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Repost: “Vladimir Putin bolsters Arctic presence with anti-aircraft missiles”

The excerpt below is from an opinion article written for the National Post, which originally appeared on April 17, 2019. The original article in its entirety can be read here

Russia will deploy anti-aircraft missiles in the Arctic for the first time since the Cold War as Moscow builds up its military presence in the far north.

S-400 missiles, which can shoot down planes and cruise missiles from up to 400 km will be stationed on the Arctic coast and islands by the end of 2020, the Izvestia newspaper reported.

The defence ministry, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment, said in December that units in the Arctic would be among those to receive S-400s.

New infrastructure is being constructed for anti-aircraft units along the north-east passage.

The installations are meant to protect the northern sea route to Asia, which Russia has been promoting as global warming melts Arctic sea ice faster each year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a new Arctic development strategy last week, saying the polar region was heating up four times faster than the rest of the world.

He said Russia would launch three nuclear icebreakers this year and offer tax breaks to bring investors north.

Yesterday, officials said a seaport would be built at the Sabetta liquefied natural gas terminal on the Arctic coast and connected to the railway system.

The military has been building up its northern line of defences, starting a new Arctic brigade and revamping Soviet-era bases on polar islands such as Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land.

 

Read the original article in its entirety here.

 

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