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    The Taimir Peninsula... This cold land within the Arctic Circle is as big as France,?

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Taimir Peninsula... This cold land within the Arctic Circle is as big as France, England and Belgium put together.

    Thousands of Soviet people live here. They work on collective fisheries and reindeer farms or at hunter's collectives. Others make explorations at polar stations.

    Life and work on the peninsula must be normalised. The people must be provided with the necessary equipment, provisions and clothes.

    But the great distance between the populated areas makes this very difficult.

    Transport is the main solution to the problem.

    The people of Taimir recall the time when sled dogs were used to get from place to place. The dogs could make up to 50 kilometres an hour.

    Cross-country vehicles with their fantastic speed for such places and their carrying capacity began to take the place of dogs.

    But even a child here knows that the main form of transport is the airplane, although sled dogs and cross-country vehicles are still in use.

    In 1963, an Arctic aviation detachment under Vasily Krechetov began making regular flights throughout the year.

    The pilots have to reckon with the polar night.

    Regular plane and helicopter flights even to the most remote places on the peninsula have become a common event. But they always involve a risk because they have to fly through the difficult conditions of the Polar night. The people are fully aware of this and always turn out to give the fliers a warm welcome.

    Vasily Krechetov is called the Master of the Taimir. The local aviation and the normal life of the population is in his hand.

    The people of Norilsk showed their respect for Mr. Krechetov by electing him a candidate to the municipal council.

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