Caught this on a review of some OSINT. Russia Times reported on Tue, 8 Apr, that 50+ plus Russian paratroopers airdropped to Barneo, a Russian research camp designated “SP-40.” Known as NP-40 outside the Soviet – I mean, “Russia” – it is a drifting research station. Last year, the ice around NP-40 broke up earlier than usual, necessitating a rescue mission.
The video is interesting – it shows the troopers exiting a IL-76 in what we might call a mass tactical exit, using drogue-stabilized freefall.
Jack put out some good analysis this winter here and here. But the main thing that has changed since then is obviously Ukraine. In fact, RT made specific mention of the fact that the paratroopers planted a Crimean flag in what can only be seen as a symbolic gesture.
Western media has been largely mute on this whole thing, which has the intended consequence of minimizing its importance. In the grand scheme, a couple dozen paratroopers on the polar icecap could hardly be construed as a hostile act. It is, however, a clear demonstration of Russia’s ability to project power in the Arctic, and one that as of yet, has not been countered by the US.
(Featured Image Courtesy: RT)