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Murmansk(mo͝ormänsk`), city (1989 pop. 468,000), capital of Murmansk region, NW European Russia, on the Kola Gulf of the Barents Sea. It is the terminus of the Northeast PassageNortheast Passage,
water route along the northern coast of Europe and Asia, between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Beginning in the 15th cent., efforts were made to find a new all-water route to India and China.
..... Click the link for more information. and the world's largest city N of the Arctic Circle, with a polar research institute. For many years this ice-free port was a leading Soviet freight port, a base for fishing fleets, a major naval base, and the main home port of the Russian nuclear submarine fleet. Until the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the loss of state funding, Murmansk was a thriving industrial, commercial, and shipping center. Now the formerly active railroad terminus linked with Moscow and St. Petersburg has seen train traffic decrease by half. Its fish canneries, shipyards, textile factories, breweries, and sawmills have laid off workers, the commercial fleets have been sold for scrap or land their catch outside Russia, and the nuclear submarines relocated.
Murmansk was only a small village before World War I. The port and its rail line inland from Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) were built in 1915–16, when the Central Powers cut off the Russian Baltic and Black Sea supply routes. Allied forces occupied the Murmansk area from 1918 to 1920, during the Russian civil war. A major World War II supply base and port for Anglo-American convoys, Murmansk was bombarded by the Germans. During the 1970s and 80s, the Sea of Murmansk was the dump site for the exhausted cores of Soviet nuclear reactors. Murmansk oblast, with rich apatite and nickel mines, was enlarged after World War II through the incorporation of former Finnish territories, notably Petsamo (PechengaPechenga
, Finnish Petsamo, town, NW European Russia, an ice-free port at the head of Pechenga Fjord on the Barents Sea and near the Norwegian border. It is also the northern terminus of an Arctic highway. Pechenga serves as the base for a fishing (notably herring) fleet.
..... Click the link for more information. ).
(until April 1917, Romanov-na-Murmane), a city; center of Murmansk Oblast, RSFSR. An ice-free port on the eastern coast of Kola Bay of the Barents Sea, 50 km from the open sea. Railroad station. Population, 338,000 (1973; in 1939, 119,000; in 1926, 9,000).
Murmansk was founded on Sept. 21, 1916, in connection with the creation of a seaport on Kola Bay and the construction of the Murmansk Railroad. Soviet power was established there on Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917. From March 1918 to February 1920 the city was occupied by troops of the Entente and by the White Guards. Soviet power was restored on Feb. 21, 1920, and on March 7 units of the Red Army entered Murmansk. In 1921 the city became the center of Murmansk Province, and in 1927, of Murmansk Okrug, Leningrad Oblast. It became an oblast center in 1938. Under the prewar five-year plans it was transformed from a small port into an important industrial center. The port played an important role in supplying the country and the army during the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), when it received cargoes shipped by the Soviet Union’s allies in the struggle against fascist Germany.
The city’s main industries are fishing and fish processing, ship repair, and building materials. Trawler, herring, and merchant and auxiliary fleets are based in Murmansk. Among the city’s outstanding industrial enterprises are the Sudoverf association, the Murmansk Fish Combine, a house-building combine, and a wooden container combine. Fishing implements and furniture are produced in Murmansk, and there is a food-processing industry. Located in the city are the N. M. Knipovich Polar Scientific Research and Planning Institute of Marine Fishing and Oceanography and the Higher School of Marine Engineering, as well as a pedagogical institute and navigational, medical, pedagogical, and music schools. The oblast drama theater, a puppet theater, the oblast museum of local lore, and a naval museum are located in Murmansk. In 1971 the city was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.