Vladimir Putin has his eyes set on starting a new Cold War – by opening a top-secret military base in the Arctic.
The giant complex on the northern ice cap is believed to be fully-armed with missile systems and nuclear-ready fighter jets.
And Russian economists reckon it could hold the key to the Kremlin unearthing almost £24 TRILLION of oil and gas buried deep beneath the snow, The Times reports.
Moscow yesterday released the first pictures of the giant Arctic Trefoil complex on the Arctic island of Alexandra Land – where temperature can drop to -50°C.
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.
Those inhabiting the base will have to contend with the threat of killer temperatures and ravenous polar bears that live nearby.
More troops are on their way, too.
Putin has ordered elite special forces troops to train up for Arctic warfare – using REINDEER SLEDS for transport in the freezing conditions.
Russia unveiled the five-storey complex yesterday.
The move comes shortly after the US expressed its concern over Russia building up its military near the North Pole.
Washington’s Defence Secretary James Mattis said: “Russia is taking aggressive steps to increase its presence there.”
SOURCE: Danny Collins