MOSCOW: Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday it has built a giant military base in the far northern Arctic where 150 soldiers can live autonomously for up to 18 months. The ministry said the building erected on the large island of Alexandra Land, which is part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, is 97 percent complete. The base is a permanent structure located on the 80th parallel north and has an area of 14,000 square meters. The building can house 150 soldiers and stock enough fuel and food to let them work there autonomously for a year and a half, the ministry said. Franz Josef Land is a chain of islands between the Barents and Kara Seas north of Novaya Zemlya archipelago.