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History of the Kola Land
History » History of the Kola Land » The Kola Land in the Soviet period (1921 - 1991)

The Kola Land in the Soviet period
(1921 - 1991)

The restoration of the economy of the Kola Peninsula started after the Civil War.

One of the main aims of restoration was transport. In May of 1923 transport and industrial plant was founded, it included Murmansk railway and trade ports and enterprises. The plant had got large square of 3 million hectares and the right to use all the natural resources, starting with felling and mineral's mining and ending with fish catching. The plant started to restore railway line, buy equipment and settle the land with 'colonists".

Northern fleets in Murmansk, Kovda, Umba, Kandalaksha were also restored. The main branch of the economy of the land was fish trade. In 1924 Northern State Fish Plant (NSFP) was founded, there were two bases: in Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. The plant built births for the trawl fleet.

Economy of the central part of the Kola Peninsula was of natural patriarchal character. Practically all the products made by Saami, Komi-Izhemtses and the other people were in their disposal: they ate meat, produced clothes and shoes of fells.

At the end of 20s industrialization started here. New technique appeared in Murmansk and Kandalaksha ports: floating and coastal cranes, winches, automobiles and tractors. There were three icebreakers and tugs in the Kola Bay.

The Northern Sea route transferred into active transport line. In December of 1932 The Chief Department of the Northern Sea route was created at the head of Academic O.U. Schmidt.

Industrialization influenced the central parts of the Peninsula. Mining plant "Apatite" appeared in Khibiny, chemical plant was building in Kandalaksha, forestry plant in Zasheyek. Copper nickel plant was built by the end of 1938.

Working settlements and towns appeared close to industrial centers. Thousand people came to the Kola Peninsula. Collectivization followed industrialization.

Cooperative organizations appeared in the beginning of 20s; with their assistance more and more motor vessels appeared in the Murmansk region.

In 1929 mass collectivization of fishery farms started, there were more 30 farms by 1936. About 2500 people worked there. Collectivization changed the life of Tersk Pomors and Murmansk colonists: trade volumes increased (in 1930 - 63 thousand centers, in 1932 - 164 thousand centers), fishermen became to get good income; clubs and libraries, schools and hospitals appeared in villages.

At the same time repressions damaged a lot fishery industry: tens of heads of farms, brigadiers, captains were executed by schooting. Norwegian and Finnish farms were eliminated.

Deer breeding farms appeared in the Murmansk region.

The first wave of unification took place in Lovozero district in 1929. But in summer, when deer breeders went to tundra, farms were disintegrated.

In the spring of 1930 the second wave took place: 14 artels were created. The artels unificated deer breeders of the eastern part of the Peninsula (Ponoy district) and the half of population of the central Lapland (Lovozero district).

By the end of 30s deer breeding farm became more stronger: herds and incomes increased. Farm settlements appeared on the territory. Deer breeders became to get salary in money and natural products.

But repressions also took place in this region. In 1938 in Lovozero and Saami districts so called "saami plot" was discovered and a lot of respected people were executed with shooting.

By the end of 30s the Kola Peninsula changed greatly: heavy industry increased, sea and railway transport was reconstructed, safe energy base appeared. People began to settle here for a long time.

At the same time the importance of the North as defense point increased. The Northern navy flotilla was formed here in 1933; it was transformed in the Northern Fleet in 1937.

But the most difficult period for the Kola North was the period of the Second World War. In September of 1941 Nazi divisions were stopped here. At that time Hilterites used mass bombing on towns and villages of Zapolyarye: on Murmansk 185300 bombs were thrown, practically all the buildings were destroyed. But in spite it citizens of Murmansk continued to work, helping battlefront.

Direct hit field charge

In the autumn of 1944 offensives of Soviet troops came and Nazi troops were defeated. Petsao-Kirkiness action was finished with proscription of Nazi aggressors from Soviet Zapolyarye and from the territory of the Northern Norway. During the Second World War together with restoration of housing stock and municipal economy, roads repair and industrial buildings, restoration of fish industry, forestry, mining, chemical and metallurgy industry started. In 1947 fish catching increased in several times. Murmansk fishermen started to catch fish in the distance of coast. New fishery organization "Murmanseld" was founded in 1949. The coastal service of fishery fleet was improved.

The development of heavy industry was quite successful. In December of 1949 new hydro station on Niva was out in operation. Nickel, cobalt, copper of Zapolyarye had got a high appraisal of different customers within the country and abroad.

Escort Land-lease
Enterprises of two new industries appeared at the end of 40s: iron ore and aluminum industries.

In 50-60s reconstruction of fishery industry of Murmans started. Trawlers appeared in the fishery fleet, which could be about 70 days at sea, refrigerator trawlers with fish plant, which were able to process fish on open sea. One more fishery fleet "Sevribkholodflot" was founded.

Three new mines were put in operation: Ukspor mine (1954), Rasvumchorsk mine (1963) and Central one (1964), apatite nepheline plant was reconstructed. As a result of it in 1958 "Apatite" plant produced ore in three times more then in 1951. The development of ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy was quite successful. Olenegorsk mining plant started to work in 1955.

50 - 60s years are years of rapid power building. Some hydro stations were built, for instance, in 1951 hydro station Yansiskosky was put in oerations, in 1956 in Rayaskoski, in 1963 in Bosrisoblebsk. There stations of Kovdor cascade, Kola nuclear power plant, tidal station in Kislaya Guba were built on the Kola Peninsula. In 1964 power stations in Tuloma started to work.

In the course of Petsamo - Kirkeness action Nazi fascist troops were droven away from the Murmansk region
At this time big housing building started in the Murmansk region. Murmansk TV station was put in operation in 1957.

In 60 and 70s interest to agriculture increased in the Murmansk region. Large subsidiary farms appeared on the Peninsula.

Deer breeding tried to overcome the crisis, started in the period of the Second World War. If in 1940 there were 70.3 thousand deers in the region, in 1945 there were just 42.9 thousand. Part of deers was mobilized in military and transport of Karelian front and part of it was slaughtered for the army and fleet supply. It took more then 10 years to restore deer breeding farm in the Murmansk region.

Disturbing tendencies of the second part of 60s years appeared in the sphere of industrial enterprise. Efficiency of some enterprises was not high enough. By the end of 70s situation in fishery industry was not also very optimistic. From one side a lot of countries put limitations or closed at all their coastal areas of fishery, from the other side the Barents Sea became poor and the fish content changed.

Pioneers are presenting flowers to N.S.Khrushev, who came to the Murmansk region
The situation changed in interior pools of the Kola Peninsula: salmon disappeared in many rivers. The developing of Arctic continued, its western part became the area of round the year sailing. Atomic fleet, based in Murmansk, had convoys of transport vessels to the eastern part of Arctic.

Reconstruction in the USSR was accepted as a new stage in the development of society, as liquidation and elimination of socialistic deformations in 1985. Population supported new government of the country and M.S. Gorbachev.

In May of 1985 Murmansk was given a rank of hero-city. Thousand specialists work in new industry of developing of oil and gas. Murmansk Shiping Company continued to purchase icebreakers and the other vessels for Arctic sailing.

Raw product character of region development can be noticed in different spheres of economy. Exhaustion of resource of raw product caused the demand in more expensive technique for its extraction, that leaded to rise in price of production, which were not competitive enough.

By the way increasing number of plants of non-ferrous metallurgy in Monchegorsk and Pechenga causes ecological tension in the region.

These entire factors caused in their turn situation of the population.

The General Sercretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU M.S. Gorbachev is in the Murmasnk region.

Political activity of the population was not very high, appeared political movements were not very strong and got a little support. In 1991 the Soviet period in the history of the country was over. The Murmansk region became one of the most important industrial centers of the country.

The Kola Land is an important defensive point of the Russian Federation. Culture and art achieved a high degree of development.


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