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350 Russian paratroopers land on Arctic island in exercises

March 14, 2014, 10:03 UTC+3 KOTELNY ISLAND
After the landing, the paratroopers in 40 minutes coped with the task to seize the airfield and take control over it
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© ITAR-TASS Archive/Alexander Ryumin

KOTELNY ISLAND, March 14. /ITAR-TASS/. A battalion of paratroopers numbering 350 people of the 98th airborne division successfully landed on the Temp ground on Kotelny Island (the New Siberian Islands) at 03:30 Moscow time on Friday (23:30 GMT, Thursday). It was the first mass landing of paratroopers in the Arctic region in Russia's history.

Cargoes needed for the troops, equipment and military vehicles on special platforms landed onto the ground 15 minutes before the landing of paratroopers, an Itar-Tass correspondent reported from the site.

The personnel landed with the use of Arbalet special-purpose controlled parachute systems.

A spokesperson for the airborne troops, Yevgeny Meshkov, told reporters here that paratroopers received and put in order the landed cargoes and equipment. According to the scenario of the exercises, during the landing and gathering of personnel, "enemy" groups in snowmobiles and paragliders opened fire. After the landing, the paratroopers in 40 minutes coped with the task to seize the airfield and establish control there. An advance group "destroyed" the mobile groups of the "enemy". Then, in less than an hour, the paratroopers were ready to receive transport planes with the main forces and heavy weapons on the airfield.

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