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Russian paratroopers wearing oxygen masks and white camouflage jump from 33,000ft over the Arctic

 Russian paratroopers wearing oxygen masks and white camouflage jumped 33,000ft out of a plane over the Arctic as part of a war games exercise.

The paratroopers reportedly jumped from a height of 10,000 metres (32,808 feet) from an Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifter.

The soldiers were wearing ‘special parachute systems’ and oxygen equipment and carried out combat training missions lasting three days after landing.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has placed increasing importance on the Arctic region in recent years, as it is believed to hold up to one quarter of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and gas.    

Russian paratroopers wearing oxygen masks and white camouflage jumped 33,000ft out of a plane over the Arctic as part of a war games exercise

The paratroopers reportedly jumped from a height of 10,000 metres (32,808 feet) from an Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifter

The paratroopers reportedly jumped from a height of 10,000 metres (32,808 feet) from an Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifter

Russia’s deputy defence minister, Lieutenant General Yanus-Bek Yevkurov, said the combination of the jump and subsequent manoeuvres had never been carried out.

He claimed: ‘Today, for the first time in world history, we conducted a group landing of personnel with special parachute systems in Arctic conditions from a height of 10,000 meters using oxygen equipment followed by combat training missions. ‘

‘Nobody has done such a thing before us,’ he added.    

The soldiers were reportedly testing new equipment specially developed for extreme Arctic conditions, such as oxygen masks, parachute systems, and white camouflage uniforms.

The soldiers were wearing 'special parachute systems' and oxygen equipment and carried out combat training missions lasting three days after landing

The soldiers were wearing ‘special parachute systems’ and oxygen equipment and carried out combat training missions lasting three days after landing

Russian president Vladimir Putin, pictured today, has placed increasing importance on the Arctic region in recent years, as it is believed to hold up to one quarter of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas

Russian president Vladimir Putin, pictured today, has placed increasing importance on the Arctic region in recent years, as it is believed to hold up to one quarter of the Earth’s undiscovered oil and gas

Russia's deputy defence minister, Lieutenant General Yanus-Bek Yevkurov, pictured, said the combination of the jump and subsequent manoeuvres had never been carried out

Russia’s deputy defence minister, Lieutenant General Yanus-Bek Yevkurov, pictured, said the combination of the jump and subsequent manoeuvres had never been carried out

He claimed: 'Today, for the first time in world history, we conducted a group landing of personnel with special parachute systems in Arctic conditions from a height of 10,000 meters using oxygen equipment followed by combat training missions.'

He claimed: ‘Today, for the first time in world history, we conducted a group landing of personnel with special parachute systems in Arctic conditions from a height of 10,000 meters using oxygen equipment followed by combat training missions.’

The jump took place over the remote island of Aleksandra Land, the westernmost island in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land, where Russia’s Arctic forces have built the country’s northernmost military facility.

It boasts a new 8,202ft-long (2,500metre) runway, according to reports.

The Nagurskoye base boasts the latest equipment for Arctic military warfare, including snowmobiles, helicopters, radar systems, and anti-aircraft missile systems such as the S-300, aimed at strengthening control over Arctic air space.

Russia is not alone in trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, as shrinking polar ice opens fresh opportunities for resource exploration and new shipping lanes. 

The United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway are jostling for position and China has also shown an increasing interest in the polar region. 

Russia, however, has made reaffirming its presence in the Arctic a top goal.

President Putin has cited estimates that put the value of Arctic mineral riches at $30 trillion. 

The soldiers were reportedly testing new equipment specially developed for extreme Arctic conditions, such as oxygen masks, parachute systems, and white camouflage uniforms

The soldiers were reportedly testing new equipment specially developed for extreme Arctic conditions, such as oxygen masks, parachute systems, and white camouflage uniforms

The jump took place over the remote island of Aleksandra Land, the westernmost island in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land, where Russia's Arctic forces have built the country's northernmost military facility

The jump took place over the remote island of Aleksandra Land, the westernmost island in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land, where Russia’s Arctic forces have built the country’s northernmost military facility

The Nagurskoye base boasts the latest equipment for Arctic military warfare, including snowmobiles, helicopters, radar systems, and anti-aircraft missile systems such as the S-300, aimed at strengthening control over Arctic air space

The Nagurskoye base boasts the latest equipment for Arctic military warfare, including snowmobiles, helicopters, radar systems, and anti-aircraft missile systems such as the S-300, aimed at strengthening control over Arctic air space

Lieutenant general Yevkurov added: ‘The natural conditions in the Arctic Circle are strikingly different from those in which most military exercises take place, but soldiers must be trained to operate in a wide variety of conditions.’

The Russian ministry of defence said the team of paratroopers took part in war games after landing on the island.

They included reconnaissance and search operations aimed at destroying the enemy.

The exercises continued over three days with soldiers advancing to the collection point before returning to the Nagurskoye base.

The Russian ministry of defence said the team of paratroopers took part in war games after landing on the island which included reconnaissance and search operations aimed at destroying the enemy

The Russian ministry of defence said the team of paratroopers took part in war games after landing on the island which included reconnaissance and search operations aimed at destroying the enemy

The paratroopers wore camouflaged uniforms and carried white rifles

The paratroopers wore camouflaged uniforms and carried white rifles

It comes after Russia saw a record daily rise in coronavirus cases and deaths. 

The latest 6,411 cases – a new high, surpassing Sunday’s 6,361 – bring the total number of infections from 87,147 to 93,558. 

The jump means that Russia overtakes Iran and China to move into eighth worldwide for the number of confirmed cases, although there are doubts over China’s figures. 

Russia also recorded 72 new deaths today, passing the previous record of 66, taking the total death toll from 795 to 867. 

Russia’s 147million people are scattered across 11 time zones and 85 regions, but Moscow has taken the worst hit with 48,426 cases by itself. 

The team jumped from a reported height of nearly 33,000ft

The team jumped from a reported height of nearly 33,000ft

After landing, the team carried out war game exercises for three days

After landing, the team carried out war game exercises for three days

They included reconnaissance and search operations aimed at destroying the enemy

They included reconnaissance and search operations aimed at destroying the enemy

The surrounding region has another 10,231 confirmed cases while St Petersburg has recorded 3,436. 

The Arctic region of Murmansk has also seen more than 1,000 cases, while Krasnoyarsk is the worst-hit part of Siberia with 888 positive tests.   

The government’s figures also include the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014 but which most countries do not recognise as part of Russia.   

Russia says it has carried out more than 3.1million tests across its territory, including nearly 120,000 in the last 24 hours. 

The country has been in lockdown since late March, and Vladimir Putin has yet to say whether this will be extended beyond the current expiry date of April 30.

Putin is due to deliver a speech later on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.  

‘President Putin has a big speech planned, but I am not going to announce anything, let’s wait until the meeting,’ said official spokesman Dmitry Peskov.  

The lockdown is estimated to cost Russia 0.5 percentage points of its gross domestic product every week.

This graph shows the rising daily number of coronavirus cases in Russia, which hit a new peak of 6,411 today to bring the total to 93,558

This graph shows the rising daily number of coronavirus cases in Russia, which hit a new peak of 6,411 today to bring the total to 93,558 

Russia's daily death toll also reached a new high today as 72 more fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, passing the previous record of 66

Russia’s daily death toll also reached a new high today as 72 more fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, passing the previous record of 66 

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