MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia's armed forces to expand their presence in the Arctic region as part of efforts to revive the nation's military might.
Putin, speaking Tuesday at a meeting with the top military brass, said beefing up the Arctic forces is among the top priorities for the military.
He emphasized the importance of the Soviet-era base at the New Siberian Islands, which the military started to overhaul this year. Putin also said that Russia will restore a number of Arctic military air bases that fell into neglect after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
Putin said that a massive effort to modernize military arsenals will continue next year, when the military will commission 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 200 military aircraft and two nuclear submarines.