Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has launched the biggest military build-up in the Arctic since the fall of the USSR – bolstering its fleet of nuclear-fueled icebreakers, reopening abandoned Soviet military bases and building a string of new ones.
Russia isn’t alone in its Arctic ambition. The United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Iceland all lay claim to the area and its abundant natural resources.
Russia is trying to claim 460,000 square miles of the Arctic Ocean as its national territory — an area that includes the North Pole. Russian divers even planted a national flag on the North Pole seabed in a symbolic claim to the region’s energy riches.
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