Polyarny, Russia


Description of Polyarny

Polyarny (literally Polar) is a city in the Murmansk region of Russia, located on the banks of the Ekaterininsk harbor of the Kola Bay of the Barents Sea, about 30 km (as the crow flies) from Murmansk. Population - 17,650 (2018) people.

Polyarny is the location of the Northern Fleet. The city is part of the Closed Administrative Territorial Organization (Closed administrative-territorial formation) Aleksandrovsk, the administrative center of which is. Entry into the city of persons who do not live in it permanently, is allowed only with a permit. On May 5, 2008, by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, Polar was given the honorary title of the City of Military Glory.
The city is located in the subarctic climate zone in the tundra. Polyarny is located on the banks of the Ekaterininskaya harbor at a distance of 50 km from Murmansk. The highest point of the city is Mount Vestnik (115 m above sea level).


Geography and climate

The city is located in the subarctic climate zone in the tundra. Polyarny is located on the coast of Ekaterininskaya harbor at a distance of 50 km from Murmansk. The highest point of the city is Mount Vestnik (115 m above sea level).



Polyarny was founded in 1899, but there are almost no old buildings left in the city. The oldest building is warehouses (storages) on the territory of the base of the 161st brigade of submarines of the Kola flotilla of heterogeneous forces. They were built in the late XIX - early XX century.

In 1937, the Circular House was built. It was erected when the main base of the Northern military flotilla was being created in Polyarny.

In 1938, two more stone houses were built. One of them now houses the city local history museum, which opened in 1999. Next to the museum is a museum of military equipment. It was opened in 2000 on the site of the old House of Fleet Officers.

In 1999, the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of the Russian Orthodox Church (North Sea diocese) was built.

There are a lot of non-residential five-story buildings in the city in a dilapidated state.



Project and construction
In the late 1880s, the Russian Empire needed to build an ice-free port on the Barents Sea. The reason for this decision of the Maritime Department of the Russian Empire was the active development of the German fleet and the expectation that the Germans would complete the construction of the Kiel Canal, which connected the Baltic and North Seas, as well as the impossibility of withdrawing ships from the Gulf of Finland in the winter in case of war with Great Britain.

In the summer of 1894, in order to find a site for the construction of an ice-free port, Count Sergei Witte, who at that time held the post of Minister of Finance of the Russian Empire, set off on a trip to the coastal regions of the Arkhangelsk province and determined the construction site of Ekaterininskaya Harbor. About what he saw, he later wrote in his memoirs: “I have never seen such a grandiose harbor in my life; it makes an even grander impression than the port of Vladivostok and the harbor of Vladivostok.”

Based on the results of his visit to the Kola Peninsula, Count Witte suggested that Alexander III build a naval base in the Ekaterininskaya harbor, as well as build a railway and build a power plant. Nevertheless, on November 1, 1894, Alexander III died. The project was later rejected by Emperor Nicholas II, which the minister considered an "ill-fated decision", an "unfortunate" and "frivolous" step.

However, after the emperor refused to build a naval port in the Murmansk lands, Count Witte made the following proposal to the State Council of the Russian Empire: for the parking of ships of a commercial port, which at the same time would serve as an administrative center. The proposal was approved on April 8, 1896. Thus, a decision was made to build a commercial port and the county town of Aleksandrovsk-on-Murman on the shore of the Ekaterininskaya harbor.

The management of the construction was entrusted to the governor of Arkhangelsk A.P. Engelgardt, in the summer of 1896 a place was chosen for the construction of the city, the order and delivery of materials began. The construction was carried out by Russian and Norwegian workers, there were four times fewer Norwegians. On October 27, 1897, a decree was signed on the construction of a state hospital with a maternity ward in Aleksandrovsk. In 1897, 30 public buildings were built, in 1898 the county administration was transferred from Kola to Catherine's harbor.

The construction of the city itself was completed in the shortest possible time - within three years. On July 7, 1899, Nicholas II approved the opinion of the State Council on assigning the name "Alexandrovsk" to the city settlement and port at the Ekaterininsky harbor and renaming the Kola district of the Arkhangelsk province into Aleksandrovsky in honor of Emperor Alexander III. The official opening of the city took place on July 6 (June 24), 1899 in the presence of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich.

The city had 500 inhabitants. Judging by the list of names of persons buried at the Alexandrovsk cemetery in 1899-1920, the first inhabitants included officials, colonists of Platonovka and Ekaterininskaya Harbor, people from the former county center of Kola, the northern provinces of European Russia. By the beginning of the 20th century, an Orthodox church, a school and a port, railway lines from berths to warehouses were built in the city; the city was well equipped, lit by electricity from its own power plant.

In 1899-1908, the Murmansk Scientific and Fishing Expedition was based in Aleksandrovsk, headed first by N. M. Knipovich, then by L. L. Breiftus.

After the landing of foreign troops in the North of Russia and the fall of Soviet power in Arkhangelsk on August 2, 1918, the Supreme Administration of the Northern Region was formed. On September 15, 1918, the Murmansk Territory, including Aleksandrovsky and Kemsky districts, was included in the Northern Region.

In February 1920, after the news from the provincial zemstvo about the end of the war with Soviet Russia and the disarmament of the White troops, the chairman of the Aleksandrovskaya uyezd zemstvo council, V. V. Ushakov, staged a coup.

On March 24, 1920, the 1st Congress of Soviets of the Aleksandrovsky Uyezd decided to rename the Aleksandrovsky Uyezd into Murmansk Uyezd, since Murmansk was actually the county town by that time. However, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee did not approve this decision, and for fifteen months the county had two names: in the provincial and county documents it was called Murmansk, and in the documents of the central authorities the old name was used - Aleksandrovsky county.

On June 1, 1920, Aleksandrovskaya and Lovozerskaya volosts were formed by a resolution of the Murmansk Uyezd Executive Committee.

By a decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of June 13, 1921, the Aleksandrovsky (aka Murmansk) district was excluded from the Arkhangelsk province and transformed into the Murmansk province with the center in Murmansk.

On March 15, 1926, by the decision of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, Aleksandrovsk lost the status of a city and became the village of Aleksandrovsky. In 1927, the Alexandrovskaya volost was abolished, Aleksandrovskoye became the center of the Aleksandrovsky district as part of the Murmansk district.


On March 11, 1931, by a decree of the Presidium of the Leningrad Regional Executive Committee, the village of Aleksandrovskoye was renamed Polyarnoye, the district was named Polyarny. In the 1930s, it had the status of a Finnish national region.

On July 2, 1933, a group of commanders of the Red Army Navy Department, headed by the head of the Red Army Navy, V. M. Orlov, on the Moroz hydrographic vessel, inspected the Kola Bay in order to select places for the construction of bases and defensive structures of the flotilla. On July 22, the party and government commission consisting of I. V. Stalin, K. E. Voroshilov, S. M. Kirov arrived by rail in Murmansk and on the tugboat "Petrel" examined the coast from Murmansk to Cape Set-Navolok, visiting Rosta , Vaenga and Ekaterininskaya harbor.

On June 7, 1934, the Council of Labor and Defense of the USSR adopted a resolution "On the development of naval bases and airfields of the naval forces of the North." The main operating base of the Northern Military Flotilla was the settlement of Polyarny, the rear base was Vaenga Bay (now Severomorsk), and the ship repair base was the city of Murmansk. The Narkomvoenmor was instructed to develop a construction plan based on the volume and cost of work, taking into account the deadlines for completion of construction by January 1, 1939. In connection with the military construction that began in the regional center of the Polyarny District, on December 8, 1934, the presidium of the district executive committee adopted a resolution on preparations for the transfer of the district administration from Polyarny to Murmansk. By the beginning of 1935, the transfer of regional organizations to Murmansk was completed.

The construction that began swept away all pre-revolutionary buildings - only wooden warehouses on the pier have miraculously survived to this day. On November 6, 1935, the state and naval flags of the USSR were raised over Polyarny - it became the main base of the Northern Fleet. K. I. Dushenov was appointed commander of the fleet.

In 1935, the Krasny Gorn floating workshop was transferred from the Baltic Sea to Polyarny to repair ships and vessels of the Northern Fleet.

On May 11, 1937, the Northern Flotilla was reorganized into the Northern Fleet.

On September 19, 1939, by decree of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, the village of Polyarnoye was transformed into the city of regional subordination Polyarny.

In 1939-1940, the forces of the Northern Fleet began to participate in the Soviet-Finnish Winter War. The forces of the fleet carried out a landing in Petsamo (Pechenga) in order to occupy the nickel-rich region of Petsamo.

During the Battle of the Atlantic, the Polyarnoye naval base was offered to the Kriegsmarine for basing German submarines there, so that the forces of the German submarine fleet could hide there from persecution by the allies - at that time the USSR was not part of the anti-Hitler coalition, - the Soviet side completed and re-equipped an object. A base similar in size was offered to the German side on the Black Sea. Through Polyarnoye and Basis Nord, not only the parking and repair of German ships were carried out, but also the blockade was bypassed. The cooperation of the Nazi and Soviet regimes was made public during the Nuremberg trials as a result of the interrogation of Ernst von Weizsäcker (N. Zorya, who was to interrogate Weizsäcker from the Soviet side, died under unclear circumstances a few days before the interrogation). During the Cold War, the Polyarnoye naval base was the largest weapons depot in the world. Fuel for nuclear reactors of Soviet nuclear submarines was delivered from it to Cuba in Cienfuegos.

During the Great Patriotic War, the main base of the Northern Fleet of the USSR Navy was located in Polyarny. The submarines of the KVMF of Great Britain "Trident" (commander - Steiden) and "Tigris" (commander - Boon [en]) were based in Polyarny. After the war, the main base of the Northern Fleet was transferred to Vaenga (Severomorsk).

In 1952, a monument to I. V. Stalin was opened in the city; this monument stood until 1961. In 1959, the Sever cinema was opened.

On January 11, 1962, an explosion occurred on the diesel-electric submarine B-37 in the Yekaterininskaya harbor of the Polyarny base point. 59 people died. As a result of the explosion, the nearby S-350 submarine was damaged and sank, killing 11 people on it.

For some time he was subordinate to the North Sea City Council. In 1974, 17 thousand people lived in Polyarny.

One of the last neighborhoods in the city to grow was Bokovaya, half of whose houses have been completely evicted. The Krasny Gorn microdistrict is named after the floating workshop that gave rise to the Polyarninsky Shipyard.

In 1989, the city council of deputies approved the master plan for Polyarny.

Now in Polyarny there is a basing point for the minesweeper division of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy Polyarny.

In 2019, a bust of Alexander III was erected in the city.



Medical institutions:
branch 5 of FGKU "1469 VMKG" of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (naval hospital)
city hospital (branch of the Ministry of Emergency Situations No. 5 of the Federal State Budgetary Institution of Health “TsMSCh No. 120 of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia”);
City Polyclinic;
children's Hospital;
Women's consultation;

The city has two secondary schools and one gymnasium.
In addition, there is the "Children's and Youth Sports School named after twice Hero of the Soviet Union V.N. Leonov", which includes: the sports and recreation complex "Cascade" with two pools and five halls for team sports, the sports complex "Kansk" , ski base with a ski track, ski base, hockey club "Avangard", football stadium.

There is also a center for additional education for children and a children's art school.

Branch of the Murmansk State Technical University College.

The City Museum of Local History is located on Moiseev Street in a building built in 1938.

There is a city center of culture "Sever", a centralized library system that unites five city libraries.

The Fleet Officers' House is in a dilapidated state - it is planned to create a shopping center on its basis.

Mass media
The newspaper "Ekaterininskaya Gavan" was published.

A television
Television and radio broadcasting in the city of Polyarny is provided by on-air and cable operators. On-air television broadcasting is carried out by the branch of RTRS "Murmansk ORTPTS". In the public domain there are packages of terrestrial digital television (multiplexes) RTRS-1 and RTRS-2. Regional tie-ins of GTRK Murman are broadcast in the digital package RTRS-1 on channels Russia 1, Russia 24 and Radio Russia, regional tie-ins of TV-21+ on the OTR channel. There is no television transmitting center in the city, the coverage of the city with digital terrestrial television broadcasting is provided by the Snezhnogorsk CNTV facility for 21 TVK (RTRS-1) and 31 TVK (RTRS-2). In some areas of the city located on hills, reception from the objects of the Central Television Network "Murmansk" and "Severomorsk" (23 and 44 TVK) is possible.

Broadcasting in cable networks is carried out by the following operators: Rostelecom, Kompakt LLC.