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When the first men were deployed to the site, they were confronted by curious polar bearsWhen the first men were deployed to the site, they were confronted by curious polar bears (AFP Photo/Maxime POPOV)

Kotelny Island (Russia) (AFP) – Far above the Arctic Circle, a futuristic army complex equipped with a gym and year-round hot water serves the needs of Russia’s Arctic troops.

Moscow built the military base on the remote Kotelny Island — part of the New Siberian Islands in the eastern Arctic — in record time after realising the strategic and economic potential of its northern frontier.

It is romantically named the Northern Clover and can house 250 troops, who sport a special white polar uniform.

“The Northern Clover is the first permanent

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