The Bizarre Bank Robbery That Shook an Arctic Town
Maksim Popov needed a gun.
It was late fall 2018, and the single, unemployed 29-year-old was descending into darkness. He was living in Volgograd, the large industrial city in southwestern Russia where he’d grown up, and as he later explained, he’d become desperate, even hopeless. It’s not clear what caused his downturn or if he’d sought help, but at some point he decided he wanted to shoot himself. To get a firearm legally in Russia required a psychiatric evaluation, which is presumably why Popov found himself online, reading about a remote outpost in the Arctic that’s popular with Russian tourists and is also one of the easiest places on the planet to rent a gun: Longyearbyen. The Bizarre Bank Robbery That Shook an Arctic Town