Photo of four-kilometer-long cable that disappeared — and was found again — before it was placed in the sea by LoveOcean/Institute of Marine Research Norway…
Posts tagged as “Russia”
Photo by The Norwegian Armed Forces Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has altered Russia’s security perspectives dramatically, also with concern to the…
Photo courtesy of Andrey Yakunin Andrey Yakunin, 47, was detained by Norwegian police earlier in October for flying a drone in Norwegian airspace. He is…
Russians, Ukrainians and Norwegians in Svalbard may be continuing their neighborly co-existence despite the invasion to the south, but the head of the Russian settlement of Barentsburg (and Russia’s top diplomat in Norway) is stirring up an outrage and calls for his expulsion after expressing his support for Russia’s “special military operation” and insisting Norwegian media reports are “fake news.”
(Editor’s “call it karma” note: As this story was being written Svalbard Auto posted a notice on Facebook that its payment terminal is out of order, so gas cannot be purchased at all during non-business hours. The station is scheduled to be open extended hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.)
Gas is selling for an unprecedented high of 27 kroner a liter in some mainland locations and the price is expected to continue increasing due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As such, there’s grumbling among media and motorists about why gas and diesel at Longyearbyen’s only station is barely above 10 kroner a liter, given Svalbard’s remoteness and all.
As it turns out, Longyearbyen residents are also grumbling about the 10 kroner a liter gas, because it’s higher than they’re used to paying.
Photo by Kristin Woxholth
Nazarii Khomych says her mother is making food for Ukrainian soldiers, her father is helping protect their city, and the threat of immediate danger is also present for other family members and friends. But she says a protest march and rally during a frigid Tuesday night in the world’s northernmost city still managed to bring warmth to them from afar.
Photo from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov firing a test missile Saturday just east of Bjornøya from video by the Russian Defense Ministry
Among Russia’s many military maneuvers while preparing to invade Ukraine this week was testing a new hypersonic missile in waters bordering southeast Svalbard, whose residents are long-familiar with Vladimir Putin’s provocations and aggressions in trying to expand his zone of influence in the Arctic.
And similar to the rest of the world watching Russia’s rush to war in dismay, the sizeable population of Svalbard’s Russian and Ukrainian residents – many of whom have permanent homes in the Ukrainian provinces Putin is declaring “liberated” – are expressing concern mixed with a hopelessness that such feelings from afar can have any impact.
Photo of Lenin bust in Barentsburg by Wikimedia Commons
“Russia isn’t about to annex Svalbard,” but is planning a hostile takeover of sorts in the waters surrounding it, according to a polar geopolics expert.
That means in addition to boosting its archipelago activities such as tourism and research, there will be more “sabre rattling” in the form of warships sailing closer, louder diplomatic protests and other actions while remaining inside the boundaries of the Svalbard Treaty.
Photo of the KNM Thor Heyerdahl docked in Longyearbyen in late October by the Norwegian Navy
Norwegian military ships visiting Svalbard are a regular, if not frequent, occurrence and legal as long as it’s for “non-war” purposes. But Russia is calling a voyage by a Navy vessel in October part of Norway’s ongoing efforts to develop military infrastructure in the archipelago in violation of the Svalbard Treaty’s intent.
Norway maintains the voyage is just business as usual – and Russia has faced plenty of accusations of illegal and/or provocative military activities in Svalbard and elsewhere in the Arctic.
Russia is planning to express its “dissatisfaction” with the U.S. deploying Air Force bombers to Norway for the first time by conducting a multiple-missile test sometime during the next week with the impact area in a block of open sea just south of Bjørnøya, according to official and media reports.
The test in what’s classified as the “bear gap” by Western defense entities is scheduled between Feb. 18-24, according to a “notice to airman” warning issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization.