tv Documentary RT December 31, 2013 12:29am-1:01am EST
spitzbergen is the starting point for expeditions to the north pole a little over a thousand kilometers away. you know early november there's next to no sunlight each day what little light remains continues to do. in just ten days the sun will stop rising above the horizon altogether. along ought to know it will begin. like it is on the mainland in the middle of the night. which will just. starves. the locals say there are three or four seasons here day night and snowmobile season.
indigenous people on the island because of the harsh environment but a very small few have chosen to live here. yes. just. be careful. i go. to great at the norwegian town of la. is a special ceremony. for many years ago was declared terra nullus whole belong to nobody it wasn't. until nine hundred twenty eight of the
islands became norwegian territory but even today they enjoy a unique status. in any country that signed the spitzbergen treaty can freely engage in commercial activity here no visa was needed to visit the island and there were no customs or border posts anyone on the planet can come and settle on the archipelago there's just one condition they must be self-sufficient. places so special because a lot of people came here and they really didn't know we had or really are because i think ok and already are closer to north korea. and other people all have a friendly and open scooters and everything about. hundred times better change very fast like. this is could be very bad. if you're lucky.
about two cells and five hundred people live on the island but knowing the number of beds is more of a challenge there are at least three thousand certainly more than their own people . you know. i don't like to call life while i'm just here three. let me disagree here right well any children or items are. never really right. there have you heard and countless others. hiring a rifle here is as easy as hiring a scooter but if a bag gets shot the investigation into whether it was really killed in self defense is a thought or was it would be from a. bill and it is indeed an unusual place shops provide special lockers where customers can store their guns while shopping and while deer amble
freely in the streets. there is a distinct russian spirit in this small norwegian town only two countries currently maintain a presence on the island russia and norway. never saw a reason why america america and i had a year here is nothing. going to grow our area because we have the rest of the. thank you these people took an interest in the russian language for a reason they often visit the town of balanced budget for decades the neighboring towns have shared visits for sporting events. we may be different in many aspects but i'm sure everyone's happy to have a neighbor pool you see there are no other neighbors around here. and we've had a lot of enjoyable meetings in baron's burg. are
you leaving for work yes you have a regular working day of course not it's a holiday today a holiday there are no holidays in the mind two years ago next came to spitzbergen alone to see how it would work out. many people can't bear being separated from their relatives is not everyone manages to move their families here. you could not everyone can cope with the atmosphere in this arctic night. he left his wife and three children at home. we didn't feel anything for the first six months. then mum started missing dad. and so did we.
well he wasn't there we could only talk on skype he had to call me every day as soon as he was home from work. knowing that he was safely back from the mine was the most important thing for me. two months ago the double family at last moved to balance burg. i'd like to spend at least ten years here i want to settle properly and save enough money to buy flats for my kids. i do your homework yet a bit. but . i haven't seen you for ages so does it feel better having a family with you life or do you need to ask you must feel more like a real man yes. in the past barrens bug was always a male domain not a place for women with children men still account for the majority of the
population. there are no old sick or socially disadvantaged people here. every inhabitant of the island has to be young and healthy enough to be able to work the system and what of the my grandfather worked here in nine hundred fifty six such as he spends two years on this island and dad always dreamed of going where his own father had worked at the show as we came in two thousand and eight with my mom edition and in two thousand and nine my wife and i came here to you know i thought i'm the head of the tourist agency and the hotel administrator that's part of my job description. some of them was just although it's my wife's job to deal with the mail that rests on my shoulders to start difficult so why not during tourist season i also work as a guide. you know and when we have excursions i work in the souvenir shop in the
morning i teach english at the local school which is why i'm not in the office. there's only one employer in better and. coal is a russian state owned company everything in the village the houses shops and canteen old belong to the. people can only get better once every two months. both cooks they decided to change after a wedding anniversary stephanie has brought her two children to be with her husband . has come alone.
her husband that's a first. year ago another woman came on her own she left pretty soon though. she was an accountant. usually it's the other way around. well after their husbands men try to find jobs for their wives on the island. of. new arrivals beside the personal department. stephanie brings her children with her . there's no one else to babysit because everyone is at work. also owns a productive mind the parents. everyone has to attend a briefing when they first get. there is going to work.
she'll start as soon as her children are going to kindergarten but first they have to get used to their new home. movies and pretty the kids started whimpering and i decided to leave so we wouldn't disturb anyone. it's always dark outside so i'm constantly sleepy and my eyes hurt but i'll get used to it. but other people cope somehow so will i will wait for the light i hope will settle here well like the place. i think. now the main thing is for the kids to adapt to the climate and be healthy. the first contract is usually for six months a second for two years on average people have spent four to five years in balance books but there are things to be changing workers are nell spending longer periods of time here printing furnished apartments and so the arctic cold trust is
renovating many of the houses and was there a t.v. set yes so there it's so nice just great. to see and everyone loves this place it's nice and tidy. new residents meet up at the home supply store everyone has a long shopping list. because the. pan. i think our first two paychecks will be spent in thailand house number two and the third one as well there's no cash on balance bug in two thousand and eleven there was an attempt to introduce a local currency called the bone but norwegians were unhappy about the idea of banknotes. with the russian federation printed on them.
to avoid conflict the governments decided not to use any money at all. a normal bank. play though the shops only accept a special internal card which is given to all of coles employees everyone sets the credit limit and the balances eventually deducted from salaries. it's easy squire laying money away because there is nothing to spend it on no rest trends or days cuz i'm sure that if we do you manage to leave here for some time it will be closer to each other this just goes to sleep my uncle told me about people living there has been so why so far the men and women. it must be an island of temptation here. it was the year these whack jobs introduced the belt in. debt
debt and lord debt the never ending list of fines for crimes to which j.p. morgan will never have to admit. obamacare the corporate espionage surveillance state the bedroom tax that housing bubble. he survived the atrocities. to make of cycles this. has changed his life and the world around him. by giving. hope. and love to so many children. the american worker.
through no four hundred and thirty people in bennett's book including a hundred and thirty women and fifty five children no one is ever born on the island it's against the rules and pregnant women must return to the mainland. spitzbergen children never catch colds the virus comes survive here. it's only the newly arrived to bring infections to the island. that's why children are always quarantined for their first ten days when they can't go to school or can to go to. sometimes though children just come to just of the climate. their parents either have to send them away or leave the island for good. it's too cold to go outside so the kids wrap up to play in an unheated hall where they can exercise without being exposed to the elements even though the temperature is almost the same as outside the kids are protected from the biting optic wind.
ok see yourself down ok well. thank. you again heavy you know i'm not. the only. didn't have a silly is in the first year but all the students sit together in one classroom irrespective of age the teacher gives each student individual assignments and then checks them separately. after class is the children stay in school there's nowhere
else to go and the teachers always try to find new ways to entertain them. you know . it was later realised why runnings more difficult here is what the ad pressure on the island is higher than on the mainland and it's not difficult to brief. you do. you sometimes i ask myself if a normal life would make it easier for him in the future. i still don't really know . i'm not sure if we've made the right choice. although the spitsbergen coal reserves are being depleted to continue mining is a matter of principle a presence on the archipelago is
a political imperative for both russia and norway. the mind works around the clock so the adults work in shifts they often leave as early as six in the morning leaving dunhill to wake the younger kids. but also when the alarm clock goes off. i wake marine or in the silly they want to stay in bed we're going to still duck live where we go and they ask. bush marina's teeth i mean obviously does his own. style you can i put the kettle on and dress them. when i grow up i'll move to the mainland and go to university. all. i want to be an interpreter. to make good money.
it's always good to know a foreign language. the most important event in autumn is the sports competition. people from the norwegian to. visit the russian to attend. it's a tradition that dates back many years some say it began as early as the nine hundred thirty s. when both norway and the then soviet union was still new to the occupy. the norwegians told their neighbors their traditional game called. we never even seen a stick before when we started playing we didn't know the rules and we were constantly asking questions now we've got the hang of it and how one wants.
but i think we're on equal ground we're good at volleyball and always win a basketball we're about even in football and as for chess we've got a new player who will bring us victory. all the competitions are held simple to flee. winning is a matter of both countries especially when it comes to football and bundy. twice in the competitions history as the better team. at the national game. the second time. but fortune wasn't to smile on them this time.
the football had the fans on the edge of their seats with the team's neck and neck . as though the russians proved victorious. i lost two games. and i played with and walnuts as well. there's my boy. did you know the done he did clever boy. surprisingly the basketball game is the most dramatic. the norwegians are less than happy with the referee and one spectator is quite indignant. i want to know what's the. do we need a ref at all no referee you can do without
a raf while you are afraid let him do it while you do it but him referee give him a whistle. don't go over there. there'll be two of you go on. to referees take to the court. the people of spitzbergen do know how to compromise. their laws in forty different ethnicities living together on the island no more than life demands tolerance and cooperation if it's to be survived. thank you. the sporting event is. one of the very few opportunities people have to socialize
and me. especially during the long. and you. were. ok. ok. plans to develop its own tourist industry. the abandoned mining town. will be home to the new russian tourists. and there are no people there so it's kind of like a ghost town there was one guy named toby lived with both he tried to go for a hike so. it took him by two weeks and had had to get. picked up by itself
because you have no more food left so i think you should only do it if you have a yeah. but it can only be reached in daylight and the devil is already of. a when the poll tonight ends and the snowmobile season begins the archipelagos russian six will be teeming with people her. tourists used to stay like watching us locals picking up the kids from school the guide probably tells them where the natives used every room that is we have to say hi and smile when we go to work or come home shopping or just walk and they're gone yet it's ok we stay right back.
but that won't happen until the poland and the northern sun has risen again. for now people only venture away from the settlement for emergencies perhaps to repair vital and hard to reach equipment no one leaves the village without a very good reason. that usually people only leave the village to admired the beauty of spitsbergen all want but what can they see at night nothing. there's absolutely nothing to see. during the long polar night the residents tend to live ordinary workaday lives. new arrivals are given time to get their bearings but today is oldest first day at work. i was anxious. to do everything on time. but i managed it's fine
the husband only starts work tomorrow he's here and will to support his wife we're going to spend at least two years here but we'll have to see how it goes to here is a long time maybe six months will do it. before starting to work independently and i will shadow a colleague for a few days. i have a boyfriend. but i'm not sure she'll come here. stephanie children couldn't start at kindergarten because one of them has a cold only time will tell if he can cope with the climate i was. planning her behave. let you know i don't like it and tomorrow you go to kindergarten no yes. and let's proceed see if you.
survive it's not compared to bill i mean gold we're not going to eat gold we're not going to bait with gold. we're not going to drink what clearly what amal is and is in a desperate economic situation absolutely right what we're wrong to do is say therefore any kind of economic development from the outside is going to be a benefit their only purpose is to extract as much money as possible to feed into the global financial system. with we are part of the geo political economic system that's extremely exploited or. first of all it's a question where the mining should even be carried out altogether can it be done in a way which doesn't destroy people's lives resources environment and so on will you
know those are pretty serious questions mining is not a what a moment problem it's happening in asia in africa and south america in central america in mexico and it's even happening in canada and the united states. well the country fourteen olympics what's this place like why is this so special as the russian resort prepares to welcome the world power the games should be in the city's present and future life so it will bring you this is the moment they're reporting from a very cold snowy windy mountainous tough beyond the olympics but
headlines from r t international volgograd mourning the death of thirty two people after two blasts through the city's main railway station and a trolley bus all in less than twenty four hours. fresh revelations claimed the n.s.a. intercepts computers bought on line and bugs them with special software and spyware before they reach their owners. we take a look back at the scandals and breakthroughs that shaped twenty.
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