Ahead of deployment in Ukraine, Russian Arctic troops shoot missiles near border to Norway and Finland

Live fire with multiple-launch rocket system Grad in the Pechenga Valley. (Russian Armed Forces)

Live fire training this week takes place at the Shary shooting range near Pechenga, the main base of the 200th Motorised Rifle Brigade. The exercise is lead by officers and instructors with experience from the war against Ukraine, the Northern Fleet informs.

The shooting range is located only about ten kilometres from the border to Norway. Depending of the projectile, the Akatsia howitzer has a range of up to 24 km, while the Grad can shoot rockets up to 30 km.

According to the Northern Fleet, the servicemen involved in the training are instructed how to set up weaponry and prepare combat positions. The local terrain is carefully studied and targets identified with help of air surveillance, whereupon gunners aim to eliminate the troops and weapons of the enemy.

The objective of the training is to “boost skills and capabilities necessary for the execution of combat missions in a constantly changing environment,” the military representatives say.

The 200th Motorised Rifle Brigade has been actively involved in the war against Ukraine and has suffered serious losses.

Already in the first days of the onslaught hundreds of soldiers from the brigade were reported to have been killed.

Among them is Colonel Denis Kurilo, the head commander of the brigade. The high-ranking military leader was killed outside Kharkiv in the early phase of the onslaught.

Men from all over Russia serve in the 200th Motorised Rifle Brigade. It is part of the Northern Fleet, one of Russia’s five military districts.

Estimates from the Ukrainian Armed Forces say that more than 120,000 Russian warriors have been killed by late January 2023.

Some of the killed men are included in lists compiled by the Barents Observer.

The firing exercise comes as Norway steps up its military support to Ukraine. Among the latest contributions from the Nordic country is tanks and additional artillery grenades. The military support for Ukraine will amount to about 5,4 billion kroner in 2022-2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense informs.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canada extends continental shelf claim, increasing overlaps with Russia in Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

FinlandHundreds of foreign soldiers join military exercise in Arctic Finland, The Independent Barents Observer

Greenland: Local company’s $3.95-billion U.S. arctic base contract “good news” says Greenland, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norway hesitates on granting asylum to Russians fleeing army draft, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Strengthen border to Nordic countries, says secretary of Russia’s Security Council, The Independent Barents Observer

SwedenNorway, Finland, Sweden prioritize North in updated statement, Eye on the Arctic

United States: U.S. Coast Guard talks Arctic at recent summit, Eye on the Arctic

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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