Military Review

Century Russian Arctic. Challenges to sovereignty and retaliation

Century Russian Arctic. Challenges to sovereignty and retaliationClimate change in the Arctic is currently leading to increased melting of ice and, consequently, an increase in navigation periods. In other words, the availability of the northern coast of Russia and the northern seas is gradually increasing. For example, this year the Barents and Kara seas cleared of ice a month ahead of schedule. And this change is sustainable. If now Vilkitsky Strait is free of 20-30 ice days in a year, then according to forecasts, in the coming decades, a period of free navigation through it will be possible 80-90 days. Potentially, the melting of the ice will open the North-West Sea Route, which runs through the Canadian waters, which will seriously affect the shipping routes.

The increased availability of the northern seas has two positive aspects for us. Firstly, the Northern Sea Route increases its importance as a transport artery of the international level, and in the future it becomes a strategically important maritime transport route. Secondly, new fields are being opened for development. And not only hydrocarbon, which is customarily spoken of in the context of the development of the sea shelf. The northern deposits of rare and rare earth metals, minerals and ores of strategic importance are currently very limited. This is due to their inaccessibility. For the arrangement of deposits, their supply and transportation of products, the sea route is preferable and opens up completely different possibilities.

Based on this, many are beginning to say that the present century will become the “century of the Arctic”, meaning its transformation into one of the most significant regions of the world. There is another reason for this definition. The fact is that the southern transport routes (both sea and land), as well as raw materials in the near future will be in a zone of instability and armed conflicts of varying intensity. Even the most optimistic assessments of military threats make it impossible to consider neither the African continent, nor the Middle East, nor Central Asia, nor the Southeast, as a zone of peace and stability. The forecasts may be different, but almost any of them suggest a series of internal and interstate conflicts on the vast spaces of the Eastern Hemisphere. And such conflicts will not allow us to consider the most important sources of raw materials and transport communications for the international economy to be reliable. And already in the very near future.

Whereas the Arctic, becoming more accessible, retains its safety and reliability. Mainly because a large part of the Arctic is Russia. And an increase in the value of the Arctic region automatically means an increase in the value of Russia.

Understanding of this circumstance is not only with us. As Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov brilliantly remarked in a letter to Euler: “If something is added to something, then it is taken away from something else.” This is also true in international politics, where an increase in the influence and weight of some states is proportional to a decrease in the influence and weight of others. And it would be strange if the states with the power without pity and struggle would part with it. Thus, the United States largely retains its influence in the world of control over the world economic centers and transport routes linking them. The displacement of transport routes and sources of raw materials should be reflected in efforts to control them. And such efforts are being made.

Released by US President's 9 on January 2009, "US Regional Policy in the Arctic"Also proceeds from the strategic importance of the Arctic in the near future.

The document is interesting enough to give him attention. The essence of the document is well reflected in the formulation of national interests in the region: “The United States has (in the Arctic, approx. A.G.) broad, fundamental interests in national security and ready to act independently, or in alliance with other states to protect these interests. These interests include issues such as missile defense and early warning, the deployment of sea and air systems for strategic maritime transport (troop movements, approx. AG), strategic deterrence, maritime presence, maritime operations, and ensuring freedom of navigation and flight ". It is easy to see that these interests include non-military forms of economic activity - the last item in the long list. But more about that separately.

Since this is a directive, that is, an indication of action - the measures outlined in it for gaining control over the Arctic should be viewed not as analytical considerations, but as an order. They are quite clearly stated in the document. It operates with an understanding of climate change and the associated strengthening of human economic activity (namely, mining and transportation of goods). The directive calls for increasing the US presence in the region, strengthening military capabilities and establishing international management over economic activities in the Arctic - paragraph “III.C” is entitled: “International Management”.

Here it is necessary to clarify that the difference between sovereign and international management is about the same as the difference between its own and collective-farm cows. In principle, after the adoption of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982, there are some prerequisites for the “socialization” of our cow, namely, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and offshore natural resources. The fact is that the convention limits the ownership of the Arctic states to the 200-mile zone. And although Russia, Canada, Denmark and Norway have adopted domestic laws that consider part of the Arctic seas to be territorial or internal waters, the US and the EU do not recognize these laws, advocating the principle of free navigation throughout the Arctic Ocean. By the way, the UN Convention has not been ratified by them, that is, even curtailed possessions of subarctic states are not recognized. And the position with regard to the Arctic is the collective use of transport routes and the “ocean co-management” of resources, that is, the resolution of all issues by a supranational authority. As such, the United States wants to see the Arctic collective farm advice It is not difficult to guess who will be in this collective farm advice chairman to make decisions. This summer, at the meeting of the Norwegian Prime Minister with Mrs. H. Clinton, the United States has already been named the leading state of the North (although, from a geographic point of view, the Americans own a very small part of the Arctic). And the Norwegian town of Tromsø, where the secretariat of the Arctic Council is being transferred, has been proclaimed as much as the capital of the Arctic! Apparently, Russian is very good cow part of the North to allow her alone milk use one country.

Understanding this, Russia considers the Arctic Council, which is in the minority, as a body that deals with nothing more than environmental issues. His actions aimed at consolidating the sovereign control of the Russian Arctic are carried out through the UN. In October, another high-latitude Arktika-2012 expedition ended in order to substantiate the external borders of the Russian continental shelf and to submit a new application to the UN Commission on the Law of the Sea to expand its economic zone. Let me remind you that according to the UN convention, the shelf is a continuation of the state’s territory. And the evidence that our shelf extends far beyond the 200-mile zone will be the basis for recognizing Russia's rights to the offshore area. The previous application was rejected because the data collected in previous expeditions was insufficient. In order for the new scientific data to be sufficiently complete, this time, the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research (GUGI) of the Russian Ministry of Defense took part in the expedition. Instead of civilian underwater vehicles, specialized naval vehicles were engaged in work at the bottom. The expedition was provided by the Dickson and Captain Dranitsyn icebreakers. The new application will go to the UN Commission after processing the expedition materials.

This is the legal side of the sovereign right of Russia to dispose of its part of the Arctic. Potentially, Americans are going to challenge this right. The report of the special commission is also 2001 of the year, entitled “The Arctic Ocean and Climate Change: Scenario for the US Navy", It is directly indicated that:" The US continues to insist that the ice-covered straits of the NSR are international and constitute a transit transport entity; Russia continues to consider the straits as its internal waters. ... Russia and Canada follow the policy that all navigable straits in the Northern Sea Route are under their exclusive control. The United States has a different approach to determining the status of these straits ... As these straits become increasingly involved in international traffic, conflicts are likely to occur. " From this it follows that the very desire of Russia and Canada to maintain transport routes under their control is considered “conflicting”, while the United States wants to claim an exclusive role in this matter.

It will not be superfluous to note here that the United States is also challenging the possession of Canada’s Northwest Passage (FFP) off the coast of Alaska. As long as we have a potential ally on this. True, if the US ratifies the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and gets its 200-mile zone, Canada will have no choice but to integrate into the system of international management of the Arctic. So you have to rely, as always, on yourself.

So, claims to our Arctic should be considered almost a fait accompli. But, as can be seen from the directive "US Regional Policy in the Arctic", Americans do not rely on legal methods of their implementation alone. Any claims mean something when reinforced by the ability to uphold them. And here we should pay attention to the power component of American northern politics. The liberation of the Arctic from ice makes its water area more accessible to surface naval forces. The Americans and their NATO allies definitely want to take advantage of this. American presence fleet in the north, it is constantly increasing, even plans to deploy ship-based missile defense elements in the Barents Sea. The number and scale of NATO exercises in the northern latitudes is growing, and an increasing number of European alliance members are being attracted to them. The Arctic military bases are expanding and modernizing, and military equipment and NATO personnel are being prepared for operations in the north.

True, all these measures have purely geographical restrictions that give us some advantage. NATO forces can operate in the Arctic from bases in Alaska and Norway, while we have the opportunity to use our entire coast. The surface fleet will for an indefinitely long time be limited in its actions by the ice cover and its seasonal changes. Aviationoperating from remote bases is in obviously worse conditions than the continental one, which, moreover, is provided with support for air defense and fleet facilities. Only in order to develop these military advantages, that is, to secure our sovereign rights against encroachments, with the ability to defend them by force, we need to return our military potential to the Arctic.

Actually, this is provided for by a document called the “Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic”. The current defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, is most directly related to some steps aimed at restoring the military presence in the North. Even as Minister of Emergency Situations, he was entrusted with the creation along the route of the Northern Sea Route ten rescue centers provided with equipment and personnel for operations on land, in airspace and at sea. Now these same centers will become the basis for the future facilities of the fleet forces and the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of Russia. In the future, they will also be able to become full-fledged military bases, and not points of temporary accommodation and logistics. Just linger with their development is not worth it, because the main problem of the return of our military presence to the North is the lack of full-fledged bases and infrastructure. If they are, then the question of technology and personnel for the Arctic group of troops will be much easier than it looks now.

So, the list of new bases is likely to coincide with the rescue centers: in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Naryan-Mar, Vorkuta, Nadym, Dudinka, Tiksi, Pevek, Provideniya Bay and Anadyr. Not for nothing, in the newly approved list, which also consists of ten fleet-based and border service points, they are called dual-use objects. The fact that the EMERCOM troops became the pioneers (and these are precisely the troops structurally subordinate to the EMERCOM) is perhaps even good - Sergey Shoigu can use the experience of the EMERCOM of Russia in difficult climatic conditions for the Armed Forces.

The question of aircraft basing is currently being resolved in a rather elegant way. Recently, the entire aerodrome network of the country has become a dual-use network. That is, purely civilian airfields - no longer. Civilian airstrips, important for the Air Force, are being modernized and often restored, parking areas and maintenance facilities are expanded, navigation equipment and communications facilities are updated. First of all, as you might guess, all this is done in the North.

The situation with the fleet's combat composition, which, as we know, cannot be updated and enlarged in a couple of years, is somewhat more complicated. Even with great funding. But this problem is being solved. It should be borne in mind that in order to preserve the sovereignty of our North, it is the forces of the fleet that are of the greatest importance. They allow you to block the passage of potential enemy forces through the straits, move the zone of destruction far into the sea and ensure the combat stability of the entire northern grouping of troops.

To supply forces in the Arctic, 14 November laid the first of a series of logistics support ships of the 23120 project - the Elbrus. It is intended for loading, storage, transportation and transfer of cargo to the coast, surface ships and submarines, as well as for towing and emergency rescue operations. Such ships are essential for the supply of northern bases and support points. For the transfer of troops and equipment in the North, the armament transport is being completed according to a modified project.Ivan Gren". Initially, he was to become a large landing ship of the marines. But later his project was changed with an emphasis on the transport function instead of landing operations, and so far they have stopped laying the other ships of this series. It's a pity. It is the Marines who seem to be the most mobile and adapted for operations in the coastal zone by the armed forces. Therefore, in my opinion, we should think about increasing the number of marines in the north.

The land component of the Arctic grouping is still the slowest. The plans include the creation of so-called "Arctic Brigades", which will have to differ in both structural and technical equipment. They will have to act in the specific conditions of the Far North, having great opportunities for a wide maneuver, with coverage of large and impassable Arctic spaces. For example, approximately so и so may look transport vehicles for them. It is expected that the first to be transferred to the arctic technique 200-i motorized rifle brigade, located in the Murmansk region.

This should be considered correct, since it is in the western direction that the NATO military bases and places of permanent deployment of land forces of the potential enemy are located closest to us. However, in my humble opinion, one brigade in the Kola Peninsula is not enough, even taking into account the existing forces of the marines and other units. Americans are now making a lot of efforts to attract Sweden and Finland (non-NATO members) not only to work actively in the Arctic Council, but also for joint exercises. Naturally, this does not mean that in the event of a hypothetical conflict situation, these countries will act together with NATO forces. But the presence of a powerful land group will certainly be important for these countries to make a decision on indirect participation on one of the parties, I repeat, until a hypothetical conflict.

In addition, we must not forget that NATO has considerable internal forces in this area, which can quickly increase by sea and air transfer. Let me remind you that in the directive "Regional Policy of the United States in the Arctic" strategic troop movements are named among the key tasks that ensure the national interests of the United States in the region. Therefore, it is precisely in the western direction that we need to have a grouping of forces of various kinds that can prevent sea and air blockade (with which claims to our North can begin), prevent the transport of troops and strikes against strategic targets in the event of a conflict. The ground forces must be able to prevent any penetration into the territory of Russia, to ensure the security of the bases of the Air Force, Air Defense and Fleet forces. Based on these tasks, the construction of the Arctic grouping should be planned.
21 comment

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  1. YARY
    YARY 27 November 2012 07: 06
    1. Sakhalininsk
      Sakhalininsk 27 November 2012 07: 18
      +100500 and as in that saying about pills from greed .... more ... more ...
      1. bask
        bask 27 November 2012 07: 26
        1. Nick
          Nick 27 November 2012 19: 59
          Quote: bask

          The icebreaker fleet has always been considered a dual-use fleet. I read somewhere that our first atomic icebreaker "LENIN" was equipped with weapons, including nuclear weapons. It is very expensive to use the icebreaker fleet only for military purposes.
    2. Kaa
      Kaa 27 November 2012 10: 43
      Quote: Ardent

      Of course, but the fleet needs coastal support, bases along the Northern Sea Route, they need constant supply, military and air defense cover, for this Stalin railway projects were also reanimated:
      "In the near future, the map of our railways in the east of the country will change beyond recognition. RZD has planned the construction of a second, now circumpolar route from West to East, which in the long term should go to the Bering Strait and the large-scale North Siberian road, even by Siberian standards, is the second BAM in the heart of Siberia, as well as several important routes leading to the far North through permafrost.Russia and China are participants in an ambitious project, which also includes the United States, Canada and Japan.It is a project of a railway from Siberia through a ferry from the port of Uelen to the port of Fairbanks in Alaska and further to Fort Nelson in Canada where it will connect to the existing network of North American roads.The second route will pass through Sakhalin to the Japanese city of Sapporo. They began to build a road under Comrade Stalin, but there was not enough experience in building on permafrost, and part of the road was drowned in swamps Until very recently, an example of this construction as an unnecessary undertaking was in the classical a clip of denouncers of our "dark past". However, as time passed, it turned out that we also needed the road to Norilsk, and the tunnel from the mainland to Sakhalin, started back in 1950, would not have been a problem for us either. The construction of the tunnel was started by the decision of I. Stalin, and by 1955 the tunnel was to be operational. The work was stopped immediately after the death of the leader of the peoples, and now, six decades later, we have to finish what our predecessors had not completed. Another great construction project is the North-Siberian road planned by the Strategy (Surgut - Lesosibirsk - Ust-Kut) - in fact, the second BAM, a direct continuation of the BAM to the west of the country. After its construction, Russia will receive a second strategic route from the west to the Pacific Ocean, independent of the Transsib. The road to Norilsk is also being built. A section of the Urengoy-Nadym road (part of the infamous Stalinist "dead road" that was then drowned in swamps) has already been launched. The construction of the westernmost section of Nadym-Salekhard, 300 km long, together with the bridge across the Ob, should begin in the near future, and then the time will come to complete the Eastern section to Norilsk with a bridge over the Yenisei River. Further, in the Strategy until 2050, this road goes through Taimyr, crosses the Lena, Indigirka and Kolyma rivers, and goes to Chukotka to the Bering Strait.
      Boris Borisov. Russian columnist, 29.05.2010/XNUMX/XNUMX.
      1. kostyan77708
        kostyan77708 27 November 2012 12: 36
        A section of the Urengoy-Nadym road (part of the very infamous Stalinist “dead road”, which was then drowned in swamps), here I will correct it, I live in Nadym, this road was Salekhard-Nadym, on it is the infamous 501 building, more than once along it flew on a turntable so in the summer we drive there for mushrooms and berries
        1. Kaa
          Kaa 27 November 2012 15: 08
          Quote: kostyan77708
          this road was Salekhard-Nadym, on it the infamous 501 construction site,

          I saw it in Salekhard about 30 years ago, built it honestly, the rails went off, but there were no distortions, no collapses, the specialists worked, I feel ... Chum-Salekhard -Ingark, EMNIP the initial plan was called ...
    3. Nick
      Nick 27 November 2012 19: 52
      Quote: Ardent

      Definitely, but this is not enough. It is necessary to prepare all the country's resources for a very possible special period. If a serious conflict begins over the Arctic, they will attack from all directions of the geographical, political, economic and, quite possibly, military IMHO.
  2. askort154
    askort154 27 November 2012 07: 31
    It is necessary to create a powerful Arctic fleet so that combat "vessels" can sail along the Northern Sea Route like kilometer posts on a highway.
    Oh, how many holes yet ?!
  3. Alexander Romanov
    Alexander Romanov 27 November 2012 07: 50
    There, another 1.5 million square kilometers of territory shine for us. The United States and Barack Obama personally can go with their claims to a well-known three-letter address.
    1. mda
      mda 27 November 2012 15: 43
      Quote: Alexander Romanov
      There, another 1.5 million square kilometers of territory shine for us. The United States and Barack Obama personally can go with their claims to a well-known three-letter address.

      Yes, you’re right, they’re climbing into all holes. Let’s first give Alaska, give back the gold reserves stolen from Russia during the intervention. Withdraw nuclear weapons from Europe, stop participating in all kinds of color revolutions and close all their bases. Then we'll talk.
  4. Igarr
    Igarr 27 November 2012 10: 17
    In general, the frequency of publications is six months.
    The Chinese, by the way, left the Arctic, who knows? They seemed to gather there in May, to explore the shelf belonging to China.
    I look, I look at all this, brothers. And the horror takes.
    Russia is believed to be constantly unprepared. To nothing.
    Right now at Kola, 200 motorized rifle brigade. Are these marines? No.
    What will motorized rifles do on the ice?
    Let's icebreakers do? Let’s break the ice. And to sell! For cocktails.
    A week ago - Oleg (Sweet ....) fiercely defended - no ekranoplanes are needed. Planes and helicopters are better.
    Well, it’s better, faster, more load-bearing. But to have three cars in the garage is better than one. Or two? Yes, if they are different yet.
    So for the Arctic, especially taking into account the thawing and the decrease in hummocking, ekranoplanes are a good solution. I will not say excellent. Because they went there in dogs - and they will go. The dog runs around hungry for a day or two. And the most beautiful helicopter / ekranoplan - will not budge without a "liquid".
    Maybe I don’t know simply - Plans are huge. Our government and the President.
    But I want Russia .... to be ready.
    At least to the fact that under the nose. To the Arctic.
    1. Kaa
      Kaa 27 November 2012 15: 15
      Quote: Igarr
      So for the Arctic, especially taking into account melting and lowering hummockiness - ekranoplans is a good solution.

      What I’m talking about - supply bases, railway branches ... for helicopters, airplanes, especially for ekranoplanes - will go over the swamp, along the river, and over the sea - even though it’s open, even frozen. If anything, along the Northern Sea Route, they will establish a barrage, adversary to fear, to console us ... otherwise piracy is growing all over the world wassat AUG, you look still "wrapped up for a visit" ...
  5. IlyaKuv
    IlyaKuv 27 November 2012 11: 24
    The Americans don’t imagine what awaits them there, it’s not Russian winter, it’s the Arctic western boobs, although our enemies had enough of our winter to goof off with a bang.
  6. Bykov.
    Bykov. 27 November 2012 12: 00
    The shelf is ours !!! And no one needs to prove this, but it is necessary to uphold, first of all: the development of infrastructure in the north of our country. To attract business, not hell just like that, to pump gas and oil from the north without a return. Let them invest in the construction of ports for the needs of the NSR and the Navy, and carry liquefied gas through the Bering Strait.
  7. bart74
    bart74 27 November 2012 12: 01
    The question is complex. Shelf at this time only as a rag for seed. Everyone needs a sea route, which the Americans are pushing now. This way provides savings from transporting goods from Asia to Europe + the absence of pirates (and ento, by the way, is an idea for the most extreme case). I still need an icebreaking fleet. And the fact that the Swedes and the Finns will not climb to us is for sure. Why are they armed conflicts? They are more our allies. In the fig, they have a free sea highway off their shores. Well this is a threat to the environment and many more all kinds of haemorrhoids, for which the Americans are convinced that you do not need to take a fee? I think if no one from the Arctic countries firmly defends their position, this adventure will go. Our position is clear. Canada has a very important role to play here. I think the Americans are easier to annex it than to climb into the Russian Arctic.
  8. omsbon
    omsbon 27 November 2012 12: 36
    Two opinions simply can not be.
    We do not want any land,
    But we won’t give up our tip!

    It’s necessary to prepare, ready to go!
  9. Wertynskiy
    Wertynskiy 27 November 2012 13: 07
    Oh, what a theme! Thanks to the author. The North, this is a historical heritage and a huge pantry of Russia, almost untouched. It is necessary to develop, with enormous forces and at a speedy pace.
    The only thing in the article is not the topic of the development and construction of the submarine cargo fleet! It’s still when the ice is free from the Arctic, and cargo needs to be transported now. And under water it can be done year-round! Has anyone heard something new on the subject of the construction of the submarine cargo fleet?
  10. homosum20
    homosum20 27 November 2012 19: 19
    But huh hu not ho ho?
  11. Goldmitro
    Goldmitro 27 November 2012 19: 57
    Claims against Russia may soon begin with provocations. It is urgent to implement the planned measures to strengthen Russia's power in the Arctic. The only great hope is that the implementation will be carried out by specialists in their field, professionals, and not military business managers like Taburetkin.
  12. T-130
    T-130 27 November 2012 21: 35
    The enemy must be beaten with his own weapons, we ourselves against NATO will not even pull in the north! But the United States has problems at home similar to the Russian ones, and here it is necessary to learn from their experience and help their separatists, etc., then they will not only not be up to the north, but will not have time to fight outside the country!
  13. Magadan
    Magadan 28 November 2012 02: 28
    So, Russia in the same cage with Canada! This makes me happy. The fact is that we and Canadians are the only two countries that are simply littered with natural resources, have almost a third of all terrestrial land on 3% of the total population. In short, two countries that essentially only benefit from impending global problems. If only once again Canada did not surrender its position to the United States. I will be simple Canadians, whom I know personally, to conduct political lessons.