After an 'icy' (pardon the pun) meeting between Rex Tillerson and Russia Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov last week in Moscow, Vladimir Putin has just released the first public photos of a giant, top-secret military base recently built on the arctic island of "Alexandra Land." According to media reports, the base is believed to be fully-armed with missile systems and nuclear-ready fighter jets.
A virtual tour of the facility can be viewed here.
Per The Sun, Russian economists figure the arctic outpost could hold the key to the Kremlin unearthing almost $25 trillion of oil and gas buried deep beneath the snow. And with that kind of money on the line, it's only natural that the base would be heavily fortified with nuclear ready fighter jets and reindeer-riding specials forces.
More than 150 troops will be based at the clover-shaped compound - which is decked out in the red, white and blue of the Russian flag.
And more worryingly, Moscow's defence minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed nuke-ready Su-34 fighter jets will be deployed at a nearby air base.
The 150,000 sq ft (14,000 sq m) facility is designed to house 150 personnel, on 18-month tours of duty, and includes living quarters, a cinema, a chapel, a gymnasium, a billiards room and an orangery.
Meanwhile, in a heaping dose of the obvious, Defense Secretary James Mattis confirmed: "Russia is taking aggressive steps to increase its presence there."
We're still awaiting confirmation of whether the gallons of vodka required daily to operate such a facility will be imported or distilled on the premises.
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