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'On the Eve of the First World War, the single Siberian province of Irkutsk was larger than all of India'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Russian forces get Cold War training in Arctic Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
20 February 2017

Military tests in minus 30C to check performance of equipment and personnel in toughest of conditions.

'Unlike for many of our foreign partners, who believe that the Arctic is an exotic land populated only by small indigenous peoples leading a traditional way of life, for us it is a normal place to live.' Picture: Ministry of Defence

Tests of a wide range of military equipment including weapons are underway in the Arctic.

Deputy Defence Minister Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov said the aim is to 'research and test new and promising models of weapons and military and special equipment in the Arctic'.

Specialists will navigate a route in Russia's north from the town of Tiksi to Kotelny Island, using new snow and swamp-going vehicles, and then back across the ice cover of the Laptev Sea, via frozen straits between the islands and the coast, a 2,000 kilometre route.

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Military base on Kotelny


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Specialists will navigate a route in Russia's north from the town of Tiksi to Kotelny Island, using new snow and swamp-going vehicles. Pictures: The Siberian Times, Ministry of Defence

New technical solutions for military vehicles will be put through their paces aiming to allow them to maintain autonomy and military readiness in subzero temperatures with wind speeds of over 35 metres per second. 

The tests will include snowmobiles, two-unit transport vehicles, special TREKOL vehicles using low pressure tyres, and upgraded two-tier DT-10PM and DT-30PM transporters.

Framed and inflatable tents will be assessed along with equipment for estimating the thickness of ice, and cutting-edge water-purifying and distillation units.

'Personnel are dressed in modern Arctic uniform, and provided with Arctic fuel and necessary food supplies,' he said.

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Vehicle


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New technical solutions for military vehicles will be put through their paces aiming to allow them to maintain autonomy and military readiness in subzero temperatures. Pictures: Ministry of Defence

In 2013, Russia announced a strategy to increase its presence in the Arctic and to boost the region's development by 2020. A revised military doctrine later prioritised the protection of national interests in the Arctic.

Economic Development Minister Alexander Tsybulsky said last month: 'Unlike for many of our foreign partners, who believe that the Arctic is an exotic land populated only by small indigenous peoples leading a traditional way of life, for us it is a normal place to live. 

'Over 2 million people live in the Russian segment of the Arctic, more than half of the entire Arctic population.'

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