Murmansk Region

The area was formed on May 28, 1935 with the center in Murmansk (388.3 thousand inhabitants), founded in 1916.
Distance to Moscow is 1967 km.

Geographic location. Murmansk area is situated at the far north-west of Russia, occupying Kola Peninsula and adjacent parts of the continent. It borders: in the south – on Republic of Karelia, in the south-west and west — on Finland. Murmansk area is washed by the Barents and White seas.

Natural conditions. The northern bank of Kola Peninsula is high and steep; the southern is low-land and flat. Mountain massive Khibiny is in the western part of the peninsula (highest point is Chasnachor Mountain - 1191 m). Main rivers are: Ponoy, Varguza, Umba, Niva, Tuloma. In Murmansk region there are numerous lakes (Imandra, Umbozero, Lovozero). The climate is relatively mild (due to warm Atlantic stream); average January temperature varies between -8 degrees (north) and -13 degrees (center), average July temperature varies from +8 to +14 degrees. Podzolic and swampy soils are typical for the area. Vegetation: at the north – moss and lichen tundra, at the south – forest tundra and taiga, mostly pines, fir-trees and birches.

Population. Murmansk area is highly urbanized (next after Moscow and St.-Petersburg) and populated mostly with Russians. Indigenous population is saami (lopars), living also in Finland and Sweden, they are insignificant in size (0,17%) and are involved in deer-breeding. Notable part of the population is constituted by military sailors of the Northern fleet – the largest in Russia. Despite relatively stable birth and death rates, the area population in general is declining, mostly due to human outflow, characteristic for all remote parts of Russia in the post-reform period.

Economic advantages and disadvantages. Murmansk area economic-geographic position is pretty good. Comparing to adjacent regions of neighboring countries, Murmansk area may be considered an economic giant of the Northern Europe. Murmansk area is involved in the inter-regional cooperation project with northern regions of Finland, Sweden and Norway (Barentsregion). Murmansk is the only Russian non-freezing port. Kola Bay and adjacent bays serve as a base for commercial, fish, ice-breaker and naval fleets. Murmansk is the startting point of Northern Seaway and the base for the Russian ice-breaking fleet. But the port of Murmansk can receive ships only with limited tonnage. Murmansk area subsoil is extremely rich with natural resources. Iron and copper-nickel ores, mica, apatite and other minerals are found there. At the Barents Sea shelf large gas-condensate deposits are to be developed. The sea is rich with fish. Environment is impacted by development of non-ferrous metals and numerous unburied radioactive waste elements.

Specialty. Murmansk area boasts mining and fish-processing industries. Kola atomic power station and hydro and thermal power stations generate electric power and export it to Finland.

Main industries: mining (production and processing of apatite-nepheline ores, production and enrichment of copper-nickel iron ores, ores of rare metals); non-ferrous metals (smelting copper, nickel and cobalt); fish industry; shipyards. There are hydro power stations on rivers Niva, Tuloma, Paz, Kovda, Voronia; Kola atomic power station is also located at Mormansk area. The area is a monopolist producer of loparite, apatite and cobalt concentrates, nickel carbonyl powder and metal nickel.

Expert RA