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MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. A new Joint Strategic Command, dubbed North, on Monday became operational in the Russian Arctic on the basis of the Northern Fleet.
A Russian Defense Ministry source told TASS the command starts taking under its control various formations, military units and vessels that were earlier part of the Western, Central and Southern military districts, and “this process is due to last for two or three weeks.”
According to the source, the force groupings of the new command have been already formed on Russia’s insular territories in the Arctic, including the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago, the New Siberian Islands, the Wrangel Island and also Cape Schmidt.
“These groupings form the Joint task force that has been equipped with modern weaponry, including the Rubezh coastal missile systems and the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft artillery weapon systems,” the source said.
In late October, chief of the Russian National Defense Center, Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, said Russia plans to build 13 airfields, one aviation training ground and 10 technical radars and air guidance stations in the Arctic region.
The new command, which will be named as a fifth Russian military district, is aimed at protecting Russian interests in the Arctic region, and the Northern Fleet will become its main striking force.