View Full Version : Chukotka Resurgent

08-31-2016, 04:39 PM
Last week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed that the Russian military plans to establish a coastal defense division in Chukotka, eastern Russia by 2018. Respected independent defense analyst Sergei Ishchenko comments on the news, and on how it may ultimately affect the security situation in the region.

The system, according to Shoigu, is intended "to ensure control of the closed sea zones of the Kuril Islands and the Bering Strait, cover the routes of Pacific Fleet forces' deployment in the Far Eastern and Northern sea zones, and increase the combat viability of naval strategic nuclear forces" operating in the area. In other words, the new division will help ensure the defense of Russia's sparsely populated eastern coast.

What's more, the military analyst pointed out that the news is important because today, the Russian military "does not actually have a single coastal defense division. Therefore, there is no model on how it may look, and how it will be staffed. The only similar force is based in Crimea – consisting of the 126th Separate Coastal Defense Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet (formerly the 36th Separate Brigade of the Ukrainian Navy, which changed sides almost in its entirety to Russia in 2014). But a brigade-sized force is far from being a division. Its combat capabilities are much more modest."

The rest of the article is well worth reading, with details on recent Russia coastal defense history. http://sputniknews.com/military/20160828/1044714139/russian-coastal-defense-division-chukotka-analysis.html

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A Russian Coast Guard division that is going to be deployed in 2018 in the Chukotka Autonomous Area will be equipped with all-terrain vehicles to patrol the coast.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160826/1044662511/chukotka-all-terrain-troops.html

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Amid NATO's buildup along Russia's borders, including in the Arctic region, Moscow is stepping up efforts to strengthen its northern defense. Moreover, in addition to the Navy and Aerospace Defense Forces, the Arctic's defense is increasingly coming to depend on troops from the ground forces – serving under extremely harsh climactic conditions.Analyzing the Russian military efforts to defend its vast Arctic expanse in a piece for the independent news and analysis website PolitRussia, journalist Oleg Polevoy recalled that "while Arctic motorized rifle units appear from time to time in the Russian media, the general public knows little about them; collecting information from television and newspapers is a painstaking process." For a long time, the journalist recalled, "the only infantry unit in the entire Russian North was the 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade at Pechenga, Murmansk Region. That unit was established in 1997 on the basis of the old Soviet 131st Motorized Rifle Division…It's obvious that a single brigade for the defense of territory including the entire Kola Peninsula and Chukotka was, to put it mildly, insufficient, but it's good that it was least was preserved in the 90s," a very difficult period for the country and its defense capabilities.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160712/1042846962/russia-arctic-troops-analysis.html

Includes video link to piece on 80th Independent Motor Rifle Artic Brigade

08-31-2016, 04:40 PM
Cold War history, circa 1988

Watching for Soviets

The scouts are trained to report any overflight, submarine surfacing, suspicious person or items washed ashore. Military officials said that rarely a day goes by without such a report coming from a scout somewhere along the hundreds of miles of the Alaskan frontier.

Alaskan-based military intelligence officials said that sightings of unidentified persons, particularly men in wet suits, off the coast of St. Lawrence Island also have increased, from one or two a year to about seven in each of the last two years.

Alaskan intelligence officials suspect that the Soviets train special forces on isolated Alaskan islands, but said they have no concrete evidence and have never positively identified a member of a Soviet Spetsnaz team on American soil here.

Pentagon officials discount reports that the Soviets would use even uninhabited Alaskan territory for such operations, but the reports persist. In one typical encounter, scout Michael Apatiki reported that while he and his family were boating off St. Lawrence Island, he spotted what appeared to be a man in a wet suit. The frogman fled when he realized he had been seen, according to Apatiki's report.