Shoygu to visit Arctic Brigade in Alakurtti

Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu.

Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu plans to visit Russia’s newly established Arctic brigade in Alakurtti near the border to Finland.


Shoygu will head a 50-person large delegation to inspect the 80. Independent Motor Rifle Brigade, which is one of Russia’s two so-called “Arctic Brigades”, Kandalaksha-based web site Blogg51 writes. The visit is planned to take place sometime after the Victory Day celebrations.

As previously reported, the Russian Northern Fleet has decided to reestablish the partly abandoned base of Alakurtti, some 50 kilometers from Finland.  Different army and navy units have been based here through the years, but since 2009 the town has been home mainly to civilians and border guards.

Starting in the autumn of 2014, parts of the base have been modernized, and the first troops arrived in January 2015. They have since then been going through comprehensive training on combat and survival in Arctic conditions. 

The base in Alakurtti will be completed with new warehouses, storages facilities for missiles and artillery ammunition, storages for oil and lubricants, barracks, administration buildings, a landing stripe and other needed infrastructure for a brigade of 3600 people.

The first soldiers arrived in Alakurtti in January 2015.

The other Northern Fleet unit that is no called “Arctic” is the 200. Independent Motor Rifle Brigade, located in Pechenga close to the border to Norway. The brigade became part of the Northern Fleet’s ground forces in December 2012. According to the website Voynskaya Chast, the 80. Independent Motor Rifle Brigade consists of soldiers relocated from this unit.