Arkhangelsk Oblast
Major forest lands and a well-developed shipbuilding industry

The region of Arkhangelsk is the historically most important area in the Russian North. Among the first settlements in the region are Kargopol, Veliky Ustyug and Kholmogorie, and these towns played a key role in regional economic development ever since the 12th century. Regional economy has always been closely connected with the rivers like the Northern Dvina, the Pinega, the Mezen and the Onega. Arkhangelsk Oblast covers an area of 587,400 square kilometers, which includes also the archipelagos of Franz Josef, Novaya Zemlya.

Arkhangelsk Oblast has major forestlands and a well-developed forestry industry. The region also has a rich shipbuilding industry and this industry is today concentrated primarily in the city of Severodvinsk.

The region plays an important role in the Russian military-industrial complex because of its two major shipyards, the Sevmash and the Zvezdochka. In addition, the Russian space forces have a key launch center in Plesetsk, near the town of Mirny.

Arkhangelsk has well-developed railway connections, but practically of the region’s air traffic in concentrated in Arkhangelsk City.

The rich history of Arkhangelsk is well illustrated at the Solovki, the archipelago in the White Sea. The Russian Orthodox Church already in the 15th century developed a monastery on the main Solovetsky island. The monastery buildings were applied actively by early Soviet authorities in the purges of the 1920s and 1930s.


Regional stories

How to power up Arkhangelsk?
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

An ailing power industry looks for ways to modernize and get cleaner. A deal with China is seen as part of the solution.

Arkhangelsk Oblast is heavily dependent on the themal power produced by TGC-2, the major inter-regional generating company serving five federal subjects in northwest and central Russia. The region's three main generating plants, one in Arkhangelsk City and two in the neigboring city of Severodvinsk, all remain in need of major upgrade.

The plants, built in 1970, 1976 and 1946 respectively, were originally run on coal and heavy oil (mazut). After 2011, both the Severodvinsk Heat and Power Plant No 2 and the Arkhangelsk Heat and Power Plant were transformed from mazut to natural gas, consequently cutting emissions and costs. The Severodvinsk Plant No 1...

Consumer price hike in Barents Russia
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

The price for a normal Russian food basket is on a rapid increase as inflation in the country surges. Consumer price growth in the five Barents Russian regions in November reached its highest level in six years.

The average inflation rate in five northwest Russian regions in November alone increased by more than one percent, BarentsObserver reports. The trend continued in December. In Murmansk, monthly prices on basic foodstuff like frozen fish, eggs and beef increased more than eight, twelve and six percent respectively, figures from the regional office of the Russian Statistical Service (Rosstat) show.

Inflation in Russia has been stable between 6-9 percent since 2009, and...

Why Russians drink less
By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer