In 1985, members of the pro-Iranian Islamist group Hezbollah kidnapped four Russian diplomatic attaches, in order to force Moscow to pressure Syria to stop killing Shia Muslims in Lebanon. Understanding Middle Eastern politics is like tracking gossip in high school: Stacy said that Mike said that Chad didn't know that Eric-
Whatever. Just nod and go along with it.
Iran and Iraq's beef started over who got to ask Oman to prom.
As you'd expect from the country that gave us "Cannibal Island," Russia's response was basically the speech from Taken: Not only will your demands not be met, but you only have a few seconds to apologize before the killing starts. Hezbollah unwisely called Russia's bluff and killed one of the attaches, a man by the name of Arkady Katkov. That's when Russia went a bit Neesony.
The KGB decided to fight fire with fire and did some kidnapping of their own, finding and kidnapping a relative of Hezbollah's Shia leader. Here's how you'd expect the scenario to unfold: Having obtained serious leverage, the KGB demands the release of the Russian hostages in exchange for the safety of their own hostage. That's a pretty hardcore tactic, but it's nowhere near Russian-core. Instead of a careful game of threats and negotiation, the KGB just pre-emptively castrated their hostage, then sent his severed genitals to Hezbollah, along with an entirely superfluous photograph of the man being shot in the head.