Population ~30 thousand. Hills, lakes, rivers. 120km north-east from Kandalaksha, very near to Apatity, a partdise for seekers of industrial antiutopia.

Wheat as the symbol of Kirovsk does not mean it grows here. Apatite is mined and processed into phosphate fertilizers in Kirovsk, fertilizers in turn make things grow, thus the emblem of Kirovsk.

The city is named after Kirov, a Bolshevik leader assassinated in 1934, thus all these Kirovsks, Kirovs, Kirovograds etc. The system of suffixes allows extensive recycling of a small number of words. Each Russian city will have at least one Ulitsa Kirova. In Kandalaksha we live on Kirovskaya. Unavoidable. This region was industrialized in the late 30s, during the Kirov-naming mania. Still, Kirovsk itself looks and feels quite civilized and cultured.

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V. Yerofeyev, Moscow to the End of the Line

Venedict Yerofeyev was born here, in the Niva-2 district of Kandalaksha, and spent a good chunk of his childhood in Kirovsk. There is his museum in Moscow and it is open even though its site returns “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable” as of April 1 2015. As of the moment I’m looking for an English translation, ideally online, of his Moscow to Petushki, or Moscow to the End of the Line in English. So far I’ve found the film version by Pawel Pawlikowski, with English subtitles.

Artists from Apatity

By Alexandra


Your %##!*!! job is to promote Kandalaksha and the Kola Peninsula. Express your attitude elsewhere.

Would be travellers –

Here is something positive to offset the torrent of ugliness from our in-house killjoy old grouch Uncle Pasha. I want to introduce you to two artists who will show you the other North, joyful and cheerful. Both are based in Apatity, about halfway between Kandalaksha and Murmansk.

Above: Anna Mikhailova, who shares her time between St. Petersburg and Hibiny.

Below: Irina Sitdikova from Apatity, a fun city that Pasha very unjustly placed on his “Russian Misery Tourism” honour list.

Here are some of their works:
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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.

An exhibition of areal photos of the Kola Peninsula


Opened yesterday at the Niva movie theatre in Kandalaksha, and expected to stay on well into 2017.

The author is the famous Boris Vakhmistrov, an avalanche expert from Kirovsk.

In his free time he flies around the Kola Peninsula on a deltaplane taking photos, and is one of the recognized photography masters here. 

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