Arkhangelsk Oblast

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Subject of the Russian Federation
Arkhangelsk Oblast
Архангельская область
flag coat of arms
coat of arms
Federal district Northwest Russia
surface 413,103  km²
population 1,227,626 inhabitants
(as of October 14, 2010)
Population density 3 inhabitants / km²
Administrative center Arkhangelsk
Official language Russian
Russians (94.2%)
Ukrainians (2.1%)
(as of 2002)
head Alexander Zybulski
Founded September 23, 1937
Time zone UTC + 3
Telephone prefixes (+7) 818xx
Postcodes 163000-165999
License Plate 29
ISO 3166-2 RU-ARK
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Coordinates: 63 ° 42 '  N , 43 ° 12'  E

The Arkhangelsk Oblast ( Russian Архангельская область Arkhangelskaja Oblast ) is an oblast in northwestern Russia .

The oblast lies on the White Sea and also includes the Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land archipelagos . It includes the Nenets Autonomous Circle . In the east it borders on the Komi Republic , in the west on the Republic of Karelia and in the south on the Vologda and Kirov oblasts .

The oblast lies in the north of the Eastern European Plain and is characterized by a polar climate with severe winters and cool summers. The most important river is the Northern Dvina , other rivers are Onega and Mesen .

The Russian settlement of the area, in which previously Finno-Ugric tribes lived, began in the 11th and 12th centuries. With the establishment of Arkhangelsk by Ivan the Terrible in 1584, trade began to develop as it was the first port city in Russia.

The region is rich in mineral resources ( oil , natural gas and diamonds ), other important economic sectors are the armaments industry , wood processing and fishing. Even the tourism plays a small role. The northern location only a little south of the Arctic Circle hardly allows for agricultural cultivation, only 1.3 percent of the area is used for agriculture.

The main cities are Arkhangelsk , Severodvinsk and Kotlas . There is a large shipyard for warships in Severodvinsk. The most important Russian rocket launch and space center is located in Plesetsk , alongside Baikonur in Kazakhstan. Also known are the monasteries on the island of Solovetsky in the White Sea, which for a long time were an important center of Orthodox Christianity in northern Russia and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site .

Administrative divisions and cities

The Arkhangelsk Oblast is divided into 21 Rajons , 7 urban districts and the two island territories ( островные территории ) Franz Josef Land and Victoria Island . The two most important and at the same time only large cities in the oblast are Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk . There are a total of 13 cities and 15 urban-type settlements in Arkhangelsk Oblast .

Biggest cities
Surname Russian Residents
(October 14, 2010)
Arkhangelsk Архангельск 348,783
Severodvinsk Северодвинск 192.353
Kotlas Котлас 60,562
Novodvinsk Новодвинск 40,615
Koryashma Коряжма 39,641
Mirny Мирный 30,280
Welsk Вельск 23,885
Nyandoma Няндома 22,356
Onega Онега 21,359


The last Russian censuses in 2002 and 2010 showed a population of 1,336,539 and 1,227,626 residents, respectively. The number of inhabitants thus fell by 108,913 people (−8.1%) in these eight years. The distribution of the different ethnic groups was as follows:

Population of the oblast by ethnic group
nationality VZ 2002 percent VZ 2010 percent
Russians 1,258,938 94.19 1,148,821 93.58
Ukrainians 27,841 2.08 16,976 1.38
Nenets 8,326 0.62 8,020 0.65
Belarusians 10,412 0.78 5,810 0.47
Komi 5,745 0.43 4,583 0.37
Azerbaijanis 3,034 0.23 2,605 0.21
Tatars 3,283 0.25 2,335 0.19
Tschuwaschen 1,874 0.14 1,357 0.11
Armenians 1,159 0.09 1,042 0.08
German 1,571 0.12 848 0.07
Residents 1,336,539 100.00 1,227,626 100.00

Note: the proportions refer to the total number of inhabitants. Including the group of people who did not provide any information about their ethnic affiliation (2002 2,212 and 2010 25,682 people)

The population of the area today consists almost entirely of Russians. The Ukrainians are the only significant ethnic minority in Arkhangelsk Oblast. Native peoples like the Nenets and the Komi make up small proportions of the total population.


Foundation of the monastery

The first mention of today's Arkhangelsk area can be found in Heimskringla . It tells how Erik Blutaxt drove to Bjarmaland in 918 . It is said that he fought in a great battle on the Dvina and returned home victorious. In 970 Harald Graufell also drove across the White Sea to Bjarmaland and fought a victorious battle there as well. In the 12th century, Novgorod monks founded a monastery in honor of the Archangel Michael at the beginning of the Dvina Delta . They also built a small settlement next to it on behalf of Archbishop Johannes.

Novgorod versus Norway

Novgorod , due to its geographical location, expanded its influence mainly to the north during the following centuries. So soon the borders of the principality came to those of the Kingdom of Norway , which also wanted to have influence over the region. The two states came into conflict with each other over the fur trade and the tax revenues that depend on it. This finally led to open war in 1411 when the Novgorodians invaded Finnmark , Norway . Several war years followed before Norwegian ships entered the White Sea in 1419 and plundered many Russian settlements, including the monastery on the Dvina. But the Novgorodians retained the upper hand in the Dvina region until the city on the Volkhov was conquered by the Muscovites in 1478. The Mongol storm that hit Russia from the 13th century did not affect the region.

The first port city in Russia

After Richard Chancellor and the Muscovy Company began and developed trade with Russia, the landing stage at the Archangel Monastery soon became the most important hub for Russian foreign trade. Ivan IV commissioned the generals Pyotr Afanassjewitsch Naschtschokin and Zaleschanin Nikiforow Wolochow to build a fortress around the monastery and a settlement for the fishermen and merchants. On March 4, 1583 the new settlement was founded and the fortifications were completed the following year. Based on the old trading post Kholmogory , which had once been the center of the area that was called the City Nowocholmogory. In 1613 the city was given its new name after the Archangel Monastery: Arkhangelsk , the Archangel City .

The 17th Century and Peter the Great

In 1667 a fire destroyed the mainly wooden town, whereupon it was almost completely rebuilt. In 1693 Peter I , later called "the Great", came to Arkhangelsk and founded the Russian Admiralty there, to which the Russian war and merchant fleet to be created here was to be subordinate in the future. He moved the shipyard to the island of Solombala so that it could expand there. In June 1694 the first merchant ship, the "Sankt Paul", was launched in Solombala. Peter the Great came back to the city and granted it a trade monopoly for the most important foreign trade goods. In the years 1655 to 1660 the Swedish-Polish War raged , in which Russia was only marginally involved. The Russians attacked Swedish Livonia at the time, but were expelled from there. Since that time there has been a rivalry between the two powers, which experienced a new quality at the turn of the century in 1700, when the Swedish Navy carried out maneuvers in the White Sea, which was part of the Russian sphere of influence. Peter the Great took this as an opportunity to better fortify the cities on the Dvina and also ordered the construction of the new Novodvinsk fortress , which began in 1701. In the previous year, the Swedish King Charles XII. began to take action against Russia's ally Denmark , sparking the Great Northern War . Novodvinsk was attacked for the first time on June 25th. The fortress was far from finished, but held up. Construction work was completed in 1705.

The Great Northern War

During the war that Archangelsk spared after the unsuccessful Swedish attack on the Novodvinsk fortress , the city was declared the new capital of the Pomor region, i.e. northern Russia, in 1702 by the tsar. This position was previously held by Cholmogory . On December 18, 1708, the Pomoren area passed into the newly created Archangelgorod governorate , one of eight Russian governorates. In 1712, the city of Saint Petersburg on the Neva , founded during the Northern War, was declared the new capital. With its Baltic port , the new capital was much closer to the Western European market and for this reason Arkhangelsk gradually lost its dominant position as a transshipment point. In 1719 the trade monopoly was finally lifted.

Decline and resurrection

For these reasons, and also because the port of Arkhangelsk was frozen over for almost half a year, the city quickly lost its importance. During the Napoleonic Wars , however, the so-called continental barrier was imposed across Europe . Arkhangelsk - traditionally closely linked to Great Britain - was the only Russian port through which imports and exports were still handled, with which Napoleon later justified his attack on Russia. In the 19th century the Arkhangelsk to Moscow railway was completed and the port became more important again for the Tsarist Empire. In the following years almost all polar expeditions started from the port on the Dvina.

First World War

During the First World War , Russia was supplied with supplies of weapons, ammunition and food by its allies via Arkhangelsk. After the October Revolution and the Civil War from 1918 to 1921, the city was in the hands of the White Guards and later the Americans, who could only be driven out towards the end of the war.

Soviet Union

After the victory of the Bolsheviks and the death of Lenin , the darkest chapter in Russian history began . Arkhangelsk became an important part of the Union-wide system of labor camps, called the GULag . The Solovetsky Islands and some camps on the mainland south of Severodvinsk were intended for “special use” (SLON) and were the first Soviet “concentration camps” to be opened in the 1920s. On September 23, 1937, the Northern Oblast was divided and the Vologda and Arkhangelsk Oblasts emerged .

Second World War

Arkhangelsk was the main supply port through which the Western Allies supplied the Soviet Union with food and weapons throughout the fighting of the war .

post war period

In the 1950s, the nuclear icebreaker fleet of the North Sea was stationed in Arkhangelsk , while the nuclear submarines were anchored in Murmansk .

See also

Web links

Commons : Arkhangelsk Oblast  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Administrativno-territorialʹnoe delenie po subʺektam Rossijskoj Federacii na 1 janvarja 2010 goda (administrative-territorial division according to subjects of the Russian Federation as of January 1, 2010). ( Download from the website of the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation)
  2. a b Itogi Vserossijskoj perepisi naselenija 2010 goda. Tom 1. Čislennostʹ i razmeščenie naselenija (Results of the All-Russian Census 2010. Volume 1. Number and distribution of the population). Tables 5 , pp. 12-209; 11 , pp. 312–979 (download from the website of the Federal Service of State Statistics of the Russian Federation); Čislennost 'naselenija po municipal'nym obrazovanijam i naselennym punktam Archangel'skoj oblasti, vključaja Neneckij avtonomnyj okru Itogi Vserossijskoj perepisi naselenija 2010 Goda (population number of municipal structure and places the Arkhangelsk including the Autonomous circles Nenets results of the All-Russian census 2010.) Table (Download from the website of the Federal Service for State Statistics of Arkhangelsk Oblast)