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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.

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. 

As Syrian refugees in the hundreds cross over from Russia, capacities in Kirkenes reach the limits. Now an abandoned military compound is turned into refugee reception center.

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.

Maximum, the support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Murmansk feels offended after the largest hotel in town cancelled their conference hall booking. We wanted to protect them, says the management.

Although the Social Democrat / Green government has been in power for a year, this is the first time they will be governing with their ow

Photo: Barentsphoto.com

Statistics Norway estimates that northern Norway will have a major population increase over the next 20 years, mainly due to work immigration.

By the end of the year, Russia will have a total of 40 million Internet users, an international analysis company says. That will make the country the second biggest Internet user in Europe.

Russian vodka

Over the last seven months, alcohol consumption inn Russia increased with 2,5 percent. Of the alcohol consumed, 49,6 percent was hard alcohol, the National Alcohol Association reports.

Photo: Barentsphoto.com

Russian federal authorities intend to triple funding of the indigenous peoples in the North. In addition, Moscow will let the regional administrations administer the money.

Photo: Laila Dalhaug, Barents Secretariat

About 1800 people were participating in this weekend’s Barents Friendship skiing competition.

Dmitrii Medvedev (kremlin.ru)

Russia’s controversial laws on NGOs could be amended, President Dmitry Medvedev said at his first meeting with his Human Right Council.

Tourism is one of the most prospective industries in the Barents Region, the participants in last week’s meeting in the Barents Working Group on Tourism underlined.

The investor, which recently bought the Pravda Severa newspaper in Arkhangelsk, plans to include the newspaper in a new regional media holding.