RUSSIALINK: “Foreign Policy Experts Map Russia’s Plans for 2022” – Moscow Times

Satellite

The Moscow Times asked 10 commentators for their predictions for the coming year […]

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China’s Arctic Ambitions Could Make or Break U.S.-Russian Relations in the Region

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Ingrid Burke Friedman – Dec. 1, 2021) Ingrid Burke Friedman is a fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Features Editor at JURIST Legal News & Commentary. She previously served as a consular officer with the U.S. State Department. While U.S.-Russian relations continue to deteriorate in many spheres, the Arctic […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A critical situation might be in the making on the Northern Sea Route” – Barents Observer

Arctic Map

An early freeze has taken shippers by surprise and a big number of vessels are in danger of getting stuck in thick sea-ice […]

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Infrastructure in Russia’s Arctic: Environmental Impact and Considerations

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Kennan Cable No. 73 – Thomas Eric Rotnem – Nov. 2021) Professor of Political Science and Associate Director, School of Government and International Affairs, Kennesaw State University In 2007, Russia signaled its commitment to pursue territorial claims in the Arctic by planting a titanium Russian flag on the polar seabed. Now, Russia is moving well […]

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RUSSIALINK: “How Is Climate Change Impacting Russia?” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nov. 2, 2021) As world leaders gather in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit in hopes of agreeing on a strategy to avoid catastrophic global warming, Russia stands to face significant changes from climate change in the coming decades. Here’s a look at some of the ways Russia, which is warming 2.5 times faster than […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. Air Force Has A Base Right Next To Russia. It Just Sent F-16s To Visit.” – Forbes

File photo of F-16 with Arctic colors above runway, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit: U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder

“… The Air Force recently stepped up its Agile Combat Employment practice when it sent at least two F-16s from the 18th Aggressor Squadron, based at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, to Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island [near the western end of the Aleutians]. The six-square-mile island lies just 200 miles from the Russian coast. …. ‘To the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “UN’s Bombshell Climate Change Report Forecasts Fire and Floods for Russia” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

Russia can expect to see intensifying wildfires, floods and other extreme weather events in the coming decades as the global climate crisis deepens a decade sooner than projected […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Military Seeks to Outmuscle U.S. in Arctic” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“For Moscow it is the last geopolitical battleground where it holds the advantage over Washington and Beijing” “… [N]ew and refurbished bases [are] meant to service the Kremlin’s ambitions in the resource-rich Arctic. … combined to form a new military district … under … the Northern Fleet, Russia’s foremost Arctic naval force[] … [with fleet] headquarters … on the Kola […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic-Superpower Jostling Heats Up as Russia Takes on Key Role” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

“Russia’s Sergei Lavrov claimed this week that ‘this is our land and our waters’ as NATO allies boost military activity” “… Russian and U.S. diplomats … [signal] rising tensions between [powers] racing to seize Arctic resources …. Arctic Council [participants] weren’t due to discuss security. But … Russia’s … Sergei Lavrov declared … the Arctic ‘is our land and our […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s weather goes crazy” – bne Intellinews

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“In May it was hotter on the coast of the Arctic Circle than in the Mediterranean. Russia is heating up three times faster than the rest of the world.” “…. And Moscow has just reported its warmest days in May ever … while the rest of Europe was suffering from a cold snap that has seen gas prices … for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic rivalry heats up among the great powers” – Financial Times

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“Friction in other parts of the globe as well as climate change are fueling tensions in the high north.” “… [N]ew or updated [arctic] strategies … have appeared … from Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden and the UK[,] [as well as] the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Department of Defense, Department for Homeland Security, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia seizes on Suez blockage to promote merits of Arctic route” – Financial Times

Suez Canal and Environs Aerial File Photo, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Moscow is busy highlighting the northern sea route and Nordstream as alternatives for world trade […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Could Russia Benefit From the Suez Canal Blockage?” – Moscow Times

Suez Canal and Environs Aerial File Photo, adapted from image at nasa.gov

The Kremlin wants to use the grounding of the Ever Given ship to promote its Northern Sea Route and counter European concerns over Nord Stream 2. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – March 26, 2021) Almost $300 million worth of Russian oil products are waiting to enter the Suez Canal, which remains closed following the grounding of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Army releases Arctic strategy focused on Russia, climate change” – UPI

Arctic Map

“The [U.S.] Army[‘]s … ‘Regaining Arctic Dominance[]’ [strategy] includes plans to establish headquarters with combat brigades specially trained and equipped to increase cold-weather dominance …. [and plans] to improve … quality of life ….  [T]he Navy and Marine Corps released its own Arctic strategy saying the United States needs to be more aggressive [there] due to threats from Russia and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Where Climate Scientists See Danger, Russia Sees an Opportunity” – Bloomberg

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Rising temperatures in the Arctic are a warning sign for the planet. The melting ice has an economic upside for Russia.” “Russia … fourth-biggest [greenhouse gas] emitter … [also faces Arctic] temperatures … warming more than twice [that of global rates] …. [With] more than a fifth of the planet’s forests, Russia has [had] two consecutive years of record-breaking wildfires […]

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Russian Company Pays Largest Legal Award In History — Almost $2 Billion — For Devastating Arctic Fuel Spill

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

… [T]he Krasnoyarsk City Court of Arbitration ruled that almost all of the sum, the largest legal award in Russian history, must go to the federal treasury […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putting Putin in his place: U.S. Navy eyes ‘freedom of navigation’ patrols off Russia’s Arctic coast” – Washington Times/ Ben Wolfgang

“The Navy is eyeing a tougher posture in the Arctic to push back against Moscow … [T]op Pentagon officials said … the U.S. could launch ‘freedom of navigation’ operations near Russia’s Arctic coastline. Such operations would resemble Navy exercises in the South China Sea, an area in which American ships regularly contest growing Chinese territorial claims. Officials believe similar movements […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Northern Sea Route should operate according to special rules, based on Russia’s interests – presidential envoy” – Interfax

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

… Russian president’s special representative for environmental protection and transport, Sergei Ivanov said … the whole NSR runs through Russian territorial waters or … the country’s economic zone, and said that Russia must insist on special rules […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Warming shrinks Arctic Ocean ice to 2nd lowest on record” – AP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“… The extent of ice-covered ocean at the North Pole and extending further south to Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia reached its summertime low of 1.4 million square miles … last week before starting to grow again. Arctic sea ice reaches its low point in September and its high in March after the winter. This year’s melt is second only […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Richest Man Owns More Melting Arctic Than Anyone” – Bloomberg/ Yuliya Fedorinova, Laura Millan Lombrana

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“Vladimir Potanin’s sprawling Siberian mining operations make him the billionaire most exposed to the permafrost crisis.” “Vladimir Potanin, one of the [world’s] 50 richest people … stood awkwardly on … Siberian tundra near … remote mining city … Norilsk. … less than a week since a spill[,] … one of Russia’s worst [Arctic] disasters …, caused … by an aging […]

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Emergency situation: the slow-moving tragedy of the Russian Arctic

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Melting permafrost, oil spills, collapsing infrastructure, abandoned towns: Russia’s far north is heading for social, economic and ecological disaster. (opendemocracy.net – Sofia Gavrilova – August 27, 2020) Sofia Gavrilova is a geographer and works in the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig. [Text with photos opendemocracy.net/en/odr/russia-arctic-monotowns/] “The asbestos factory closed last year. The crushed stone plant is closing this year. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Security strongmen take on key role in Russian Arctic policy” – The Barents Observer (Norway)/ Atle Staalesen

Arctic Map

“The Russian Security Council is given an expanded position in the management of national interests in the Arctic.” “According to a[n] [Aug. 25] decree signed by … Putin … the [Russian] Security Council is to establish a special commission … promot[ing] Russian national interests in the far northern region[,] [a]mong its responsibilities … ‘analysis of the international and social-economic situation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Climate Change in Russia and the Weaponization of Wheat” – The Center for Climate and Security/ Leah Emanuel

Arctic Map

“As temperatures in the Russian Arctic rapidly increase and permafrost continues to melt, Russian land feasible for wheat production is beginning to grow. … While wheat makes up only 2.3% of Russia’s total exports, this small percentage constitutes a major portion of the global wheat export market. … Relying on wheat production in these newly farmable lands, however, will not […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “An oil spill in Russia’s Arctic exposes risks for Moscow’s Far North plans” – Washington Post/ Isabelle Khurshudyan, Andrew Freedman

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Thawing permafrost in the rapidly warming region leaves Moscow’s ambitious Arctic expansion proposals literally on shaky ground.” “… [S]urg[ing] … climate change in interior Russia – more than three times the global average – is throwing new risks in the way of … Putin’s Far North agenda, among his top domestic initiatives. A key danger is … more infrastructure atop […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Arctic Axis; Russia and China’s partnership in the north is primarily driven by business, not politics.” – Foreign Policy/ Elizabeth Buchanan

Arctic Map

“… [C]ommercial realpolitik is at the heart of [Russia and China’s Arctic] engagement. … [even as it] navigates existing fault lines, such as Beijing’s failure to acknowledge Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s nonalignment in the … India-China conflict. … [R]egional cooperation is due to … shared interest[s] in maintaining domestic stability. Long-term economic development ventures and the viability of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Melting Arctic Permafrost Threatens Russian Energy Firms’ Bottom Line – Morgan Stanley” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

Rapidly melting Arctic permafrost poses the greatest threat to major Russian energy producers’ infrastructure and financial indicators, according to a new Morgan Stanley report […]

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Siberia’s ‘Poles Of Cold’ Are Obliterating Heat Records, And Alarming Climate Scientists

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

.. The rapid pace of warming has stunned climate scientists, despite years of gradually rising temperatures. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Far-Reaching Consequences of Siberia’s Climate-Change-Driven Wildfires” – Smithsonian Magazine/ Theresa Machemer

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Smoke from the blazes is now reaching the West Coast of the United States.” “… [S]moke from the fires … spans over 1,000 miles … causing hazy skies [in] the northwestern United States …. Permafrost is rich in organic material that froze before it could completely decompose. Melting permafrost releases greenhouse gases on top of the pollution released by the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Realism in the Arctic” – The National Interest/ Kenneth Yalowitz, Ross A. Virginia

Arctic Map

“The United States and Russia have disagreements on many issues, including the organization of the international system. No ‘reset’ in relations is in sight but there is a need to put a floor in the relationship and work on possible areas for cooperation. The Arctic can be one.” “… The Arctic is [Russia’s] highest priority strategic national interest …. Arctic […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tie for warmest 12-month period globally as Siberia sizzles (Update)” – PhysOrg/ Marlowe Hood

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“Temperatures soared 10 degrees Celsius above average across much of permafrost-laden Siberia last month …. Earth’s average surface temperature for July 2019-June 2020 was 1.3C above pre-industrial levels …. In the Arctic … an hourly temperature record for June … was set on the 21st near Verkhoyansk in northeastern Russia …. [P]reviously registered Arctic hourly highs in 1969 and 1973 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic sets ‘fantastical’ heat records: weather chief” – AFP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The Russian Arctic set record temperatures in June that sparked abnormal tundra fires … Russia’s weather service [director] said … blaming climate change for … ‘fantastical’ anomalies. Russia’s northern territories, including parts of Yakutia region which borders the Arctic ocean, have faced a heat wave … with some districts declaring a state of emergency. … He noted one record in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic Circle’s record temperatures heighten global warming concerns” – Financial Times/ Leslie Hook, Max Seddon

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“Wild anomalies such as the 38C recorded in northern Russia this week underline climate change threat.” “… [N]orthern Russia has produced the highest temperature ever recorded inside the Arctic Circle …. [R]esidents of Verkhoyansk, north-east of Siberia in … Yakutia … have … been sunbathing in a town that at other times of the year shares the record as the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia’s persistent, freakishly mild weather is reverberating around the world” – Washington Post/ Andrew Freedman, Isabelle Khurshudyan

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The planet just had its warmest May, continuing a streak from 2014.” “… Siberia … has seen persistently extreme temperatures since the winter … [leading] to a damaging Arctic oil spill, spark[ing] early outbreaks of large wildfires and help[ing] vault global temperatures to new milestones. … Permafrost thawing across Siberia … has caused widespread problems such as buckled roads, collapsed […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin heightens the strategic role of the Northern Fleet” – Barents Observer/ Thomas Nilsen

File Photo of Russian naval vessel on Arctic Ocean

“In an early June decree, President Vladimir Putin de facto equals the Northern Fleet with a military district” “… [Starting in] 2021, the Northern Fleet will have the same status as Russia’s four other military districts … the Western, Southern, Central and Eastern. … [T]he Republic of Komi, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Murmansk Oblast and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug will be part […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The massive Norilsk fuel spill could be linked to permafrost thaw, a growing threat to Arctic infrastructure” – Arctic Today / Melody Schreiber

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Infrastructure built on permafrost needs to be better monitored, experts and officials say.” “… [O]ne of the largest ever oil spills in the Russian Arctic may have been caused in part by permafrost thaw, according to the [polluting] company …. Experts … long warned that … [without] precautionary steps … such thaw could cause[] billions of dollars in damage to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A brazen foray into the Barents yields predictable Cold War-type friction” – Responsible Statecraft/ Lyle J. Goldstein

File Photo of U.S. Naval Ships in Joint Exercises with UK in Barents Sea, adapted from defense.gov image with photo credit to U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Nichols

” … [M]ilitary escalations in the High North need more attention … [not] the [U.S.] media focus … on … Russian trolls, social media influence peddlers, spies, and various ‘useful idiots.’ … [W]hen the New York Times … seemingly … tr[ied] to investigate what might actually be going on under the … waters of the Barents and off the Norwegian […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Diesel Spill In Russian Arctic Could Be Putin’s Exxon Valdez” – Forbes/ Ariel Cohen

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“… Putin ordered a state of emergency … in the Taymyr region near the Arctic Ocean, after 20,000 tons (150,000 barrels) of diesel fuel spilled from a Russian power plant into … soil and a nearby river. The accident occurred in the Siberian city … Norilsk … [T]he plant’s fuel reservoir collapsed into thawing permafrost, releasing its contents. Diesel is […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tanker crosses Russian Arctic route without icebreaker assistance; Commercial shipping on the Northern Sea Route starts earlier than ever before.” – Barents Observer/ Atle Staalesen

Arctic Map

By late May, a carrier had set out on the icy route without icebreaker escort. “… [S]ea ice along the Russian Arctic coast is quickly vanishing as temperatures … have been reaching record highs. With the retreating ice comes tanker traffic. … [T]he ‘Christophe de Margerie’ … on May [19th] kickstarted this year’s shipping season across the eastern part of […]

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