Tag Archives: Barentsburg

Guest column: The Soviet Handshake of Norway – Future dreams of an aspiring Arctic adventurer from the East meets past memories from the Kremlin

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(Author’s note: As the raging COVID-19 pandemic forces nations to shut their borders, tourism and employment in this Norwegian archipelago have taken a hard hit. With Norway opening its domestic borders as of June 1, there will be some respite but not enough. Tourism needs to be revived and spirits need to be raised for all those facing the heat in this sub-zero climate. This is where my effort goes: a diary as a native of India visiting the Russian settlement of Barentsburg in March of 2019.) 

“A HUGE PLUS AT THE NEW STARTING POINT”: Barentsburg tourism director states Svalbard’s “clean” status will be big draw if travel ban lifted by summer; 157 visitors in past week

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While Longyearbyen is grappling with catastrophic consequences of the coronavirus crisis and all but writing off tourism for the summer and possibly beyond, an optimistic outlook continues to be expressed in Barentsburg where the tourism director asserted this week Svalbard’s status as the only “clean” Arctic destination will eventually be a huge advantage.

“This will be a huge plus at the new starting point of the summer tourist season, which we are all preparing for,” wrote Timofey Rogozhin in a post on his Facebook page Tuesday. (Note: an elaboration by Rogozhin submitted to us in English is at the end of this article.) 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR SUNDAY: Government’s Svalbard aid statement in English, Russian consul general discusses Barentsburg impacts and more

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This story will be updated throughout the day.

Svalbard remains free of officially diagnosed cases of the coronavirus as the global pandemic crisis nears the end of its second surreally quiet weekend in the archipelago, but government agencies aren’t idle as they continue to release information for the archipelago’s foreign residents and discuss the impacts with media in other countries with residents here. Meanwhile, life for researchers in Ny-Ålesund is “almost normal” as they continue a variety of projects and a New Zealand resident in the Arctic guiding program is grappling with issues related to a return-home declaration from her homeland.

HOW SVALBARD’S ‘OTHERS’ ARE FARING: Pretty much ‘normal’ at hysterically cool Bjørnøya film fest, two women self-isolating all winter at trappers’ hut, no layoffs in Barentsburg

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While 90 percent of Longyearbyen’s tourism employees are facing layoffs, all of those in Barentsburg and Pyramiden are busy and planning for the summer season. Life in the international research community of Ny-Ålesund continued normally with the obvious health precautions. Those on a research ship frozen in the ice far to the north are going about daily life normally, but anxious about the virus cutting off incoming staff and support.

Then there’s the tiny Bjørnøya Meteorological Station at the southern tip celebrating its annual film festival despite problems caused by “hysterically clear and fine weather” and black-market tickets. And two women well into nine months of “self-isolation” at a remote trapper’s hut who just celebrated a birthday and are blogging sympathies to those elsewhere following their adventures.

TWO KILLED IN AVALANCHE: Germans w/ Russian snowmobile tour group caught in snowslide on glacier about 20 km south of Barentsburg on Thursday afternoon

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Two Germans on a snowmobile trip were killed Thursday afternoon by an avalanche that hit a glacier at Fridtjofbreen, about 20 kilometers south of Barentsburg, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

CULTURAL SHAREITAGE: Norway and Russia may be in a new Cold War, but in Svalbard embracing differences take center stage

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Before the show there’s the trip to the grocery store. And it says a bellyful about the performances to come when the two neighboring communities visit each other.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 9, 2019

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Barentsburg less exposed to avalanches than Longyearbyen, but some buildings at risk
No buildings in Barentsburg need to be moved or demolished, but some – notably the Barentsburg Hotell – would not be built today in their current locations due to the exposure to avalanches, according to the first-ever assessment of the settlement by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute.

Random weirdness for the week of July 24, 2018

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Anywhere else on Earth this is merely a cute kid (redundant phrase) trying to pet an ugly cat (also redundant). But here it’s a criminal act that we’re arguably complicit in (not to mention being media whores for giving into the inevitable pussy, foxy and other non G-rated innuendo that follows).

Report: Russian helicopter crew didn’t report problems before crash, passengers likely evacuated aircraft before it sank

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The crew of a Russian helicopter that crashed near Barentsburg aren’t heard discussing any problems beforehand on the cockpit’s voice recorder, but the eight occupants aboard who perished apparently escaped the aircraft without lifejackets before it sank, according to preliminary report released Friday by The Accident Investigation Board Norway.

‘I will definitely return here’: Growing up in Barentsburg means students, visitors exchange fascinating life experiences

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(Editor’s note: This is one in a series of articles by Anna Demkovich, 14, about moving to and growing up in Barentsburg).

It’s hard to forget the landscapes of the Arctic. Especially the beautiful view that I watched every day from the window: the Sleeping Knight, the Pomor Lodge, the fjords.