Russia Current Affairs

Sibir: World’s biggest and most powerful nuclear icebreaker ship launched by Russia

Russia launched Sibir (Siberia), the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker ship built under Project 22220 into the water at the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg.

Sibir is second of three icebreakers of new class of biggest nuclear powered icebreakers ever constructed under Project 22220. The first one was Arktika (Arctic) was put in service in June 2016. Third icebreaker Ural is set to be completed in 2019.


Sibir is powered by two next generation RITM-200 nuclear-reactors. These reactors will be supplied with nuclear be produced by the TVEL fuel company. It is 173 meters long and 34 meters wide. It has displacement capacity of 33500 metric tons. It has dual-draft design that can break through 13 feet (3 metres) thick ice, enabling it to use it in Arctic waters and in estuaries of polar rivers.

Sibir is designed to transport cargo along the Northern Sea Passage, a naval route near Artic has which has become recently more accessible due to climate change. It is 12 to 15 days shorter than traditional commercial routes through the Suez canal. It will help Russia to maintain control in Arctic waters due to drilling opportunities, minerals and strategic importance.

Russia is only country in world that produces nuclear-powered icebreakers. The new series of icebreakers under Project 22220 are meant to ensure year-round navigation in western Arctic, and their makes possible to use them in Arctic Ocean as well as in rivers.


One Million Dollar Fund Established for BRICS Media

The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping has established a one million dollar fund for boosting media cooperation in the five-nation grouping. During the inaugural session of the BRICS Media Forum  held in Beijing, Xinhua News Agency and executive president of the Forum had announced that the Xinhua news agency will invest  one million U.S. dollars for bolstering BRICS media.

Salient Highlights

The BRICS media forum is a joint initiative of Xinhua News Agency, Brazil’s CMA Group, Russia’s Sputnik News Agency and Radio, The Hindu group of publications from India, and South Africa’s Independent Media.

BRICS Media is aimed at promoting six objectives including balanced reporting. It aims to create an alternative media narrative distinct from the media of western nations. The proposal is also aimed at joint development of BRICS digital media, financial information services and promoting people- to-people contacts.


BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was established in 2009. The BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China] idea was first conceived by Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs. In 2011, South Africa joined this informal group and BRIC became BRICS.

So far, eight BRICS summits have taken place. The first formal summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries and all five are G-20 members. They are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs.