News FocusProfile: Artur Chilingarov

Russia's Polar Hero

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Science  12 Jun 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5933, pp. 1382-1384
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_1382a

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Artur Chilingarov is deputy chair of the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, and a leading member of the pro-presidential United Russia party, but at heart he is an explorer and scientist—one with the political and business connections within Russia to raise money for costly expeditions. He has traveled on atomic icebreakers and helicopters to the polar regions, led research teams adrift on ice, and already reached another ocean floor, the Arctic's, 2 years ago. In doing the latter, Chilingarov confirmed his status as a Russian hero, literally, and set off an international furor over Moscow's claimed rights to the region and its potential oil reserves that still echoes today.