Monday, June 20, 2005

From Alaska to Russia

There is a new way of getting to Russia I wish to explore some day: from Alaska. The Bering Strait separates U.S. and Russia by only 30-something miles, so it's easy to believe that getting to Russia is easy.

Bering Air runs flights between Nome (Alaska) and Provideniya (Chukotka province), Nome and Anadyr (Chukotka), and flights from Anchorage to those Russian cities. Chukotka province is closest to Alaska, and Anadyr and Provideniya welcome some flights from within Russia. (Chukotka is the Alaska of Russia, so a few tourists get there in warm weather)

No flights available yet to Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka's capital - remember Risk!) or Novosibirsk (capital of the Siberia superprovince), but here's hoping those flights are activated someday. Novosibirsk or Irkutsk could be super hubs of transport between Central Asia, the U.S. and Far East Asia. Kamchatka is a bit on the Russian edge, so I can't help but feel its opportunities.

Why people don't do it: It's expensive. The Russian government charges $50 as a surcharge to travel 100km in its territory. It's hard to administer pratty areas like Siberia, so they'd probably welcome the money.

International authorities are deeply fascinated over flying through Alaska, over the Pole, and onto Japan. That will save hours and hours off a flight and it saves fuel. The only fear: they'll need to keep resources there, and weather can be a bitch.

Interesting facts about Bering/Chukotka: A real threat to US from Russia during Cold War was considered to came from over the Bering Strait, but it was heavily undercovered by the media. It was believed that Russia could silently initiate an attack over Bering into Alaska, then use it as a base to launch an attack on continental U.S. If Russia did attack, the mainland U.S. Army would first have to deal with Canada's geographical interference before getting to Alaska. So, the U.S. Army kept Bering closely under watch at all times.

Russia will never trust the US. So Chukotka is still military dominated, which means only two things: there's no mafia there, and one of the few remaining Stalin statues perhaps stands.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What brought this about? What research did you do sirrah

9:39 PM  
Blogger Khakra said...

Parents invited me to go to Moscow with them, researched the possibility of going directing instead of going via East Coast/Europe. Also, a great writeup about Bering Strait in this book where a woman swam across it. Stunning. Primary research was done for assignment in school, read it in a research report.

10:59 PM  

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