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What the article does not say: Russia currently has 9 nuclear icebreakers. Of these, FIVE are Soviet era construction, only ONE is Putin era built (2007 replacement for the decommissioned ship that 1st sailed in 1955). Adding three to the fleet will allow Russia to decommission)+
+ at least two that are still operating, but were launched in 1975 and 1977. Russia/USSR operated nuclear icebreakers since 1955 - well before anyone saw Russians in the Arctic as a New Existential Threat to Liberty and Democracy of the Free Western Society of Walruses. +
+ Russia has the largest, by a mile, coverage of territory of the Arctic and it always relied more heavily on the region than ANY other Arctic region country. In contrast, the U.S. has the smallest territorial claim in the region and did virtually nothing in developing it. +
+ Here is the map of claims: sciencealert.com/this-map-shows…. Now, the U.S. sees the Arctic as the area where it must assert its dominance over everyone, feeling conflicts with Canada, Norway, et al. And, of course, per U.S. position, Russia simply must vanish from the Arctic. +
+ Hence, we have this absurdist scaremongering: Russia is launching a massive push for nuclear icebreakers to seize control of the Arctic. It is another example of ‘Western’ paranoia, and it will probably lead to the unnecessary amplification of adversarial relations in the +
+ region, harming the potential for cooperative, environmentally-sensible, protective development of the Arctic. Then again, to Washington, subjugating friends & enemies to its doctrine is the more important objective than international cooperation and the environment.
+ This is not to say that other powers - Canada, Russia in particular - are benign, when it comes to the Arctic. But the main sabre-rattling and anti-cooperative behaviour comes from the Washington. Leadership, not intransigence & warmongering, is what needed for us to preserve+
+ and protect the Arctic. Cooperative leadership. The sort of leadership unimaginable to the likes of John Bolton et al who run U.S. foreign policies and geopolitical strategies.
+ NB: nuclear icebreakers (excluding pre-1970s model, now fully decommissioned, which had two accidents on its 1950s reactors) are vastly better on carbon emissions & GHGs emissions than the ‘peaceful’ diesel spewing engines the U.S. Navy & commercial marine have been using.
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