Polyarnye Nochi

Apartment blocks, Murmansk
Northwestern Region, January 2005
Situated on the northern tip of the Kola peninsula, midway between Moscow and the North Pole, Murmansk is the biggest city north of the Arctic Circle. In winter, the city is shrouded in darkness for nearly 24 hours a day. Between mid-December and mid-January, during the Polyarnye Nochi (‘Polar Nights’), the sun does not come up at all. Murmansk is home to a large concentration of Russia’s military and nuclear arsenal. The nearby military ports of Severomorsk, Severodvinsk and Borisglebsk remain closed to foreigners and ‘non-personnel’ Russians.