Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)
Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)

Military divers, speedboats, helicopters, and warships took part in the fiery drills, which saw the Russian marines successfully neutralizing a simulated enemy unit that infiltrated one of the country’s Arctic islands.

Military divers armed with waterproof guns kicked off the drills at the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, separating the Kara and Laptev Seas. They made it ashore undetected to work as spotters for a large anti-submarine ship, the Vice Admiral Kulakov.

Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)
Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)

Based on their data, the vessel carried out a massive artillery strike against the fortified positions of the mock infiltrators.

It was then the turn of the marines to join the action as some raced to the shore in speedboats, while the others descended from Ka-27 helicopters.

Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)
Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)

After the troops gained a foothold on dry land, the landing vessels delivered BTR-82A armored personnel carriers to them.

Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)
Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)

The final phase of the exercise saw the marines conducting pursuit, blockage and elimination of the simulated enemy.

Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)
Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)

Russia has been actively boosting its military presence in the Arctic in recent years, building new bases and airfields as well as repairing old ones. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu warned that “conflict potential may be on the rise” in the Arctic as other regional players – Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the US – are also looking to make claims in the area due to the vast natural resources and strategic geographical position.

Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)
Military drills in Arctic (photo Russia Today)

Earlier this week, state-of-the-art S-400 air defense systems were deployed at the Yuzhny Island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, allowing Russia to significantly expand the Arctic airspace under its control.

NOTE: This article first appeared at Russia Today.