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Russian researchers discover five islands in Arctic

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A Russian naval research team has discovered five islands in the Franz Josef Land archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, state media reported on Tuesday.

The islands vary in size from 900 to 54,500 square metres, Russia’s Northern Fleet said in a statement carried by state news agency, RIA Novosti.

The islands, to the west of Severny Island, were first sighted three years ago during an analysis of satellite photos, the report said.

Russia has been expanding its presence in the Arctic in recent years as rising temperatures have made the waters of the Northern Sea Route navigable for longer periods.

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