Two mobile military churches will be brought by trains to the Arctic Circle, where bases of the Russian Army will be deployed, reported the head of the Eastern Military District press service Colonel Alexander Gordeyev to RIA-Novosti. “Two churches will be erected on Cape Schmidt and Wrangel Island.[i] Such a decision was made following a working tour to the region by army general Arkady Bakhin, First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation.” said Gordeyev.
At the present time two 40-ton containers with the churches have arrived by rail from the western part of Russia to Port Vanino (Khabarovsk Territory). The churches are to be erected in September. In recent years Russia has actively started development of its northern territories, including hydrocarbon production, as well as development of the North Sea Route which is more and more becoming an alternative to the traditional routes from Europe to Asia. A complex of measures, including those of military character, are intended for the defense of Russia’s interests in the Arctic, given the increased attention to the region by NATO member countries.
According to the Russian Federation’s Ministry for Extraordinary Situations, the total value of the mineral resources concentrated in the Arctic region of Russia exceeds 30 trillion dollars. Ministry experts believe that the center of gravity of Russia’s oil and gas production will gradually move to the shelf of the Arctic seas. Cape (Otto) Schmidt (“Mys Shmidta”) is a cape on the shore of the Chukchi Sea, near the De Long Strait. Wrangel Island is situated in the Arctic Ocean between the East Siberian and the Chukchi seas. Administratively, they belong to the Iultin District of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (District). Wrangel Island is a part of a nature reserve with the same name and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.