Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Russian Bear dominates the Arctic

To continue its dominance on the Arctic, the Russian Bear needs the help of foreign markets, investors and technologies.

Vancouver, Canada - In the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, Marko Ramius, the rogue captain of a Soviet nuclear missile submarine, evades the US and Soviet navies by maneuvering deftly through a narrow and winding - but precisely charted - mid-Atlantic trench.

In real life, the Soviet navy's charting efforts extended to the heart of the NATO-controlled Canadian Arctic. Soviet-era charts on board the Akademik Ioffe, an ice-strengthened ship owned by the Russian Academy of Sciences and chartered by a Canadian eco-cruise company, show many more depth soundings in the Northwest Passage than do comparable Canadian charts.

Cold War dominance

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union dominated the Arctic. By 1989, its Northern Fleet - based north of the Arctic Circle on the Kola Peninsula - included more than 120 nuclear submarines.

Russia's Arctic coastline stretches over 6,600 km and 11 time zones. The Kola Peninsula remains heavily militarised, with dozens of operational submarines maintaining a second-strike capability that Moscow deems essential to its "Great Power" status. Read More