Russia has expanded its Arctic territory by building new airbases in show of military force. This new “Arctic Brigade” has been established at Alakurtti military base. Two more Russian bases are planned. A claim was submitted to the United Nations that 460,000 square miles of ocean floor in the Arctic should be considered as belonging to Russia.
Alakurtti, the town, is a rural community in Murmansk Oblast with a population 0f 3,424 in 2010. The military base was reopened in 2015. Putin’s new military strategy emphasises protection of Russian interests in the Arctic, and Alakurtti is not the only abandoned base that is being revived in the north for this purpose.
The Alakurtti Air Base is a naval air base in Murmansk Oblast that borders Finland. It is 60 kilometres from the border city of Salla in Finnish Lapland. The base is located 3 km northwest of the town of Alakurtti. It is serviced by the 4th Naval Bomber Regiment, the 485th Independent Helicopter Regiment and a new arctic motor rifle brigade. The peninsula on which Alakurtti is located is nicknamed the “unsinkable aircraft-carrier” because of the number of airbases there.
Alakurtti is not a direct threat to the United States. Instead, it threatens America’s ally, Europe, home of the European Union, both of which have been in a proxy war with Russia over Ukraine. Finland, along with Sweden and Norway, are the northern most NATO allies of Europe. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Union in 1995. As noted, the country also is a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace as well as an observer in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
Russian military planners view the Arctic as a vulnerable area in the event of a conflict with the US and Nato.
Russia flaunted the Alakurtti to foreign journalists this past week as an example of Russia’s wider military expansion back into the Arctic.
The Soviet Union has deployed huge forces to the Arctic Circle as part of its strategic defenses as part of its return to preeminence in the Arctic. In the past two years, Russia has launched a major effort to build up its military presence, constructing a string of new bases, as well as refurbishing older ones and building up its communications infrastructure along its northern coast.
Russia is building three more bases in the Arctic, and says it is creating an air defense shield to cover much of the northern coast. Many of the facilities are meant to have a dual-purpose in also serving as support infrastructure for the Northern Sea Route, a shipping passage that is predicted to become increasingly used as much of the Arctic becomes ice-free during summers by mid-century.
Russia is in the process of uncovering resources and opening shipping routes, but this creating a new arena for competition over oil. With the U.S. Geological Survey estimating 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its gas to be located there, jostling to claim the resources has already begun.
Other Arctic countries, including the United States, have only slowly begun to declare their interests in the region, Russia has rushed in.
This week, Russia staked its claim to the resources beneath the Arctic by submitting a claim to the U.N. that 460,000 square miles of ocean floor should be considered its territory. Russian divers even planted a national flag on the North Pole seabed in a symbolic claim to the region’s energy riches.
Russia insists it isn’t looking for a confrontation. “The aim behind the creation of the brigade was to defend the interests and security of the Russian State in the Arctic,” says Colonel Ilia Pavlovsky, commander of 80th Motor Rifle Arctic Brigade. But with tensions between Washington and Moscow at an all-time high, the Arctic could become the coldest front line in a new face-off between Russia and the West.
While the plans and some of the construction are already impressive, how significant the Russian build-up will be remains open to debate. Some analysts have also puzzled over Russia’s motivations for the Arctic push, to what extent it reflects a genuine long-term strategy to shape the region or whether it’s ultimately primarily political posturing.
Pavel Baev, a research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, said that although the vision was clear, in reality [Russia’s] expansion appeared to make little sense now when Russia is enduring an economic crisis and beginning to make cuts in its military. “It’s a luxury you can ill-afford,” Baev said.
Baev’s statement lends Bible prophecy students the idea that YHVH is actually guiding Russia and He will use Russia to destroy the mother of Babylon and her daughter when the time comes. Another indication of YHVH’s guiding hand is that the Arctic brigade’s presence seems to be symbolic, meant to telegraph Russia’s wider Arctic plans to its potential competitors and to impress the audience at home.
The mastering of the Arctic certainly plays well into the Kremlin’s narrative of Russia’s revival as a global power. But, professor Katarzyna Zysk, a visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford and an associate professor at the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies who has researched Russian military policy in the Arctic, the public relations benefits can’t explain the scale of the effort. “It’s very expensive propaganda,” she said.
Military campaigns need huge resources. This is not merely about shipping lanes. It is about the oil, the resource of war economies.
Some in the United States agree. The head of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, has been calling for the United States to begin seriously boosting its capabilities in the Arctic and warning against leaving Russia’s expansion there unchallenged.
The catch 22 that the US and Russia are now in for global expansion will one day plunge the earth into chaos. Russia is a ‘red’ nation, an Edomite nation comprised of ancient Medes who were dispersed by Cyrus the Great during his overthrow of the Mede king, Astyages, who was also Cyrus’s grandfather.
“So, what might an icebreaker of the 21st century need to do?” Zukunft asked rhetorically. “You might want to reserve space, weight and power where you have an offensive and a defensive armed capability as a military service. What if this becomes a militarized domain? What do we get a head start with? That could be a future requirement for our icebreaking fleet.”
Zukunft said Russia has “made a strategic statement. They’ve got all their chess pieces on the board. And, right now, we’ve got a pawn and a maybe a rook. If you look at this Arctic game of chess, they’ve got us at checkmate from the very beginning if this become a militarized domain. So it is going to be a test of U.S. will.
Zukunft noted one strategic challenge in the Arctic is the legal status of the Northwest Passage (through Canadian islands) and the Northern Sea Route (along the northern shore of Russia). “We would view these as international straits,” he said. “We haven’t really crossed our ‘Ts’ on that just yet.”
Trump’s response is to now begin weighing the option of arming US Coast Guard icebreakers. Trump’s team could decide to arm future Coast Guard icebreakers in order to counteract Russian cruise missiles in the Arctic.
“They understand that it’s good that you have a U.S. Coast Guard that is a military service,” Adm. Paul Zukunft, told the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday. Such a weaponization has now become necessary due to Russian military deployments in the Arctic.
Remember Jerusalem every time a threat, a rumor as Yeshua called it, is made against the Babylonian mother and her daughter.
Jeremiah 51:50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
Russia and Europe are destined for war. Russia and United States are destined for war. The mother and her daughter will both be destroyed. YHVH is orchestrating their mutual destruction right now. Will it come soon or later? No one knows except YHVH. Keep watching as Yeshua said.