Illustration photo by the Russian Armed Forces

In Northern Fleet's latest training scenario, naval base Severomorsk is attacked by enemy drones

In an exercise held in the Northern Fleet headquarter city this week, military engineers, medics and representatives of radiation, chemical and biological protection forces were drilled in coping with consequences of a drone attack.
March 19, 2024


Apparently, air defence systems were unable to hinder enemy drones from entering the strategically important air space over the Kola Peninsula. A military object was hit and an emergency situation broke out.

Behind the attack were enemy sabotage groups, and the personnel involved in the training were to locate the site of attack and handle damage, the Northern Fleet informs.

This time, it was only training. But the Russian Armed Forces clearly have a growing fear that the Ukrainians could target also the far north.


Severomorsk is the main base of the Northern Fleet. Photo: Thomas Nilsen


The exercise took place as Ukrainian drones repeatedly have attacked Russian territory. Over the past weeks, military and industrial objects located several hundred kilometres away from Ukraine have been hit and destroyed.

The Kola Peninsula houses the Northern Fleet and has not only bases for submarines, surface vessels, naval infantry and large weapons depots. The region also has strategically important infrastructure such as the Olenya air base. From this base, Russian strategic bombers regularly set out on terror bombing raids against Ukrainian cities and towns.


A Norwegian military expert recently told the Barents Observer that the Olenya base is an obvious target for the Ukrainians.

The Olenya airbase is located some 90 km south of Murmansk. Distance to Finland is about 150 km and distance to the Norwegian border is about 200 km. Image from Google Earth

The base is located more than 1,800 km from Ukraine, but Ukrainian sabotage groups are operating deep inside Russia.

“Given that Ukrainian operatives are in Russia, one cannot exclude a sabotage or another form of attack to, first of all, undermine the Russian military capability, as well as to humiliate Moscow as a measure of psychological warfare,” Katarzyna Zysk, a professor at the Norwegian Institute of Defence Studies, said. 

She believes that the Olenya airbase undoubtedly is on the radar of the Ukrainian forces. Although sabotage actions would be challenging to carry out considering the region’s remoteness and climatic conditions. 

Severomorsk is the headquarter base of the Northern Fleet, the most powerful of Russia’s five fleets. It located almost 2,000 km north of Ukrainian territory.

According to Professor Zysk, an attack against targets in the Kola Peninsula could stir increased regional tensions.

“It would certainly invite stronger protective measures from Russia and could be used to spread theories about Western involvement, thus alleviating the humiliation and exploiting the event to garner public support or at least weaken the criticism,” she told the Barents Observer.

“Depending on the circumstances of the attack, if Russia would have doubts about a possible indirect Western support, it could contribute to increased regional tensions, not least in the context of changes taking place in the strategic landscape following Finland’s and soon Sweden’s joining of NATO,” Zysk said. 






The Barents Observer Newsletter

After confirming you're a real person, you can write your email below and we include you to the subscription list.

Privacy policy