350 Russian paratroopers dropped from planes in Arctic during drills

Photo: RIA Novosti

Photo: RIA Novosti

A 350-strong airborne battalion of the Russian Airborne Troops’ 98th Ivanovo division was dropped from Ilyushin Il-76 airplanes and successfully landed on Kotelny Island, the New Siberian Islands archipelago, at 3:30 am Moscow time on Friday. It was the largest landing operation over the entire history of Russia’s Armed Forces drills.

 Fifteen minutes before the landing operation, there was a parachute drop of military hardware, materiel and other items the paratroopers would need during the drills. The paratroopers used Arbalet guided parachute systems during the jump. Airborne Troops spokesman Lt. Col. Yevgeny Meshkov told reporters that, according to the scenario of the drills, the paratroopers came across an imaginary adversary’s gunfire during the landing.

Afterwards, the paratroopers carried out a 40-minute-long operation to assume control of the imaginary adversary’s airfield and its systems. A separate group of paratroopers “eliminated” the imaginary adversary’s mobile groups.

In less than an hour, the airfield “taken over” by the paratroopers was ready to accept military transport airplanes of the Russian Air Force carrying more paratroopers, military hardware and weapons.

The soldiers of the 98th Ivanovo airborne division will be provided with hot meals throughout the course of the military exercises in the Arctic region, Meshkov said.

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