Russian Arctic Tribe at Risk from Gas Projects

The Nenets tribespeople of Russia’s frozen Yamal peninsula have survived the age of the Tsars, the Bolshevik revolution and the chaotic 1990s, but now confront their biggest challenge — under their fur-bundled feet is enough gas to heat the world for five years.

“For them it is fortune, for us terror,” said 20-year-old herder Andrei Yezgini, dressed from head to toe in reindeer skin, referring to ambitious plans by state gas giant Gazprom to drill the region Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has described as “the world’s storehouse” of gas and oil.

Putin jetted into the sparsely populated region within the Arctic circle, 2,000 km (1,250 miles) northeast of Moscow, in late September to woo foreign partners to develop a quarter of the world’s known gas reserves.

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