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Russia has recently been reinforcing its military grouping in northern regions, building military airfields, military townships, delivering military hardware and life-supporting systems for the military. Six military townships are planned to be build at a quicker pace in the Arctic region, including those on Wrangel Island, Schmidt Cape on the coast of the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic Ocean, and in the area of settlement Amderm in the Nenets autonomous area strategic position of which allows controlling the whole western part of the Northern Sea Route, a shipping lane officially defined by Russian legislation from the Kara Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, the country’s navy has already placed a Pacific Fleet base on Russian territory in the Arctic Ocean, 140 kilometers away from the coast of the Chukotka Peninsula.“Military infrastructure is being restored intensively in the Arctic region,” Surovikin said.
Russian Defense Ministry is creating a new northern combined strategic command to protect Russian interests in the Arctic region. The Northern Fleet which will be the main striking force of this command is planned to be resubordinated from the Western Military District to the new northern joint strategic command.
The northern unified strategic command will be Russia's fifth military district which will assemble Russian military forces on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, New Siberian Islands, Franz Josef Land and Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. The North Pole will be also in the area of responsibility of this command.