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Russian Airborne Troops Plan Large-Scale Arctic Exercises In 2016

Russian Airborne Forces are planning large-scale military maneuvers in the North Pole area of the Arctic next year.

Airborne Forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Yevgeny Meshkov said on November 30 that the exercises would include the mass landing of Russian Airborne troops in the Arctic.

Meshkov said the maneuvers would involve the Expedition Center of the Russian Geographical Society and Military Transport Aviation.

Last month, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia will permanently deploy a military unit in the Arctic by 2018.

Russia first announced its intention to station troops in the Arctic in 2008.

Russia is building up its Arctic military infrastructure as part of a recently updated Naval Doctrine, which proclaims the region as a top priority due to its mineral riches and strategic importance.

There are competing claims to mineral rights in the Arctic Circle from Russia, Canada, Norway, the United States, and Denmark via Greenland.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS

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