Voices from Russia

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Always Darkest Before the Dawn: Polar Night Ends on Frants Iosif Land (Russia’s Northernmost Archipelago)

Border marker at Severnaya Bay on Alexandra Land in the Frants Iosif Land Archipelago

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On Thursday, the Sun rose over the horizon on Frants Iosif Land, the northernmost Arctic archipelago in Russia and Eurasia, signalling an end to the four-month-long pitch-dark polar night. Aleksei Barakov, a deputy director of the Russian Arctic National Park, told us:

The Sun rose over Alexandra Land Island where the Omega permanent field base is located.

The polar night began on Frants Iosif Land, an archipelago lying only 1,100 kilometres (684 miles) away from the North Pole, on 18 October. Vadim Zakharyin, the chief of the national park’s expedition centre, noted:

The night is very cold, windy, and dark there. The Northern Lights rarely occur on the archipelago because the cloud cover is rather thick and low. The temperatures usually hover at around -30 degrees (-22 Fahrenheit), with high humidity that’s difficult to bear. Besides that, winds reach hurricane-like speeds of 36 metres per second (80.5 miles per hour). You have to be especially careful in that darkness because you can run into polar bears there.

On Thursday, the weather on Alexandra Island was frigid and calm. Two park staff-members are always present at the Omega field base of the Russian Arctic National Park. Only two of the 192 islands making up Frants Iosif Land are habitable during the winter. Alexandra Land, the westernmost island of the archipelago, is home to the Nagurskoye border outpost and a Northern Fleet base, in addition to the national park’s field base. A weather monitoring station, also known as “the observatory”, is on Kheysa Island in the very centre of the archipelago. A source at the Northern Department for Meteorology and Environment Monitoring said:

Currently, there are six workers at the Ernst Krenkel Observatory.

22 February 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/economy/991293

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Monday, 8 January 2018

8 January 2018. Only in Russia… Shashlik for Christmas… on the OUTDOOR Grill

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This is a real-deal Russian preparing grilled shashlik for CHRISTMAS. I shit you not. I do believe that the eaters are waiting inside… it’s true that shashlik over charcoal is legit to the max, but sometimes we Russians justify the Western view that we’re Europe’s crazy cousins. Not that I’d want to change that…

BMD

Saturday, 6 January 2018

6 January 2017. Put On Your Snuggies… It’s COLD This Weekend

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It’s colder than a witch’s tit this weekend. However (as Chukcha the Wise would say)… it’s supposed to rebound and warm up significantly this coming week. That sounds nice… but until Monday rolls around, I advise that you should wear your snuggies, heavy boots, a toque, gloves, and a scarf. You should also keep your loved ones close at hand, toss another log on the fire, eat a bowl of piping-hot stew, and bring out a bottle of something good.

It’s WINTER…

BMD

Monday, 1 January 2018

1 January 2018. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… Niagara Falls in Canada… FROZEN Almost Solid

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This is how cold it is in the Northeast at present. Niagara Falls is almost frozen solid. BRRR… I need add no more…

BMD

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