The VDV in the Arctic

Russian paratroopers from the Vozdushno-desantnye voyska, commonly known as the VDV, will conduct airborne operations in the Arctic.

The 98th Guards Airborne Division has been relocated from their base in Ivanovo to the Arctic for snap combat readiness drills. Ilyushin Il-76 airlifters flew the division to a military airfield in the Arctic where the 98th will performs various drills.

The drills conducted by the paratroopers should most likely – based on my knowledge of airbone operations – consist of:

  • Airfield seizure;
  • assault on a fortified enemy position;
  • quick reaction force;
  • night jumps;
  • raid on various defensive positions.

Adding to that, aerial delivery drills will probably be conducted to practice parachuting some Russian BMD-4 amphibious infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). The BMD-4 is literally the combat vehicle of the airborne.

The fact that the VDV can drop IFVs can give them the possibility of conducting mechanized operations once the paratroopers are on the ground. Artillery support can also be parachuted. The 2S25 Sprus is a self-propelled tank destroyer with a 125mm 2A75 smoothbore gun.

The VDV should also conduct joint training drills with the Northern Fleet’s 200th IMRB and Russian Marines, most likely the 61st Kirkinesskaya Red Banner Marine Brigade.

Russian Naval Infantry
Russian Naval Infantry

The snap drills are being conducted on March 16-21 and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have been notified of the snap drills.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.