Sounds of heavy gunfire echo through Pechenga Valley

With springtime comes a hike in Russian military training along the border to Norway.
March 30, 2021

More than 500 men this week exercised with heavy weapons in the training fields located only few kilometers from the border to Norway. According to the Northern Fleet, the training included shooting with multiple rocket launchers BM-21 Grad, 152 mm self-propelled guns 2S3 Akatsiya, radio guided anti-tank missile system Shturm and tracked self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon Tunguska.

Also tanks T-80BVM and multi-purpose amphibious auxiliary armored vehicles MT-LBv were included in the drills.

Shooting with the various weapons was conducted at distances ranging from 100 meters to 15 km, the Northern Fleet informs.

The exercise was headed by colonel Denis Kurilo, Commander of the motorized infantry brigade that is based in the area.

Special focus was on the interaction between the involved infantry, artillery and tank units in defensive action, camouflage and surveillance, Kurilo says in a comment.

The Northern Fleet has several powerful units based in the Pechenga area, including the 61st Naval infantry brigade and the 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade.

The brigades have over the past years significantly increased their training activities. The troops normally step up activities as the days get longer and milder in the far northern region.

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Northern Fleet units have this week conducted drills also in several other parts of the Russian North.

As part of the Umka-21 exercise, forces engaged in complex operations with fighter jets and nuclear submarines in the far northern Franz Josef Land.

“A total of 43 events have taken place at Franz Josef Land and the nearby ice-covered waters in the frame of the exercise,” Navy Commander Admiral Nikolai Evmenov told President Putin in a direct video-call.

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