Military news: the deer and the icebreakers — the militarization of the Arctic Russia

In mid-January it became known that the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation until the end of 2017, will be built in the Arctic area of more than 100 infrastructure: “More than 100 capital construction objects, located in the Russian Arctic, will be commissioned before the end of 2017. Leased facilities are located inside the Arctic military bases, the Russian defense Ministry stationed on the Earth Frantsa-Joseph, New Land, the island Average, Cape Schmidt, Wrangel island and Kotelny”.

At the end of 2016 passed the news about the construction of two patrol icebreakers for the Ministry of defense of Russia and the beginning of designing the nuclear-powered icebreaker superclass “Leader”, and in January of this year in Murmansk area have passed doctrines of the Arctic brigade, which used dog and reindeer sledding.

All this has not gone unnoticed by foreign media.

Reuters published a widely cited other publications material “Putin’s Russia builds up Arctic the greatest military power since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Andrew Osborn (Andrew Osborn), author of the article writes: “this expansion is a far-reaching financial and geopolitical implications. The Arctic is estimated to contain more hydrocarbon reserves than Saudi Arabia, so Moscow stolba territory, demonstrating military muscle… beginning in 2000, the Putin government has once again turned its gaze to the abandoned in the ‘ 90s, garrisons, air bases and radar stations on remote Arctic Islands. Russia builds new objects, providing their claims half a million square kilometers of the Arctic. Official mass media regularly publish pictures of exercises, with soldiers in white camouflage and with weapons rushing on reindeer… Russia is building three nuclear-powered icebreakers, including the world’s largest, to replenish its fleet of about 40, including six nuclear. No other country has no nuclear-powered icebreakers that posts both civil and military courts…”.

The newspaper also writes about the reaction of the new head of the Pentagon James Mattis (James Mattis). Speaking in Congress in January, he said, “not in our interest to leave any part of the world” to someone else. According to Senator Dan Sullivan (Dan Sullivan), in a separate document Mattis described the actions of Moscow in the Arctic as “aggressive steps” by promising to develop the priorities of the American strategy on this issue.

Robbie Gramer (Robbie Gramer) of Foreign Policy laments that the Arctic “all time falls into a bureaucratic hole American cars on the development of foreign and defense policy,” while Russia is “increasing its military presence in the region.”

Earlier, Dan Sullivan, Senator from Alaska, showed a map of the deployment of Russian forces in the Arctic. “In recent years Russia has presented its new Arctic command, four new Arctic brigade combat teams, 14 new operating airports, deep water ports and 16 40 icebreakers, with another 11 under construction,” said the Senator, adding that “the United States is only one working icebreaker in the Arctic, and the other broke”.

Quartz writes that the Russian defense Ministry is using the photos of the Russian military on reindeer as a coded message to the world. According to the newspaper, laughing at the photos not worth it. The deer was successfully used in the USSR during the Second world war, and today Russian so show that they know the Arctic better than anyone and are aware of all local particularities.

English tabloids go even further.

Express scares readers with the title “Putin is creating the world’s first ice-breaking fleet for Arctic huge army”, telling that in this way Russia plans to compete with the developed Arctic regions of the United States, Canada and Norway.

In another piece for the same publication shooting pontoon bridge across the Oka river in the winter called “Winter war. Russia boasts military might in a horrific video.” “Fearless soldiers in the grim video” and “without emotion”, according to the publication, in minus 30 degrees erect a bridge with a length of 100 meters on the ice, and then undermine the ice on the perimeter of the bridge, which after the explosion under their own weight rises directly on the water. However, to his credit, over such an absurd title and text readers article basically mocked in his comments.

Australian 9news this same video with the bridge designated as “Russia plays military muscles in Arctic weather conditions”.

The Sun gives the publication “the Arctic is ours! Russia sends in the Arctic the largest since the cold war, military forces amid fears that Putin intends to conquer the entire region and the oil and gas reserves”.

Sky News writes that “Russia fills the Arctic with money and missiles.”

Military-themed online Foxtrot Alpha has already more than adequately describes what is happening in the Arctic. According to Terrell Starr (Starr Terrell), while all the West’s attention is riveted to Syria, Russia is methodically and calmly develops the Arctic, pursuing primarily economic objectives (transport the sea route and the extraction of resources), but not forgetting about the military cover for their own interests, including the deployment of s-400.

Starr emphasizes that unlike Russia the US has no clear plans for the Arctic. Military bases are icebreakers only one left, environmentalists don’t give a turn to the Arctic to companies that extract natural resources, there is no interest as such to invest in expensive projects in the Arctic conditions.

Moreover, the only two American shipbuilding company, is able to build icebreakers, closed. The law-breakers is not just to buy abroad, and resume their production in the US will take at least ten years.

And a situation arises, the author writes, when the US has no breakers, but there are drilling technologies, and Russia is full of icebreakers, but not their technologies on Arctic drilling, and is not available overseas due to sanctions. Two countries in theory in the near future can begin to operate in the Arctic, if Trump and Putin will be able to establish a relationship.

But even if this does not happen, USA and Russia will not be able to come to a mutually beneficial deal, Russia and its armed forces will still control the Maritime transport routes and water over natural resources. In the end, in the Arctic Russia in the presence of the military infrastructure remains in a more advantageous position than other countries in the region.