They were elite Soviet combat units intended for storming cities and fortified positions.
Most of the soldiers in such battalions wore a steel breastplate:
In total I painted 149 figures: 34 medium bases of 4 soldiers, 3 small bases of 3 soldiers and 2 smoll bases of 2 soldiers. This is 298 points
Tamsin here: wow, what a great points bomb to kick off the day. I guess this explains why you've been quiet for the past few weeks - you've been beavering away to get this lovely lot painted.
As you say, 298 points for this lot is the base, but I hate to see non-round numbers so I'm going to add 2 to make a much nicer looking 300!
Now, I see that will put you on 900 points - it would be a shame not to get another batch of figures painted before the hard end to double your original target :)