Aleksandra Pryadilina, Emma Likhacheva, & Irina Chesnokova

The article deals with the issues of preservation and development of human capital in the Arctic. The results of studies on the influence of various natural and climatic factors characteristic of the northern regions on the functional systems of the body are presented. In the example of the city of Murmansk, the capital of the Russian Arctic, the method of statistical analysis of multidimensional images in the thermal infrared range of the city’s territory is considered, which is used to zoning the natural and climatic factors of the Russian Arctic. According to the results of the study, three groups of Arctic regions of the Russian Federation were identified according to the prevailing diseases caused by natural and climatic factors.

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Alexey A. Dudarev & Alexey V. Dozhdikov

The present review evaluates, summarizes and comparatively analyzes the information for the period 2000-2019 on living conditions and environmental factors in urban and rural settlements of the Nenets autonomous okrug (NAO) in relation to the assessment of demographic processes, well-being (quality of life) and health of the NAO population. This review was prepared using the information accessible in the open sources, primarily the official Rosstat data. The analysis clearly demonstrates that the living conditions in the rural NAO areas are characterized by transport isolation, irregular supply of foods and essential goods, outdated housing and social infrastructure, lack of centralized heating, water supply, sewerage, waste collection and disposal, limited access of the population to medical care, lack of adequate opportunities for education, children's creativity, cultural development, leisure activities, and sports. The living conditions and sanitary-epidemiological situation in the rural NAO settlements (especially in the remote and hard-to-reach villages) should be characterized as unfavourable. The demographic situation in NAO has obvious signs of the formation of a pronounced depopulation trend both among the urban and rural population. The situation among the rural population is alarming: high mortality rates (so far compensated by the high birth rates) accompanied by even higher migration loss, are obviously leading to the further (perhaps irreversible) reduction in the “inhabitability” of the rural NAO areas. Poor demographic situation in the rural NAO areas is accompanied by the increased public health risks (high rates of morbidity).

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Alexandra Middleton

The Russian Federation has the biggest land area in the Arctic and has been gradually expanding its definition by joining new regions and territories that previously were not considered Arctic to its Arctic Zone of Russian Federation (AZFR). In recent years, two incentivizing programmes, the Arctic Hectare and the Resident of the AZRF, were introduced to stimulate the social and economic development of the AZRF. The resident status in the AZRF provides an investor with a set of privileges for investment activity, including tax incentives. From 2020 to November 2022510 companies received the status of resident and are collectively all support programmes are expected to contribute to over 33,400new jobs. This study is aimed at comprehensively reviewing the construction of the AZRF concept as a Special Economic Zone. In the analysis, I focus on the business incentivizing programmes through the lenses of sustainability, hence identifying how economic, social and environmental concerns are incorporated into the Resident of the AZRF programme. Results demonstrate that the economic pillar of sustainability outweighs social and environmental concerns in the construction of the Russian Arctic as a Special Economic Zone.

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Daria Mishina

Arctic conferences are a unique setting where representatives of institutions/Indigenous peoples, stakeholders, politicians, scientist/young researchers, activists, and Arctic enthusiasts can meet while still having something in common. While there are hundreds of varied sizes, themes, and formats of Arctic conferences, before the global pandemic the number and variety of Arctic conferences were steadily growing in the world. But what are the impacts of these experiences and what is the value of holding these conferences in the Arctic itself? This article examines and analyzes the correlation between a number of Arctic conferences that were held specifically in the Arctic and in central regions of Canada, Finland, Norway, and Russia between 2012 and 2021. The data collection results identify a difference in the number of participants, focuses, investments, and potential regional impacts between conferences in the Arctic-regions versus those in centers or major cities. This article seeks to answer the question does the economic impact of Arctic conferences contribute to Arctic regional development? Additionally, this article highlights potential economic losses of the Arctic regions due to the ongoing organization of international Arctic events outside of the Arctic region.

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Efecan Özcan, Sinan Yirmibeşoğlu & Burcu Özsoy

The Russian Federation has a great advantage in the Arctic Ocean because of its long coastline which also has less sea ice concentration in summer to allow vessels to pass with ease. Due to newly opening polar routes in the Arctic, maritime logistics, port and maritime affairs have become more sensitized for Arctic Council countries. But this increase is coming with various anthropogenic effects on Arctic Environment. Polar Code aims to control, force and advice for ships with many environmental applications to ensure safety. Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) report emphasizes the increase in vessel traffic in the Arctic due to climate change and eight recommendations were made to take steps for Arctic Environment. Also, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) working on the same issue. Nevertheless, the Arctic Environment is still vulnerable to increased maritime activity and many more steps including increasing scientific research will be on the agenda.

As a result of this, this study aims to provide the latest overview of the situation to the regional and international lawmakers for the sustainability of Arctic maritime activities and its environmental effects by the ice-class ships within the scope of the polar code with a statistical approach, using the database of the Russian Northern Sea Route Administration (NSRA). However, the uncertain results of the war between Russia and Ukraine could change the Arctic’s future different from the results of these study.

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Kara K. Hodgson & Marc Lanteigne

Moscow launched its “Hectare in the Arctic” program in summer 2021, allowing Russian nationals to obtain a free hectare of land in the country’s northern regions. This plan is the latest attempt to address the chronic problem of outmigration and to attract new settlers to the Russian Arctic. Yet, multiple obstacles stand in the way of making the scheme a viable demographic solution. The primary obstacle to success with this program, we argue, is the logic that undergirds it. This article unpacks Moscow’s logic by applying Foucault’s “security, territory, population” analytical triad. We conclude that the program is Moscow’s reaction to perceived threats to Russia’s sovereignty in the Arctic, particularly the perceived “China threat” that has been brought on by warming relations between the two countries. This logic undermines the potential of the program by neglecting substantive consideration of the needs and socio-economic conditions for Arctic residents. Ultimately, this case illustrates the challenges and central policy contradictions that Putin’s regime faces in making the Russian Arctic an effective zone of economic growth.

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