Population ~30 thousand. Hills, lakes, rivers. 120km north-east from Kandalaksha, very near to Apatity, a partdise for seekers of industrial antiutopia.
Wheat as the symbol of Kirovsk does not mean it grows here. Apatite is mined and processed into phosphate fertilizers in Kirovsk, fertilizers in turn make things grow, thus the emblem of Kirovsk.
The city is named after Kirov, a Bolshevik leader assassinated in 1934, thus all these Kirovsks, Kirovs, Kirovograds etc. The system of suffixes allows extensive recycling of a small number of words. Each Russian city will have at least one Ulitsa Kirova. In Kandalaksha we live on Kirovskaya. Unavoidable. This region was industrialized in the late 30s, during the Kirov-naming mania. Still, Kirovsk itself looks and feels quite civilized and cultured.
Venedict Yerofeyev was born here, in the Niva-2 district of Kandalaksha, and spent a good chunk of his childhood in Kirovsk. There is his museum in Moscow and it is open even though its site erofeevm.narod.ru returns “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable” as of April 1 2015. As of the moment I’m looking for an English translation, ideally online, of his Moscow to Petushki, or Moscow to the End of the Line in English. So far I’ve found the film version by Pawel Pawlikowski, with English subtitles.
Your %##!*!! job is to promote Kandalaksha and the Kola Peninsula. Express your attitude elsewhere.
Would be travellers –
Here is something positive to offset the torrent of ugliness from our in-house killjoy old grouch Uncle Pasha. I want to introduce you to two artists who will show you the other North, joyful and cheerful. Both are based in Apatity, about halfway between Kandalaksha and Murmansk.
Above: Anna Mikhailova, who shares her time between St. Petersburg and Hibiny.
They ordered me to translate their site into English, and immediately uploaded these translations to snowtracker.ru/en/. Last March we ourselves took part in one of their 3-4 hour tours, were impressed, and can recommend Kola Expeditions to travellers looking for the “local spirit”.