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.

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..

more >>

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].

more >>

A Sherman tank finally arrives in Murmansk

sherman-tankThis Sherman tank was on board of Thomas Donaldson transport ship on its way to Murmansk in March 1945 as part of the JW-65 convoy under the Lend-Lease program. It was hit by a German torpedo near the Kil’din Island and sank. The ship is still at the bottom of the Barents sea while some of its load was brought to the surface, including this Sherman tank delivered to the Murmansk port and put on a railroad platform today. Its final destination is one of St. Petersburg museums. For more see this b-port article.

Another abandoned settlement near the Prolivy train stop

prolivy-1Recently I’ve stumbled into yet another abandoned military settlement by the no, not quite a “station” but more of a mere train stop called Prolivy (“Straights”) near the village of Beloye More.
prolivy-2

Three or four relatively recently (in 2003 according to one local I met there) deserted 4 or 5 story buildings, plus smaller service buildings.

 

 

more >>

Historic reconstruction festival July 2 and 3

gandvikHistoric reconstruction festival “Gandvik” is taking place on the Monastery Cape (just east off Kandalaksha) on July 2nd and 3rd starting at noon. The program includes visiting the Viking camp, single and group combat, recreation of a medieval fair, and show of historic boats.

Free admission!

Russian helicopter invades Finnish air space

According to pravda.ru a helicopter of “unknown origin” penetrated the Finnish air space in the east part of the Bay of Finland to the depth of about 9km and spent around 6 min. above Finland. After two warnings from the Finns it flew back to Russia.

The incident apparently took place on Thursday, Dec. 10 2015.

Youri Gagarin museum opens in Safonovo just north of Murmansk

gagarintvkultura.ru reports that the house where Gagarin lived during his pre-cosmonaut days while serving for the northern air fleet has been moved to the closed military town of Safonovo ~25km NE from Murmansk, where it has been restored and made part of the local aviation museum exposition.

The museum can be visited “by appointment only” and a permit, said to take about a month to obtain, is required to enter Safonovo.

Museum’s tel. number is  +7(81537)64398.