Barentsburg, the Norwegian town of Russian and Ukrainian miners where war is a taboo

The colony established on the Svalbard archipelago, near the North Pole, suffered from the consequences of the European measures adopted against Russia.

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Jnever has a Norwegian citizen lived in the Norwegian locality of Barentsburg. Its inhabitants are, for the most part, Ukrainian or Russian miners, and practically none survive there for more than two years. The colony, one of the coldest and most isolated in Europe, has had its darkest hours since its creation in 1920 by a group of Dutch people.

Lacking buyers for its tons of coal and with a bankrupt tourist sector, it has just been hit, first by the pandemic, then, now, by a boycott due to the war in Ukraine. “Times are tough,” admits Serguei Guschin, the Russian consul general in Barentsburg. “We make sure that everything goes for the best,” he continues.

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