The paratroopers from the 98th Paratroopers Division in Ivanovo were dropped over the island of Kotelny on Friday in a show of strength in Arctic conditions. The soldiers, dressed in new specially designed 7-layer military gear landed on the island after having undergone an Arctic survival training program, the Russian Ministry of Defence informs.
The paratroopers were dropped from a fleet of Ilyushin IL-76 airlifters. Also various technical equipment was dropped. The soldiers used the airfield Tiksi as base ahead of the operation.
As previously reported, the Russian Northern Fleet late 2013 took major efforts in the reopening of the Temp airfield at Kotelny, one of the main islands at the archipelago. Three Navy vessels, including the “Petr Veliky” missile cruiser, as well as seven support vessels and four nuclear-powered icebreakers, were involved in the operations.
The operation included the moving of more than ten housing modules on shore.
The Island of Kotelny in the period 1933-1993 housed a research station and military base. Significant volumes of abandoned military equipment and metal scrap is covering major parts of the island. Reportedly there is a total of more than 60 thousand rusting oil barrels left on site.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the new base will protect offshore oil and gas resources in the area and keep an eye on the growing number of ships sailing along the Northern Sea Route.
Norwegian state-owned coal mining company Store Norske on the Svalbard archipelago is in a serious situation because of low prices on coal. The company is now in dialogue with the State, employees and the bank to secure further operations in 2015.
What was the Barents Region’s only east-west flight, from Arkhangelsk to Tromsø via Murmansk, lacks permission and is no longer flying. Nordavia, however, hopes to see the Pskovaia operated aircraft soon landing in Tromsø again.
This abandoned polar hydrometrological station at Cape Menshikova on Novaya Zemlya can be declared a culture heritage site as Arkhangelsk authorities urge Moscow to include Arctic objects in the state register.
Industrialists in Finland eye the opening of a major trade and transport route with a projected railway connection to the Norwegian Arctic coast. Former PM Paavo Lipponen has been hired to get the Norwegians onboard.
Photographer Cristian Barnett traveled around the Arctic Circle, capturing life at 66° 33′ 44″ N. The result is his new book and traveling exhibition, Life on the Line. BarentsObserver spoke with Barnett about his impressions of life on the Circle and the decisions he made to capture it.
The Sami Council, which is an umbrella organization for Sami organizations in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, has agreed that there is a need for Sami to be present in the EU capital of Brussels and plans to establish an office there.