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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Video - Russia's Arctic Obsession.....realistic or just a foolish dream?

Video - Russia's Arctic Obsession.....realistic or just a foolish dream? (FT).

President Vladimir Putin has revived Russia's dreams of exploiting its Arctic territory – boosted by a warming climate that has opened up the Northern Sea Route. The FT travels to remote reaches of Siberia to see if Russia can make it work.

Visiting Nikita Kudryashov at home is a bit like entering a bomb shelter.

Once the metal door into the building slams shut behind us, it is pitch dark. The young man leads me up a dim staircase. But then we enter a flat that could be anywhere in Russia: a kitchen table laden with pancakes, smoked fish, buns with cottage cheese, jam and tea. Past the lace curtains and geraniums on the windowsill, barely anything is visible of the snowdrifts and crumbling houses outside.

This is Tiksi, a decaying town in the Russian Arctic. Here, more than 4,000 kilometres from Moscow on the coast of the Laptev Sea, 4,550 people inhabit a wasteland whipped by blizzards and wrapped in polar night for half of the year. Surrounded by thousands of kilometres of permafrost, the town has no outside land connection.

Its main lifeline is an airport manned by a military unit, a relic of Soviet times, when the country’s Arctic territory was dotted with military bases. Read the full story here.

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