Top Arctic stories of the week, 10 -- 14 January 2022

Photo: Kamenskaya Olga/

Top Arctic stories of the week, 10 -- 14 January 2022

Below is a recap of this week’s posts by Alexander Stotskiy (CEO, Project Office for Arctic Development) analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.

Arctic freight keeps growing at a rapid pace

The amount of cargo transported via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) keeps growing despite the pandemic and the global supply chain crisis. As stated by the Directorate of the Northern Sea Route operated by Russian nuclear monopoly Rosatom, in 2021, the overall freight hauled across the lane went up by 5.7 percent as compared to 2020, reaching about 35 million metric tons. It is 2 million tons more than in 2020, when the amount of freight hit a record of some 33 million tons. This means that the ambitious target -- 80 million tons transported via the NSR by 2024 -- is an achievable one. Read more…

Russia’s biggest icebreaker leads its first convoy to Chukotka

Arktika, Russia’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker, has successfully performed its first icebreaking mission in the Eastern Sector of the Northern Sea Route. The convoy escorted by the icebreaker delivered to Chukotka the cargo of construction materials and other goods for companies implementing their investment projects in the region. So far, Pevek is the most distant Arctic port visited by Arktika. Arktika’s deployment in this part of the Arctic marks the beginning of work to better understand what should be done to make the NSR navigable all year round. It is the Arktika-class icebreakers that are expected to deliver on this ambitious goal. Read more…

Russian Arctic may become a detox tourism hub, scientists say

Biologists from the Kola Science Center, Russian Science Academy, believe that the Russian Arctic has chances to become an important tourist hub after the pandemic offering a wide array of innovative products. According to a recent study authored by a team of Kola Science Center researchers, detox tours, digital tourism and plogging -- an eco-friendly exercise involving picking up trash while jogging -- may become key new products featured by tourism providers operating in the Arctic. Read more…

Three new wildlife refuges will be established in Yakutia

By 2024, three new conservancy areas will be founded in the Yakut Republic, one of Russian constituent regional entities. Two of them, the Laptevomorskiy Refuge and the Momskiy National Park are located in the Arctic. At present, 235 protected nature areas are operational in Yakutia. Seven of them enjoy the status of federal wildlife sanctuaries, while 130 are regional and the rest are municipal nature reserves. New protected areas will be established as part of the Environment national project implemented throughout Russia. Read more…

A unique polar research vessel will set off for maiden voyage in autumn 2022

According to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, North Pole, an Arctic research floating platform being constructed in St. Petersburg, will be commissioned this summer. The ice-resistant vessel, which is currently undergoing mooring trials, is about 90 per cent complete. The platform will become fully operational by this July. This means that North Pole will be able to set out on her first mission to high latitude areas of the Arctic Ocean as early as in autumn 2022. The platform will carry a team of scientists who will conduct a vast program of research into the Arctic climate, hydrochemistry, geophysics, hydrography and biology. Read more…
Alexander Stotskiy
14 January 2022
Arctic Weekly