Questions on Russian travel (in particular to the north-west of European part of the country), working, or living are most welcomed. Write to email@example.com, contact me via Skype at Uncle_Pasha_2011, or use chat at the bottom right corner of this page.
A few days ago, on April 20 2017, the Ministry of Justice declared the Kola Ecological Center, of which my mate Alexandra is a member, a “foreign agent” for receiving foreign financing and being engaged in political activity.
Its “political activity” appears to be taking part in public hearings where government officials were present.
The “foreign agent” status means, in addition to a serious stigma, a significant increase in the amount of reporting paperwork the NGO has to do.
The Kola Ecological Center is behind the eco-trails east of Kandalaksha and near Kolvitsa. They also orchestrated the construction of a WW2 memorial in Kolvitsa. These are the sort of things that stand out in their work, not attempting to influence Russian government officials using foreign funds.
Yesterday, for no particular reason other than its curious name, we headed to a place called Africanda, about 10 miles north from Polarnye Zori. The story says that the name originated as a joke, when railroad station builders encountered a particularly hot, Africa-like, summer day. The village offers among the most spectacular local ruins. The town core however appears relatively civilized, full of small two-story houses surrounded by pine trees. Here are a few photos to convey to you the sense of the place:
“In the winter of 1888, on the 5th (new style: 18th) of January, at about three in the morning, the residents of Kashkarantsy were awakened by a strange and terrifying noise of ice mountains of huge size moving onto their village from the sea, destroying barns, houses, and boats..”
Saw the same thing in its miniature version yesterday:
It’s just a few pictures of our walks around Kandalaksha during March.
Today we went to the “Nature Reserve Format” film festival in Kandalaksha. The best film shown, in the opinion of many, was “A Lake in the Sea”.
Just noticed that it is available on the Youtube with English subtitles, and am thus sharing it with you..
I’ve recently have been once again looking at the issue. It appears that the only way to get the FSB (former KGB) permit is via a local incoming travel agency. Those I’ve contacted (www.atv51.ru, snow51.ru, and www.m-tour.ru) would only arrange permits to the participants of their tours that start at ~$400/person. I’m continuing to look for one that would provide assistance with no strings in the form of tour participation attached.
Any hints or suggestions?