“Stepping on Bones – Solovki and Russia’s Past” radio broadcast by BBC

Natalia Golysheva, a BBC correspondent whose grandfather was a Gulag prisoner, visited Solovki in June 2018. She joined pilgrims on their journey to the far-off skits, heard from local residents and spoke to the granddaughter of perhaps the most famous Gulag survivor Dmitry Likhachov asking her what Solovki represents in modern day Russia.

Among other things, Natalia explores the conflict between, on the one hand, the monastery, which is said to try to erase the traces of the prison history of the place, and, on the other, historians and human rights activists, who want Solovki preserved as a Gulag memorial.

«Stepping on Bones – Solovki and Russia’s Past». See the BBC site: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csxgtj

Artists are said to be invited to Solovki free of charge

Rumours have reached me that the Union of Independent Guides to Solovki invites artists, photographers, and bloggers to stay there for free in exchange for their paintings, photographs, or mentionings in blogs. Details here.

Archangelsk British Military Cemetery. Photos of all tombstones.

Moscow ornithologist Pavel Kvartalnov has recently made, on our request that was, in turn, prompted by an enquiry by the person who contributes to the Yorkshire Regiment WW1 Remembrance site, a full set of the Arkhangelsk British Cemetery graves. They can be found at [removed on author’s requestб probably available if you ask for it].

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Long-awaited direct Murmansk to Arkhangelsk flights are here

murmansk-to-arkhangelsk

The other day I’ve noticed a poster by Orenburzhye Airlines at the local supermarket announcing direct daily Murmansk to Arkhangelsk flights. The cost of the ticket is ~8000 roubles (about $130) one way according to their site. Before this offer became available one would either have to fly via Moscow (that would take pretty much the whole day) or spend one and a half or two days on the train.

Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki

Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki by Andrea Gullotta of the University of Glasgow is expected to come out in February 2017. solovki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The book describes the initial period of the camp’s history, when it was relatively benign, with scientific and literary journals published, before it was turned into a killing site in the 1930s.

For details see legendabooks.com.

A monument to Stalin in Arkhangelsk

stalinIf I correctly read this report from www.news29.ru, the brass figure has already been cast, and the procedure of finding “a place of honour” in the center of Arkhangelsk to install it is well under way, with popular support..

White Sea kayaking

A group of courageous/foolhardy Czech travellers sent me a question on the possibility (mostly from the legal rather than technical point of view) of going from Kem’ to Solovki, circling the island, and returning to Belomorsk by sea kayak. At the moment I’m investigating the issue by asking people closely associated with this type of trips, but getting contradictory answers. Does anybody have reliable info on the subject of whether the authorities would interfere and make these travellers stop their suicidal trip, and possibly give them some extra trouble eg. fines or arrest?

A monument to Stalin in Arkhangelsk

stalinThe campaign to erect a monument to the former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin as well as the seemingly growing opposition to the project are well under way in Arkhangelsk.

The cost of the project is said to be about 500 thousand roubles (about $7000 at the currect exchange rate), of which 30 thousand have already been collected. Once the funds are there it should take 2-3 monthes to manufacture the statue.

A Solovki film from Russia Beyond the Headlines

Click on the image to see an excellent film, with English subtitles, where an attempt is made to present the whole view of the island, from antiquity to its present day.solovki-rbth

Our Nenets neighbours classed as “foreign agents”

nenetsky-regionBarents observer reports that the Nenets organization Yasavey Manzara is the first indigenous peoples´ organization in the Barents Region to be declared “foreign agents”. The Arkhangelsk and Nenets department of the Ministry of Justice has put Yasavey Manzala on the foreign agents list on Sept. 23. This means the ceasure of organization’s work as continuing after being labeled “foreign agent” requires adminstrative resources Yasavey Manzara does not have.