Welcome to Ice City: Russia plans to build frozen community 1,000 miles from North Pole… as race for Arctic minerals heats up

Russia is to build an ultra-modern city on a frozen island deep inside the Arctic Circle – in the Kremlin’s latest move to back its claim to vast oil and gas reserves under the polar ice cap.

Named Umka, after a popular Soviet polar bear cub cartoon hero, the initial 5,000 residents will live under a vast dome to protect themselves from temperatures sinking below minus 30C in winter.

‘This city will be of strategic importance as Russia’s northern outpost,’ said architect Valery Rzhevskiy who has shown its modernistic designs to an approving Vladimir Putin.

Sources say it is likely to house soldiers, border guards and secret service officers, as well as scientists and explorers, as Moscow gets serious about claiming Arctic mineral riches.

All will enjoy a luxury lifestyle in the cocoon with its own specially regulated temperate climate – including many facilities to make inhabitants of other cities envious.

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Extraordinary: The city will cost up to four billion pounds and be built on the remote island of Kotelniy, in the Novosibirsk archipelago, some 1,000 miles from the North Pole

Vast: The Umka designs are based on the International Space Station but in comparison is much larger – one mile long and 800 yards wide

Map of region

Also, funding for the project: Russian Geographical Society’s multi-purpose expedition to Novosibirsk Islands

The Russian Geographical Society’s Board of Trustees allocated a grant to finance a multi-purpose expedition to explore the Novosibirsk Islands Archipelago. This Russian Arctic archipelago is located in the Arctic Ocean, between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea.

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