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Arctic expedition hoists Russian flag on North Pole

April 18, 2014, 16:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian youth team has skied around 180 kilometres for eight days

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The 7th Russian youth Arctic expedition under the motto “To the North Pole on skis!” has reached its goal when seven Russian teenagers have conquered the North Pole on Friday.

The Russian youth team has skied around 180 kilometers for eight days, the press service of the Russian presidential children rights commissioner reported.

The ski team has lifted the Russian national flag at 12.44pm Moscow time on Friday at the North Pole.

Inmates of correctional schools and orphanages have conquered the top of the North Pole. “Karina Kausova and Akhuramazad Mumindzhanov are teenagers with hearing impairments, both of them study at special schools. Ksenia German grows in a foster family, Nikita Nekrasov and Alena Karpenko are inmates of an orphanage, Nikolay Zaitsev studies at a cadet corps,” the press service said. The seventh teenager on the youth Arctic expedition is Alexander Petrov. All children are 16 years old.

Each participant in the expedition passed a serious multilevel selection, at first in regions where they live, then in an 11-day daily training course in the Russian north-western republic of Karelia and a final selection stage passed in Moscow region’s town of Ruza, where candidates passed a special obstacle zone.

Russian Presidential Children Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov also participates in the Polar ski mission.

The expedition passed under supervision of experienced Polar explorers Matvey Shparo and Boris Smolin who called this trip the most difficult one from all previous missions, as a strong drift and cold northern winds and huge ice floes hampered the skiers.

“Expeditions from the United States and Norway where only adults and experienced athletes were in the team who have reached the North Pole along with our young Polar explorers, but lagged behind them. At the end of the ski trip the team had been going to the North Pole for almost a day, stopping for a break only for two hours,” the press service noted.

The expedition started on April 10 from a drifting Polar research station Barneo of the Russian Geographical Society. The youth ski champions should return to Moscow on April 20.

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