on Mid-eastern refugees in Kandalaksha. Fame in Russia and Finland!

refugeesNoticed an article on the flow of Eastern (Syrian, Afghan, North African etc.) refugees trying to get into Finland via Kandalaksha on the site of, a major Federal-level monthly. We are becoming famous! The only sad thing is that I’ve had not a single request to act as a “guide” – a job that pays, according to Snob, $1500 per trip. Only a couple of accommodation request from people with Middle Eastern sounding names that didn’t show up anyway.

Full article here >>

Middle-Eastern refugees in Salla and Lotta

border-crossingAccording to there is two groups totalling several dozen refugees from Afghanistan, Nepal, Iran, Iraque, Syria etc. stuck at the border crossing points of Salla and Lotta between Russia and Finland.

After the ban on bicycles crossing the border by the Finnish side migrants are buying cheap used cars in Russia to get over to Europe.

Still, with temperatures around -25C sleeping in cars is no fun.

Hans Schaaning and the history of Pasvik

hans-skonningA book about Hans Schaanning, the Norwegian ornithologist who lived and worked in today’s Pasvik Reserve territory, was recently printed by the Pasvik Reserve.

The book is in Russian and English (starting from page 139), and it can be found online at

Recommended to those interested in Pasvik’s origin and its birds, as well as general history of the area.

The Saami site upgraded and is now available in a bunch of languages

saamiHere is the new upgraded Saami Council site in English, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian. And, of course, Saami.

See posts tagged “Saami” for related materials. Also check under the Lovozero category for the Saami related materials.

Sign up for a trip to Lovozero with me as your driver and interpreter. The cost of an overnight trip from Kandalaksha for a group of 3-4 is about $500.

Made in the Arctic: A Success Story of a Finnish Berry Trader

osmo-koluosmo-kolu-2Stumbled upon a story about a Murmansk-based Finnish businessman who actively buys and sells berries.

Osmo Kolu came to Russia 10 years ago and immersed himself into the local scene. Now he buys blueberry and cloudberry from the locals, sorts, packs, and freezes them, and sells either locally or to Europe.

An interview with him may be of interest to anyone contemplating doing business in Russia.

I’d like to remind you that the general level of prices is now the lowest it has been in the last 5-7 years due to the recent fall of the rouble, giving a significant advantage to anyone contemplating investing into and doing business in Russia.

The Barents Region: A Transnational History of Subarctic Northern Europe. Book presentation in Lovozero tomorrow.

Barents-RegionThere will be a book presentation in the Lovozero library tomorrow, Dec. 1.

The book speaks of the story of the Barents region, an area that includes the northern-most parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, treated as one common entity, from year 800 to 2010. It is written by 27 historians from 13 geographic areas.

The book will be of interest to anybody who wants to study the trans-national history of the northern region.

Lars EleniusGeneral editor of the book is Lars Elenius, Professor in history and education specialising in the history of indigenous peopole and national minorities within the context of northern Europe. He has done research and worked out education about ethnic groups, minority politics, historical culture, nationalism and education in this northern context. Elenius is the leader of a network of scholars who write a history book and encyclopedia about the Barents Region.

For more info proceed here >>