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.

Rye dough figurine celebration in Kuzreka

Rye dough ritual figurine celebration took place in Kuzreka yesterday, August 8. That was the 8th event of this sort, and this time it attracted a crowd of 2000, including the representatives of the regional authorities and a bunch of folk music groups.

Part of the festival was the scarecrow competition. The only part of the festivities that made me regret I wasn’t there in person.

Here are some pictures of the event borrowed from hibiny.com:

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Russian-Finnish Festival in Vyborg August 5-6 2017

The Kukushka festival of Russian and Finnish culture and music is taking place in Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri), Leningrad region, some 100km northwest from St. Petersburg, on the weekend of August 5-6, on the Central Market Square of the town. 

More at www.kukushkafest.ru/suomeksi, in Finnish and Russian.

A recent video of events in connection with 500 years of Kandalaksha

A sailing regatta, historic reconstruction, arts and crafts, and a concert took place on the Monastery Cape on July 2. Here is a video of the event:

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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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