MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russian airborne assault forces and military transport aviation units have conducted an exercise in the Arctic, a senior defense official said Tuesday.
About 40 metric tons of various cargoes were airdropped from two Il-76 aircraft, First Deputy Defense Minister Arkady Bakhin said.
The operation showed that Russian armed forces are ready to provide assistance to Arctic expeditions, civilians and military units deployed in that region, he said.
Russia has officially set a goal of deploying a combined arms force by 2020 to protect its political and economic interests in the Arctic, including military, border and coastguard units.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in December last year that Russia risks losing its sovereignty by the mid-21st century if it does not assert its national interests in the Arctic today.