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MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Military units are taking up their positions in Russia's Arctic as a newly formed United Strategic Command gathers strength to protect national interests throughout the vast northern territory.
Russia is building bases across the icy landscape, reviving and constructing airfields and townships and delivering hardware and life-support systems for the troops.
In August, Russia's navy established a Pacific Fleet base on the Arctic Ocean's Wrangel Island, 140 kilometers off the coast of Chukotka peninsula. This advanced plans to build six active communities, assembling servicemen from divisions in western, central and southern Russia.
And on Tuesday, a first train carrying a motor rifle brigade of Northern Fleet coastal defense forces arrived - destination Alakurtti, southwest of the Kola peninsula in Murmansk region.
Combat training, two barracks and a canteen awaited them, fleet spokesman Vadim Serga told TASS. “Provision of comfortable daily living conditions for personnel of the first Arctic formation is under special control,” Northern Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Korolev pledged during an inspection there.
As the year unfolds, servicemen will be kitted out with clothes to arm them against 60-degree frosts. Snow-and swamp-going vehicles will arrive, Deputy Defense Minister General Dmitry Bulgakov announced in Moscow on Tuesday. Months ahead will lay infrastructure to deliver 10 of 14 planned airfields.