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9 Sep, 2014 16:56

Northern defense: RT's on-the-spot report from Russian naval maneuvers in the Arctic

Northern defense: RT's on-the-spot report from Russian naval maneuvers in the Arctic

Russia's Northern Fleet has begun military drills in the Arctic, with RT's correspondent Murad Gazdiev witnessing the action at close hand on board the vessel.

“We’re barely out of port, and the naval battle group is already being attacked by a theoretical enemy air force. Hostile jets are coming in from almost every direction… and the fleet’s task now is to repel the offensive,” RT’s correspondent reported from the ship.

Still from RT video

“Aboard this ship, the Admiral Levchenko, the commander has ordered anti-aircraft fire with live missiles. The fleet is also rapidly changing its course, veering and deploying smoke screens to further confuse the enemy,” Gazdiev said, adding that there was a feeling of tension and some excitement among the crew.

“This is as close to fighting as it gets,” he said.

Navy officers told RT's correspondent how the air defenses are organized.

“The principle of air defense is simple: the strong protect the weak. Ships with powerful anti-air defenses cover the other members of the fleet,” said Evgeny Shevtsov, chief of the battle group’s air defense.

Still from RT video

It’s not only technical details that make the military drills successful, but also discipline, mutual respect and camaraderie, the commander told RT.

“When I was a civilian, I would never have believed that men so different, from so many social classes and with such varied interests could mingle and get along so well… I didn't think we could form a group so tight-knit,” one of the servicemen on board said.

For more see Murad Gazdiev’s report