Russian landing troops exercises in the Arctic are bad news for Norway

OSLO, (BM) – The airborne units of the Russian airborne forces in the Arctic caused a great resonance in Norway. Russian expert Jakub Godzimirsky of the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy believes that this is primarily a symbolic event. His opponents insist that such exercises are “bad news for Norway,” what the Russian military is doing on their archipelago can theoretically be repeated on Svalbard.

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The Russian armed forces boast that they were able to land troops in the Arctic east of Svalbard from a height of 10 thousand meters, the article says. For the first time in world history, they carried out landing operations in the extreme conditions of the Arctic from IL-76 aircraft. The operation was carried out by direct order of the Minister of Defense. Such exercises will be held annually, in different regions of the Arctic, with a different composition of the participants involved and at different periods of training.

“I consider this mostly a symbolic action,” commented expert Jakub Godzimirsky. – “I do not think that it is of great importance from the point of view of security policy. You can compare this operation with the one that took place in 2007, when the Russian expedition hoisted the Russian flag at the bottom of the sea under the North Pole.”

According to him, Russia with the help of its amphibious exercises primarily seeks to attract attention.

“I primarily interpret this as an element of strategic communication. They do this to announce their presence in the region. And they are doing what before, before them, no one did. They show that they can conduct military exercises even during times of crisis because of the coronavirus. But the fact that Russian paratroopers participate in exercises in the Arctic conditions should not surprise anyone. This is as natural as the teachings of Saudi Arabia in the desert,” Godzimirsky explained his point of view.

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He claims that the action is designed both for the Russian people and for Western countries.

Spokeswoman for the Norwegian Ministry of Defense’s Operational Headquarters, Elisabeth Eikelann, said her department never commented on other countries.

The author of the article, Ole Christian, quotes the words of Russian diplomat Nikolai Korshunov, who recently stated that Russia is “alarmed by NATO’s growing activity in the region.” Russians are particularly worried about the increased activity in the region of non-Arctic states – members of the North Atlantic Alliance. Korshunov emphasized that this leads to tension and undermines the preservation of the Arctic as a zone of peace, stability and constructive interaction.

The editor of the Aldrimer portal, Chietil Sturmark, expressed the view that the Russian landing exercises in the Arctic are “bad news for Norway”.

“The Russians are training at different levels of power, and these exercises are much more aggressive than those of NATO. NATO’s maneuvers are more likely defensive,” he said.

According to him, Russia reported on these exercises, “not only to show openness, but also to inspire fear and force oneself to respect.” “What they do on Franz Josef Land can in theory be repeated on Svalbard,” he said.

Recall that on April 26, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the Airborne Forces “for the first time in world history conducted a group landing of personnel on parachute systems for special purposes in arctic conditions from an altitude of ten thousand meters using oxygen equipment and the subsequent completion of combat training missions.”

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The landing was provided by three crews of military transport aircraft.

As part of its mission in the Arctic region, the Russian forces flight crew ensured the landing of airborne units from altitudes of 10 thousand and 1.8 thousand meters, as well as landing of cargoes with a total mass of about 18 tons. After carrying out practical combat training exercises, the crews of IL-76 aircraft landed at the Nagurskoye airfield in the northern part of Franz Josef Land Island.

For a successful landing, the military deployed a “new generation special-purpose parachute system.” In addition to new parachutes, airborne troops tested oxygen equipment, navigation devices, as well as other special equipment and uniforms.


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