Last week the Norwegian edition AldriMer specializing in military topics, reported the presence of Russian special forces in the archipelago of Svalbard, which is a demilitarized zone, like its coastal waters. The newspaper cited four sources in three countries, the national intelligence service and US intelligence.
The article also quoted a military analyst from the state – ally of Norway, with access to high quality intelligence. According to him, the operation was attracted and hired paramilitary groups “are well known to NATO because of the events in the Crimea”, that is the PMC. The article said that the Russian military in civil landed for reconnaissance and for mainland Norway.
According AldriMer, the military arrived at Spitsbergen in the submarine P-650 “Midget” intended to surreptitiously transport troops behind enemy lines. It explains how armed men could go unnoticed: the only archipelago airport is located in the Norwegian part of it.
Nothing specific on the work of Russian special forces in Svalbard portal reported, as photographs of war on the coast of the archipelago, obtained from the American reconnaissance aircraft, only described. According to journalists, the Norwegian authorities know about the landing of the Russian troops and associate it with the recent exercises of the Northern fleet in the Arctic.
The Russian foreign Ministry called the publication a fake, ballot box stuffing, “gross provocation” and part of “the system works by planting an enemy image in the face of Russia”. The office suggested that the article was “a clumsy attempt to justify the allocation of additional resources to fight the “Russian threat” ahead of the show in October, the defense budget and recommendations for long-term development plan of Armed Forces.”
Meanwhile, “Novaya Gazeta” found out that the armed “polite people” appear regularly on Spitsbergen, and do not hide this and even post pictures on the gear and geotagged in Instagram. In particular, such images can be detected in the Chechen segment of the Network. From Dating, geolocation, and comments that “the Sweeney Kadyrov”, as they call themselves the soldiers of this formation, works in the Arctic, including the Norwegian part of 2016.
Arctic teachings of the “Flying squad” devoted a separate page on the website of the Russian University of the special forces in Gudermes – the only private University in Russia, which trains professional security officers. In 2018, the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov himself reported held in Murmansk and Franz Josef teachings, but about the trips fighters on the Norwegian territory is not mentioned.
“Novaya Gazeta” notes that the soldiers of Regardie, in structure of which includes the Chechen special forces, are unable to attend the NATO countries even for tourism purposes. However, on the trip to guide the direction of this prohibition does not apply.
In November last year, the Ministry of defense of Norway stated that the Russian side responsible for the failure of the GPS system during NATO exercise Trident Juncture. Military maneuvers took place on the territory of Norway, in the Baltic sea and the North Atlantic and in the airspace of Sweden and Finland. It was alleged that due to interference of NATO pilots during the execution of the tasks may have only a weak GPS signal, but in some cases it is even absent, but the incident has not led. Later, the Finnish foreign Minister said that the Russian side was given evidence of her interference in the work of GPS, which Russia disputed.
In 2015 a diplomatic row between Norway and Russia provoked Dmitry Rogozin, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister. The Russians have the right to visit Svalbard without a visa, however, the Norwegian foreign Minister warned Russia that does not want to see in Norway “people from the blacklist involved in violations of the law in the Crimea and Ukraine” – but Rogozin March 2014 included in the sanctions lists of the European Union.
The Norwegian media did not rule out that Norway can toughen a throughput mode on Svalbard for all Russians. The foreign Ministry in connection with the incident summoned the Russian Ambassador. Rogozin himself has declared that “after the Eulogy”, and joked that Norwegians are just jealous, “we at the North pole bathed”.
The Russian foreign Ministry explained that “the use of the archipelago for a trip to the “North pole 2015″ was due to purely logistical reasons of order and security requirements in high latitudes.”