October 24, 2011
Russia is to build an ultra-modern city on a frozen island deep inside the Arctic Circle – in the Kremlin’s latest move to back its claim to vast oil and gas reserves under the polar ice cap.
Named Umka, after a popular Soviet polar bear cub cartoon hero, the initial 5,000 residents will live under a vast dome to protect themselves from temperatures sinking below minus 30C in winter.
‘This city will be of strategic importance as Russia’s northern outpost,’ said architect Valery Rzhevskiy who has shown its modernistic designs to an approving Vladimir Putin.
Sources say it is likely to house soldiers, border guards and secret service officers, as well as scientists and explorers, as Moscow gets serious about claiming Arctic mineral riches.