The word Arctic is from the Greek arktikos , "near the Bear." While it refers to the constellation Ursa Major, recent pronouncements suggest Moscow hopes to give the term new meaning.
Northern hemisphere maritime powers are shifting their focus to waters above 66 ' -30' latitude. The 2 August 2007 planting of a titanium Russian flag on the North Pole seabed by a Mir deep-water submersible supported by the nuclear-powered icebreaker Rossiya and research ship Akademik Federov generated significant global media coverage and a groundswell of domestic Russian pride. While not a military mission, this event triggered frantic Arctic security interest reassessments. Recent attention on the Arctic, however, has typically covered climatic changes, natural resources, sovereignty claims, and new shipping lanes. 1