Legendary Arctic explorer dies at 84

Lawmaker Artur Chilingarov has passed away, the State Duma reports

Legendary Russian explorer-turned-lawmaker Artur Chilingarov has passed away at the age of 84, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, announced on Saturday.

The scientist “made an invaluable contribution to the exploration of the North and the World Ocean,” the Duma’s Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has said.

Chilingarov “led multiple expeditions, took part in the most difficult rescue operations, worked in extreme conditions for many years, committed feats of labor every day,” he added.

Born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1939, Chilingarov dedicated his whole life to studies of the World Ocean and both of the Earth’s poles. His career began in the early 1960s, with the scientist leading numerous expeditions in the polar regions, including drifting ice stations in the north, long-range flights in the most harsh conditions, as well as the Bellingshausen Station in the Antarctics.

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Following the demise of the Soviet Union, Chilingarov took a political career, getting elected as an MP multiple times as well as serving as a senator for one term. The political career did not spell the end to his scientific endeavors, with Chilingarov continuing to work in the field till late 2000s.

The scientist has received numerous state awards, including the top Soviet merit, the Order of Lenin, as well as Hero of the USSR and Hero of Russia medals.

Multiple top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have offered their condolences over Chilingarov’s death. “The president expressed his deep condolences over Chilingarov’s demise. They were true friends for years, they knew each other well. And the president sent a telegram with his condolences to the relatives and close ones of the Hero of Russia,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

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