Remains of 11 wild deer and 4 mooses found in North Karelia

wild-deerIn the south of the Kola region and north of Karelia the expedition of the Barents section of the Word Wildlife Fund has stumbled into remains of 11 wild deer, a species listed as endangered, and four killed and one dying moose. The wild deer population in North Karelia is said to be around 200 and dropping due to poaching. For more info see

Finnish journalist fined for an interview with ex-mayor of Petrozavodsk Galina Shirshina, and report that Esa Tuominen, a journalist from Finland, was fined 2000 roubles ($25) and had his visa revoked for interviewing “without journalistic accreditation” the ex-mayor of Petrozavodsk, Galina Shirshina, famous for being the last of non- United Russia city heads, recently fired from her job in a controversial if not to say scandalous manner. The journalist was apparently apprehended after two ladies sitting next to him and Ms. Shirshina in a cafe called the authorities.

A guesthouse in Keret’, Loukhi district

keretA new guesthouse has recently opened in Keret’, 40km from Chupa, Loukhi District, Karelia. As most hospitality places around here the establishment specializes in fishermen, and offers motor and row boat rental, as well as local transportation.

The place features an old-style smoke sauna for lovers authenticity taken to extreme.

Telephone: +7 (921) 457-2067, e-mail:

Christmas angel workshop in Belomorsk, Karelia

christmas-angelLooking for a chance to integrate with the locals while making a cute little souvenir to take home?

Consider signing up for a workshop where you’ll learn to make something neat, and have fun and make friends in the process, such as making Chrismtas angel dolls on Jan. 5 at the Pomor Culture Center in Belomorsk, Karelia, at Ul. Oktyabrskaya 5-a, tel. 8 921 458 0383.

I must say that the fashion for these workshops is on the rise here, and those wishing to get close to make contact with the locals should consider participating.

This advice particularly applies to Russian bride seekers.

Good news for Moscow to Kirovsk travellers

Our friends Ulitkiny report several good news for travellers from Moscow to Kirovsk:

moscow-to-murmansk-road(1) The Karelia part of the St. Petersburg to Murmansk road has been fully repaired, and travelling through Karelia, unlike it was even 2-3 years ago, is now a breeze.

(2) flies Moscow to Apatity (next door to Kirovsk) twice a week, Friday and Sunday, with tickets starting at 3780 roubles ($55 at the current exchange rate) one way, which is not much more expensive than train tickets.


Lights at the distance are Korovsk. Yellowish loop on the right is the skiiing track. A white spot left from the track is the Snow Village and Snowmobiling Center. Photo by Alexander Yenaleyev, borrowed from Ulitkiny Livejournal.

(3) A long-awaited field skiing track has been laid out near Kirovsk, right by the Snow Village and the Snowmobiling Center where you can rent skiis.

Tea, coffee, sweets, and cat petting in Petrozavodsk

cotarium-3An “anti-cafe” (where you pay 5 roubles per minute for the first half an hour, then 3 roubles/minute, and the rest like tea, coffee, sweets, games, and books, is included) recently opened in Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia.

The main drawing point of this establishment is cats that can be petted or, if you qualify, adopted.

Also a library and regular workshops are held in this establishment.

cotarium-2The address is the Tetris Shopping Center, ulitsa Marshala Meretskova, 11, 4th floor. Open 11am to 9pm, closed 3pm to 4pm for an afternoon nap.

Website: VK group:

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A Suoyarvi (Karelia) deputy fined for “inciting separatism”

zavarkinVladimir Zavarkin, a municipal deputy at the Karelian town of Suoyarvi, had spoken at a meeting in Petrozavodsk on May 20 2015 saying something to the effect that if Russia doesn’t need Karelia – and it doesn’t, judging from the treatment the latter receives from Moscow – the republic should perhaps separate and re-join Finland, from which it was partly annexed as a result of the 1939 war. That brought him under the newly passed, in 2014, law against “calls for separatism”, and had him fined 30 th. roubles ($450 at the current exchange rate) by a Petrozavodsk court last week.

For details see The Moscow Times article.

I must say he got off lightly. The prosecutor was asking for two years of imprisonment. Others guilty under the same “calls for separatism” law, like the head of Crimean Tartars, got something like three years of real Russian prison.

“Forest Festival” in Pyal’ma, Karelia

pyalma-festivalThis weekend, August 14 and 15, Forest Festival was held in the village of Pyal’ma, Pudozh district, on the east shore of Onega Lake.

The aim of the festival was to attract attention to the preservation of Karelian taiga forests. The festival had several hundred visitors, and featured regional eco-tourism operators, local artisans, lectures and tours of taiga, and a separate programme for children.

This was the second event of this sort. The third one is planned for next year, for end of July or beginning of August 2016. Visitors, participants, or sponsors are invited. To participate next year contact Elena Pilipenko by writing to

Read more about the Festival, in Russian, on the site of the event’s organizer SPOK, or on their Vkontakte page.