Executive Summary for June 16th

We review the latest Arctic news, including estimates that the capital of Nunavut could soon face a major water shortage, building tension between Norway and Russia over a U.S. radar base, and an outbreak of anti-corruption protests in northern Russia.

Published on June 16, 2017 Read time Approx. 1 minutes

Iqaluit Could Face Major Water Woes

The capital of Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut may face a water shortage within five years. As the CBC reports, new research suggests that part of the problem is that Iqaluit’s aging water pipes are leaking a significant amount of water into the ground before it has a chance to reach residents’ homes. Climate change is also expected to reduce the amount of rain and snow that helps feed the lake that the city currently uses as its water reservoir. The city’s backup plan is to tap a nearby river, but researchers concluded there still wouldn’t be enough water to support the city’s current population.

Worries of a New Cold War

The chief of Norway’s military intelligence agency says construction of a new U.S. radar system on the Arctic island of Vardo will help track space junk, but as the New York Times reports, the Russian military isn’t buying it. They, and many Norwegians, believe the new equipment is aimed at monitoring the activities of Russia’s nearby northern fleet.

Moscow warns that the surveillance post may help spur an Arctic military conflict. Norwegian defence experts are similarly concerned about what some are describing as a new Cold War.

Northern Russians Take a Stand

Anti-corruption protests that swept Russia on Tuesday saw young people in northern regions such as Murmansk, Karelia and Komi take to the streets, reports the Barents Observer.

The demonstrations, similar to those staged in March, were sparked by opposition politician Aleksey Navalny’s film about Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is accused of amassing mansions, yachts and vineyards with ill-got gains.

While police arrested hundreds of demonstrators in Moscow, local authorities approved the northern protests, which occurred peacefully and without any major police crackdown.

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