A once-feared Russian brigade has been wiped out in the war in Ukraine.

“In the Murmansk region we now have our borders bare,” the wounded soldier said.

Submarines armed with nuclear weapons patrol the icy waters along the Russian Kola Peninsula’s northern border, a region now home to a growing number of military installations. Missiles armed with warheads capable of destroying cities are stockpiled in bunkers buried in the hills.

An Arctic arsenal has been safeguarded by one of Russia’s most formidable combat units, the 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade, since the Cold War. This year, its finest fighters and weapons were sent to Ukraine, effectively destroying it.