Russia drills troop landings near Norwegian border

Russian troops practiced troop landings in Northwestern Russia, near the Norwegian border, earlier this week. In this picture, taken in 2013, a BTR-82A amphibious armoured personnel carrier, such as those used during training this week, lands on shore during an exercise in Kaliningrad. (Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)
A series of drills on landing marine infantry soldiers to desolate Arctic shores are in the making in the Sredny Peninsula, just a few kilometers from the border to Norway.

As summer is coming to the peninsulas of Sredny and Rybachi (north of Murmansk), so are also troops from the Northern Fleet’s marine infantry.

This week, big landing vessel “Kondopoga” sailed into the Kutuvaya Bay, a part of the Motovsk Fjord, and set ashore soldiers and equipment. A division of landing motorboats set the first group of marines ashore, whereupon more troops were landed along with armored personnel carriers BTR-82As.

The armored vehicles were firing with their 30 mm cannons as they were making it across the waters, the Northern Fleet informs.

First of many drills

The site for the training is located only about 40 km from the Norwegian border. The exercise was the first in a series of drills in the area, the Northern Fleet press service makes clear. In the near future, several more big landing ships will set course for the area and put ashore men and hardware.

The peninsulas of Sredny and Rybachi are annually used actively by Northern Fleet soldiers for exercises. In September 2017, Su-24 fighter jets and Mi-8 helicopters engaged in extensive combat training along with more than 600 men and eight 8×8 wheeled amphibious armoured personnel carriers. Noise could be heard in neighboring Norwegian settlements as the troops were shooting with 122 mm self-propelled howitzer type 2S1 Gvozdika along with 82 mm mortars and mobile coastal missile complex Bal.

That training coincided with the huge Zapad exercise.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Denmark: Denmark’s new defence agreement renews focus on protecting the Baltic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Top US and Russian generals to meet in Helsinki, YLE News

Norway: U.S. leads anti-submarine drill in Norwegian Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian sub test-fires largest volley of nuclear missiles since Cold War, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden issues first brochure on war and crisis preparedness since Cold War, Radio Sweden

United States: American fighter jets intercept Russian bombers outside Alaska, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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