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  Barentsburg, Norway - a Russian-Ukrainian mining town on The Archipelago of Svalbard    This is Norway, surprisingly enough. Lenin's statue still towers above the center of the city, and, according to the town's biggest monument, communism is still the target.   Barentsburg is a Russian-Ukrainian mining community on The Archipelago of Svalbard, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.    In this isolated, exotic post Soviet village, the state owned company Trust Arktikugol has operated the coal mine since 1932. About 400 workers, mainly from Ukraine, are working here. The work is hard and many of the workers are lonely and isloated, far away from their families back home in the mining cities Donetsk and Lugansk, where they usually work. However, the salary is better up North compared to Ukraine, and the economical crisis in Ukraine makes Svalbard even more attractive as a working place these days.    The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 established full Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago. The treaty came into effect in 1925, following the Svalbard Act. All forty signatory countries of the treaty have the right to conduct commercial activities on the archipelago without discrimination, although all activity is subject to Norwegian legislation.    The state owned Russian mining began operating in Barentsburg in 1932. Today the company produce about 100.000 tons of coal annualy. One fifth is powering the coal fired power station in Barentsburg. However, the coal is of low quality and is exported to West European countries, gaining low market prices.    Since 1989 forty miners have lost their lives in Barentsburg. Lack of health insurance is a big problem for workers involved in work accidents, as the local hospital only has one doctor and limited health services. In 2013 two workers lost their lives in the mine and one worker lost his leg. Trust Arktikugol has a stronghold on their workers as the company control and own everything in the city.    However, despite the problems with the mine, Trust Arkitiugol has no intention of leaving Svalbard. In 2013 and 2014 many of the buildings in the town were modernised, and a new research station opened in April 2014, becoming the second biggest work place in Barentsburg.    These images were shot in the summer of 2013 and in the winter of 2014.

Barentsburg, Norway - a Russian-Ukrainian mining town on The Archipelago of Svalbard

This is Norway, surprisingly enough. Lenin's statue still towers above the center of the city, and, according to the town's biggest monument, communism is still the target. Barentsburg is a Russian-Ukrainian mining community on The Archipelago of Svalbard, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

In this isolated, exotic post Soviet village, the state owned company Trust Arktikugol has operated the coal mine since 1932. About 400 workers, mainly from Ukraine, are working here. The work is hard and many of the workers are lonely and isloated, far away from their families back home in the mining cities Donetsk and Lugansk, where they usually work. However, the salary is better up North compared to Ukraine, and the economical crisis in Ukraine makes Svalbard even more attractive as a working place these days.

The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 established full Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago. The treaty came into effect in 1925, following the Svalbard Act. All forty signatory countries of the treaty have the right to conduct commercial activities on the archipelago without discrimination, although all activity is subject to Norwegian legislation.

The state owned Russian mining began operating in Barentsburg in 1932. Today the company produce about 100.000 tons of coal annualy. One fifth is powering the coal fired power station in Barentsburg. However, the coal is of low quality and is exported to West European countries, gaining low market prices.

Since 1989 forty miners have lost their lives in Barentsburg. Lack of health insurance is a big problem for workers involved in work accidents, as the local hospital only has one doctor and limited health services. In 2013 two workers lost their lives in the mine and one worker lost his leg. Trust Arktikugol has a stronghold on their workers as the company control and own everything in the city.

However, despite the problems with the mine, Trust Arkitiugol has no intention of leaving Svalbard. In 2013 and 2014 many of the buildings in the town were modernised, and a new research station opened in April 2014, becoming the second biggest work place in Barentsburg.

These images were shot in the summer of 2013 and in the winter of 2014.

    Barentsburg is located at 78 degrees north, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.      

Barentsburg is located at 78 degrees north, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

 

    Ivan, a miner from Donetsk, Ukraine, celebrates his 26th anniversary with his wife Marina. - I came here last summer. At first I was alone and it was not so fun. My life in Barenstburg became much better when Marina moved here, he says.

Ivan, a miner from Donetsk, Ukraine, celebrates his 26th anniversary with his wife Marina. - I came here last summer. At first I was alone and it was not so fun. My life in Barenstburg became much better when Marina moved here, he says.

    After eight hours in the dark mine shaft in Barentsburg, the Ukrainan workers Alexander, Gennadiy and Seku are finished at their work place located 500 meters below sea level. The work is very dangerous. Since 1989 forty workers have lost their lives in the coal mine.

After eight hours in the dark mine shaft in Barentsburg, the Ukrainan workers Alexander, Gennadiy and Seku are finished at their work place located 500 meters below sea level. The work is very dangerous. Since 1989 forty workers have lost their lives in the coal mine.

    Several monuments from the communist era are still preserved in Barentsburg, first and foremost because of the tourists who are attracted by the site's old Soviet charm.      

Several monuments from the communist era are still preserved in Barentsburg, first and foremost because of the tourists who are attracted by the site's old Soviet charm.

 

    A miner takes a shower after a workout at the sports center, which is widely used by the workers in their spare time.

A miner takes a shower after a workout at the sports center, which is widely used by the workers in their spare time.

    A worker has bought a pig's head at the local store.

A worker has bought a pig's head at the local store.

    Many miners are alone in Barentsburg and alcohol problems are large. The hospital in the city has a special section for binge drink-workers.

Many miners are alone in Barentsburg and alcohol problems are large. The hospital in the city has a special section for binge drink-workers.

    Vova (30) from Donetsk, Ukraine has been working in the coal mine for almost two years. - I long to come home to my wife and my son. He is one year and three months old. I have not seen him since he was a little baby, he says.

Vova (30) from Donetsk, Ukraine has been working in the coal mine for almost two years. - I long to come home to my wife and my son. He is one year and three months old. I have not seen him since he was a little baby, he says.

    There is no road access to the settlement and the residents have virtually no contact with the other settlements in the area.      

There is no road access to the settlement and the residents have virtually no contact with the other settlements in the area.

 

    Misha from Tajikistan in his small apartment in Barentsburg. He is one of many guest workers who participate in the modernization of Barentsburg.      

Misha from Tajikistan in his small apartment in Barentsburg. He is one of many guest workers who participate in the modernization of Barentsburg.

 

   The expensive bar at the hotel in Barentsburg is mainly used by the tourists.

The expensive bar at the hotel in Barentsburg is mainly used by the tourists.

    Avo is a guest worker from Armenia. He shares a small  apartment with two other Armenians. - There is no work for us in our home country, he says.

Avo is a guest worker from Armenia. He shares a small  apartment with two other Armenians. - There is no work for us in our home country, he says.

    In 1974 this was the northernmost appartment block in the world. Recently, the grim building was modernized. In recent years Barentsburg has gone through major changes.      

In 1974 this was the northernmost appartment block in the world. Recently, the grim building was modernized. In recent years Barentsburg has gone through major changes.

 

    The Ukrainan miner Maksim visits the sports center in Barentsburg several times a week.      

The Ukrainan miner Maksim visits the sports center in Barentsburg several times a week.

 

    The coal power station is the largest source of pollution on Svalbard. In 2012 the plant released 2,582 tons of sulfur dioxide, 2,000 tons more than the emissions limit set by the Norwegian authorities.      

The coal power station is the largest source of pollution on Svalbard. In 2012 the plant released 2,582 tons of sulfur dioxide, 2,000 tons more than the emissions limit set by the Norwegian authorities.

 

   The playground outside the school.

The playground outside the school.

    About 50 of Barentsburg 400 residents are children. The village has both a kindergarten and a school.       

About 50 of Barentsburg 400 residents are children. The village has both a kindergarten and a school.

 

    Five married women participated in Miss North Pole, a beauty contest held in conjuction with the international women’s day.

Five married women participated in Miss North Pole, a beauty contest held in conjuction with the international women’s day.

    Barentsburg is a male-dominated city, and this year's beauty pageant jury consisted entirely of significant men in the mining town.      

Barentsburg is a male-dominated city, and this year's beauty pageant jury consisted entirely of significant men in the mining town.

 

    Anna Shevchenko won the first prize in this years pageant contest, Miss North Pole. The first prize was a rice cooker.

Anna Shevchenko won the first prize in this years pageant contest, Miss North Pole. The first prize was a rice cooker.

    Much of Barentsburg is covered with slag from coal production, and the snow is colored dark gray when the wind takes hold of coal dust.      

Much of Barentsburg is covered with slag from coal production, and the snow is colored dark gray when the wind takes hold of coal dust.

 

Barentsburg, Norway - a Russian-Ukrainian mining town on The Archipelago of Svalbard

This is Norway, surprisingly enough. Lenin's statue still towers above the center of the city, and, according to the town's biggest monument, communism is still the target. Barentsburg is a Russian-Ukrainian mining community on The Archipelago of Svalbard, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

In this isolated, exotic post Soviet village, the state owned company Trust Arktikugol has operated the coal mine since 1932. About 400 workers, mainly from Ukraine, are working here. The work is hard and many of the workers are lonely and isloated, far away from their families back home in the mining cities Donetsk and Lugansk, where they usually work. However, the salary is better up North compared to Ukraine, and the economical crisis in Ukraine makes Svalbard even more attractive as a working place these days.

The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 established full Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago. The treaty came into effect in 1925, following the Svalbard Act. All forty signatory countries of the treaty have the right to conduct commercial activities on the archipelago without discrimination, although all activity is subject to Norwegian legislation.

The state owned Russian mining began operating in Barentsburg in 1932. Today the company produce about 100.000 tons of coal annualy. One fifth is powering the coal fired power station in Barentsburg. However, the coal is of low quality and is exported to West European countries, gaining low market prices.

Since 1989 forty miners have lost their lives in Barentsburg. Lack of health insurance is a big problem for workers involved in work accidents, as the local hospital only has one doctor and limited health services. In 2013 two workers lost their lives in the mine and one worker lost his leg. Trust Arktikugol has a stronghold on their workers as the company control and own everything in the city.

However, despite the problems with the mine, Trust Arkitiugol has no intention of leaving Svalbard. In 2013 and 2014 many of the buildings in the town were modernised, and a new research station opened in April 2014, becoming the second biggest work place in Barentsburg.

These images were shot in the summer of 2013 and in the winter of 2014.

Barentsburg is located at 78 degrees north, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

 

Ivan, a miner from Donetsk, Ukraine, celebrates his 26th anniversary with his wife Marina. - I came here last summer. At first I was alone and it was not so fun. My life in Barenstburg became much better when Marina moved here, he says.

After eight hours in the dark mine shaft in Barentsburg, the Ukrainan workers Alexander, Gennadiy and Seku are finished at their work place located 500 meters below sea level. The work is very dangerous. Since 1989 forty workers have lost their lives in the coal mine.

Several monuments from the communist era are still preserved in Barentsburg, first and foremost because of the tourists who are attracted by the site's old Soviet charm.

 

A miner takes a shower after a workout at the sports center, which is widely used by the workers in their spare time.

A worker has bought a pig's head at the local store.

Many miners are alone in Barentsburg and alcohol problems are large. The hospital in the city has a special section for binge drink-workers.

Vova (30) from Donetsk, Ukraine has been working in the coal mine for almost two years. - I long to come home to my wife and my son. He is one year and three months old. I have not seen him since he was a little baby, he says.

There is no road access to the settlement and the residents have virtually no contact with the other settlements in the area.

 

Misha from Tajikistan in his small apartment in Barentsburg. He is one of many guest workers who participate in the modernization of Barentsburg.

 

The expensive bar at the hotel in Barentsburg is mainly used by the tourists.

Avo is a guest worker from Armenia. He shares a small  apartment with two other Armenians. - There is no work for us in our home country, he says.

In 1974 this was the northernmost appartment block in the world. Recently, the grim building was modernized. In recent years Barentsburg has gone through major changes.

 

The Ukrainan miner Maksim visits the sports center in Barentsburg several times a week.

 

The coal power station is the largest source of pollution on Svalbard. In 2012 the plant released 2,582 tons of sulfur dioxide, 2,000 tons more than the emissions limit set by the Norwegian authorities.

 

The playground outside the school.

About 50 of Barentsburg 400 residents are children. The village has both a kindergarten and a school.

 

Five married women participated in Miss North Pole, a beauty contest held in conjuction with the international women’s day.

Barentsburg is a male-dominated city, and this year's beauty pageant jury consisted entirely of significant men in the mining town.

 

Anna Shevchenko won the first prize in this years pageant contest, Miss North Pole. The first prize was a rice cooker.

Much of Barentsburg is covered with slag from coal production, and the snow is colored dark gray when the wind takes hold of coal dust.

 

  Barentsburg, Norway - a Russian-Ukrainian mining town on The Archipelago of Svalbard    This is Norway, surprisingly enough. Lenin's statue still towers above the center of the city, and, according to the town's biggest monument, communism is still the target.   Barentsburg is a Russian-Ukrainian mining community on The Archipelago of Svalbard, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.    In this isolated, exotic post Soviet village, the state owned company Trust Arktikugol has operated the coal mine since 1932. About 400 workers, mainly from Ukraine, are working here. The work is hard and many of the workers are lonely and isloated, far away from their families back home in the mining cities Donetsk and Lugansk, where they usually work. However, the salary is better up North compared to Ukraine, and the economical crisis in Ukraine makes Svalbard even more attractive as a working place these days.    The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 established full Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago. The treaty came into effect in 1925, following the Svalbard Act. All forty signatory countries of the treaty have the right to conduct commercial activities on the archipelago without discrimination, although all activity is subject to Norwegian legislation.    The state owned Russian mining began operating in Barentsburg in 1932. Today the company produce about 100.000 tons of coal annualy. One fifth is powering the coal fired power station in Barentsburg. However, the coal is of low quality and is exported to West European countries, gaining low market prices.    Since 1989 forty miners have lost their lives in Barentsburg. Lack of health insurance is a big problem for workers involved in work accidents, as the local hospital only has one doctor and limited health services. In 2013 two workers lost their lives in the mine and one worker lost his leg. Trust Arktikugol has a stronghold on their workers as the company control and own everything in the city.    However, despite the problems with the mine, Trust Arkitiugol has no intention of leaving Svalbard. In 2013 and 2014 many of the buildings in the town were modernised, and a new research station opened in April 2014, becoming the second biggest work place in Barentsburg.    These images were shot in the summer of 2013 and in the winter of 2014.
    Barentsburg is located at 78 degrees north, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.      
    Ivan, a miner from Donetsk, Ukraine, celebrates his 26th anniversary with his wife Marina. - I came here last summer. At first I was alone and it was not so fun. My life in Barenstburg became much better when Marina moved here, he says.
    After eight hours in the dark mine shaft in Barentsburg, the Ukrainan workers Alexander, Gennadiy and Seku are finished at their work place located 500 meters below sea level. The work is very dangerous. Since 1989 forty workers have lost their lives in the coal mine.
    Several monuments from the communist era are still preserved in Barentsburg, first and foremost because of the tourists who are attracted by the site's old Soviet charm.      
    A miner takes a shower after a workout at the sports center, which is widely used by the workers in their spare time.
    A worker has bought a pig's head at the local store.
    Many miners are alone in Barentsburg and alcohol problems are large. The hospital in the city has a special section for binge drink-workers.
    Vova (30) from Donetsk, Ukraine has been working in the coal mine for almost two years. - I long to come home to my wife and my son. He is one year and three months old. I have not seen him since he was a little baby, he says.
    There is no road access to the settlement and the residents have virtually no contact with the other settlements in the area.      
    Misha from Tajikistan in his small apartment in Barentsburg. He is one of many guest workers who participate in the modernization of Barentsburg.      
   The expensive bar at the hotel in Barentsburg is mainly used by the tourists.
    Avo is a guest worker from Armenia. He shares a small  apartment with two other Armenians. - There is no work for us in our home country, he says.
    In 1974 this was the northernmost appartment block in the world. Recently, the grim building was modernized. In recent years Barentsburg has gone through major changes.      
    The Ukrainan miner Maksim visits the sports center in Barentsburg several times a week.      
    The coal power station is the largest source of pollution on Svalbard. In 2012 the plant released 2,582 tons of sulfur dioxide, 2,000 tons more than the emissions limit set by the Norwegian authorities.      
   The playground outside the school.
    About 50 of Barentsburg 400 residents are children. The village has both a kindergarten and a school.       
    Five married women participated in Miss North Pole, a beauty contest held in conjuction with the international women’s day.
    Barentsburg is a male-dominated city, and this year's beauty pageant jury consisted entirely of significant men in the mining town.      
    Anna Shevchenko won the first prize in this years pageant contest, Miss North Pole. The first prize was a rice cooker.
    Much of Barentsburg is covered with slag from coal production, and the snow is colored dark gray when the wind takes hold of coal dust.