russian-northern-fleetA detachment of about 800 servicemen from Russia’s Northern Fleet has been stationed in the Russian town of Alakurtti, Murmansk region, just 50km from the Finnish border, part of a large-scale expansion of Russian military facilities in the country’s northwest according to a press statement issued by the unit’s commanding admiral Vladimir Korolev on Tuesday. The rest of the fleet are expected to be stationed there “soon” according to Korolev. The base will be one of the key strongholds in Russia’s northernmost territories, designed to strengthen the country’s defence capabilities from the west, and improve their territorial claims over areas in the Arctic. At full force, Russia’s Northern Fleet consists of about 3,000 ground troops trained for combat in Arctic conditions, along with 39 ships and 45 submarines. Its arrival in Murmansk follows Russia’s decision last year to create a united command for all of its units designated with protecting Russia’s interests in the country’s northern regions. More