Russia is setting up a special motorised infantry brigade of troops ready to fight in the Arctic as tensions over the region’s allegedly vast oil and gas wealth reserves grow.
The troops will be based in the far northern town of Pechenga on Russia’s Kola Peninsula close to the Norwegian and Finnish borders and will be combat-ready later this year.
Russian military planners said they had studied the way Arctic troops in Norway and Finland operated and had ordered in the necessary winterized clothing and arms for the new brigade which could number up to 8,000 troops.
Experts say the region potentially contains one fifth of the world’s oil and gas reserves and that the swath of Arctic territory claimed specifically by Russia could be home to oil supplies double the size of Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves.
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