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Putin orders new airports, strengthens Arctic control

The Russian Armed Forces is focusing on the Arctic and Arctic air infrastructure.

Russia is reconstructing abandoned Soviet airfields all over the Arctic, including in the Franz Josef Land, the Novaya Zemlya and New Siberian Islands. In addition, the Northern Fleet`s Severomorsk-1 is getting a facelift.

Location

“We are returning to the Artic and must possess all instruments of power for the protection of our national security interests”, Putin told his top military brass this week

Summing up 2013 results for the armed forces, Putin highlighted the Arctic as a region of top importance. “With increasing intensity, we are developing this perspective region”, the president underlined, adding that the development of infrastructure is an issue of special importance.

In the course of 2013, the Russian Armed Forces started the reconstruction of a range of Artic airfields, several of them abandoned Soviet objects. According to Putin, the airfields of Temp, Tiksi, Naryan-Mar, Alykel, Anadyr, Rogachevo, Nagurskoye, as well as Severomorsk, will all soon be operational, a transcript from the meeting reads.

As previously reported, the Temp airfield at the island of Kotelny, a part of the New Siberian Islands, was re-established in a major effort by Northern Fleet units this fall. The Temp airfield will be of “key importance for our control over the situation in the whole Arctic region”, Putin told his military leaders.

With the military infrastructure development, Russia will have operative airfields at all its major Arctic archipelagos; the Franz Josef Land, the Novaya Zemlya and the New Siberian Islands.

According to Putin, also the Severomorsk-1 airport will be reconstructed. The airport, also called Safonovo, is one the largest in the Kola Peninsula. It is located about four km south of Severomorsk, the headquarter of the Northern Fleet. It has a 3000 meter long runway and can accommodate more than 40 bombers, as well as a small number of fighter aircrafts, Wikipedia informs.

In addition to the military airports, Russia has over the last years also opened several commercial air infrastructure objects in the Arctic. Among them are Novatek’s Sabetta airport and Gazprom’s Bovenenkovo airport, both of them in the Yamal Peninsula.