Russian Claims to Pole Foreshadow More Arctic Disputes to Come

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On Aug. 2, after being escorted by a nuclear-powered icebreaker and another research vessel, two Russian mini-submarines traveled more than two miles below the ice at the North Pole and planted a titanium Russian flag in the seafloor, claiming the underwater territory for Moscow. The publicity stunt played to huge audiences in the Russian media and on state-run television, where the tone of the coverage resembled that given to Soviet cosmonauts. Elsewhere, the underwater mission was greeted with a mixture of humor and anxiety. Late night talk shows worried what the land grab would mean for Santa’s village and his […]

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