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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 17th March 2017 > PUTIN ON ICE

PUTIN ON ICE

Why Russia is way ahead in the race to control the Arctic
ICE BREAKER about tapping the Arctic’s abundant oil and gas reserves. CHALLENGE: U.S. and European oil companies have long fantasized
SERGEY ANISIMOV/ANADOLU / GETTY

IN OCTOBER 2014, the Yamal, a Russian nuclear icebreaker with enormous shark teeth painted on its bow, rammed through the thick ice at the North Pole as a research vessel followed behind it, firing its seismic guns. Its multiyear mission: find oil and natural gas and help claim the Arctic sea bottom in Moscow’s name. In January, as Russian scientists were finalizing the test results, one of the mission’s leaders was elated as he stood before a rapt audience in Tromsø, a stunningly beautiful Arctic city in Norway. “We assure you, there is oil there,” said Gennady Ivanov of Russia’s Marine Arctic Geological Expedition. “And the oil is recoverable,” he noted later, in response to a question.

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KILLER INSTINCT: IS NORTH KOREA'S KIM JONG UN OUT OF CONTROL Kim Jong Nam was the half-brother of the current North Korean ruler, Kim Jong Un, but the two likely never met. Nam was thirteen years older, and "they were raised in separate households,’’ says a former South Korean intelligence analyst, “and [Kim Jong Nam] was shipped off to Switzerland for school as a boy. No way they ever met.” Which makes what happened on February 13 that much more confounding and disturbing. Shortly before 9 a.m., as Kim Jong Nam walked through an airport terminal, he was approached by two women; one walked in front of him, as if to distract him, while the other slipped behind him. Both quickly touched his face and then hurried off. Twenty minutes later he was dead. The assassination, unquestionably ordered by Kim Jong Un, was stunning in its brazenness: out in the open, easy for security cameras to capture and then display to the world. But is this killing just the beginning of a lethal spree?
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