What’s in Russia’s new base in the Arctic?

Avatar of Isabella By Isabella Jun8,2024 #Arctic #Russia #What
What's in Russia's new base in the Arctic? 0
What's in Russia's new base in the Arctic? 0

Rocket launchers race through snowy roads and air defense systems point straight into the sky from an Arctic military outpost, a key base for Russia to project its power in the resource-rich polar region

A Russian soldier stands guard near the Pansyr-S1 air defense system on April 3.

The base was named Severny Klever (Northern Clover) for its shape, and was painted white, blue and red, like the colors of the Russian flag.

This base is located on Kotelny Island, between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea on the Arctic shipping lane.

`Our mission is to monitor the air and northern sea routes,` said Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Pasechnik, base commander.

What's in Russia's new base in the Arctic?

Russia’s expanded base on Kotelny Island in the Arctic.

Russia is not the only country trying to assert its jurisdiction over Arctic areas, as rapid ice melt is opening up new opportunities for resource exploitation and opening shipping routes.

Despite viewing the Arctic through the lens of security and economic competition with Russia and China, US President Donald Trump’s administration has yet to make the region a significant priority in its overall foreign policy.

However, Russia has shown that presence in the Arctic is its top goal, as this vast landmass is believed to contain a quarter of the Earth’s total untapped oil and natural gas reserves.

Russia’s move worried many neighboring countries.

“In Russia, the northern shipping route is described as a windfall, with great potential for economic development,” said Flemming Splidsboel Hansen, a researcher at the Danish Institute of International Studies.

Mr. Kristian Soeby Kristensen, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, said that worries about the risk of Russia demonstrating hegemony in the Arctic are most evident in Norway.

“Norway is a small country, located near a strong neighboring country like Russia, and Russia places such a large military facility right next to them.

Living with bears and wild wolves

In 2015, Russia presented to the United Nations a revised document on its territorial claims in the Arctic.

The military outpost on Kotelny Island was forgotten after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but a new base was invested in in 2014 and took many years to complete.

A group of international reporters invited to this island by the Russian Ministry of Defense on April 3 saw anti-ship missile launch systems located near the shore and Pantsyr-S1 air defense systems being test-fired.

Unlike the Soviet-era base, the new facility has spacious living space, gym and sauna.

What's in Russia's new base in the Arctic?

Russian radar system on Kotelny Island.

Soldiers here say they are proud of their mission, despite the many difficulties facing life in the polar region.

Late last year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Putin that the military had rebuilt and expanded many facilities in the polar region, redone runways and deployed air defense systems.

The expanded facility allows the Russian military to restore radar coverage over 22,600 km of the Arctic and send fighter jets to protect the airspace here.

Russian soldiers are living on the island with polar bears, foxes and wolves.

Officers here said that right after the base was opened, many bears came here to prowl, sometimes looking through the windows inside.

According to Binh Giang, Tien Phong

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