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12 Aug, 2023 10:49

Russian defense minister inspects Arctic garrisons

Sergey Shoigu checked on units stationed in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has paid a visit to the country’s military outposts in the Arctic, inspecting Northern Fleet garrisons that guard a key shipping route in the region.

In a post on its Telegram channel on Saturday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Shoigu had checked the combat readiness and living conditions of the forces stationed on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. According to the statement, the minister flew over the central testing ground in a helicopter with the head of the Rosatom nuclear energy agency, Alexey Likhachev.

The Soviet Union conducted many nuclear tests at the location during the course of the Cold War. The site is currently used for trials of “promising models of weapons and military hardware,” the ministry said.

The minister also looked in on the housing conditions for military personnel on the northern islands, as well as a local school and kindergarten.

In a follow-up post on Telegram, the ministry outlined how Russia’s Northern Fleet ensures the security of the Northern Sea Route, and revealed that several navy vessels are currently at sea in the region.

A group of MiG-31 fighter jets also cover the airspace over Russia’s territorial waters in the Arctic Ocean, while radio-technical forces are used to monitor regional air traffic.