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MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Northern Fleet, Central and Eastern Military Districts as well as the 12th Main Directorate of the Defense Ministry, dealing with the nuclear munitions, have completed the process of forming units for carrying out ecological clean-up in the Artic region in 2017, Deputy Defense Minister General Dmitry Bulgakov told reporters on Tuesday.
"The troops have started preparations, particularly studying security measures to be taken during the ecological clean-up on the Defense Ministry’s territories in the Arctic zone, including the use of special equipment for cutting metal," the deputy minister said.
"The units formed to eliminate environmental damage in 2017 comprise 186 troops," the general added. "They will fulfill their tasks taking into consideration the location of facilities and the duration of daylight hours," Bulgakov noted.
According to him, in 2017, the ecological clean-up on the territory of Russia’s military bases and shooting ranges will be carried out on the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago (the Belushya Guba, Rogachevo and Severny settlements) and the New Siberian Islands Archipelago as well as at other Arctic facilities. The troops will have to collect over 3.9 tonnes of scrap metal.
In 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry’s ecological units will continue to demolish outdated buildings, re-cultivate land and move the collected scrap metal to the mainland for further processing. General Bulgakov said that the Defense Ministry’s Arctic territories were planned to be cleared from scrap metal by 2020.
From June 1 to October 1, 2016, the ecological clean-up units of the Defense Ministry collected a total of 6,054 tonnes of scrap metal, 4,778 tonnes of which were moved to the mainland. Besides, as many as 90 outdated buildings were pulled down on the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago. On the whole, in 2015 and 2016, an area of 162 hectares was cleaned up.