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Description of Belushya Guba
Belushya Guba is a urban-type settlement of the
Arkhangelsk region of the Russian Federation, the main permanent
settlement of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The administrative
center of the urban district and district Novaya Zemlya. Northeast
is the village of Rogachevo. Located in the border area. The
settlement is located in the southwestern part of the South Island
of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago on the peninsula of Gusinaya
Zemlya, on the shore of the Belushya Guba bay.
The whole Novaya Zemlya archipelago, including
Belushya Guba, is an area of military restricted access (formally,
as part of border security zone), and a special permit is needed to
visit the archipelago. It is basically a Russian version of Area 51.
About 9 kilometers (5.6 mi) northeast of Belushya Guba is the
settlement of Rogachevo, the second largest in the archipelago,
along with the Rogachevo airbase.
History of Belushya Guba
Upon visiting Novaya Zemlya in 1894, Arkhangelsk
Governor Aleksandr Engelgardt [ru] decided to create a new
encampment. In 1896, an expedition conducted a survey of the west
coast of Novaya Zemlya. The following year Belushya Guba was
During World War II, Belushya Guba was a focus of
both German and Soviet attention. German U-boats used Belushya Bay
as a resting area in 1941. The German military contemplated
establishing a weather station or other land-based facilities
nearby, but increasing Soviet military presence in the area
prevented that. On July 27, 1942, German submarine U-601 shelled
Malye Karmakuly near Belushia Bay, damaging seaplanes, living huts,
and storage huts. U-601 torpedoed and sank Soviet merchant ship
Krestianin, carrying coal, as it neared Belushya Guba. On August 19,
German submarine U-209 tried to enter Belushya Guba, but was
detected and attacked by a motorboat and two Soviet minesweepers.
U-209 departed when Soviet coast guard ship and icebreaker SKR-18
(formerly Fedor Litke) approached from Belushuya Guba. Belushya Guba
was used as an anchorage by Russian convoys between the Barents Sea
and Archangelsk. A Soviet naval base was established in Belushya
Guba in 1944.
The settlement started to flourish in 1954,
when Novaya Zemlya became established as a nuclear test site. In
1956, the whole indigenous population of Novaya Zemlya, mostly
Nenets, were resettled from the islands.
There are two regular flights weekly from Arkhangelsk to
Rogachevo Airport, located 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) north-east of the
settlement (in the time-tables, Rogachyovo is designated as
Amderma-2, though the settlement of Amderma is not even located on
Novaya Zemlya). There is no regular passenger navigation.