Putin’s Secret War — Russian Leader Battles For The Polar Region

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is building six military bases in the Arctic, and sending troops and missiles there in what amounts to an aggressive claim on the oil-rich territory. While the world’s eyes have been on Putin’s actions in Syria, where he defies the United States by propping up hated leader Assad, Putin has been engaged in a secret war with northern nations Norway, Denmark, and Canada, who are battling to establish their holds on the natural resources in the Arctic region that fringes their countries. The icy northern nations are all adamant that the Arctic oil belongs to them, and determined to wrestle control of the resource from the bullying Putin, regardless of how many troops and missiles he throws to the north.

It’s estimated that billions of tonnes of oil and gas lie beneath the Arctic seabed. The territory where it lies is currently disputed, and the purpose of Putin’s six new bases is to intimidate competitors for the natural resources and “see them off.”

Putin-watchers were already worried about the defiant Russian leader’s aggressive territorial claims and underhanded tactics, reported by Daily Sabah. Experts warn that Putin’s Arctic campaign should be regarded with wariness.

“[Putin’s Arctic campaign] shows willingness to use a military threat to claim the land.”

The Daily Mail refers to the conflict between Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark as a “new cold war.” Express.co.uk refers to it as a problematic “militarization of the polar region” by Russia.

Around 150 Russian troops will be spending the New Year on a base on the Russian island of Alexandra Land, which is in the heart of the Arctic Circle.

“The conditions are very tough, especially in winter, so these new bases will allow Russian troops to be located there all year, and to control the airspace for hundreds of kilometres around.”

In the last year, two S-400 missile systems have been deployed to the segment of the Arctic region that Russia already controls. These are the same missiles as those sent to defend Russian jets in Syria.

Bases in the east — at Wrangel Island and Cape Schmidt — are now also fully prepared to launch strikes. Express notes that these particular bases are located just 300 miles from the U.S. mainland.

Putin has also placed his P-800 Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles on 24-hour alert, giving him control of land, air, and sea. “Growler” anti-aircraft missiles have also been positioned as Putin battles for the Arctic’s resources.

Blueprints for a new Kurile islands army base have emerged. If such a base is built, it would give Russia a presence just 20 miles from Japan.Tokyo, Washington, and Beijing are all likely to regard the moves as a challenge to their supremacy in their respective regions. The rollout of Putin’s extensive new plans will mean Russia will have a strong military presence in all four corners of the Asian continent.

“Vladimir Putin is already flexing his military muscles in Syria with air and sea bases and a bombing campaign that has decimated Islamic State (ISIS), also known as Daesh, strongholds.”

Last month Putin sent a message to participants in the Arctic Forum, sending well-wishes. The message was posted on the Kremlin’s Twitter page.

Is Vladimir Putin showing a lot of gall pointing all that firepower at the Arctic? Should the Russian leader be allowed to take control of all those billions of dollars of oil wealth as he battles for more control in the middle east as well?

[Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool photo via AP]