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Home* News and Stories → Russia intensifies military activity in the Arctic

Russia intensifies military activity in the Arctic

In 2014, Russia wants to intensify its military activity in the Arctic by establishing a new command structure which has the objective to defend Russia´s national interests in this region. This includes the protection of military facilities and civilian ships as well as securing access to the mineral resources on the Arctic shelf.

The new military structure will be called “Northern Fleet – United Strategic Command” (SF-OSK). Its status will be that of a military district, even if this is not officially shown in its name. So far, the Russian military is organized in four large districts: Western, Southern, Central and Eastern.

The main combat force of the SF-OSK will be the Northern Fleet, which is based at the Murmansk region, close to the Norwegian border. It will be withdrawn from the “Western Military District” to form the basis of the new structure. Other units from Northern Russia will be added and new units will be based at Novaya Zemlya, at Franz Josef Land and on the Novosibirsk Islands.

This new strategic orientation of the Russian military must be seen in relation to the exploration of resources in the Arctic during the last years. Estimates tell us that about 30% of the world´s undiscovered gas deposits and 15% of the oil are located on the Arctic shelf. Here, as other countries in this region, Russia defends its economic interests, without making a secret of it. Proposals of putting the Arctic under the control of the international community or to establish protected areas, similar to those in the Antarctic, were unambiguously refused by the Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2013.

Bukhta Tikhaya, a station on Hooker Island (Ostrov Gukera), Franz Josef Land, abandoned in 1959. In 2014, Russia wants to increase its presence in the area again.

Bukhta Tikhaya, Franz Josef Land

Source: Barentsnova

last modification: 2016-12-28 · copyright: Rolf Stange