Royal Navy icebreaker ship supports Ukrainian Antarctic scientists

The crew of the Royal Navy icebreaker ship gave “support and solidarity” to Ukrainian scientists based in Antarctica.

Plymouth-based HMS Protector called in Vernadsky Polar Research Station, which is manned by 21 scientists from the war-torn country.

The navy crew, who delivered food and supplies, said they heard how Ukrainians had families trapped by the Russian invasion.

Captain Michael Wood, of HMS Protector, said: “During their time ashore, the team confirmed the well-being of the 21 scientists who had wintered at Vernadsky.

The ship at Galindez Island in the South Atlantic (MoD/PA)

“Welcome supplies of fresh food were handed over to the station manager.

“Many station staff reported families stranded by attacks in Kharkiv and Kyiv.”

The Ukrainian research base is located on Galindez Island, off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

It was originally established as the British Antarctic Survey’s Faraday Station, but was transferred to Ukraine under a Memorandum of Understanding between the British Antarctic Survey and the State Institution National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine at the beginning of 1996.

Ukrainian scientists conduct research on the Earth’s magnetic field, radio soundings of the ionosphere in the southern polar region, hydrometeorological research and geophysical research on the lithosphere – the earth’s crust and the upper part of the mantle.

They also study the ecology of the West Antarctic biosphere as well as the medical effects of living and working in the continent’s extreme environment.

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