The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has recently released a brief note reporting that 85 Russian paratroopers and15 soldiers from Belarus and Tajikistan, members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), have successfully landed on a drifting ice floe at 89 North .They deployed a mobile signal communications centre on the site. The operation has been described by the Airborne troops spokesman Yevgeny Meshkov as part of a series of survival exercises in the Arctic conducted by Russia. "For the first time in history" the Defense Ministry said in a statement., "paratroopers from the Ivanovo and Pskov airborne divisions carried out a successful paradrop on a drifting ice block... in the direct proximity to the North Pole together with a contingent from the Collective Rapid Reaction Force of the Collective Security Treaty Organization,"
According to the Russian Ministry, "the Russian Airborne Force (AbF)'s servicemen, together with representatives of the contingent of the CSTO's Collective Rapid Deployment Forces (CRDF) are to hold a training humanitarian search-and-rescue expedition near the North Pole.Paratroopers will work out the tasks of search, assistance and transportation of imaginary injured persons during expeditions, wrecks of aircraft and ships in the extreme conditions of the Arctic. Satellite signal communications systems are used to communicate with the Command of the Airborne Forces. The equipment's tuning to a satellite occurs automatically according to the coordinates given and takes less than 5 minutes".
TASS (Russian News Agency) has reported that "two drifting bases will be created near the North Pole this year. One, called Kupol, will be used for military purposes. In part, commando groups will be practicing survival skills there. The other, civilian base North Pole-2015, will be doing scientific research.A new combined strategic command has been operational on the basis of the Northern Fleet since December 12, 2014. In March, Russia held large-scale combat readiness exercises in the Arctic, including the Novaya Zemlya and Franz-Jozeph Land archipelagos, with 80,000 men, 80 ships and 220 planes and helicopters taking part."