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Russia's Arctic Troops To Get Sled Dogs

Russia has turned to sled dogs as part of its push for a stronger military presence in the Arctic.

A spokesman for the Far East Military Academy said on March 24 that cadets are now being taught to breed and use sled dogs as part of training for military forces operating above the Arctic Circle.

Aleksandr Gordeev said the training is happening "for the first time in history" but that a course on handling dogs and dogsleds would become standard at the academy.

Gordeev said the academy is using huskies and the same breed of dogs would be assigned to northern military units.

Russia has been building its forces in the far north and recently conducted military exercises there.

President Vladimir Putin has called development of the energy-rich Arctic region a priority and vowed to protect Rusa's interests there.

Russia and other Arctic countries including Canada, Denmark, and the United States have made rival claims to sections of the Arctic based on underwater continental shelves extending from their mainland.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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