Inside the Beltway: A new Cold War heats up in the Arctic

The old Cold War has not completely disappeared. It’s gotten colder — frozen, in fact. Russia is mighty active in the Arctic, home to untapped mineral, natural gas and oil deposits plus newly expanded shipping lanes. Indeed, Russia has recently resumed fighter patrols over the North Pole, bulked up northern air bases and tested the fearsome Kinzhal Dagger hypersonic missile in the region. Also on their to-do list: perfecting a fleet of ice-hardened shipping vessels and burly ice breakers — including the Arktika, a nuclear-powered vessel which is 568 feet long, has a crew of 75 and can crush through Arctic ice 10-feet thick. There will be four more in this class, and initial sea trials began last week.

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