Prospects of Development for Urban Areas in the Russian Arctic

in Sibirica
Author:
Igor Popov Researcher, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia igorioshapopov@mail.ru

Search for other papers by Igor Popov in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Abstract

The development of the Arctic was an important political and economic topic of the Soviet Union. This urbanization activity declined dramatically in the economic and political chaos of the 1990s, although some positive transformations have been seen in the new millennium. This article examines whether the colonization of the Russian Arctic will follow Soviet-era plans or the region will remain scarcely populated in the near future. The history and methods of urbanization in the Russian Arctic have been analyzed in order to better shed light on this question.

Atendency to colonize the Arctic is considered as one of the main trends of Russian history (Laruelle 2012), and the development of the Arctic was one of the foremost political and economic topics of the Soviet Union. The special projects for the building of Arctic cities were actively developed during the Soviet period (Filin, Emelina, and Savinov 2018), though in the 1990s the political and economic chaos resulted in a rapid decline of this activity (Blakkisrud and Hønneland 2000; Heleniak 2010; Suutarinen 2013). However, in the new millennium there have been some positive transformations (Rasell 2009), and construction is being carried out even in the most extreme northern territories. In particular, on the islands of the Franz Josef Land Archipelago, the world's northernmost post office operates in one of them, although not intensively. We can see that economic activity in the Arctic has intensified; the building of icebreakers started anew; a network of military posts has grown; authorities have declared subsidies into the projects on the infrastructure development; scientific expeditions have progressed; plans aiming to improve the life of the Arctic residents have been created; and numerous experts have been speculating on the good prospects of the Arctic development (The Arctic 2019). This activity is reminiscent of the Soviet projects. At the same time, visitors to the Russian Arctic still describe “ghost settlements” and other signs of decline, showing pictures of abandoned apartment blocks and the remains of destroyed equipment and expressing that regret that people are still forced to live in “intolerable” places.1 This contrast raises the question of what is really happening in the Arctic. Will the development of the Arctic follow the original Soviet plans, or will this part of the Earth remain scarcely populated in the near future?

To answer this question, we must pay attention to the patterns of urbanization in the Russian Arctic, which have long been in process. Most of the population there lives in cities (Pilyasov 2016), as do residents of the arctic climate zone in general (Dybbroe et al., 2010). This article analyzes the circumstances of the formation, the present condition, and population dynamics of urban areas in the Russian Arctic during new millennium and estimates the prospects of their development.

Several definitions of the Arctic and its boundaries are in use, but the Arctic is usually defined as the area northwards from the Arctic Circle, that is northward from latitude 66° 33′ 44′′. This means that the Arctic is a zone in which the sun is above the horizon—and then below the horizon—for twenty-four hours at least once per year each. However, there are other approaches to the definition; for instance, the northern borderlines of forests or southern borderlines of permafrost also can be used to identify the borders of the Arctic (Stishov 2013). The region with an average annual temperature of 0°C and within which the mean annual temperature for the warmest summer month is at or below +10°C is also considered the Arctic; in this case the inland areas of Siberia and some mountains are also considered the Arctic (Nuttall 2005). The Russian Arctic is larger if considered from an administrative viewpoint. A presidential decree of 2014 pointed out the Arctic zone, with its boundary shifting significantly southwards of the Arctic Circle and including the entire coastal area of the White Sea. Some authors, especially non-Russian, tend to expand the Russian Arctic even more. Even some cities located close to the southern borderline of Russia in Siberia are sometimes included in the analysis of the Arctic, as is Sakhalin Island, which is close to Japan (Laruelle 2017; Orttung and Reisser 2014).

These broad views on the Arctic and the North contravene geography and partly distort the study of the Polar regions, although they represent specific interests of the scholars who define them. They have several distinct characteristics in addition to abnormal light/darkness conditions: an especially short summer, scarce arboreal vegetation (which is a source of material for building and fuel), and remoteness from the zones of moderate or hot climate. At least some of these disadvantages are absent in subarctic or inland areas with relatively cold climate. This article addresses the strictest definition of the Arctic, that is the area northward from the Arctic Circle. This area seems to be especially unsuitable for human life, and the appeal of living there seems to be especially foreign for those living further south. However, the plans of the Arctic development take these difficulties into consideration. Numerous projects described a system of cities, roads, canals, dams, greenhouses, electric power stations, that is, the global transformation of enormous areas (Filin et al. 2018). This study of the circumstances of the urbanization of the Arctic is of interest when evaluating such perspectives.

Materials and Methods

In an administrative sense, the Russian territory located to the north of the Arctic Circle is shared by several subdivisions of the Russian Federation: Murmanskaya Oblast, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Krasnoyarsk Kray, Republic Sakha (Yakutia), the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Arkhangel'skaya Oblast, and the Komi Republic. The first two of these are almost entirely located north of the Arctic Circle. The administrative centers of these subdivisions of the Russian Federation maintain databases on settlements. These databases were primarily used to collect information on urban areas (Chukotskii Okrug 2019; Krasnoiarskii krai 2019; Nenetskii avtonomnyi okrug 2019; Ofitsialnii portal respubliki Sakha (Iakutiia), 2019; Pravitel'stvo Arkhangel;skoi oblasti 2019; Pravitel'stvo Iamalo-Nenetskogo avtonomnogo okruga 2019; Pravitel'stvo Murmanskoi oblasti 2019; Respublika Komi 2019; ). Data from the Russian Census, as well as other data from state statistics, were also used (Federal'naia sluzhba gosudarstvennoi statistiki 2019). Additional information regarding the formation of settlements was collected in the libraries of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, and in the databases Russian Citation Index and Web of Science.

To determine whether a settlement can be considered an urban area for the purpose of this article, the classifications used by Russian authorities—city and urban settlement—were used. These characteristics are based primarily on the type of occupation of the local inhabitants; most people in cities or urban villages are not involved in agriculture, hunting, or other rural activities. A settlement of 12,000 people or more is usually considered as a city, while that of 2,000–3,000 or more is categorized as an urban village. At the same time, there are no strict rules on this matter. Even smaller settlements, especially in the Arctic, may have features of urbanization such as urban development (paved roads, apartment blocks) and lack of farming. Therefore, the lower boundary is vague. Each subdivision of the Russian Federation officially defines which settlements must be considered as urban. In this article, it is assumed that if an Arctic settlement consists of at least 1,000 people if their main occupation is not farming or fishing, and if there are apartment blocks and other urban constructions, then this would be considered an urban area. In most cases, these small urban areas recently had larger populations, thus fully meeting the criteria of an urban settlement. The following characteristics of urban areas were described: location, time of the founding, main economic activity, and recent population trends (populations were estimated based on the 2017 data). To estimate recent population trends, the Russian Census data for 2002 and 2010 were used.

Results

Based on the aforementioned criteria, at least sixty settlements that can be considered cities or urban settlements are located in the Russian north of the Arctic Circle (table 1). Their population is a little more than one million people. Almost half of it is concentrated in two cities: Murmansk (300,000) and Noril'sk (180,000), while the rest of the urban areas have far fewer inhabitants. Half of these cities and urban areas are concentrated in Kola Peninsula, that is in the western extreme of the Russian Arctic. The other big center of urbanization exists in Western Siberia and adjacent areas of European Russia. The urban areas of the eastern extreme are relatively numerous, but very few people live in them (table 1). Most of the Russian Arctic looks like a desert in this respect; small urban settlements are scarcely distributed over huge territory (see figure 1).

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

A scheme of urban areas locations northward from the Arctic Circle in Russia.

Citation: Sibirica 21, 1; 10.3167/sib.2022.210105

Table 1.

Urban areas of the Russian Arctic (listed in the order of their location from west to east).

Time of foundation Population
No. Settlement Coordinates, N, E Beginning of settlement Transformation into urban area 2002 2010 2017 Background
1 Murmansk 68°58′ 33°05′ 1916 1916 336,137 307,257 298,096 Port, fishery industry
2 Kandalaksha 67°09′ 32°24′ 1517 1938 40,564 35,654 32,034 Port, mineral resources
3 Beloye More 67°04′ 32°15′ 1971 1971 767 660 No data Transport
4 Nivsky 67°17′ 32°29′ 1933 1933 1,265 1,043 No data Electric power station
5 Alakurtti 66°58′ 30°20′ 17th c. 1953 6,671 3,424 3,663 Military base
6 Zarechensk 66°40′ 31°22′ 1957 1957 772 621 659 Electric power station
7 Kola 68°52′ 33°01′ 16th c. 18th c. 11,060 10,437 9,701 Transport
8 Verkhnetu-lomsky 68°36′ 31°47′ 1966 1966 2,003 1,580 1,260 Electric power station
9 Kildinstroy 68°48′ 33°06′ 1937 1937 2,861 2,063 1,918 Industry (break factory)
10 Shoguy 68°45′ 33°09′ 1959 1959 1,189 1,038 No data Military base
11 Molochny 68°50′ 33°00′ 1935 1935 5,627 5,208 4,944 Industry (satellite of Murmansk)
12 Murmashi 68°49′ 32°49′ 1938 1938 16,343 14,152 13,817 Electric power station, transport
13 Tumanny 68°53′ 35°41′ 1970 1970 950 685 579 Electric power station
14 Nikel 69°24′ 30°13′ 1938 1938 16,534 12,756 11,599 Mineral resources
15 Zapoliarny 69°25′ 30°48′ 1955 1955 18,640 15,825 15,194 Mineral resources
16 Pechenga 69°33′ 31°13′ 16th c. 1945 2,959 3,188 2,941 Mineral resources
17 Sputnik 69°30′ 31°18′ 1945 1945 2,246 2,061 No data Military base
18 Luotsari 69°25′ 31°03′ 1945 1945 2,210 2,260 No data Military base
19 Umba 66°40′ 34°20′ 15th c. 1898 6,497 5,532 4,658 Timber industry, transport
20 Apatity 67°34′ 33°23′ 1935 1935 64,405 59,672 56,356 Mineral resources
21 Kirovsk 67°36′ 33°40′ 1931 1931 34,759 30,990 28,863 Mineral resources
22 Kovdor 67°33′ 30°28′ 1936 1936 20,867 18,820 16,892 Mineral resources
23 Yonsky 67°34′ 31°09′ 1950 1950 2,026 1,534 No data Transport, industry
24 Monchgorsk 67°56′ 32°54′ 1936 1936 52,242 45,361 42,581 Mineral resources
25 Olenegorsk 68°09′ 33°17′ 1949 1949 25,166 23,072 21,039 Mineral resources
26 Vysoky 68°08′ 33°25′ 1953 1953 8,092 6,860 No data Military base
27 Poliarnye Zori 67°21′ 32°29′ 1968 1968 15,910 15,096 14,644 Nuclear electric power station
28 Afrikanda 67°26′ 32°46′ 1925 1925 1,908 1,644 No data Mineral resources, transport, military
29 Poliarny 69°11′ 33°27′ 1896 1896 18,552 17,293 17,568 Military port
30 Gadzhievo 69°15′ 33°19′ 1957 1957 12,180 11,068 12,904 Military port
31 Snezhnogorsk 69°11′ 33°13′ 1970 1970 12,737 12,683 12,696 Military port
32 Vidiaevo 69°19′ 32°48′ 1958 1958 6,182 5,771 6,146 Military port
33 Zaoziorsk 69°24′ 32°27′ 1833 1958 12,687 11,199 10,019 Military port
34 Ostrovnoy 68°03′ 39°30′ 18th century 1915 5,032 2,171 1,876 Military base
35 Severomorsk 69°04′ 33°25′ 1896 1951 50,102 50,060 51,209 Military port
36 Safonovo 69°03′ 33°17′ 19th century 1936 48,209 43,500 42,707 Military base
37 Belushia Guba 71°32′ 52°20′ 1897 1954 2,622 1,972 2,405 Military base
38 Narian Mar 67°38′ 53°00′ 1903 1931 18,611 21,658 24,654 Port, administration
39 Iskateley 67°40′ 53°08′ 1974 1974 6,852 6,881 7,178 Mineral resources
40 Amderma 69°45′ 61°40′ 1933 1933 647 541 577 Mineral resources
41 Vorkuta 67°30′ 64°02′ 1936 1940 84,917 70,548 58,133 Mineral resources
42 Salekhard 66°32′ 66°38′ 1595 1938 36,827 42,544 48,507 Port, administration
43 Labitnangi 66°39′ 66°23′ Beg. 19th c. 1952 27,304 26,936 26,281 Port
44 Harp 66°48′ 65°48′ 1961 7,278 6,413 6,053 Transport of ore, prisons
45 Tazovsky 67°27′ 78°42′ 1883 1964 5,965 6,793 7,201 Mineral resources
46 Dikson 73°30′ 80°31′ 1915 1915 1,19,8 676 569 Port
47 Dudinka 69°24′ 86°11′ 1667 1951 25132 22,175 21,513 Port
48 Norilsk 69°20′ 88°13′ 1921 1935 134,832 175,365 178,018 Mineral resources
49 Igarka 67°28′ 86°34′ 1931 1931 8,627 6,183 4,754 Port, timber industry
50 Tiksi 71°38′ 128°52′ 1931 1931 5,873 5,063 4,604 Port
51 Verkhoyansk 67°33′ 133°23′ 1638 1822 1,434 1,311 1,131 Port, food processing, administration
52 Batagay 67°39′ 134°38′ 1939 1939 4,589 4,369 3,676 Mineral resources
53 Deputatsky 69°18′ 139°58′ 1958 1958 3,602 2,983 2,967 Mineral resources
54 Belaya Gora 68°32′ 146°11′ 1974 1974 2,463 2,245 2,074 Port, food processing, administration
55 Chokurdakh 70°37′ 147°54′ 1936 1981 2,591 2,367 2,095 Port
56 Sredne-kolymsk 67°27′ 153°42′ 1643 1775 3,587 3,525 3,488 Port, food processing, administration
57 Chersky 68°45′ 161°19′ 17th century 1963 3,832 2,857 2,600 Port
58 Bilibino 68°03′ 166°27′ 1956 1956 6,181 5,506 5,348 Mineral resources
59 Pevek 69°42′ 170°19′ 1933 1933 5,206 4,162 4,547 Port
60 Mys Schmidta 68°54′ 179°27′ 1961 1961 705 492 144 Port

Most of the Arctic cities originated in the twentieth century. Only two small cities were founded in the late eighteenth century, one in the early nineteenth century, and two at the end of the nineteenth century (table 1). Before that, there were almost no cities there. Pustozersk and Mangazeia seem to be an exception. The former, located in the northeastern part of European Russia at the coast of the Pechora River, was founded in 1499. It rapidly developed for several decades and became an outpost of the Russian colonization of the Arctic. Its population reached 2,000 people in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but later the city shrunk to the size of a small village and then disappeared completely in the middle of the twentieth century. It is now actively explored by archeologists, and a museum was established there (Istoriko-kul'turnyi i landshaftnyi muzei-zapovednik “Pustozersk” 2019). Mangazeia underwent a similar transformation but more rapidly (Belov 1969; Vershinin 2008). This settlement in the north of Western Siberia was founded in 1600 and developed rapidly thereafter. By the standards of that time, it was a true city, with a fortress, workshops, administrative buildings, a military post, three churches, and more than 200 residential buildings. Mangazeia was the center of administration and trade (primarily in furs). The city existed for about seventy years, but then it was abandoned and forgotten so thoroughly that stories about it were perceived as legends. Its existence was confirmed by archeology in the twentieth century. Mangazeia was “relocated” southeast to the Yenisei River under the name of New Mangazeia; later, its name was changed to Turukhansk, and then to Staroturukhansk. Historic studies mention the following reasons behind the disappearance of Mangazeia: fires, management failures, exhaustion of commercial stocks of fur animals in the surrounding area, and the blockade of the Northeastern Passage. Tsar Mikhail Romanov (1596–1645) forbade movement by sea in Siberia because he feared instigating the excessive activity of European merchants. To enforce this ban, a military outpost was founded on the Yamal Peninsula. It was difficult to bypass the outpost by sea, and so land and river trade routes developed in the inland part of Siberia, with settlements growing alongside them. Tsar Mikhail's ban was followed by the tsars until the eighteenth century.

Thus, the first attempt to urbanize the Arctic turned out to be unsuccessful, and later urbanization in the Arctic has also shown to be problematic. Russian colonization took place slowly, and the local indigenous people were uninterested in large settlements. Most of them were engaged in reindeer herding and preferred to continue their nomadic lifestyle. In the early twentieth century, Russian authorities tried to stimulate the foundation of settlements in the Arctic (and other remote areas of the empire) but were unsuccessful. A good example of this is the attempt to colonize Novaya Zemlya islands. Several Russian families agreed to immigrate there; they received credits and other benefits and built a small village in 1912, but the colony rapidly declined. Their earnings resulting from hunting did not cover the expenses, and they became insolvent debtors. This epopee was described by the participants of the polar expedition led by Georgii Sedov (1912–1914), who explored Novaya Zemlya and Franz Joseph Land and aimed to reach the North Pole. This expedition also demonstrated that the development of the extreme North was hazardous at that time. Its leader and one participant perished, and the expedition came back to the mainland with great difficulties (they even had to burn all wooden inner parts of the ship and any other combustible material; Pinegin 2009). The active colonization of the Arctic—including the establishment of urban settlements—became possible only several decades later, when technical capabilities had improved.

Many Arctic cities and urban villages were built in previously unpopulated areas (the indigenous population of the region used them, but there were no permanent settlements), and therefore their origins are well-documented. Sometimes the cities appeared in the place of small settlements that existed for several hundred years, but even in these cases the transformation of the village into a city occurred quickly and was also documented. Based on this information, several prevailing patterns of urbanization in the Russian Arctic can be identified (table 1).

The exploration of mineral resources prevailed during the formation of sixteen cities or urban settlements (Nikel, Zapoliarny, Pechenga, Apatity, Kirovsk, Kovdor, Monchegorsk, Olenegorsk, Iskateley, Amderma, Vorkuta, Tazovsky, Norilsk, Deputatsky, Batagay, Bilibino). These urban areas were built mainly in the 1930s, and significant numbers of people were forcibly transported there. With the passage of time such settlements sometimes became small or large cities. The very name “urban settlement” was coined for this type of development. They initially resembled rural settlements but were populated by industrial workers. At that time, industrialization and urbanization were popularized, and urban features of the settlements were stressed and developed. It was an essential part of Soviet ideology and politics.

About the same number of cities (seventeen) originated as ports and other transport hubs (Murmansk, Beloye More, Naryan Mar, Labitnangi, Salekhard, Dudinka, Dikson, Tiksi, Chokurdakh, Chersky, Mys Schmidta, Pevek, Kola, Srednekolymsk, Verkhoyansk, Belaya Gora). In some of these places other activities gradually developed. For example, some became administrative centers for large surrounding territories such as Murmansk, the largest Arctic city. It was built in a previously unpopulated area during the First World War to ensure communication with Russia's allies, France and Britain. It continued to develop after the war, becoming important for the entire country. Unlike other Russian northern ports, Murmansk is a warm water port that operates year-round. Destroyed during World War II, it was quickly rebuilt afterward and continued to develop. In addition to its function as the port, some industry has developed there, in particular, fish processing. Several additional ports close to Murmansk almost entirely support navy operations.

The growth of other ports in the Russian Arctic was related to either the exploration of natural resources or to the necessity of linking different parts of the country and the establishment of state control over the remote territories. Water transport is especially important in the Arctic because most of the settlements there are not connected by roads to the southern parts of Russia. A network of roads in Russia enters the Arctic only in the Kola Peninsula (Rosavtodor 2019). There is a railway there, too, which is one of the two branches of railways from the main part of Russia to the Arctic (RZhD 2019). The second one links the main part of European Russia with Vorkuta and the largest northern settlements of Western Siberia. Most of the Arctic settlements are not linked by roads with each other either, so cargo is usually transported by water. Local inhabitants call the main part of Russia materik (mainland) and feel themselves to be much like islanders.

The Arctic ports of Russia are located along the Northeastern Passage, the dream of seafarers of the past looking for a short way to India and China from Europe. However, these ports were developed for domestic needs rather than transportation between distant parts of the world. The global importance of Northeastern Passage is often declared, but it is still insignificant compared to the traditional routes through the Suez and Panama canals (Wegge and Keil 2018). It is not quite clear whether local ports decline because of the absence of active transportation or whether their poor condition precludes the development of active transportation in the first place.

Fourteen urban areas formed around military bases, mostly those housing the navy (Alakurtti, Shoguy, Sputnik, Luotsari, Vysoky, Poliarny, Gadzhievo, Snezhnogorsk, Vidiaevo, Zaoziorsk, Ostrovnoy, Severomorsk, Safonovo, Belushia Guba). In these cases, houses for the families of officers and other people involved in military activities were so numerous that a small city was formed. The operations of some of these bases involved nuclear energy and required a large industrial base, so the population of urban areas around them is relatively large. Several smaller urban settlements appeared inland as bases for air force or border security. Although military cities are numerous, their population is small compared to the cities mentioned above (table 2).

Table 2.

Numbers and population sizes of the cities with various patterns of urbanization.

Background for the foundation Number Population size
1 Centers of mineral resources extraction 16 458.563
2 Ports and other transport hubs 17 456,154
3 Cities around military bases 14 36,089
4 Cities around electric stations 6 31,964
5 Others 7 52,785

Six other urban areas (Nivsky, Zarechensk, Verkhnetulomsky, Murmashi, Tumanny, Poliarniye Zori) were founded during the construction of electric power stations. This happened in the Kola Peninsula, where five hydroelectric stations and one nuclear power station were built in areas that were almost completely unpopulated, and urban settlements were constructed nearby. These stations are still in use, although the population of the settlements has declined. Seven urban areas do not quite fit in any of the above categories (Kandalaksha, Kildinstriy, Molochny, Umba, Yonsky, Afrikanda, Harp). Either they formed mainly as a result of some other activity such as industry or several processes contributed to their formation. They are all relatively small (table 2).

Food processing and wood processing take place in some Arctic cities or urban settlements, although these activities alone do not provide a sufficient basis for their existence. They are usually combined with some other driving forces of urbanization. Local biological resources, which are rather poor, are usually quite successfully processed in rural settlements. Murmansk is the main exception, but unlike other settlements with resource processing, its resources are intensively transported from outside the Arctic and Russia. Attempts to establish fish-processing enterprises on-site have been undertaken several times in many other places in the Russian Arctic, but all of them have failed. For example, a system involving fishermen, fish-processing workshops, and fur farms existed in Nenetsky Okrug for several decades (Rudnev 2010). Special settlements were established for this purpose, but the enterprise brought no profits and declined. The timber industry developed in the cities of Igarka and Umba for some time but eventually also collapsed (Entsiklopediia Krasnoiarskogo Kraiia 2019; Gorodskoie poseleniie Umba 2019; Ofitsial'nii sait goroda Igarka 2019). tourism is developing in the Arctic, and this process is especially noticeable in the Kola Peninsula. There are bases for recreational fishing, ecotourism, and alpine skiing; their work directly or indirectly contributes to the development of some urban areas. However, it is insignificant compared to other activities in the cities.

Several cities in the Arctic lost the driving force behind their origin but still exist by inertia. For instance, the urban settlement of Amderma was built near a fluor-spar mine, which closed down a long time ago. Amderma still exists (Munitsipal'noe obrazovanie “Poselok Amderma,” 2019), with its population stabilized at a low level. We can see similar cases in the ports of the eastern Russian Arctic, such as Chersky, Dikson, and Tiksi. They together alongside the economic activity in the surrounding territory and are often referred to as ghost cities; yet several hundred people still live there, and so these cities do not disappear completely. Local inhabitants speak evasively about this persistence. They are often engaged in rural occupations, especially fishing, while also receiving some support from the state.

Almost all cities and urban settlements are declining. In some cases, the decline is slow, while in others it is catastrophically swift. In nine urban areas (Pechenga, Severomorsk, Poliarny, Gadzhievo, Snezhnogorsk, Vidiaevo, Belushia Guba, Iskateley, Amderma), the population size remains stable, although at a low level. A population increase has been observed only in four cities: Naryan-Mar, Salekhard, Noril'sk, and Tazovsky (see figure 2). However, it is insignificant compared with the rate of decline seen in the other cities (Table 1). The total population of the Arctic has also declined (see figure 3). The data are not complete for eight of the settlements, as the census was not conducted in 2017 in those locations, but they are small and would hardly change the general trend; according to the data from the previous years, their population has tended to either decline or stabilize. For these calculations, it was assumed that their population had not changed since 2010.

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

The recent dynamic of the population in the progressing Arctic cities.

Citation: Sibirica 21, 1; 10.3167/sib.2022.210105

Figure 3.
Figure 3.

The recent dynamic of the urban population in the Russian Arctic.

Citation: Sibirica 21, 1; 10.3167/sib.2022.210105

Discussion

The extraction of mineral resources is the most universal and large-scale factor leading to the formation of urban settlements in the Arctic. If those were absent, the urban areas in the Arctic would be extremely small, except for Murmansk and several military bases, and the total Arctic population would be many times lower. Ports, power plants, and transport hubs develop mainly in connection with the development of oil, gas, metals, and other mineral resources in the surrounding areas. Only at the western extreme of the Russian Arctic some other activities related to the progress of cities are noticeable. This extreme—that is, Murmansk and Murmanskaya Oblast—is in contrast with other parts of the Russian Arctic because of a relatively moderate climate and a good transportation connection with the main part of Russia and other countries (Laruelle et al. 2017). In other parts of the Arctic, activities unrelated to the extraction of minerals were found to be insignificant: they either have collapsed or are feeble and confined to small urban settlements. This means that only the urban areas related to the excavation of minerals appear to have prospects in the near future.

However, the analysis of population dynamic shows that even in these cases such prospects are doubtful since decline remains to be a major trend. Relatively rapid growth of population was registered only in Noril'sk about fifteen years ago, but it has since slowed down, and the number of citizens has tended to stabilize. At the same time, the population there is not permanent but is in a state of flux; some people arrive while others leave. Only a small part of the citizens plan to stay indefinitely (Urozhaeva 2016). The same is true of other settlements of the Arctic (Heleniak 2014; Laruelle 2017). Although the process is complex, the main trend in the Russian Arctic is depopulation. The recent increase of various activities in the Arctic is based on the shift method of work, which is becoming increasingly popular (Blagodeteleva 2016). Some camps for shift teams reach the size of an urban settlement but are still relatively small. The largest such shift settlement, Sabetta (located in the Yamal Peninsula), is designed for only 3,500 residents. Still, it is a large hub of condensed gas, providing more than 20,000 jobs (Gritsenko and Efimova 2017; Sabetta, 2019). At present this settlement is considered to be flourishing, though there is still no permanent population (nineteen citizens were registered there before the construction of the hub). This means that had a city been built instead, it would require several thousand relatively permanent citizens. Shift labor is much more convenient, and much of the population of Arctic cities could seem excessive under modern conditions.

The recent population/depopulation tendencies in the Arctic lend support to the view that the Arctic was overpopulated during the Soviet period. Some authors claim that this is true not only of the Russian Arctic but also of Siberia in its entirety (Hill and Gaddy 2003; Rowe 2009). Their commentary suggests that the Soviet regime, through totalitarian dictates against its own people, moved people into unsuitable territories. It follows then, in order to restore justice, several million people should be moved from Siberia to European Russia (Hill and Gaddy 2003). The main argument in favor of this viewpoint is the fact that the cities of the Arctic and some parts of Siberia have declined rapidly after the collapse of the Soviet regime. Moreover, when it comes to the Arctic, this viewpoint is partially supported by medical considerations. In addition to the cold, human health is negatively influenced by abnormal daylight patterns such as excessive light in summer and lengthy darkness requiring artificial sources of light in winter. These factors increase the risk of cancer as well as accelerated senescence (Anisimov 2008). Moreover, the insufficient veterinary treatment of livestock is conducive to the spreading of infections; exploration of mineral deposits causes environmental pollution, which is harmful to health; hard labor conditions cause professional diseases of blood vessels and joints and, finally, such hardships can provoke the increased consumption of alcohol and tobacco (Gorbanev, Frolova, 2017). The list of health problems resulting from life in the Arctic is so long that it is unclear how one million people residing there continue to survive.

The concept of overpopulation of the Arctic elicited some protests from Russian authors (Bezrukov 2011), who typically do not question the good prospects for the development of Arctic cities even though few of them actually live there. There has been some speculation about the future urbanization of the eastern part of the Arctic, which is currently a desert (Baburin and Zemtsov 2015), and the possibility of turning this frontier into an El Dorado in the north of Russia (Martyanov 2015). A model of a self-sufficient Arctic city has been presented through the analysis of information about the city of Vorkuta, a coal mining center (Dmitrieva and Buriy 2017).2 These speculations are mainly based on the fact of the survival of Arctic cities after the economic collapse of the 1990s. The examples of some Arctic cities, in which the population has recently increased because of the intensification of exploration of mineral deposits, are also in use in this context. However, all of this remains unconvincing in the light of the above-mentioned population tendencies observed in the Arctic in general.

Some potential for the growth of cities in the Arctic is associated with indigenous people. The number of indigenous representatives engaged in traditional occupations is decreasing. In Russia they tend to resettle in the cities (Rozanova 2019). Some specialists endeavor to conserve these unique lifestyles but consider the pessimistic scenario—that the local inhabitants will soon lose their traditions—as the most probable (Koptseva 2017). Most of them will probably resettle in urban areas in the near future. However, indigenous residents are not numerous. In other countries sharing the Arctic, the indigenous people represent a significant part of the population: 80 percent in Greenland, 50 percent in Canada, 20 percent in Alaska, and 15 percent in Norway, while in Russia they represent only 5 percent (Laruelle 2019). According to the official statistics, they are labeled as korennye malochislennye narody Severa (the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North). The largest indigenous ethnic group in the Russian Arctic is the Nenets people (nentsy), with a population of about 45,000. Almost all of them live in the Arctic, occupying a large area from the eastern coast of the White Sea to the Taymyr Peninsula (or from Arkhandel'skaya Oblast to Krasnoyarsk Kray). About 80 percent of the Nenets people live outside of the cities (Lukin 2013). Thus, if they all were to resettle in urban areas, this would result in an increase of the population in the Arctic cities by around 35,000. Other ethnic groups are either few or inhabit areas outside the Arctic Circle region. The total number of their representatives living in the Arctic (not in cities) is hardly more than 10,000 (Federal'naia sluzhba gosudarstvennoi statistiki 2019). Even if they were to resettle in the Arctic cities, the increase of the population of urban areas would be just about 45,000. However, when indigenous people move to cities, it does not mean that they choose the nearest Arctic cities. On the contrary, as the example of Yakutsk shows, they tend to migrate to the administrative centers (Sukneva and Laruelle 2019), and these are often located further away from the Arctic Circle. Therefore, it is probable that living in the Arctic cities, they also will eventually leave the Arctic as the colonizers have. So, even if all representatives of the indigenous Arctic people would move to populate Arctic urban areas, such an increase would hardly change the general tendencies.

Some residents of the Arctic will not agree to resettle southward even if they have such a possibility. The history of Wrangel Island is a good example. A settlement, which had existed there since the 1920s, suffered a rapid decline in the 1990s and was officially closed in 1997. The residents were moved to the mainland, though a few people stayed behind. According to mass media reports, just one person lived there, at least until 2011 (Piatyi kanal 2011). The average summer temperature on Wrangel Island is +2°C, and the duration of such a summer is about a month and a half. It is hard to understand why an ordinary person would wish to live there, but some people apparently like it. Under less extreme conditions, such patriots would likely be more numerous. The data on Norilsk's population also demonstrate this. There was a special program to resettle the retirees to southern Russia, but several thousand retired workers continue to live there. Although this mostly seems to be due to the lack of funding and other financial difficulties, discomfort from leaving a habitual environment was also reported as a reason behind the reluctance to resettle (Urozhaeva 2016). However, relatively few people show such commitment to Arctic life, and their existence hardly would change the general tendency of the decline of the settlements there. Most people do not want to live in the Arctic for a long time, and this fact blocks all large-scale projects of the development of cities there. This means that the Soviet plans of Arctic colonization can only be partly realized in the foreseeable future.

The ongoing trend toward global warming might eventually make life in the Arctic easier. The sea ice of the Arctic Ocean is rapidly shrinking, stimulating the use of the Northeastern Passage and other human activities (Buixadé Farré et al. 2014) and increasing the biological resources in the Arctic Ocean (Haug et al. 2017). These changes could potentially contribute to the growth of cities in the Arctic. However, an opposite process is currently at work: the warming results in the melting of permafrost, which is the subsoil of most of the Arctic, and the melting results in the formation of thermokarst, holes in the ground several meters deep that fill with water. Such holes may appear anywhere, for example, under buildings, roads, and other constructions. Numerous Arctic settlements, including the giant city of Noril'sk, are built on permafrost (Shiklomanov et al. 2017), and the disappearance of subsoil could destroy many buildings there, effectively solving the question of whether to live or not to live in Arctic cities.

Thus, we have seen that the cities and urban settlements in the Russian Arctic are scarce and occupy a tiny part of its vast area. More than half of them are concentrated at the western extreme in a relatively small area, and only the extraction of mineral resources provides a relatively stable existence of large settlements over most of this region. Moreover, even in the case of successful economic activities, the main recent tendency of the Arctic settlements is a decline in the population; therefore, the prospects for any increase in size and number of the Arctic cities remain doubtful. The shift method of the human presence in the Arctic has become increasingly popular, and the recent increase of various activities in the Arctic has not changed this tendency. This means that the area of Russia northward from the Arctic Circle is hardly promising for the progress of the urban settlements. Although some Arctic cities have demonstrated some growth in the population, this is insignificant with respect to the entire Russian Arctic. This growth may be a temporary phenomenon, and the use of shift camps is likely to prevail in the future. The progress of the Arctic cities is problematic because of a trivial fact: humans, apart from a few diehards, simply do not prefer to live in the furthest reaches of the Arctic.

Acknowledgment

The author thanks Natalia Lentsman for the corrections of the English in an earlier draft of the manuscipt.

Notes

1

See, for example, Dementievskiy 2019; Guberniia Daily 2019; Poselok Tiksi 2019. The author's observations of Arkhangelskaya Oblast, Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and Republic Sakha (Yakutia) provoked this impression too.

2

In fact, this may be a particularly unhappy example, as Vorkuta was one of the largest incarceration centers for prisoners in the 1940–1950s, and descendants of both prisoners and security guards still live there.

References

  • Anisimov, Vladimir N. 2008. Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms of Ageing [In Russian with English summary]. St Petersburg: Nauka.

  • Baburin, Viacheslav L., and Stepan P. Zemtsov. 2015. “The evolution of urban settlements and the dynamics of natural and socio-economic processes in the Russian Arctic” [In Russian with English summary]. Regional'nye issledovaniia 4 (50): 7683.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Belov, Mikhail I. 1969. Mangazeia. Leningrad: Gidrometeoizdat.

  • Bezrukov, Leonid A. 2011. “Sibirskii kholod i economika Rossii” [The Siberian cold and the economics of Russia]. Journal of Institutional Studies 3 (1): 104115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blagodeteleva, Ol'ga M. 2016. “Perspektivy ispol'zovaniia vakhtovoi formy organizatsii truda v severnykh regionakh Rossii” [Perspectives of use of the rotational form of organization of work in the northern regions of Russia]. In Aktual'nye problemy, napravleniia i mekhanizmy razvitiia proizvoditelinykh sil Severa, [Actual problems, trends and mechanisms of the development of productive forces in the North]157164. Syktyvkar: Komi respublikanskaia tipographiia.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blakkisrud, Helge, and Geir Hønneland. 2000. “Center-periphery relations in Russia's European North.” Polar Geography 24 (1): 5382. DOI: 10.1080/10889370009377687.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buixadé Farré, Albert, Scott R. Stephenson, Linling Chen, et al. 2014. “Commercial Arctic shipping through the Northeast Passage: Routes, resources, governance, technology, and infrastructure.” Polar Geography 37:4, 298324, DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2014.965769.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chukotskii okrug. 2019. http://www.chukotskiiao.ru.

  • Dementievskiy, Ivan. 2019. “Tiksi gorod-prizrak.” https://zen.yandex.ru/media/dementievskiy/tiksi-gorodprizrak-slojno-poverit-chto-tut-jivut-liudi-5d0c9220211ecb00ae6804c8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dmitrieva, Tamara E., and Oleg V. Buriy. 2017. “The self-reliant Arctic city concept (Vorkuta's pattern)” [In Russian with English summary]. Regional'nye issledovaniia 2 (56): 3343.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dybbroe, Susanne, Jens Dahl, and Ludger Müller-Wille. 2010. “Dynamics of Arctic urbanization. Acta Borealia 27 (2): 120124. DOI: 10.1080/08003831.2010.527526.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Entsiklopediia Krasnoiarskogo Kraiia. 2019. http://my.krskstate.ru.

  • Federal'naia sluzhba gosudarstvennoi statistiki. 2019. http://www.gks.ru.

  • Filin, Pavel A., Margarita A. Emelina, and Mikhail A. Savinov. 2018. Arktika za gran'iu fantastiki. Budushchee Severa glazami sovetskikh inzhenerov, izobretatelei i pisatelei. Moscow: Paulsen.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gorbanev, Sergey A., Frolova, Nina M. eds. 2017 Problemy sokhraneniya zdorovia i obespecheniya sanitarno-epidemiologicheskogo blagopoluchiya naseleniya v Arktike: materialy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii s mezhdunarodnim uchastiem. [Problems of the conservation of health and sanitary-epidemiologic well-being of the population in the Arctic: proceedings of the scientific-practical conference with the international partnership]. Saint-Petersburg: Kosta.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gritsenko, Daria, and Elena Efimova. 2017. “Policy environment analysis for Arctic seaport development: The case of Sabetta (Russia).” Polar Geography 40 (3): 186207. DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2017.1328466.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guberniia Daily. 2019. “8 rossiiskikh gorodov-prizrakov, gde strashno nakhoditsia.” https://gubdaily.ru/lifestyle/obzor/8-rossijskix-gorodov-prizrakov-v-kotoryx-strashno-naxoditsya-tut-est-i-karelskij-gorodok-gde-kogda-to-zhili-lyudi/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haug Tore, Bjarte Bogstad, Melissa Chierici, et al. 2017. “Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: A review of possibilities and constraints.” Fisheries Research 188: 3857. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.12.002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heleniak, Timothy. 2010. “Population change in the periphery: Changing migration patterns in the Russian north.” Sibirica 9(3): 940. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2010.090302

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heleniak, Timothy. 2014. “Migration in the Arctic.” In Arctic Yearbook, ed. L. Heininen, 123. http://www.arcticyearbook.com.

  • Hill, Fiona, and Clifford G. Gaddy. 2003. The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Istoriko-kul'turnyi i landshaftnyi muzei-zapovednik “Pustozersk.” 2019. http://pustozersk-nao.ru.

  • Koptseva, Natalia P. 2017. “Ekspertnaia otsenka ekologicheskoi situatsii, kharakternoi dlia korennykh malochislennykh narodov sibirskoi Arktiki (na materiale Krasnoiarskogo Kraia)” [An expert environmental assessment, specific for indigenous peoples of the Siberian Arctic (based on the material from Krasnoyarsk Krai)]. Human Ecology 6: 3035.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krasnoiarskii krai. 2019. http://www.krskstate.ru.

  • Laruelle, Marlene. 2012. “Larger, higher, farther north … geographical metanarratives of the nation in Russia.” Eurasian Geography and Economics 53 (5): 557574. https://doi.org/10.2747/1539-7216.53.5.557

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Laruelle, Marlene, ed. 2017. New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia's Arctic Regions. New York: Routledge.

  • Laruelle, Marlene. 2019. “Indigenous peoples, urbanization processes, and interactions with extraction firms in Russia's Arctic.” Sibirica 18 (3): 18. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2019.180301

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Laruelle, Marlene, Sophie Hohmann, and Alexandra Burtseva. 2017. “Trajectory of a city Murmansk and its transforming diversity.” In New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia's Arctic Regions, ed. Marlene Laruelle, 158175. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lukin, Iurii F. 2013. “Will the Nenets people, as an ethnos, disappear?” [In Russian with English summary]. Arktika i sever 12: 119.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martyanov, Viktor S. 2015. “Arkticheskii macroregion Rossii: Ot severnogo frontira k severnomu Eldorado?” [The Arctic macroregion of Russia: From a northern frontier to a northern El Dorado?]. In Dnevnik Altaiskoi shkoly politicheskikh issledovanii no 31. Sovremennaia Rossia i mir: Al'ternativy razvitiia [Diary of Altay school of politic research No 31. Modern Russia and world: alternatives of development], 261266. Barnaul: Altay University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Munitsipalnoie obrazovanie “Poselok Amderma”. 2019. http://amderma-adm.ru.

  • Nenetskii avtonomnyi okrug. 2019. http://adm-nao.ru.

  • Nutall, Mark. 2005. “Arctic definitions and boundaries.” In Encyclopedia of the Arctic, ed. Mark Nutall, 117121. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ofitsial'nyi portal respubliki Sakha (Iakutiia). 2019. https://www.sakha.gov.ru.

  • Ofitsial'nyi sait goroda Igarka. 2019. http://igarkacity.info.

  • Orttung, Robert W., and Colin Reisser. 2014. “Urban sustainability in Russia's Arctic: Lessons from a recent conference and areas for further investigations.” Polar Geography 37 (3): 193214. DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2014.919362.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Piatyi kanal. 2011. “Na ostrove Vrangelia nashli edinstvennogo zhitelia—potomka drevnei dinastii koldunov” [The only inhabitant found on Wrangel Island—the descendent of an ancient dynasty of sorcerers]. https://www.5-tv.ru/news/46992.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pilyasov, Alexandr N. 2016. “Goroda bazy Arkticheskogo frontira” [City bases of the Arctic frontier]. Voprosi geografii 141: 503529.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pinegin, Nikolay V. 2009. V ledianykh prostorakh. Ekspeditsiia G. Ia. Sedova k severnomu poliusu (1912–1914) [In the icy spaces. The Expedition of G. Ia. Sedova to the North Pole]. Moscow: OGI.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pravitel'stvo Arkhangel'skoi oblasti. 2019. https://dvinaland.ru.

  • Pravitel'stvo Iamalo-Nenetskogo avtonomnogo okruga. 2019. https://www.yanao.ru/.

  • Pravitel'stvo Murmanskoi oblasti. 2019. https://gov-murman.ru.

  • Rasell, Michael. 2009. “Neoliberalism in the North: The transformation of social policy in Russia's northern periphery.” Polar Geography 32 (3–4): 91109. DOI: 10.1080/10889370903471292.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Respublika Komi. 2019. “Administration of Komi republic”. www.rkomi.ru.

  • Rosavtodor (Federal road agency). 2019. http://rosavtodor.ru.

  • Rowe, Elana, ed. 2009. Russia and the North. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

  • Rozanova, Maria. 2019. “Indigenous urbanization in Russia's Arctic: The case of Nenets Autonomous Region.” Sibirica 18 (3): 5491. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2019.180304

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rudnev, A. 2010. Ne zhdat u moria pogody [Do not wait for the weather at the sea].

  • RZhD (Russian Railways). 2019. http://www.rzd.ru.

  • Sabetta. 2019. “About Sabetta.” https://www.sabetta-yanao.ru/o-sabette.

  • Shiklomanov, Nikolay I., Dmitry A. Streletskiy, Valery I. Grebenets, and Luis Suter. 2017. “Conquering the permafrost: Urban infrastructure development in Norilsk, Russia.” Polar Geography 40 (4): 273290. https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937x.2017.1329237

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stishov, Mikhail S. 2013. Osobo okhraniaemye prirodnye territorii Rossiiskoi Arktiki: Sovremennoe sostoianie i perspektivy razvitiia [Specially protected nature territories of the Russian Arctic: Current conditions and perspectives of development]. Moscow: WWF.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sukneva, Svetlana, and Marlene Laruelle. 2019. “A booming city in the Far North demographic and migration dynamics of Yakutsk, Russia.” Sibirica 18 (3): 928. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2019.180302

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Suutarinen, Tuomas. 2013. “Socio-economic restructuring of a peripheral mining community in the Russian North.” Polar Geography 36 (4): 323347. https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937X.2013.845802

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • The Arctic. 2019. http://arctic.ru.

  • Urozhaeva, Tat'iana P. 2016. “Migratsionnye protsessy v gorodakh Noril'skogo promyshlennogo raiona v 1970–1990 gg.” [Migration processes in the cities of the Norilsk industrial region in the 1970s–1990s]. Ural'skii istoricheskii vestnik 50 (1): 130138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vershinin, Evgenii V. 2008. Mangazeia: Bytovye cherty zhizni ee obitatelei.” In Rossia i mir: Panorama istoricheskogo razvitia [Mangazeia: Everyday features of life of the inhabitants], 545551. Ekaterinburg: Volot.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wegge, Njord, and Kathrin Keil. 2018. “Between classical and critical geopolitics in a changing Arctic.” Polar Geography 41 (2): 87106. https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937x.2018.1455755

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Contributor Notes

Igor Yu. Popov is researcher at the Saint-Petersburg State University. He publishes in areas of ecology, human-wildlife interactions and history. E-mail: igorioshapopov@mail.ru

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

  • Figure 1.

    A scheme of urban areas locations northward from the Arctic Circle in Russia.

  • Figure 2.

    The recent dynamic of the population in the progressing Arctic cities.

  • Figure 3.

    The recent dynamic of the urban population in the Russian Arctic.

  • Anisimov, Vladimir N. 2008. Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms of Ageing [In Russian with English summary]. St Petersburg: Nauka.

  • Baburin, Viacheslav L., and Stepan P. Zemtsov. 2015. “The evolution of urban settlements and the dynamics of natural and socio-economic processes in the Russian Arctic” [In Russian with English summary]. Regional'nye issledovaniia 4 (50): 7683.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Belov, Mikhail I. 1969. Mangazeia. Leningrad: Gidrometeoizdat.

  • Bezrukov, Leonid A. 2011. “Sibirskii kholod i economika Rossii” [The Siberian cold and the economics of Russia]. Journal of Institutional Studies 3 (1): 104115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blagodeteleva, Ol'ga M. 2016. “Perspektivy ispol'zovaniia vakhtovoi formy organizatsii truda v severnykh regionakh Rossii” [Perspectives of use of the rotational form of organization of work in the northern regions of Russia]. In Aktual'nye problemy, napravleniia i mekhanizmy razvitiia proizvoditelinykh sil Severa, [Actual problems, trends and mechanisms of the development of productive forces in the North]157164. Syktyvkar: Komi respublikanskaia tipographiia.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blakkisrud, Helge, and Geir Hønneland. 2000. “Center-periphery relations in Russia's European North.” Polar Geography 24 (1): 5382. DOI: 10.1080/10889370009377687.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buixadé Farré, Albert, Scott R. Stephenson, Linling Chen, et al. 2014. “Commercial Arctic shipping through the Northeast Passage: Routes, resources, governance, technology, and infrastructure.” Polar Geography 37:4, 298324, DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2014.965769.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chukotskii okrug. 2019. http://www.chukotskiiao.ru.

  • Dementievskiy, Ivan. 2019. “Tiksi gorod-prizrak.” https://zen.yandex.ru/media/dementievskiy/tiksi-gorodprizrak-slojno-poverit-chto-tut-jivut-liudi-5d0c9220211ecb00ae6804c8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dmitrieva, Tamara E., and Oleg V. Buriy. 2017. “The self-reliant Arctic city concept (Vorkuta's pattern)” [In Russian with English summary]. Regional'nye issledovaniia 2 (56): 3343.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dybbroe, Susanne, Jens Dahl, and Ludger Müller-Wille. 2010. “Dynamics of Arctic urbanization. Acta Borealia 27 (2): 120124. DOI: 10.1080/08003831.2010.527526.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Entsiklopediia Krasnoiarskogo Kraiia. 2019. http://my.krskstate.ru.

  • Federal'naia sluzhba gosudarstvennoi statistiki. 2019. http://www.gks.ru.

  • Filin, Pavel A., Margarita A. Emelina, and Mikhail A. Savinov. 2018. Arktika za gran'iu fantastiki. Budushchee Severa glazami sovetskikh inzhenerov, izobretatelei i pisatelei. Moscow: Paulsen.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gorbanev, Sergey A., Frolova, Nina M. eds. 2017 Problemy sokhraneniya zdorovia i obespecheniya sanitarno-epidemiologicheskogo blagopoluchiya naseleniya v Arktike: materialy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii s mezhdunarodnim uchastiem. [Problems of the conservation of health and sanitary-epidemiologic well-being of the population in the Arctic: proceedings of the scientific-practical conference with the international partnership]. Saint-Petersburg: Kosta.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gritsenko, Daria, and Elena Efimova. 2017. “Policy environment analysis for Arctic seaport development: The case of Sabetta (Russia).” Polar Geography 40 (3): 186207. DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2017.1328466.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guberniia Daily. 2019. “8 rossiiskikh gorodov-prizrakov, gde strashno nakhoditsia.” https://gubdaily.ru/lifestyle/obzor/8-rossijskix-gorodov-prizrakov-v-kotoryx-strashno-naxoditsya-tut-est-i-karelskij-gorodok-gde-kogda-to-zhili-lyudi/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haug Tore, Bjarte Bogstad, Melissa Chierici, et al. 2017. “Future harvest of living resources in the Arctic Ocean north of the Nordic and Barents Seas: A review of possibilities and constraints.” Fisheries Research 188: 3857. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.12.002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heleniak, Timothy. 2010. “Population change in the periphery: Changing migration patterns in the Russian north.” Sibirica 9(3): 940. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2010.090302

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heleniak, Timothy. 2014. “Migration in the Arctic.” In Arctic Yearbook, ed. L. Heininen, 123. http://www.arcticyearbook.com.

  • Hill, Fiona, and Clifford G. Gaddy. 2003. The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Istoriko-kul'turnyi i landshaftnyi muzei-zapovednik “Pustozersk.” 2019. http://pustozersk-nao.ru.

  • Koptseva, Natalia P. 2017. “Ekspertnaia otsenka ekologicheskoi situatsii, kharakternoi dlia korennykh malochislennykh narodov sibirskoi Arktiki (na materiale Krasnoiarskogo Kraia)” [An expert environmental assessment, specific for indigenous peoples of the Siberian Arctic (based on the material from Krasnoyarsk Krai)]. Human Ecology 6: 3035.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krasnoiarskii krai. 2019. http://www.krskstate.ru.

  • Laruelle, Marlene. 2012. “Larger, higher, farther north … geographical metanarratives of the nation in Russia.” Eurasian Geography and Economics 53 (5): 557574. https://doi.org/10.2747/1539-7216.53.5.557

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Laruelle, Marlene, ed. 2017. New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia's Arctic Regions. New York: Routledge.

  • Laruelle, Marlene. 2019. “Indigenous peoples, urbanization processes, and interactions with extraction firms in Russia's Arctic.” Sibirica 18 (3): 18. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2019.180301

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Laruelle, Marlene, Sophie Hohmann, and Alexandra Burtseva. 2017. “Trajectory of a city Murmansk and its transforming diversity.” In New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia's Arctic Regions, ed. Marlene Laruelle, 158175. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lukin, Iurii F. 2013. “Will the Nenets people, as an ethnos, disappear?” [In Russian with English summary]. Arktika i sever 12: 119.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martyanov, Viktor S. 2015. “Arkticheskii macroregion Rossii: Ot severnogo frontira k severnomu Eldorado?” [The Arctic macroregion of Russia: From a northern frontier to a northern El Dorado?]. In Dnevnik Altaiskoi shkoly politicheskikh issledovanii no 31. Sovremennaia Rossia i mir: Al'ternativy razvitiia [Diary of Altay school of politic research No 31. Modern Russia and world: alternatives of development], 261266. Barnaul: Altay University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Munitsipalnoie obrazovanie “Poselok Amderma”. 2019. http://amderma-adm.ru.

  • Nenetskii avtonomnyi okrug. 2019. http://adm-nao.ru.

  • Nutall, Mark. 2005. “Arctic definitions and boundaries.” In Encyclopedia of the Arctic, ed. Mark Nutall, 117121. New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ofitsial'nyi portal respubliki Sakha (Iakutiia). 2019. https://www.sakha.gov.ru.

  • Ofitsial'nyi sait goroda Igarka. 2019. http://igarkacity.info.

  • Orttung, Robert W., and Colin Reisser. 2014. “Urban sustainability in Russia's Arctic: Lessons from a recent conference and areas for further investigations.” Polar Geography 37 (3): 193214. DOI: 10.1080/1088937X.2014.919362.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Piatyi kanal. 2011. “Na ostrove Vrangelia nashli edinstvennogo zhitelia—potomka drevnei dinastii koldunov” [The only inhabitant found on Wrangel Island—the descendent of an ancient dynasty of sorcerers]. https://www.5-tv.ru/news/46992.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pilyasov, Alexandr N. 2016. “Goroda bazy Arkticheskogo frontira” [City bases of the Arctic frontier]. Voprosi geografii 141: 503529.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pinegin, Nikolay V. 2009. V ledianykh prostorakh. Ekspeditsiia G. Ia. Sedova k severnomu poliusu (1912–1914) [In the icy spaces. The Expedition of G. Ia. Sedova to the North Pole]. Moscow: OGI.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pravitel'stvo Arkhangel'skoi oblasti. 2019. https://dvinaland.ru.

  • Pravitel'stvo Iamalo-Nenetskogo avtonomnogo okruga. 2019. https://www.yanao.ru/.

  • Pravitel'stvo Murmanskoi oblasti. 2019. https://gov-murman.ru.

  • Rasell, Michael. 2009. “Neoliberalism in the North: The transformation of social policy in Russia's northern periphery.” Polar Geography 32 (3–4): 91109. DOI: 10.1080/10889370903471292.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Respublika Komi. 2019. “Administration of Komi republic”. www.rkomi.ru.

  • Rosavtodor (Federal road agency). 2019. http://rosavtodor.ru.

  • Rowe, Elana, ed. 2009. Russia and the North. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

  • Rozanova, Maria. 2019. “Indigenous urbanization in Russia's Arctic: The case of Nenets Autonomous Region.” Sibirica 18 (3): 5491. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2019.180304

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rudnev, A. 2010. Ne zhdat u moria pogody [Do not wait for the weather at the sea].

  • RZhD (Russian Railways). 2019. http://www.rzd.ru.

  • Sabetta. 2019. “About Sabetta.” https://www.sabetta-yanao.ru/o-sabette.

  • Shiklomanov, Nikolay I., Dmitry A. Streletskiy, Valery I. Grebenets, and Luis Suter. 2017. “Conquering the permafrost: Urban infrastructure development in Norilsk, Russia.” Polar Geography 40 (4): 273290. https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937x.2017.1329237

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stishov, Mikhail S. 2013. Osobo okhraniaemye prirodnye territorii Rossiiskoi Arktiki: Sovremennoe sostoianie i perspektivy razvitiia [Specially protected nature territories of the Russian Arctic: Current conditions and perspectives of development]. Moscow: WWF.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sukneva, Svetlana, and Marlene Laruelle. 2019. “A booming city in the Far North demographic and migration dynamics of Yakutsk, Russia.” Sibirica 18 (3): 928. https://doi.org/10.3167/sib.2019.180302

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Suutarinen, Tuomas. 2013. “Socio-economic restructuring of a peripheral mining community in the Russian North.” Polar Geography 36 (4): 323347. https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937X.2013.845802

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • The Arctic. 2019. http://arctic.ru.

  • Urozhaeva, Tat'iana P. 2016. “Migratsionnye protsessy v gorodakh Noril'skogo promyshlennogo raiona v 1970–1990 gg.” [Migration processes in the cities of the Norilsk industrial region in the 1970s–1990s]. Ural'skii istoricheskii vestnik 50 (1): 130138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vershinin, Evgenii V. 2008. Mangazeia: Bytovye cherty zhizni ee obitatelei.” In Rossia i mir: Panorama istoricheskogo razvitia [Mangazeia: Everyday features of life of the inhabitants], 545551. Ekaterinburg: Volot.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wegge, Njord, and Kathrin Keil. 2018. “Between classical and critical geopolitics in a changing Arctic.” Polar Geography 41 (2): 87106. https://doi.org/10.1080/1088937x.2018.1455755

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1050 725 55
PDF Downloads 426 126 11