Photographer's Note

Murmansk is a city in the extreme northwest of Russia (north of the Arctic circle) with a seaport on the Kola Gulf, 12 km from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland. Population: 308,100 (2004 est.). The port remains ice-free year round due to the warm North Atlantic drift ocean current. It is the largest city in the Arctic.

The city, known initially as Romanov-on-Murman, was founded in September 1916, when the railroad line to Kola was built, and named after the Russian royal dynasty of the Romanovs. Murman is the old Russian name for the Barents Sea and for Norwegians, derived from the ethnonym Normans. Another theory holds it that Murman derives from Saami for land and sea. The city was renamed to Murmansk after the October Revolution in 1917.

From 1918 to 1920, the city was occupied by the Western powers who had been allied in the First World War and "White" forces during the Civil War in Russia. During World War II, Murmansk was a link with the Western world for Russia, and a vast commerce with the Allies, in items important to the respective military efforts passed through it: primarily manufactured goods into the Soviet Union, and raw materials out. These supplies were brought to the city in the Arctic Convoys.

German forces launched an offensive against the city in 1941. Murmansk suffered profound destruction, second only to Stalingrad of all the Soviet cities. However, fierce Soviet resistance prevented Germans from capturing the city and from cutting off the vital Karelain railway line. After the war Murmansk was a centre of Soviet submarine activity, and since the breakup of the USSR, it remains the headquarters of the Russian Northern Fleet as well as its Nuclear powered icebreaker fleet.

The weather is similar to Alaska. It is very close to the northern parts of Norway and Finland. There is near perpetual daylight in June and darkness in December.

HUNgry, luluwi, markogts, mpetrovic, pamastro, nfriedli trouve(nt) cette note utile

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Additional Photos by Mikhail Perfilov (perfil) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12 W: 26 N: 106] (671)
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