New Satellite Images Show Unprecedented Russian Military Presence In The Arctic
New satellite images reveal an unprecedented Russian military presence in the Arctic, showing that Russia’s military has been busily rebuilding and expanding its facilities over recent years.
The pictures show runways have been revamped while additional surveillance and air defence assets have been deployed. It’s also understood that Russia has been testing its latest weapons in an area where ice has melted away due to the effects of climate change.
This latest development comes as three of Russia’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines were seen to smash through the Arctic in a show of military might.
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It’s understood these moves are part of Russia’s bid to secure its northern coast and to create a key shipping route stretching from Asia to Europe, a route that would reportedly halve the time it takes shipping containers to reach Europe from Asia via the Suez Canal.
According to CNN, experts are concerned about a number of new generation super weapons being developed and tested by Russia in the Arctic, which they fear could target the US.
There has been particular concern about the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, which is said to be under development at a rapid pace.
In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have requested an update on a ‘key stage’ of the tests from his defence minister Sergei Shoigu. Going forward, further tests have been planned for 2021, as discussed in a number of reports published in Russian state media.
The Poseidon 2M39 torpedo is reportedly powered by a nuclear reactor, designed in such a way that it could get past coastal defences undetected on the bottom of the sea.
It’s intended that this device will deliver a warhead of multiple megatons, causing radioactive waves with the potential to leave large parts of the target coastline uninhabitable for many decades.
Christopher A Ford, who was assistant secretary of state for International Security and Non-Proliferation, said in November the Poseidon was designed to ‘inundate US coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis’.
Russia, the US, Canada, Denmark and Norway have all made efforts to assert jurisdiction over various region in the Arctic, with melting ice opening up new opportunities for extracting resources and building new shipping routes, MailOnline reports.
These new satellite images show Russia has been improving on its old Cold War bases, and has also been constructing new facilities on the Kola Peninsular close to the city of Murmansk.
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