Ukrainian Antarctic Office Partially Destroyed by Missile Attack | Polarjournal
The destroyed portraits of the research teams in the director’s office are especially painful, but fortunately can be restored. (Photo: Aleksandr Zakletsky, Yulia Kryvytska)

On October 10, massive Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian cities also damaged the National Antarctic Scientific Center NASC office in central Kyiv. However, no employees were injured. It was not until two days later that it was possible to enter the premises for the first time to inspect the damage. All windows and glass panels were crushed by a powerful shock wave. According to the agency, the impact was so severe that “shards of glass slammed like daggers into the wooden doors” and internal concrete walls cracked.

A slipped portrait of a scientist conducting field research in the snow placed on a bookshelf. Above it, the ceiling has collapsed. A window frame is torn to pieces. Wooden panels were used to temporarily repair the windows. (Photo: Aleksandr Zakletsky, Yulia Kryvytska)

Fortunately no data loss

All priceless data on the servers and unique paper archives were preserved. The unique two-meter penguin has also survived, so it can be met more than once at planned future Antarctic photo exhibitions.

The NASC, which operates the office, further writes: “Painful are the broken group portraits of all Ukrainian Antarctic expeditions. These traditional group photos of all wintering teams hung on the wall in the director’s office. There are 26 pictures in total. Fortunately, these can be restored.” The building housing the National Antarctic Scientific Center is located in the very center of the Ukrainian capital, near the “Taras Shevchenko” University.

On October 10, several ballistic projectiles had hit the center of Kyiv, causing extensive damage. One of the shots that went through the media also showed hits in the immediate vicinity of the building where NASC has its offices. The resulting shock wave had caused the damage to the premises.

Undeterred, employees vowed to rebuild everything after the missile attacks. Next to a map of Antarctica, a flag of Ukraine’s “National Antarctic Scientific Center” is held above an overturned monitor and office chaos as a sign of resistance. (Photo: Aleksandr Zakletsky, Yulia Kryvytska)

The polar researchers of the station “Akademik Vernadskyi” sent an information letter to all Antarctic stations regarding the destruction of the NASC office to inform the international community about the events. The message specifically states, “This is a blow not only to civilians, but also to science as such, including Antarctic research, which is part of global research.”

Right now, the National Center for Scientific Research NASC staff is working online to ensure the ongoing operation of the program and preparations for the Antarctic season. To prepare the next expeditions, not a single day has been lost since then.

The Ukrainian research icebreaker “Noosfera” has been in operation for the Ukrainian “National Antarctic Scientific Centre” since August 2021. Previously, the ship was underway for 30 years for the British Antarctic Survey. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Icebreaker “Noosfera” in safety

The Ukrainian Antarctic research vessel “Noosfera” is currently in the port of Cape Town and may have found a temporary new home there.

The research icebreaker of the “British Antarctic Survey”, formerly known as “James Clark Ross”, was sold to the Ukrainian “National Antarctic Scientific Centre” after the “Sir David Attenborough” was commissioned in August 2021. The ship was in service for BAS for 30 years.

The new name of the ship brought under the flag of Ukraine is called “Noosfera”. It will continue to be used by the ” National Antarctic Scientific Centre” for Ukrainian polar research as well as for supplying its own Vernadskyi station in Antarctica.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

Link: National Antarctic Scientific Centre

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