Arkhangelsk Region, including Nenets autonomous district, is the largest in Northwest Russia, covering 587,400 sq. km. Arkhangelsk region also includes several islands, such as Novaya Zemlya Archipelago (New Land), Franz Josef Land, Solovetskiye Islands, Vaygach, Kolguyev and many other islands.
Arkhangelsk has a history dating back almost 400 years. Smaller towns in the region include Severodvinsk, Novodvinsk, Kotlas, Koryazhma, Mirniy and Onega. Novodvinsk and Severodvinsk are located near Arkhangelsk and together form an industrial-transport cluster. There are 38 urban-type villages and over 4,000 villages in the region.
Average temperature in July is 14-16 Celsius (approximately 60 Fahrenheit). It can be very cold in the wintertime.
Waters of three seas wash the region: the White Sea, the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea. The main rivers are Severnaya Dvina, Vaga, Pinega, Onega and Mezen’. Overall, there are 70,000 small and large rivers in the region. The largest part of the territory is covered by forests (39%) and reindeer pastures (24.2%). The rest is distributed between islands (19%), swamp areas (12.5%), rivers and lakes (4%) and agricultural land (1.3%).
Population is 1 213 533 (2012) which is 0.90% of Russia’s population. The population density is 2,2 per 1 sq. km., 74 % of the inhabitants living at cities and 26 % living in rural areas. Ethnic groups are (2002): Russian 94.2%, Ukrainians 2.1%, Nenets 0.6% and other nationalities 3.1%.
Transport Infrastructure in Arkhangelsk
The best form of transportation of cargo to and from Arkhangelsk Region is by sea. Sea transport plays the major role in international trade of Arkhangelsk Region, as well as in supplying some settlements along the seashore and on the islands.
Rail and Road
There are almost no major roads or railroads leading from the region to the west. Because the transportation system is meridian (i.e. it is oriented in the north-south direction), the transportation of cargo from the east to the west is a long process. The main railway goes from Arkhangelsk through Vologda and Yaroslavl to Moscow. There is a rail link between Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. No fast and short rail, river or road link exists between Arkhangelsk Region with eastern parts of Russia. The only railroad from east to west runs in the south of the region, from Komi Republic through Kotlas in Arkhangelsk Region to Pudozh in Karelia Republic. Railroads carry the largest tonnage of cargo, followed by sea transport and waterway transport.
The main road connection with St. Petersburg goes through the city of Vologda. A few small roads connect towns and cities of the region and with neighboring regions.
The main civil airport is located in the city of Arkhangelsk. There are regular flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg and some other Russian cities, carried out by AVL (Arkhangelsk Airlines), Aeroflot, and Pulkovo Airlines. There are also small airports in many regional cities as well as several military airports.
Arkhangelsk is primarily involved in shipping, fishing and other sea related industries. Because much of the territory is also covered in taiga forest, logging and paper processing are also major industries. The gross regional product was 170.4 billion rubles in 2005, which was 9,4% of the total of the Russian Federation.
Forestry, wood processing and pulp & paper are very important sectors of the economy—contributing over 40% to the regional production volume. Woodcutting in 2002 totaled 8 million cubic meters. In 2002, their output totaled 728,000 tons of pulp, 320,000 tons of paper and 674,000 tons of cardboard.
Due to large unexploited reserves, oil companies consider Arkhangelsk Region a very promising place for development of new projects. Russian and international oil companies are pursuing opportunities in the development of the TimanPechora oil.
Fishing is one of the traditional industries of the region. Local fishing companies catch over 180,000 tons of fish every year.
Foreign Trade and Investment
The region’ s economy is export oriented. The export products are oil (27% of the total exports in 2001), pulp (26%), wood products (18%), paper and cardboard (17%) and vessels (9%). Imports include various equipment for key industries (32% of the total imports in 2001), ships (38%) and chemical products (6%).
In Arkhangelsk there are located State University, State Technical University, Northern State Medical University.
Near to Arkhangelsk, at the village of Malye Karelie, is located the State Museum of Wooden Architecture. More than 104 wooden buildings are brought here from the river banks of the northern rivers (Pinega, Mezen, Dvina and Onega). Technical and artistic methods of carpentry have been developed and perfected for centuries.
Solovetsky Archipelago is situated in the western part of the White Sea and consists of 6 big and many small islands. The biggest is the Greater Solovetsky Island, on which the famous medieval monastery stands. Solovetsky Monastery is an architectural ensemble, where every building is a unique masterpiece of architecture. Walls, erected from giant boulders in the XVI century.
In Solovetsky Island (also called as Solovki) you get see the legendary Monastery buildings and fortress walls and towers, learn the history of the infamous Stalin’s Gulag camp. You can see numerous hermitages in different parts of the Island, the monastery drydock, stone labyrinths of prehistoric times, take an exciting boat trip along the intricate canal system of the Island.
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