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. 

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.

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.

Russia must promote human rights through education, not just seek to punish rights violators, representatives of the Council of Europe said during a visit to Moscow this week.

Sami people, Finland (

“Buorre beaivi.” Its “hello” in Sami language and will be more frequent in the public sector in Norway. A new government mandate calls for public servants to learn at least a little of the Sami language.

Winning team EU

You might think that China and the USA are on top of the Beijing Olypics medal statistics. You might be wrong. The by far biggest collector of Olympic medals is actually the European Union, writes.


The technical commission, which has studied last week’s tragic aircraft crash in Perm, Western Siberia, concludes that the catastrophe can be blamed on the pilots. The crash with Aeroflot-Nord’s Boeing 737-500 killed 88 people, among them 22 foreigners.

Shafig Amrahov, editor of the Regional News Agency in Murmansk, was severely wounded after he got several gunshots in the head when entering his apartment house.

Nikolai Ettyne (t.l.) and ABR race manager Ketil Reitan

A musher in the Arctic Barents Race 2009 had by mistake stayed in Norway for three weeks after his visa had expired. Because of this he had to endure a three hour interrogation by the Norwegian police, he was given a 1500 EUR fine and was kicked out of the country in the end.

Thousands of people took part in Saturday’s celebration of Victory Day in Murmansk.

Ill: Reilulf Ramstad Architects (Click to enlarge)

The Norwegian Barents Secretariat wants to materialise the role of the High North with the building of a signature building in the Arctic border town of Kirkenes. The building will be the highest wooden building ever constructed, and made in line with the best possible environmental standards.

The Nenets AO

Another three villages in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug will be left abandoned this year.

Doctors and medical personnel this week entered the streets of Arkhangelsk in a protest rally against lack of equipment and personnel in regional clinics.