Simultaneously with the activation of the structures of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Security Service of Russia beyond the Polar Circle (“NVO” No. 14 for 2014 a year), the EMERCOM of Russia divisions are deployed here. While paratroopers and marines are learning to fight in icy silence, the Orange Berets are building up a grouping to more effectively respond to the risks that inevitably arise in the process of developing the Arctic. Moreover, possible emergencies will occur in difficult climatic and environmental conditions (permafrost, avalanches and ice jams, floods, landscape fires, storms, etc.). For the purpose of a more detailed assessment of the sources of such instability, Russian rescuers have recently undertaken a detailed overflight of the eastern edge of the tundra. The author of these lines was also taken on board the Emergencies Ministry aircraft. In a number of places where our An-74 was landing, there was a study of the possibilities of deploying integrated emergency rescue centers (CRAFs), which should complement the existing grouping of forces and means of the EMERCOM of Russia, as well as specialized rescue units of other departments in the region with a total number of 10 Thousands of people.
WITH LENA NOT TO THE POLAR
It is believed in the EMERCOM headquarters, on the background of the upcoming development of large oil and gas fields, the construction of the Nadym – Salekhard – Labytnangi – Bovanenkovo railway and a significant increase in freight traffic along the Northern Sea Route, the above-mentioned forces “in the tundra” are clearly not enough.
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Therefore, KASC should be created without shelving it. “And at the same time - quality! - emphasized the head of the “Arctic” group of employees of the central office of the Ministry, Nikolay Dyablov, describing the range of tasks that were to be solved in the east of the Arctic. “After all, given the objective risks, the centers will have to carry out rescue, search and other urgent work on the territory of the northern regions in particularly difficult conditions.”
Three centers in Arkhangelsk, Dudinka and Naryan-Mar are already functioning. By 2016, the KAFSC should be built and put into operation in Anadyr, Vorkuta, Murmansk, Nadym, Pevek, Providence and Tiksi. The features in each of these points differ, and sometimes quite significantly. For example, if in Anadyr, Arkhangelsk or Murmansk there are well-provided socially qualified personnel and equipment available here, then in Pevek, Providence, Tiksi there are no such “almost 100-percent” possibilities. So it was necessary to find out how realistic these settlements were chosen for the construction of the centers.
From Moscow to Yakutsk - cities on stilts, on the permafrost and on the Lena River - almost six hours fly. Having talked with the local residents and the authorities, you will find out that the permafrost is not so eternal - in some places it thaws and “loosens” the piles, and Lena has been causing a lot of trouble to the republic for a long time. In the past couple of decades, congestion has occurred on average once every three to four years on a powerful waterway, resulting in flooding and flooding. And taiga is still burning, the number of fires in the world is in the hundreds, and hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest burn out.
At the covering area of over 3 million square kilometers of the local Rescue Service, sometimes the hands do not reach the Arctic zone - they are not enough. And must reach. Is always! The Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Anatoly Skrybykin, who oversees civil defense issues, is completely convinced of this. A couple of years ago, he spoke at an international scientific-practical conference on the prevention and elimination of emergencies in the Arctic, including the effects of radioactive contamination, and in the report outlined the main provisions of the concept for creating an Arctic center for rescue operations in the republic.
The infrastructure of the Ministry of Emergency Situations is here, at first glance, solid: the diving and airmobile detachments, the department for oil spill response work all year round, the Test Fire Laboratory was set up and the situation forecasting was conducted. However, the analysis of the existing risks associated with promising projects for the development of the Arctic region, including oil and gas production and the development of transport, conducted by the EMERCOM of Russia, indicates the insufficiency of the forces and means available here. And they will grow.
TIXY REVIVE AND CHILDREN
The next landing point of our board, Tiksi, is a well-known village with a population of about 5 thousand inhabitants, located beyond the Arctic Circle near the mouth of the very Lena on the shore of the same-name bay of the Laptev Sea. Winter is here from September to the end of May, and you don’t walk in a sleeveless jacket in the summer. "Familiarity" of the town was added not so long ago by the ex-Minister of Defense Anatoliy Serdyukov, who had been at fault for the criminal case, who decided to close the airfield here. Aviagavan was a dual purpose. The aviators in uniform were handed over to the local authorities by means of navigation and approach systems, except that there was no one to serve this system. As a result, almost 8,5 thousand inhabitants of the region (ulus) were left without air traffic and, as a result, without food, medicine and other necessary things. Here is such a "reformist" blasphemy against the background of priorities that the country's leadership sets for the Arctic.
The place itself made a dual impression. On the one hand, many abandoned houses. Later I looked for help: in 1989, 11 lived in the village 649 people. Life was in full swing! The port, which was an important link in the Northern Sea Route, was visited by numerous vessels - it was not for nothing that Tiksi was called the sea gate of Yakutia. Through them, almost the entire Arctic was supplied.
On the other hand, the village is being reborn. While we were driving to the airfield (which, with the advent of the new leadership of the Ministry of Defense, started working again), I asked the head of the administration of the municipality “Bulunsky ulus (district)” Konstantin Shakhurdin, a geologist by profession, has overdone the whole of Yakutia, and in 2006, elected to power, tell about the local conditions of life. Konstantin Nikolaevich replied:
- It is hard to live - the climate is harsh. But, firstly, we are not used to the difficulties, and secondly, we now have a lot of urgent matters. Here, for example, last year we, - here he began to bend his fingers, - we opened the Samoylovsky Island scientific station, resumed Tiksi-Yakutsk flights, built a new boiler house and a medical attendant and obstetric center in the village of Siktyakh, and so, small things . So, you know, life is getting better. And if an emergency and rescue center is built, then in general we will solve many of our problems: we will reduce unemployment, and the connection with the mainland will become better, more productive. - And he added with captivating conviction: - Fly to us in a couple of years, I invite you - see for yourself!
The number of staff members in Tixi was identified in 65 people. The representative of the organizational-mobilization department of the EMERCOM of Russia Vladimir Chaika asked where in Tiksi to recruit such a number of qualified rescuers and other specialists and solve their social needs? Shahurdin assured that this is not a “problem of problems”:
- There are two real possibilities: pick up about half of the staff from among the local population, especially since there are also former military personnel, - once, provide for official housing for all of them and the rest of the center's staff members.
Major-General Alexander Gorkun, Head of the Main Directorate of the Russian Emergencies Ministry for the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), added the head of Bulunsky Ulus:
- The remaining part of the staff will be recruited from among the existing rescuers of rescue teams in other areas of the republic with the move to a permanent place of residence in Tiksi. Socially, we have something to attract them. - And he joked: - Why, and so far no one has canceled the enthusiasm!
Technically equipping the Tixa CSCS is also not a question. It is already known that it will be 17 units of various kinds of equipment, including two special trailers. In addition, it is planned to increase the number of aviation in Yakutsk from one to two Mi-8 helicopters.
And the fact that in Tiksi life is getting better, I was convinced personally. An exhibition of children's drawings was launched in the administration building on the second floor. They have seals, gulls, deer, the mean beauty of the tundra (however, the mean - this is someone as). And that almost to the tears pleased - there was not a single "overcast" plot! The abundance of rich colors in these works (although from the outside, it would seem, where did they come from in the Arctic?) Was amazing - I didn’t stare at the canvas in other galleries. As long as children see the world in this way, and not otherwise, Tiksi will live and be reborn!
PEVEK GIVES GOLD AND COPPER
We flew to Pevek (to him from Tiksi on the "speedometer" of the 1514 km plane). From above, as much as the eye can see, is white icy silence, cold. Involuntarily you think: “And as soon as people live here ?!” But they live the same! And they work, and they give birth to children and raise them, and their great homeland and their small homeland are taught to love! ..
That's about Pevek in Russia, few have heard. Is that in school, because Pevek in Chukotka - the most northern city of Russia, located on the shores of the East Siberian Sea. It is about the same as Tiksi, with the seaport and the airport. Tin, mercury, gold and, like Tiksi, the city used to know better times in its surroundings than ever before. And everyone hopes for their return to the Chaunsky district, whose capital is Pevek. And the most important factor in the development of the port and the region will be the development of the Stockwerk and Peschanka-2 gold-copper deposits. In addition, in the city they say that in 2016, the first floating nuclear power plant “Akademik Lomonosov” will be delivered here.
Therefore, how can you not be in the Pevek emergency center of the Ministry of Emergency Situations! They figured that the 25 man would be enough for him. Of course, to the teeth equipped with special equipment. And the helipad does not hurt. Without helicopters in the north - nowhere.
It is a pity, to join the local exotic was not possible: arrived late at night - flew early in the morning. A portion of the impressions got only on the ground in front of the airport, where there were two handsome all-terrain vehicles, supplied by a company from Lyuberets, located near Moscow. Since none of us saw such “monsters” on healthy ultra-low pressure tires on the Moscow streets, we came closer. Drivers stood nearby, smoked, but our questions (as well as the uniforms of the EMERCOM staff) responded without enthusiasm: “Yes” and “No” - everything we heard from them. “They are miners,” explained the officer accompanying us. He said in such a tone that I personally did not understand - this is a sentence or a diagnosis.
BERENGIAN HERITAGE OF PROVIDENCE
So we flew a course on Providence - there is in the Arctic, on the same Chukotka Peninsula, and the village with the same name in the bay of the same name, it is only washed by the Bering Sea. When the ice situation develops, many ships enter this lip to wait out bad weather, to refuel and replenish other reserves, to make repairs.
According to the head of the administration of the Providensky municipal district, Sergey Shestopalov, there are now about 3,8 thousand people living on the territory under his control, and half of them are indigenous people, Chukchi and Eskimos. In the 2013 year, on the territory of the municipality was born "as much as whole" 22 baby, which the district head considers a good indicator. There is a youth sports school with a ski base. Shestopalov himself lives in these places right from the 1973 of the year - he came with his parents, who were distributed after they graduated from the Polytechnic Institute in Khabarovsk: “Where am I now without Providence ?!”
The local port is also called the "gateway to the Arctic", and rightly so. The port is so efficient that it takes not only ocean-going ships, but also submarines. Although, as Shestopalov mentioned, “now, of course, the scales are not the same.” With regard to industrial activity, the main type is the production and distribution of electricity and heat. There is also a manufacturing industry, a food factory.
Taking into account the activity of shipping in this area and all the same climatic conditions (where are they from ?!), the decision to create KASTS in Providence is quite logical. Another thing was that I had to spend a lot of time wondering what kind of forces and means were needed here. Neither the first deputy governor-chairman of the government of the Chukotka Autonomous Region, Ilya Davydenko, nor the head of the main department of the EMERCOM of Russia for PJSC Colonel Lyubomir Mucha were ready to answer the Moscow commission to this question. As a result, came to the figure - 25 people. Under them it will be necessary to reconstruct the objects of the existing material and technical base and to build a helipad, as well as a room to accommodate the aviation forces on duty.
In the village, where almost half the inhabitants of the region live, even the museum operates the Beringian heritage - the northernmost museum in Russia. The name seemed strange to me, and I asked the head of the administration if it would not be better to be called the Bering Heritage Museum? Shestopalov explained that the local Hermitage is dedicated to the not-so-famous pioneer - Russian officer fleet Vitus Bering, Museum of Local Lore. It was formed in May 1985 for the 40th anniversary of the Victory. Then Moscow artists handed over 130 paintings to the faraway village, which initially made up the main exposition of the museum. Then the funds began to replenish with ethnographic and archaeological objects. The museum currently has historical material on the discovery and development of the Chukchi Peninsula, the fund of material and spiritual culture of the Chukchi and Eskimos. Perhaps, over time, there will also be a corner in it for an exposition dedicated to the Russian Ministry of Emergencies. Only if it was not connected with an emergency!
NICHOLAS THE MIRACLE FALLS ANADYR
Further our path lay in Anadyr - the largest city of Chukotka (more than 13,7 thousand inhabitants). The Autonomous Okrug Center is notable for many people, including the Kazachka River (as it was called in 1889, apparently, Cossacks, the founders of the Novo-Mariinsky Lent, which Anadyr started off from) and the “eternal youth idol” Viktor Tsoi called it. I did not notice the monument to the oligarch-governor Roman Abramovich, who once “raised” the local territories and really did a lot for the capital of the region, in the city (probably this is a matter of the future).
At the military-civil airfield "Ugolny", the passenger cruise ships Boeing-777 can side by side with the wing and, if they arrive here from Engels for refueling, strategic bombers Tu-95. The airfield and the city are located on different shores of the Anadyr Estuary, to get to and from there is a real trouble: by boat or ferry and by taxi, and in the off-season (May, October) - exclusively by helicopter. Rotary wings ply all year round, make several flights a day, but using these “air express trains” is very expensive - for 100 dollars from the nose. In the lobby of the air terminal, a brown bear, who is shockingly overwhelmed by its greatness, meets those who come to their full height, who, as it were, immediately make it clear that "you are not here." Fortunately, this is a scarecrow, and not clumsy to live.
And in Anadyr, an unconditional attraction is the monument of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, erected in 2004, the world's largest monument to this patron of sailors, merchants and children. His greatness here emphasizes the fact that it rises among the panel five-story building (Khrushchev). 10 years ago I happened to be part of a delegation that flew in from Moscow for the opening ceremony. The 10-meter-high bronze figure is set on a pedestal lined with black labradorite (surprisingly, this rock is barely found in Russia, the stone may have been brought into place from the developed deposits of Ukraine or Finland). To strengthen all this in the conditions of permafrost and squally winds, it took a number of non-standard engineering solutions. And you need to know that most of the monolithic reinforced concrete pedestal, 15 meters, goes into the frozen ground. In addition, the monument is designed with a displaced center of gravity. The bronze prelate is visible at a distance of several kilometers from the sea. And next to it stands the cathedral of the Anadyr diocese in the name of the Holy Life-Giving Trinity - also the world's largest Orthodox wooden church, accommodating up to a thousand believers.
The seaport is the largest in the region. Its capacity allows to process up to a million tons of various cargoes. True, the navigation period is short, lasts only four months - from July 1 to November 1. Under Anadyr, there is a fish factory, a thermal power station and a gas engine station, and gold and coal are mined in its vicinity. Also nearby, on Cape Observation, is located one of the largest wind power stations in our country - Anadyr wind farm. Reindeer breeding and hunting are traditionally cultivated.
Therefore, from the point of view of responding to possible man-made and natural threats in Anadyr, as in all PJSC, the forces of the Emergency Situations Ministry also need to be alert. In this vast region there are more than three dozen potentially hazardous facilities, including the Bilibino NPP. In the overwhelming majority of settlements there are warehouses and bases for the storage of petroleum products, which ensure the functioning of the systems of housing and utilities and electric power industry. And all this against the background of the scanty population of land, not enough developed road network and power supply of habitats.
Fortunately, local authorities understand this, therefore, the organization of an emergency rescue center in Anadyr was resolved promptly. Under its construction was allocated land on the Spit of St. Alexander. In 1889, Russian sailors and Cossacks built the first house on it (in honor of which the ships arrived here even fired a volley). The staff number of the Anadyr center is defined in 65 people. The center should be equipped with 19 units of equipment designed specifically for work in the Far North. The question of the formation and deployment of an aviation level in Anadyr, which will be part of the Aviation Rescue Center of the Far Eastern Regional Center of the Emergencies Ministry of Russia, is also being considered.
The head of the “Arctic” group of the central office of the Russian Emergencies Ministry Nikolay Dyablov was pleased with the trip:
- All the sites for KASC created in Yakutia and Chukotka are provided with the necessary communications, which will allow building them, equipping them with equipment and putting them into operation without swinging. It is very good that all these bases will be located not far from the coast - this will allow us to more quickly respond to possible incidents not only on land but also in the water area. With human resources, with the assistance of local authorities, critical problems should not arise either.
According to the data obtained during the work and research carried out by specialists of the Russian Ministry for Emergencies, more than 2014 billion rubles, including funds for the purchase, should be additionally allocated in 2015–18 for equipping and equipping the centers aviation equipment and special watercraft, as well as 2,9 billion rubles. annually for their maintenance. This is probably not cheap. But it is also obvious that such expenses are justified. For, as you know, avaricious pays twice.
Returning to the same An-74 in Moscow, I caught myself on aphoristic thought: Russia is great, but even in the smallest village, an employee of the Russian Emergencies Ministry is serving!
Moscow – Yakutsk – Tiksi – Pevek – Provideniya – Anadyr – Moscow