Russian paratroopers land near North Pole during drills
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian paratroopers have landed on a drifting ice floe near the North Pole as part of drills intended to showcase the nation’s military might amid tensions with the West.
The Defense Ministry said the troops set up a camp following Tuesday’s landing that featured heavy transport planes dropping cargo containers.
Airborne Forces chief, Col.-Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, said in remarks carried by Tass news agency that 85 Russian paratroopers were joined by 15 soldiers from Belarus and Tajikistan, members of a Moscow-dominated security alliance of ex-Soviet nations.
Shamanov said the troops will spend a week on ice, training for search and rescue missions and performing other tasks.
Russia has put an increasing emphasis on beefing up its military presence in the Arctic amid the global competition for the region’s vast resources.