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Russia Establishes Arctic Strategic Military Command

The port of Severomorsk

The port of Severomorsk

Russia says it has started creating a strategic command center in the Arctic region.

The Russian Northern Fleet's commander, Admiral Vladimir Korolyov, said that December 1 was "a historic day" because of the new center being established at the fleet's central base at Severomorsk.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week plans to establish a strategic command in Russia's "Arctic zone."

In October, Putin said two satellites will be deployed to monitor the Arctic, which he described as a priority because of its strategic location and natural resources.

Also on December 1, a spokesman for Russia's Central Military District, Yaroslav Roshupkin, told reporters that Russia will hold more than 4,000 military drills in 2015, with the largest involving "tens of thousands" of servicemen next summer.

That is an increase from 3,000 such drills held this year.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and Reuters