Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

Going into the future without forgetting the past

Arkhangelsk Region celebrates its 85th anniversary

23 september 2022

23.09.2022 // On 23 September 1937, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee decreed 'On the division of the Northern Region into the Vologda and Arkhangelsk Regions' to form the Arkhangelsk Region with its centre in Arkhangelsk. However, even before that, throughout its history, Arkhangelsk remained the historical centre of the region, whatever its name. And Pomorie has always been the backbone of the country's economy and the base for advancement to the North: it was here that pioneer routes and the history of the Russian Arctic began.

For centuries, Pomorie was a Russian outpost in the high latitudes. Here the main trade routes passed and ships were built, conquering the northern seas and charting new lands. Here Peter the Great founded the first state shipyard in the Russian Empire. Here they gave a stern rebuke to the enemy who dared to attack Russia. It was also where the foundations of the country's economic prosperity were laid: until the early 18th century, Arkhangelsk was the principal port city and sole centre of trade with European countries.

After losing the lead to its young rival, St. Petersburg, the capital of Pomorie found a new specialisation and became the sawmill for the whole of Russia, as well as the main exporter of timber abroad. In the first decades of Soviet rule, the region provided about 40% of the currency that went to industrialisation.

In the middle of the 20th century, the Pomor region gained another major significance—that of a centre of the military-industrial complex. In 1936, Severodvinsk, the main Soviet facility for the production of strategic submarines, was founded. And in 1957, construction began on the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, which launched more than 1,500 launch vehicles into orbit.

By the 21st century, Pomorie had become a centre of the extractive industry. Unique deposits have been explored here, including Europe's only diamond deposits. The Grib field is the fourth largest in Russia and the seventh largest in the world. Today the Arkhangelsk Region is second only to Yakutia in terms of diamond production.

Development of the Pavlovskoye deposit on Yuzhny Island of the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago will make the Arkhangelsk Region a major exporter of non-ferrous metals. On 5 September, on the sidelines of EEF 2022, an agreement was signed on the construction of a mining and processing plant on Novaya Zemlya to develop the deposit, which is one of the four largest zinc reserves and one of the five largest lead reserves in Russia.

As it develops its industry and looks to the future, Pomorie does not forget its rich historical heritage. After all, such a pearl of ancient Russian architecture as the Solovetsky Kremlin, the Lomonosovo settlement, the birthplace of Mikhail Lomonosov, and the ancient cities of Kargopol and Solvychegodsk are located here.

To ensure that visitors from all parts of the country can comfortably reach these unique sights, Pomorie is developing its transport infrastructure. In 2023, Arkhangelsk will begin renovating its railway station and airport with a modern runway. And so that the construction work does not become an obstacle for those wishing to visit Pomorie, it has been agreed to organise additional trains from Arkhangelsk to Moscow.

Tourists are attracted to the region not only by its ancient monuments but also by such large-scale events as the Margaritinskaya Fair, which in its 21 years of operation has become the hallmark of Pomorie. This year's fair opened on 16 September and is dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Arkhangelsk Region. It not only showcased goods from 40 regions of Russia, but also offered unique handmade products. Patchwork and ornamental knitting, weaving and folk dolls, northern painting and cooperage, woodcarving and pine root, pottery and horse-drawn embroidery, the famous northern gingerbread and kozuli, baked figures usually made for Christmas—there is much to see and do here. Guests can learn how to make these masterpieces with their own hands at workshops where they can learn how to felt and weave, paint and do clay modelling, play the spoons and even the basics of bone carving.

'Every year, we have an expanding geography of participants, cultural programmes of creative groups and producers. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the products, culture and traditions not only of the Pomor region but also of other regions,' stresses Evgeny Avtushenko, Deputy Chairman of the Arkhangelsk Region Government.

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