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Russian Ship Breaks Free Of Antarctic Ice

The "MV Akademik Shokalsky" became stuck in Antarctic ice on December 24.
The Russian research vessel "MV Akademik Shokalsky" has broken free of Antarctic ice that had kept the ship trapped since last month.

The ship's captain, Igor Kiselev, sent a message on the evening of January 6, saying the wind had shifted and cracks had formed in the ice, allowing the vessel to start moving.

The ship was reportedly headed north at a steady speed of 7 knots (about 13 kilometers) per hour.

The ship became stuck in the ice on December 24.

China, Australia, and the United States all sent icebreakers to try to help free the ship, but the ice pack prevented the other vessels from reaching the stricken Russian research ship.

The 52 passengers aboard the "MV Akademik Sholkalsy" were taken away by a Chinese helicopter on January 2.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax