tv Documentary RT December 31, 2013 5:29am-6:01am EST
we in the new year in this edition of crossfire we ask what is in store as we start two thousand and fourteen and what will make this year different even better from the year that has passed who should we keep our eye on and what stories should we be following. spitzbergen is the starting point for expeditions to the north pole a little over a thousand kilometers away. is next to no sunlight each day what little remains continues to do. in just ten days the sun will stop rising above the horizon all together. along to know it will begin.
descends on the archipelago. to greet it the norwegian town of longyearbyen book an ice is a special ceremony. for many years the guy was declared terra nullus old then belong to nobody it wasn't until nine hundred twenty eight that the island's became norwegian territory but even today they enjoy a unique status. in any country that signed the spitzbergen treaty can freely and gauge 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 has just one condition they must be self-sufficient. in some. places so special because a lot of people came here and they really didn't know all we had already they are the calls that think ok and already are closer to north korea. and other people all
it's a friendly and old scooters and everything about. a hundred times change very fast like. this is could be very bad. if you're. about to sell some 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 the wrong people . you know. i don't like to call my heart just your three. well anything or items are. never really right. there have you heard some of the other. 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 sorrow as it would be from a. bill and 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 the small norwegian telling only two countries currently maintain a presence on the island russia and norway. this is the reason why the american i hear is that are. going to proactively yeah because they have the russian. yeah the land is that 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. but there 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 maxim to both 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 can 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 we are 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 doable family at last moved to balance burg. and i'd like to spend at least ten years here and 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 just. in the past barrens but 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 because. my grandfather worked here in nine hundred fifty six such as he spent two years on this island and dad always dreamed of going where his own father had worked at the show came in two thousand and eight with my mom at the end in two thousand and nine my wife and i came here to you know i think that 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 too. 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. cold is a russian state owned company everything in the village shops and canteen old belong to the. people can only get tibetans but 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 the season. new arrivals gather 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 mine the parents. everyone has to attend a briefing when they first get here. there is going to work at a sauna. she'll start as soon as her children are going to kindergarten but first we have to get used to the 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 back but there seems to be changing workers or no 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 that's a small pan but. i think our first two paychecks will be spent entirely on the household number one 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 circulating on soil with the russian federation printed on them. it's rumored that to avoid conflict the governments decided not to use any money at all . and no more bank cards to work here either the shops only accept a special internal card which is given to all up to coles employees everyone sets their own credit limit and the balance is a bench only 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 so this just goes to relate my uncle told me about people living their husbands and wives for
other men and women. it must be an island of temptation here. on their way to antarctica the crew of the i can to make sure that a face many challenges. here you have to look out for yourself crashing on to rocks trapped in pack ice in extreme conditions anything can happen antarctica always comes up with surprises you have to keep your eyes open because there's always something going wrong the ship carries huge reserves of water food fuel as well as helicopters and people able to survive extreme conditions they're ready for anything even an apocalypse she's really an incredible ship calling all antarctica stations this is academic a field of radio check please respond. it
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go to kindergarten my daughter asks me it's still done going it will always be dark now i tell her the sun has gone to sleep she says i want to go home i don't want to live by the sea she thought it would be warm and sunny. through n l four hundred and thirty people in bennett's book including a hundred and thirty women and fifty five children no one is born on the island it's against the rules of 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 out and. sometimes though children just can't adjust to 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 hole 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 self down ok well. thank.
you again heavy you know i am not. 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 classes the children stay in school there's nowhere else to go and the teachers always try hard to find new ways to entertain them. you know. it was useless i realised why running small difficult here would just be add pressure on the island is higher than on the mainland and it's not difficult to brief. the other was
sometimes i ask myself if a normal life would make it easier for him in the future when. 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 go 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 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 where we go and they ask. bush marina's teeth i mean obviously does he's own. style you can i put the kettle on and dress them. over for when i grow up i'll move to the mainland and go to university. room i want to be an interpreter. to make good money. is not always good to know a foreign language. the most important event in autumn is the annual 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 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 how one wants. but i think we're on equal ground we're good at volleyball and always win at 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 held symbol to flee. winning is a matter of both countries especially when it comes to football and bundy. only twice in the competition's history as the better to be from the norwegians at the national game. the second time was last year 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. the russians proved victorious.
the last two games. and they 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. among them i wonder how much they'll. 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. referee give him a whistle. 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.
there are more than forty different ethnicities living together on the island. northern life demands tolerance and cooperation if it's to be survived. thank you. right now. the sporting event is one of the very few opportunities people have to socialize and meet up especially during the long arctic night. you work here. and you just face it. working often. so mike ok in table time in our football well ok. it was good
but you got one. making ambitious plans to develop its own tourist industry. the abandoned mining town. will be home to the new russian tourists and. and there are no people there so it's kind of like a ghost town there was one guy named toby. he tried to go for a hike so. it took him by two weeks and he had had to get. picked up by a fisherman because you have no more food left so i think you should only have yeah. but it can only be reached in daylight and the devil is already of. the for when the polar 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. that if we have to say hi and smile when we go to work or come home shopping or just walk in and they're gone yeah that's it 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 spitzbergen island but what can be seen at night for nothing . there's absolutely nothing to see. during a long pole a night the residents tend to live ordinary workaday lives in 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 fine the husband and he 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 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 started kindergarten because one of them has a cold only time will tell if he can cope with the climate i want to. play 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. just. that the weather is awful look how strong the wind is and it's so dark.
and it will stay. until the next day begins. as an american i'd like to know what's going to go on and afghanistan from here on i am tired of this cloudy picture of where my money is going you know where our efforts have gone for the last twelve years what our veterans have fought for died for have been injured for i want to know what i think that the obama administration has sort of dropped the ball in two thousand and thirteen and it's about time for them to step up and make this another make our foreign policy in this area a priority go ok but do you can i guess what yours might be your wish is an
international convention ending the use of drones is it close to your wish that sounds great peter and i would add on to that since we last year ended with a strike in yemen and a wedding party there and we also have obama apologizing to the innocent people that we've killed and saying that he will not allow drone strikes to be used again how are you what is your wish for two thousand and fourteen when you get i mean be imaginative ok let's you know this is you know we're just a few days into the year so no one can say we were wrong go ahead my wish is for significant change on our investments in fighting climate change really if we do not address climate change this is going to be a human crisis that will affect the entire globe. survived the atrocities. to make cycles
as she. has changed his life to world round. by giving. love to so many children. nikolai the american worker on the tape. we speak your language was i mean some of the worn out of the. news programs and documentaries and spanish more matters to you breaking news a little too negative angles kiddies stories. you hear. detroit altie spanish find out more visit.
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