Russia kicks off Arctic expedition from Kirkenes

"Kapitan Dranitsyn" berthed in Kirkenes on August 5 2012. Photo: Trude Pettersen

Russia sends two icebreakers to the Arctic to collect data on the Russian shelf’s outer limits. The expedition starts from Kirkenes in Norway.


The Russian diesel-powered icebreakers “Kapitan Dranitsyn” and “Dikson” are currently berthed in Kirkenes, getting ready for a two-month long Arctic expedition. If everything goes as planned, the vessels will leave Kirkenes on August 6.

The aim of the expedition is to find evidence supporting the country’s claims for the Mendeleev ridge in the Arctic Ocean. If researches establish that the ridge is continuation of Russia’s continental shelf, the country will obtain the priority right to develop its natural resources.

Kapitan Dranitsyn” will engage in mapping of the seabed and “Dikson” will collect seismic data and conduct geological and geophysical research, RIA Novosti reports.


“Dikson” berthed in Kirkenes on Sunday. Photo: Trude Pettersen.

Dikson” has been in Kirkenes for some three weeks’ time for upgrading at a local shipyard. “Kapitan Dranitsyn” has undergone the same upgrading at a shipyard in Murmansk, and arrived in Kirkenes during the weekend.  

It is the first time Russia uses its diesel-run icebreakers for this kind of operations. For several years, the country has used the “Akademik Fyodorov” research vessel assisted by nuclear-powered icebreakers in connection with shelf extension studies. Because of the high price for use of nuclear-powered icebreakers, Russia will use diesel-powered icebreakers in this year’s expedition.