Russian paratroopers completed a high-altitude landing to test its latest military equipment and exercises in the most extreme war conditions. A video released by the Russian Defence Ministry showed around 10 Special Forces troops parachuting from a height of 10,000 metres out of an Ilyusgin II-76 strategic airlifter.
The descent took place over the Alexandra Land – the westernmost island on the Russian archipelago.
The Island is located around 600 miles from North Pole and hosts Russia’s northernmost military facility.
The remote Nagurskoye base, named after Polish-Russian pilot Jan Nagórski, is home to some of Russia’s most advanced air defence systems.
The airfield hosts a number of snowmobiles, helicopters, radar systems and anti-aircraft missile systems.
The Russian Ministry confirmed the drill was set up to test the latest equipment such as oxygen mask, parachutes, navigation tools and white camouflage uniforms.
On the ground the paratroopers spent three days alongside the Russian Airborne Forces engaging in a number of tactical operations.
The Northern Fleet completed a task of identifying and destroying a conditional enemy sabotage.
The combined military forces also spent a day learning how to survive in the blistering Arctic conditions which can fall to lows of -30C.
The teams constructed shelters out of snow before successfully evacuating the region.
The landing was also dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Airborne Forces.
Deputy Defence Minister Lieutenant General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov insisted such a drill has never been done before.
General Yevkurov also stressed the importance of learning how to fight in all extreme conditions.
He said “For the first time in world history, we conducted a group landing of personnel on special parachute systems in arctic conditions from a height of 10,000 meters using oxygen equipment and the subsequent completion of combat training missions.
“Nobody has done such a thing before us.
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“We will conduct similar exercises annually, in different regions of the Arctic, with different composition of the participants involved and at different periods of training.
“Summer conditions in the Arctic also have their own characteristics and require special knowledge and skills from all categories of military personnel.
“They will have to act in the absence of roads, an abundance of ponds and marshes, and many other factors.”
Russia has invested billions into the Arctic region and last year Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed 475 bases had been established since 2013 alone.
Russia also has ambitious plans to build ports along the so-called Northern Sea Route, which would strategically shorten the distance between China and Europe.
China has also encouraged enterprises to build infrastructure in the Arctic as part of a Polar Silk Road.
The US also has its Thule Air military base strategically located in Greenland within the Arctic-circle.
Last year US President Donald Trump attempted to increase activity in the region by offering to buy Greenland from Denmark.
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