At 81° latitude north, PRIMA is the closest polar station to the North Pole from the Asian continent. During the Soviet era, Russia had 50 such bases built in the Arctic Ocean. They served as logistic support for scientists studying meteorology, glaciology as well as polar bears.
In the nineties, Russia’s difficult economic situation led the government to cancel numerous research programs and to close more than half of the bases. The remaining stations are often poorly maintained and present a challenging working environment for the researchers.