Murmansk Oblast (Russian: Му́рманская о́бласть, tr. Murmanskaya oblast, IPA: [ˈmurmənskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ]) is a federal subject (an oblast) of Russia, located in the northwestern part of the country. Its administrative center is the city of Murmansk. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 795,409.
|Established||May 28, 1938|
|• Body||Oblast Duma|
|• Governor||Andrey Chibis|
|• Total||144,900 km2 (55,900 sq mi)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5.5/km2 (14/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||RU-MUR|
Geographically, Murmansk Oblast is located mainly on the Kola Peninsula almost completely north of the Arctic Circle and is a part of the larger Lapland region that spans over four countries. The oblast borders with the Republic of Karelia in Russia in the south, Lapland Region in Finland in the west, Finnmark County in Norway in the northwest, and is washed by the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the south and east. Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia lies across the White Sea.
Much of the oblast's relief is hilly, with the Khibiny and Lovozero ranges rising as high as 1,200 meters (3,900 ft) above sea level and stretching from west to east. The north of the oblast is mostly covered by tundra; forest tundra prevails further south, while the southern regions are in the taiga zone. There are over 100,000 lakes and 18,000 rivers in the oblast. The coast contains the Rybachy Peninsula and the Cape Svyatoy Nos peninsulas.
The climate is harsh and unstable, due to the proximity of the Gulf Stream on one side and Arctic cold fronts on the other. Sharp temperature changes, high winds, and abundant precipitation are common throughout the year, with the heating season lasting for ten straight months. However, the waters of the Murman Coast in the south remain warm enough to remain ice-free even in winter.
There is also a large number of islands belonging to the oblast, the main ones being (west to east) the Aynovy Islands, Bolshoy Oleny Island, Kildin Island Malyy Oleniy Island, Kharlov Island, Vesknyak Island, Litskiye Island, Nokuyev Island, Vitte Island, Lumbovskiy Island, Goryainov Island and Sosnovets Island.
The Saami, now a very small minority, are the indigenous people of the region. However, Russians started exploring the shores of the White Sea as early as in the 12th century. However, the city of Murmansk, home to nearly 40% of the oblast's population in the 307,257 (2010 Census);, was founded only in 1916.
The oblast was established on May 28, 1938 from Murmansk Okrug of Leningrad Oblast (comprising the city of Murmansk, Kirovsky, Kolsky, Lovozersky, Polyarny, Saamsky, Teribersky, and Tersky Districts) and Kandalakshsky District of the Karelian ASSR.
The area of Pechengsky District (Petsamo in Finnish), which was ceded to Finland by the 1920 Treaty of Tartu and gave Finland access to the Barents Sea, was recaptured by the Soviet Union in 1940. After the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947, the local Saami population was given the choice either of staying in Soviet Russia or resettling in Finland. Most of them chose the second option.
During the Soviet period, the high authority in the oblast was shared between three persons: The first secretary of the Murmansk CPSU Committee (who in reality had the biggest authority), the chairman of the oblast Soviet (legislative power), and the Chairman of the oblast Executive Committee (executive power). Since 1991, CPSU lost all the power, and the head of the Oblast administration, and eventually the governor was appointed/elected alongside elected regional parliament.
The Charter of Murmansk Oblast is the fundamental law of the region. The Legislative Assembly of Murmansk Oblast is the province's standing legislative (representative) body. The Legislative Assembly exercises its authority by passing laws, resolutions, and other legal acts and by supervising the implementation and observance of the laws and other legal acts passed by it. The highest executive body is the Oblast Government, which includes territorial executive bodies such as district administrations, committees, and commissions that facilitate development and run the day to day matters of the province. The Oblast administration supports the activities of the Governor who is the highest official and acts as guarantor of the observance of the oblast Charter in accordance with the Constitution of Russia.
|Yury Yevdokimov||December 1997 – March 21, 2009|
|Dmitry Dmitriyenko||March 21, 2009 – April 4, 2012|
|Marina Kovtun||April 4, 2012 - incumbent|
|Pavel Sazhinov||1994 – 2007|
|Yevgeny Nikora||2007 – 2011|
|Vasily Shambir||2011 – 2014|
|Mikhail Ilinykh||2014 – Incumbent|
The indigenous people of the area, the Saami, are only a tiny minority today. As of the 2002 Census, 92.2% of the oblast's population live in urban areas. The most populous city is the Oblast's administrative center, Murmansk, with 336,137 inhabitants. Other large cities and towns include Severomorsk, Apatity, Kandalaksha, Monchegorsk, and Kirovsk.
According to the 2010 Census, the ethnic composition of the oblast was as follows:
In 2009, the urban areas were marked by natural population decline (-0.16% per year) and the rural areas were marked by natural population growth (+0.35% per year).
According to a 2012 survey 41.7% of the population of Murmansk Oblast adheres to the Russian Orthodox Church, 3% are unaffiliated generic Christians, 1% are Orthodox Christian believers who do not belong to any church or are members of other (non-Russian) Orthodox churches, 1% are adherents of Islam, 0.4% are adherents of Rodnovery (Slavic native faith) and other indigenous folk religions, and 1% are members of the Catholic Church. In addition, 28% of the population declares to be "spiritual but not religious", 12% is atheist, and 12.5% follows other religions or did not give an answer to the question.
The Murmansk Oblast is very rich in natural resources and has deposits of over 700 minerals. The main industries of the region are in the sphere of raw material extraction and basic processing. The largest industries are metallurgy (36,6%), electric power-production (22,9%) and food-industry, including fishing (13,7%). The icefree port of Murmansk plays an important role in marine transportation in Russia, and the oblast has a 41% share of the total Russian marine transport market. The fishing industry is among the most profitable in the region, supplying 16% of Russia's total fish production. Murmansk is a key base for three fishing fleets, including Russia's largest, the Murmansk Trawl Fleet.
The economy of the region is export-oriented. Main export items are nickel products, apatite concentrate, copper and copper products, aluminium and ferrous metals. The Murmansk Region produces almost 100 percent of Russia's apatite concentrate (3.7 million tons in 1998), 43 percent of nickel, 15 percent of copper, 12 percent of iron ore and iron ore concentrate (17.7 million and 6.4 million tons in 1998), and 40 percent of cobalt.
The largest companies of the region – constituting 90% of the oblast's production – are Pechenganickel, Olcon, the Kola Nuclear Power Plant, Sevrybkholodflot, Murmanrybprom, Murmansk Trawl Fleet and Murmansk Shipping Company.
Large oil and gas resources have been discovered on the shelf of the Barents sea, including the massive Shtokman field - one of the world's largest gas fields with estimated reserves of 3.8 trillion cubic meters. Prospective oil fields could potentially yield up to 40 million tons in the next 10–15 years. However, the development of the oil and gas resources will require considerable investment.
In 2006, the Murmansk Oblast's gross regional product was 141.9 billion rubles, which amounts to about 0.4% of the Russian GDP. Unemployment in 2006 was 3,4%. GRP pro capita in 2007 was 225 044 rubles. Regional automobile code is 51.
The Murmansk Oblast plays an important role for the Russian Navy, the Northern Fleet having its headquarters in Severomorsk, 25 km north of Murmansk. The Navy has several other bases and shipyards in the Murmansk Oblast.
Murmansk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia, which is located in the northwestern part of the country, occupying mostly the Kola Peninsula. The oblast itself was established on May 28, 1938, but some kind of administrative organization of the territory existed here since at least the 13th century. As of the 2002 Census, Russians account for the majority of the oblast's population (85.3%, or 760,862 people), with the indigenous Sami constituting only a 0.20% minority (1,769 people).Since establishing and maintaining the structure of the administrative divisions of the federal subjects is not explicitly specified in the Constitution of Russia as the responsibility of the federal government, this task falls within the scope of the responsibilities of Murmansk Oblast itself. Changes of the administrative-territorial structure of Murmansk Oblast are authorized by the Murmansk Oblast Duma.The oblast's administrative divisions remained largely unchanged from the structure used during the Soviet era, with the notable exception of selsoviets—a low-level administrative unit type abolished after the new law on the administrative-territorial divisions had been adopted in January 1998.Alexandrovsk, Murmansk Oblast
Alexandrovsk (Russian: Алекса́ндровск) is a closed administrative-territorial formation in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Its administrative center is the town of Polyarny. Population: 42,789 (2010 Census).Flag of Murmansk Oblast
The Flag of the Murmansk Oblast consists of two bands of blue and red, the blue being much wider than the red. Within the blue is a stylized aurora. The aurora is said to represent the fact that the Murmansk Oblast is north of the Arctic Circle. The blue is supposed to represent beauty and greatness, while the red is supposed to represent courage and force.Gadzhiyevo
Gadzhiyevo (Russian: Гаджи́ево) is a town under the administrative jurisdiction of the closed administrative-territorial formation of Alexandrovsk in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Population: 11,068 (2010 Census); 12,180 (2002 Census).It was previously known as Yagelnaya Guba (until 1967), Gadzhiyevo (until 1981), Murmansk-130 (until 1994), Skalisty (until 1999).Kandalaksha
Kandalaksha (Russian: Кандала́кша; Finnish: Kantalahti, also Kandalax or Candalax in the old maps; Karelian: Kannanlakši; Skolt Sami: Käddluhtt) is a town in Kandalakshsky District of Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located at the head of Kandalaksha Gulf on the White Sea, north of the Arctic Circle. Population: 35,654 (2010 Census); 40,564 (2002 Census); 54,080 (1989 Census).Kirovsk, Murmansk Oblast
Kirovsk (Russian: Ки́ровск), known as Khibinogorsk (Хибиного́рск) until 1934, is a town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located at the spurs of the Khibiny Mountains on the shores of the Lake Bolshoy Vudyavr, 175 kilometers (109 mi) south of Murmansk. Population: 28,625 (2010 Census).Kirovsk-Apatity Airport
Kirovsk-Apatity Airport (Russian: Аэропорт Кировск/Апатиты), also known as Khibiny Airport (Russian: Аэропорт Хибины) (IATA: KVK, ICAO: ULMK) is an airport in Apatity, Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It is located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) southeast of Apatity.
Kirovsk-Apatity Airport was officially opened in 2013, developed on a former Soviet Air Force airfield with a single tarmac area that hosted the 227th Independent Helicopter Squadron flying Mi-8 helicopters. The airfield was revamped to serve the towns of Apatity and Kirovsk for civilian use, and in 2011 began operating flights to Domodedovo Airport. Currently, Kirovsk-Apatity Airport handles medium-sized airliners for domestic flights to several cities in Northwest Russia, with intentions to be developed into an international airport.Klistervatnet
Klistervatnet (Russian: Клистерватн) is a lake that lies on the border between Norway and Russia. The 17.2-square-kilometre (6.6 sq mi) lake lies on the river Pasvikelva and it is about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long and 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The lake is located north of lake Bjørnevatnet.Kola Peninsula
The Kola Peninsula (Russian: Ко́льский полуо́стров, Kolsky poluostrov; from Kildin Sami: Куэлнэгк нёаррк, Kuelnegk njoarrk; Northern Sami: Guoládatnjárga; Finnish: Kuolan niemimaa; Norwegian: Kolahalvøya) is a peninsula in the far northwest of Russia. Constituting the bulk of the territory of Murmansk Oblast, it lies almost completely inside the Arctic Circle and is bordered by the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the east and southeast. The city of Murmansk is the most populous human settlement on the peninsula, with a population of over 300,000 as of the 2010 Census.While the north of the peninsula was already settled in the 7th–5th millennium BCE, the rest of its territory remained uninhabited until the 3rd millennium BCE, when various peoples started to arrive from the south. However, by the 1st millennium CE only the Sami people remained. This changed in the 12th century, when Russian Pomors discovered the peninsula's game and fish riches. Soon after, the Pomors were followed by the tribute collectors from the Novgorod Republic, and the peninsula gradually became a part of the Novgorodian lands. No permanent settlements, however, were established by the Novgorodians until the 15th century.
The Novgorod Republic lost control of the peninsula to the Grand Duchy of Moscow in 1471, but the Russian migration did not stop. Several new settlements were established during the 16th century, and the Sami and Pomor people were forced into serfdom. In the second half of the 16th century, the peninsula became a subject of dispute between the Tsardom of Russia and the Kingdom of Denmark–Norway, which resulted in the strengthening of the Russian position. By the end of the 19th century, the indigenous Sami population had been mostly forced north by the Russians as well as by newly arriving Izhma Komi and Kominized Nenets (so-called Yaran people), who migrated here to escape a reindeer disease epidemic in their home lands in the southeast of the White Sea. The original administrative and economic center of the area was Kola, situated at the estuary of the Kola River into the Kola Bay. However, in 1916, Romanov-na-Murmane (now Murmansk) was founded and quickly became the largest city and port on the peninsula.
The Soviet period saw a rapid increase of the population, although most of it remained confined to urbanized territories along the sea coast and the railroads. The Sami people were subject to forced collectivization, including forced relocation to Lovozero and other centralized settlements, and overall the peninsula was heavily industrialized and militarized, largely due to its strategic position and the discovery of the vast apatite deposits in the 1920s. As a result, the ecology of the peninsula suffered major ecological damage, including contamination by military nuclear waste and nickel smelting.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the economy went into decline and the population quickly started to decrease. Between 1989 and 2002, Murmansk Oblast lost almost a quarter of its population; and almost 100,000 more between 2002 and 2010. Nevertheless, the economy rebounded somewhat in the first decade of the 2000s and the peninsula remains the most industrially developed and urbanized region in northern Russia.
Despite the peninsula's northerly location, its proximity to the Gulf Stream leads to unusually high temperatures in winter, but also results in high winds due to the temperature variations between land and the Barents Sea. Summers are rather chilly, with the average July temperature of only 11 °C (52 °F). The peninsula is covered by taiga in the south and tundra in the north, where permafrost limits the growth of the trees resulting in landscape dominated by shrubs and grasses. The peninsula supports a small variety of mammals, and its rivers are an important habitat for the Atlantic salmon. The Kandalaksha Nature Reserve, established to protect the population of common eider, is located in the Kandalaksha Gulf.Murmansk
Murmansk (Russian: Му́рманск, IPA: [ˈmurmənsk], Kildin Sami: Мурман ланнҍ Murman lannê) is a port city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast in the far northwest part of Russia. It sits on both slopes and banks of a modest ria or fjord, Kola Bay, an estuarine inlet of the Barents Sea. Its bulk is on the east bank of the inlet. It is in the north of the rounded Kola Peninsula which covers most of the oblast (semi-autonomous region). The city is 108 kilometres (67 mi) from the border with Norway and 182 kilometres (113 mi) from the Finnish border. The city is named for the Murman Coast, an archaic term in Russian for Norway.
Benefitting from the North Atlantic Current, Murmansk resembles cities of its size across western Russia, with highway and railway access to the rest of Europe, and the northernmost trolleybus system on Earth. Its northern latitude of 68°58'N makes Murmansk 2° north of the Arctic Circle at approximately 66°33'N. Its connectivity contrasts to the isolation of Arctic ports like the Siberian Dikson on the shores of the Kara Sea and Iqaluit, Nunavut in Canada on Baffin Island's Frobisher Bay off the Labrador Sea. Despite long, snowy winters, Murmansk's climate is moderated by the generally ice-free waters around it.
Although there was a building boom in the early twentieth century's arms races, Murmansk's population has been in a slow reversal since the Cold War; from 468,039 (1989 Census); 336,137 (2002 Census); 307,257 (2010 Census); to 299,148 (2014 estimate). It remains by far the largest city north of the Arctic Circle and is a major port on the Arctic Ocean.Olenegorsk, Murmansk Oblast
Olenegorsk (Russian: Оленего́рск, lit. reindeer mountain) is a town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located north of the Arctic Circle, 112 kilometers (70 mi) south of Murmansk. Population: 23,072 (2010 Census); 25,166 (2002 Census); 35,584 (1989 Census).Ostrovnoy, Murmansk Oblast
Ostrovnoy (Russian: Островно́й), previously known as Murmansk-140 (Му́рманск-140), is a closed town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 2,171; down from 5,032 recorded in the 2002 Census.Pechenga (urban-type settlement), Murmansk Oblast
Pechenga (Russian: Пече́нга; Finnish and Swedish: Petsamo; Norwegian: Petsjenga; Northern Sami: Beahcán; Skolt Sami: Peäccam) is an urban locality (an urban-type settlement) in Pechengsky District, Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Municipally, it is incorporated as Pechenga Urban Settlement of Pechengsky Municipal District. Population: 3,188 (2010 Census); 2,959 (2002 Census); 2,671 (1989 Census).Pechengsky District
Pechengsky District (Russian: Пе́ченгский райо́н; Finnish: Petsamo; Norwegian: Peisen; Northern Sami: Beahcán; Skolt Sami: Peäccam) is an administrative district (raion), one of the six in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. As a municipal division, it is incorporated as Pechengsky Municipal District. It is located in the northwest of the oblast, on the coast of the Barents Sea (by the Rybachy Peninsula, which is a part of the district) and borders Finland in the south and southwest and Norway in the west, northwest, and north. The area of the district is 8,662.22 square kilometers (3,344.50 sq mi). Its administrative center is the urban locality (an urban-type settlement) of Nikel. Population: 38,920 (2010 Census); 46,404 (2002 Census); 59,495 (1989 Census). The population of Nikel accounts for 32.8% of the district's total population.Polyarny, Murmansk Oblast
Polyarny (Russian: Поля́рный) is a town and the administrative center of the closed administrative-territorial formation of Alexandrovsk in Murmansk Oblast, Russia, situated on the outermost western side of the Kola Bay. Population: 17,293 (2010 Census); 18,552 (2002 Census); 27,635 (1989 Census).It was previously known as Alexandrovsk (until March 15, 1926), Alexandrovskoye (until March 11, 1931), Polyarnoye (until September 19, 1939).Snezhnogorsk, Murmansk Oblast
Snezhnogorsk (Russian: Снежного́рск) is a town under the administrative jurisdiction of the closed administrative-territorial formation of Alexandrovsk in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Population: 12,683 (2010 Census); 12,737 (2002 Census).Svanevatn
Svanevatn (Norwegian for "Swan Lake"; Finnish: Salmijärvi, "Strait Lake") is a lake on the border between Norway and Russia. The Norwegian branch is situated in Sør-Varanger municipality in Finnmark county.
Svanevatn has an area of 32.51 km², a circumference of 66.21 km and a height of 21 metres.Tersky District, Murmansk Oblast
Tersky District (Russian: Те́рский райо́н) is an administrative district (raion), one of the six in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Municipally, it is incorporated as Tersky Municipal District. It is located in the south of the Kola Peninsula and borders the White Sea in the south. The area of the district is 19,300 square kilometers (7,500 sq mi). Its administrative center is the urban locality (an urban-type settlement) of Umba. District's population: 6,288 (2010 Census); 7,434 (2002 Census); 9,752 (1989 Census). The population of Umba accounts for 88.0% of the district's total population.Zapolyarny, Murmansk Oblast
Zapolyarny (Russian: Заполя́рный) is a town in Pechengsky District of Murmansk Oblast, Russia, located on the Kola Peninsula, 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) northeast of the Kola Superdeep Borehole project. Population: 15,825 (2010 Census); 18,640 (2002 Census); 23,564 (1989 Census).The area where the town is located belonged to Finland in 1920–1944. It was founded in 1956 as Zhdanovsk (Жда́новск) and was granted work settlement status and later given its present name.On February 1, 1963, by the Decree by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, Zapolyarny was elevated in status to that of a town of district significance.It is the nearest town to the former Koshka Yavr Airbase