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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Franz Josef Land News

Russia to Beef Up Arctic Military Infrastructure

'Pyotr Veliky': Photo Russian Navy

The Russian Northern Fleet will deploy military infrastructure in most of the archipelagos and islands of the Arctic Ocean on the borders of Russia, according to official news agency Arctic-Info, citing the Northern Fleet command spokesman Andrey Korablev. "We plan to create a military infrastructure on virtually all of the archipelagos and islands of the Arctic Ocean in order to create a unified system of monitoring above-water and underwater environments," said Korablev at the "Provision of national interests of Russia in the Arctic" round table in St. Petersburg.

Northern Sea Route Traffic to be Joined by Russian Navy

Warship “Pyotr Velily”: Photo credit Russian Navy

Two vessel groups from Russia’s Northern Fleet will be sailing Arctic waters during the busiest season for commercial shipping along the Northern Sea Route reports the 'Barents Observer'. Citing Commander Vladimir Korolev's press statement Barents Observer reports that the Russian Navy plans to send a detachment of the fleet’s combat ships led by the nuclear-powered missile cruiser “Pyotr Velily” to eastern regions of the Arctic Ocean". Another vessel group will sail to the archipelago Franz Josef Land…

Russia Ramps Up Its Military Presence In The Arctic

Photo: Russian Military (mil.ru)

A new era of dominance in a polar region opening up. The size and scale of Russia's military activities in the Arctic are producing negative perceptions and growing suspicion in the West. UPI reports that  Russia, long seen as an aggressive and unpredictable bear in international politics, has stepped up its military activities in the region – including large-scale exercises, an extensive modernization program and the reconstruction of infrastructure. Observers, mainstream media in particular…

Occurrence of Humpback Whales at Franz Josef Land Recorded

Humpback Whales at Franz Josef Land

Scientists first documented occurrence of humpback whales near the archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Experts attribute this to the successful development of their populations. The usual habitat in the Red Book of Russia humpback whales is far south and west of Franz Josef Land. However, in mid-July of this year, members of the expedition, organized by the national park "Russian Arctic", approached the archipelago noticed a flock of whales, including several humpbacks. This was reported by the deputy director for scientific work "Russian Arctic" Maria Gavrilo in an interview with Tass.

Nuclear-Powered Container Ship to Serve Russian Arctic

Nuclear container ship Sevmorput: Photo Wiki CCL

Russia has started repairs of the world’s only nuclear-powered container vessel, the 260m long, 61,000 displacement, 'Sevmorput' to be employed in both commercial and military operations in the Russian Arctic, reports Barents Observer. The vessel, built at the Zaliv yard in Kerch, Ukraine, and commissioned in 1988, was put in dry dock in Roslyakovo outside Murmansk on December 26, 2013, and will go through extensive repairs before entering service again in 2016, reports Barents Observer, citing news from Atomflot.

Russian President Sees Off Arctic Expedition, States Development Plans

Putin Address Arctic Expedition: Photo credit Kremlin, Moscow

"This is a symbolic event for Russia. First, it confirms our growing presence in the Arctic. We will increase our efforts and work in many areas here, developing new deposits and building new infrastructure, above all ports, roads, bridges and so on. Of course, we will also bolster our military presence here too. In all of this work we will strive for a balance between development and preservation of the natural environment. Your expedition is in effect the start of a big new project to give the Arctic a thorough clean-up.

Cruise Ship Transits the Northeast Passage

Hanseatic in ice water (Photo: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises)

Expedition cruise ship Hanseatic has navigated the Northeast Passage for the second time, completing its journey through the Arctic Ocean sea route in the early hours of September 7, 2016. After sailing a total of 5,542 nautical miles, the ship will arrive in Nome on September 10 and officially end its cruise. In 2014, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic became the first non-Russian cruise ship to navigate the Northeast Passage, which runs along the north coasts of Asia and Europe, from the Bering Strait to the White Sea.

Russian Military Muscling into the Arctic

Russian claims in Arctic. Map by United Nations

Russia has built a giant military base in the far northern Arctic where 150 soldiers can live autonomously for up to 18 months, AFP quotes the Defence Ministry as saying. The building erected on the large island of Alexandra Land, which is part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, is 97 percent complete. The "Arctic Trefoil" compound, located on 80th parallel north has been built using the latest technologies to prevent energy loss. The construction teams have paved the roads on the remote island and the main building is 97 percent complete, according to the officials.

North Pole: The Latest Tourist Trap

Dennis Bryant

On August 16, 2015, the geographic North Pole was visited by a Russian surface ship for the one-hundredth time. The Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory) carried 106 tourists from 16 different countries. This was the icebreaker’s seventh cruise to the Pole just this season. Each voyage takes just less than two weeks round trip, and that includes a full day of partying at the top of the world. This is all available for a starting cost of $26,995 per person for a basic two-person cabin with a standard twin bed…

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