‘Total collapse’: Russia steamrolls over Svalbard in training exercise, website claims; Norway denied it happened

‘Total collapse’: Russia steamrolls over Svalbard in training exercise, website claims; Norway denied it happened

A report Russia staged a full-scale invasion of Svalbard during military training exercises caused Norway’s media to blow up Wednesday, so to speak, with reports of NATO participating in “crisis meetings after Norway’s More »

Asian taken out: Sushi KITA, Taste of Thai being forced to close to make room for mall remodel, new restaurant

Asian taken out: Sushi KITA, Taste of Thai being forced to close to make room for mall remodel, new restaurant

The irony was delicious – and not. A sushi making class at a first-ever Longyearbyen food festival to celebrate the town’s growing culinary culture this month was one of the final moments for More »

Lock ’em up, take away the key: Governor tells motorists to stop leaving keys in vehicles after recent thefts

Lock ’em up, take away the key: Governor tells motorists to stop leaving keys in vehicles after recent thefts

For decades it’s been a tradition for Longyearbyen residents to leave their keys in vehicles because there was virtually no change they’d be stolen. The Governor of Svalbard says those days are More »

In the month of madness: Catching up on the many ways Svalbard was weird during our ‘mysterious absence’

In the month of madness: Catching up on the many ways Svalbard was weird during our ‘mysterious absence’

Editor’s note: Ever since we learned the world is ending this weekend we simply decided there was no point in publishing anymore – although, yeah, it’d be a hell of a final More »

FINAL CLOSURE: Government recommends permanent shutdown of mining at Svea, Lunckefjell

FINAL CLOSURE: Government recommends permanent shutdown of mining at Svea, Lunckefjell

Hopes of resuming large-scale coal mining in Svalbard were dashed Thursday morning – probably permanently – as the Norwegian government is recommending Svea and Lunckefjell remain closed, and that maintenance of the mines More »

 

‘Total collapse’: Russia steamrolls over Svalbard in training exercise, website claims; Norway denied it happened

invasionmain

A report Russia staged a full-scale invasion of Svalbard during military training exercises caused Norway’s media to blow up Wednesday, so to speak, with reports of NATO participating in “crisis meetings after Norway’s total collapse” and Norway denying the exercise happened.

Asian taken out: Sushi KITA, Taste of Thai being forced to close to make room for mall remodel, new restaurant

sushilesson

The irony was delicious – and not. A sushi making class at a first-ever Longyearbyen food festival to celebrate the town’s growing culinary culture this month was one of the final moments for Sushi KITA because it and Taste of Thai – the town’s only other Asian eatery – are being forced to close in a few weeks.

Lock ’em up, take away the key: Governor tells motorists to stop leaving keys in vehicles after recent thefts

svalbarcar

For decades it’s been a tradition for Longyearbyen residents to leave their keys in vehicles because there was virtually no change they’d be stolen. The Governor of Svalbard says those days are over.

In the month of madness: Catching up on the many ways Svalbard was weird during our ‘mysterious absence’

madness

Editor’s note: Ever since we learned the world is ending this weekend we simply decided there was no point in publishing anymore – although, yeah, it’d be a hell of a final story. Or maybe it’s because we’ve gotten lost in an infinite cyberspace time warp. Or we’ve been in a depressed-and-wishing-we-were-in-a-drunken-stupor waiting to be dragged off to jail for stealing from everyone living here. OK, that last one is clearly too absurd to be true, but regardless of the reason we’ve gone a month without publishing a print edition of Icepeople and thus, due to a delusion we still have readers, feel a need to explain why. That appears on page two, where we normally print our normal weekly roundup of weirdness. But, while it doesn’t make up for our absence, this space is for our biggest-ever helping of Svalbard related random weirdness ever since no matter how bad things get we never stop paying attention to that.

So, beginning with the most immediate and theoretically important insanity…

FINAL CLOSURE: Government recommends permanent shutdown of mining at Svea, Lunckefjell

finalclosure

Hopes of resuming large-scale coal mining in Svalbard were dashed Thursday morning – probably permanently – as the Norwegian government is recommending Svea and Lunckefjell remain closed, and that maintenance of the mines cease and most of the infrastructure be removed. 

No so eternal: Longyearbyen Cemetery must be moved due to landslide threat, church leader says

cemeterymove

The cliché is Longyearbyen is the town you can’t die in because your body won’t stay buried in the ground. But now there are plans to move the cemetery where those who have died here are buried because the graves face the threat of being obliterated by landslides.

“The cemetery is located in an area at risk of slides both during summer and winter, and something has to be done,” Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen told Svalbardposten.

Termination dust: Return of snow means evacuation of at-risk homes, heightened avalanche monitoring in near-term future

firstsnow

People allowed back into dozens of avalanche-zone homes “until the snow returns” don’t have to vacate them for the winter quite yet even though the first visible snow fell on Longyearbyen this weekend, according to Svalbard Gov. Kjerstin Askholt.

“It is not literally the first snow,” she said during a break in a community meeting last Wednesday to discuss landslide and avalanche preparations for the coming winter. “It will be when there’s enough snow for us to evaluate if there is a threat.”

How I became an explorer: One 14-year-old girl’s long voyage from the Ukraine to a new life with her family in Barentsburg

annaselfie

(Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series by Anna Demkovich, 14, who agreed to share some of her writings about growing up in Barentsburg. This part details how her father found work in the Russian settlement and her journey from her Ukrainian hometown to the far north. A Ukrainian version of this article has been published by her homeland magazine Пульса (“Pulse”).)

It all started with the usual advertisement.

I am the daughter of miners. There are four of us in the family: I, Mom, Dad and my younger sister Dasha. I never stood out among my peers and my life was no different from that of other Krivorozhan children. But I always had a feeling that something special would happen, which doesn’t happen to everyone, and that my world would radically change. But, this “something” did not happen and did not happen. But then…

Talking Smak: First-ever Svalbard food festival offers locally-produced and internationally acclaimed food, lessons

smakbooth

You can revisit Svalbard’s cuisine of the 1600s with a meal of seal prepared four ways – including dessert. Be part of the über-hipster one percent for a day by “drinking icebergs” and ultra-premium bottled water from five other countries. Drink and dine on famous chef cuisine for hours late into the night, and then get up very early for hours more of food, ginger shots and a requirement to “dance yourself morning-happy.”

And if food for the mind and soul is your thing, there’s everything from gardening to history lectures to sushi lessons.

Svalbard declared one of Russia’s top war threats due to Norway’s goal of ‘absolute national jurisdiction’

russiathreats

Norway’s attitude about Svalbard is among the top four geopolitical challenges – on par with NATO and the Baltic States – that puts Russia at risk of war, according to a Russian Defense Ministry report about national security threats.