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Two hundred kilometres above the Arctic Circle hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers are finding a new life in northern Norway, but recently the doors have been shutting on those desperate to start fresh in the High North.

The Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta is now online with English version.

Sounds like a chapter in a science fiction book? Well,it’s not. Rosatom and Russian Railways are seriously developing a nuclear powered train.

They sailed through the perpetual darkness of winter to avoid being seen. They sailed through violent storms, the freezing sea spray turning guy wires into ice-laden cables thicker than a man’s arm. 

Since June 2015, distribution of many everyday goods, such as toothpaste and cleaning products, is a complicated case in Russia. New federal regulations on alcohol consumption state that products containing over 0.5 percent alcohol are subject to licensing.

Russian letters

The Finnish Ministry of Education has turned down applications from municipalities in eastern Finland on the replacing the compulsory Swedish language with Russian.

Two Sami women on the Kola Peninsula.

The world’s smallest language, Ter Sami, is only spoken by two persons. Also, Ume Sami and Pite Sami will not last long.

Russia has “made progress” in improving the quality of life of its citizens over the last decade, a new study by OECD says.

Sari Pöyhönen is a Finnish journalist, media and culture worker living in Murmansk since 2010. She likes to take photos of everyday life and you can follow her photo blog from Murmansk here on BarentsObserver. New images will be added as Sari meets new people and sees seasons change in the world’s largest city north of the Arctic Circle through the camera’s lens. ‎

With the Arctic becoming an object of steadily growing attention, Murmansk Oblast establishes the “Arctic University” to prepare Barents students for jobs in Arctic oil and gas projects. 

Members of the LGBT community in Murmansk speak out about living in a country where the government has declared them an enemy of the state. One organization is reaching out to help youth and adults overcome the stigma and prejudice of homosexuality and live openly. But some are finding escape from Russia is the only way to gain freedom.