there is a mention of "mabuts" as representatives of other military branches (with the exception of marines, special forces and GRU units) - according to paratroopers, the one who did not parachute was the "mabuta". There is the term "landing chauvinism", which was specifically studied by the veteran of the Airborne Forces, and now the journalist Vladimir Osipenko (he has a story of the same name). Airborne chauvinism is a kind of corporate ideology that extols service in the airborne troops and forms a dismissive attitude towards other army units whose representatives are supposedly inferior in comparison with paratroopers.
An example of folklore of the Airborne Forces: "Mabuta" is jumping from ZIL (truck), and airborne assault from IL (airplane)".
Until the 1980s, the 17th separate tank battalion, nicknamed “Mabuta” was located in German Uterborg (Mabuta slang name is still found on forums and social networks where this tank battalion teammates communicate). Among the units of the group of Soviet troops in Germany there were many VDV (airborne troops). Perhaps it was the paratroopers who called the tankmen "mabutas."
In the book of Julian Culver, “We are from the construction battalion,” “mabuta” is a soldier of military construction units (in the text they are called “drunk mabuta”, “lousy mabuta”). A broader interpretation of the term “mabuta” is used to refer to sloppy, unassembled military personnel.