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Russian adventurer Konyukhov returns to Murmansk after solo scientific trip to North Pole

This is Fedor Konyukhov’s sixth trip to the North Pole, his first being in 1988

MURMANSK, August 2./TASS/. Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov has returned to the port city of Murmansk in Russia’s northwest on board the nuclear icebreaker "50 Years of Victory" carrying a team of participants in the Clean Arctic volunteer project to clean up the Arctic. Konyukhov was the ambassador of the project, spending ten days on a drifting ice shelf alone to study microplastics in the ocean.

This is Konyukhov’s sixth trip to the North Pole, his first being in 1988. The drifting station was deployed to an ice shelf with an area of 15 square kilometers. The ice thickness was from one to 1.5 meters. The solo station drifted for 249 hours 25 minutes.

"I was never on drifting ice in the summertime, we traveled to the North Pole in March, April, and May, and also in winter — January, February. It was unusual to see a lot of water around this time, and fresh water also," Konyukhov told a news conference after leaving the ship.

"I got out of the tent and collected water from the lake. The temperature was very warm, zero degrees. Everything was thawing," he added. The adventurer also said that he had undertaken the scientific program under the Clean Arctic project for the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology and would now wait for the scientific analysis of the data he had obtained from the ten days of drifting in the Arctic Ocean.

"I was painting, writing and praying. Clean Arctic is a very good project. This is what Russia must engage in as a priority, since our country is vast, we have a lot of rivers falling into the Arctic Ocean. This must be a priority for us, for Russia," Konyukhov emphasized.

During his voyage, the legendary traveler painted seven sketches, and on Monday, an exhibition of his paintings entitled ‘Life-long voyage’ opens in Murmansk.

Clean Arctic project

The Clean Arctic project’s author is Captain of the 50 Let Pobedy icebreaker Dmitry Lobusov. In early June he suggested organizing a "big Arctic cleanup," hoping the joint effort will clean the Arctic territories from accumulated scrap metal and fuel.

The project brings together members of the general public, scientific community, authorities, business and media figures.