© RIA Novosti. Alexei Druzhinin

Vladimir Putin: Arctic expeditions must continue in order to ensure Russia’s military security

The comprehensive exercises in the Arctic showed the ability of the Russian fleet to operate in the harsh conditions of the North; such expeditions should continue, said Vladimir Putin to Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov after the admiral presented his report on the Umka-2021 comprehensive Arctic expedition.

“These combat training, research and practical measures have demonstrated the Russian Navy’s abilities and preparedness to operate in the harsh northern latitudes,” said Vladimir Putin after listening to the report via videoconference.

He noted that the submarine, military transport aircraft and fighter aircraft crews, as well as Arctic motorized rifle units have shown improvements in combat training in the harsh Arctic environment. “Our domestic weapons’ high combat capability and reliability in extreme weather conditions have been confirmed,” Vladimir Putin emphasized.

The president noted that this Arctic expedition was unprecedented in both Soviet history and the modern history of the Russian Federation. He also conveyed words of gratitude to the personnel who participated in the expedition and the exercises, for their courage, dedication and professionalism.

“The integrated Arctic expeditions, studies and exploration of the Far North in order to ensure Russia’s military security must be continued,” the president said.

According to Yevmenov, Umka-2021 has been held by the Chief Command of the Navy since March 20. A package of operational, training, research and practical undertakings of different designations is being carried out under an integrated plan in the polar regions for the first time. The plan provides for 43 objectives on Alexandra Land, part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, and the adjacent ice-covered waters. The average temperature there now is −25˚C to −30˚C; the ice thickness is up to 1.5 meters, with winds up to 32 meters per second.

As Nikolai Yevmenov reported, the Umka-2021 expedition in the Arctic included practice torpedo firing from a nuclear submarine under the ice. “After the training torpedo stopped beneath the ice, it was located with technical equipment and retrieved to the surface,” he said.