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If people sense Russia isn’t exactly buckling under the heat as other nations are becoming increasingly hostile due its Arctic aggressiveness, it’s because they’ve got a remarkable history of concealing its woes and ambitions. We’re not sure which of the following is more mind-boggling: that a fire in the Pyramiden mine was still burning 18 months after it started, or that Russia kept it a secret from Norway for 30 years.
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I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.