The City Day June 30 at the Monastery Cape

The festivities start at 12:30 and include historic reconstruction, the sale of local arts and crafts, and a sailing regatta.

A good opportunity to meet the active part of the local society for anyone for whatever reason is interested in Kandalaksha.

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New WW2 stuff from the swamp near the Salla Border Crossing point

A recent expedition by the Russian Geographical Society, the Northern Fleet, and the “Verman” group of the Russian War Artefacts search movement have pulled a bunch of war-related stuff out of a Salla Border Crossing point area swamp. 

Things found included tracks and other fragments of two Soviet VT-7 and one German T-II tanks, a part of the Soviet 44mm gun, a number of household items (like flasks), and remains of one Wehrmacht soldier.

Items found are said to eventually put on display at the Naval Museum of the Northern Fleet in Murmansk.

A NEW BOOK: A WILD BIRD AND A CULTURED MAN

The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together

A popular science book by Alexandra Goryashko

Publication expected in 2019

The preparation of a popular science book on the world-wide history of the relationship between humans and the eiders – A Wild Bird and a Cultured Man (The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together) – for printing is nearing its end.

The author is the biologist and historian of science Alexandra Goryashko. This letter is to inform you about the upcoming publication which will be published in both Russian and English versions.

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Snow Figures Festival in Kandalaksha

Snow Figures Festival is to take place in Kandalaksha from March 1st to March 3rd. Location: in front of the City Administration building. The Department of Culture is currently accepting applications from those who wish to participate. The winners are to be announced on Sunday, March 10, the end of the Shrovetide week. 

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The Officers House is being exploded at the moment

That’s the final end of Kandalaksha’s most spectacular ruin. The people appear to be having fun observing the process. The massive columns at the front are to be brought down today..

 

See also the Announcement of the upcoming demolition and the Big report, with lots of photos, of our visit to the Officers House.

The most spectacular of Kandalaksha’s ruins is set to be exploded and leveled

Photo by Dr. Morita. August 2018.

The Officers’ House, built in late 1930s, was abandoned in 2010, suffered from a series of fires, and up to now has been standing as the most spectacular of local ruins. Recently a decision to bring it down by a series of explosions and demolish it starting October 15 was announced. I’m truly sorry to see this monument to the Soviet epoch go. Here are a few photos by Alexandra from our last visit there in September this year..

The facade is there. I’m neither an architect nor a civil construction economist but isn’t a building restorable as long as the facade and the walls are there? Perhaps restoration takes more subtlety and flexibility, compared to leveling things and building anew, than we Russians are capable of?

The roof is gone, and the central stage is exposed..

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“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

Rock concert and Arctic cooking festival in Kirovsk on August 4 2018

Little Wood 2018 festival is happening in Kirovsk on August 4 2018. The event begins at 4pm. Location: Stadium Tirvas. The festival features several local and one rock group from Petrozavodsk as well as Arctic cooking, which I assume includes lots of fish and deer meat. The weather, with daytime temperatures way above 20C, is especially conducive for visiting such an event, and it is still quite light at night.

Why is Russia like it is?

Here is a comprehensive yet of manageable size, profound yet easy to read article by Martin Levine, former Foreign Service Officer, explaining why Russia is what it is with all her peculiarities, which are likely to make our lives more difficult than they have to be for a long time to come. I stumbled onto it on Quora.com

I have spent a few months in Russia so I maybe understand their attitude a little bit.

The Russians have a set of issues that make it difficult for them to relate to the rest of the world, not just the USA.

A Profound Sense of Loss

The Russians are sort of like the British. They had an Empire and they lost it. Some parts of the Soviet Union were kept there by force, an internal empire. The Uzbeks, the Ukrainians, the Kazakhs, might have preferred to do their own thing. Then of course there were the “satellite “ countries of Eastern Europe. And, the Russians had outposts in Cuba, Vietnam, Angola and elsewhere.

The link to the rest of the article >

Norwegians in Murmansk, Lovozero and around

Here is a story by Kristin Evju from her Norwegians’ group September 2017 visit to the local cultural Sami events in Murmansk and Lovozero, with a detour to Seidjavr Lake, with the assistance of Mikhail Barakovsky, with whose support I took two Swedish journalists to see reindeer keepers a couple of years ago.

The story is of the “atmospheric” type, with not much in the way of practical details, but a would-be traveler can, and are encouraged to contact us for these.