Russia is building military bases in the Arctic, while testing its latest weapons. The aim is to open an important sea route from Asia to Europe, at a time when the region is increasingly free of ice.
One of the main concerns of Western weapons experts and officers is the Russian super-weapon: the torpedo Poseidon 2M39.
The development of the weapon is advancing rapidly and Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for a constant update on the “key stage” of the tests.
The gun is moved by a nuclear reactor and it was designed by the Russians to sneak through coastal defenses – just like those in the US – under the sea.
The device can cause radioactive waves so vast that they would make areas of the target coast uninhabitable for decades.
It should be remembered that in November, Christopher A Ford, then Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-Proliferation, said Poseidon 2M39 was designed to “flood US coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis”.
A strategic issue
Satellite images provided to CNN by the technology company Max detail a clear and continuous construction of Russian military bases and hardware on the country’s arctic coast, along with underground storage facilities for Poseidon and other high-tech weapons.
O hardware Russian in the Upper North area includes MiG31BM bombers and jets, and new radar systems off the coast of Alaska.
“There is clearly a military challenge of Russians in the Arctic. This has implications for the United States and its allies, not least because it creates the ability to project energy into the North Atlantic, “a senior US Department of State official said. CNN.
American authorities express concern that the forces can be used to establish the control over Arctic areas that are more distant and that in a short time they will be free of ice.
“The melt is moving faster than scientists predicted several years ago,” said the senior State Department official, adding that these changes represent “a dramatic transformation in the coming decades in terms of physical access.”
In this sense, the American authorities fear that Moscow will try to control the “North Sea Route” (NSR) – a sea route that goes from Norway to Alaska, along the north coast of Russia, to the North Atlantic.
NSR halves the time it takes for ships to reach Europe from Asia via the Suez Canal.
Elizabeth Buchanan, professor of Strategic Studies at Deakin University, Australia, stresses that “basic geography gives Russia NSR, which is getting less and less ice, making it commercially viable for use as a transport artery. This can still transform global maritime transport, and with it the movements of more than 90% of global goods ”.
On the other hand, the US State Department official believes that the Russians are more interested in exporting Hydrocarbons – essential for the country’s economy – along the route.
Russia insists on peaceful and economic motivations
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the release of the satellite images, but Moscow has long stressed that its goals in the Arctic are economic and peaceful.
A March 2020 document presented Russia’s main objectives in an area responsible for 20% of its exports and 10% of its GDP. According to the report, the strategy focuses on guarantee territorial integrity Russia and regional peace.
It also expresses the need to guarantee high standards of living and economic growth in the region, as well as to develop a resource base.
In November, during the opening of a new icebreaker in St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin he stressed that “it is known that we have a unique fleet that holds a leadership position in the development and study of Arctic territories. We must reaffirm this superiority constantly, every day ”.
Regarding weapons, the plans for Poseidon 2M39 were revealed in a presentation of a document that discussed its capabilities in 2015.
Subsequently, this was partially rejected by analysts as a “paper tiger” weapon, designed to terrify with its apocalyptic destructive powers that seem to escape the requirements of the current treaty, but not to be successfully deployed.
However, a number of developments in the Arctic are now leading analysts to consider the real and active project.
Ana Isabel Moura, ZAP //