On Wednesday the Russian research and expedition vessel, Akademik Fyodorov, is due to arrive in the South African port of Cape Town.
The vessel is expected to replenish its fuel, food and water supplies there before setting off for Antarctica. 60 Russian researchers will board the ship in Cape Town to travel to Antarctica.
Director of the Antarctic Logistics Centre in Cape Town Vasily Kalyazin noted that the researchers were part of the 48th expedition to Antarctica. Their colleagues were transferred there by the Akademik's first voyage in 2002.
Russian polar researchers will join other expeditions in the Antarctic stations of Novolazarevskaya, Mirnyi and Progress. Russian polar explorers who spent the winter of 2002 on the Southern continent are expected to be on a return voyage to the coast of South Africa and then to St. Petersburg.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23