DISSERTATION Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History in the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011

Urbana, Illinois Doctoral Committee: Professor Mark D. Steinberg, Chair Professor Diane P. Koenker Associate Professor John Randolph Associate Professor Zsuzsa Gille

Abstract How should we understand the economic relationship of the Soviet Union to the natural environment? This dissertation explores this broad question through a finegrained study of the environmental history of one particular Russian region in the far north throughout the entire twentieth century. It emphasizes the commonalities embedded in different political economies that existed in Russia: the state capitalism of the late imperial era, Soviet communism, and post-Soviet neo-liberalism. It suggests that a unified, but deeply political, process of seeking to make the natural world modern belongs at the center of an account of Soviet environmental history. It also highlights the significant role of the physical environment itself in shaping the trajectories of Soviet economic development. The study focuses on the Arctic territory of the Kola Peninsula or the Murmansk region and considers five different economic branches that emerged there during the twentieth century. A discussion of efforts to use a railroad line to enliven a desolate periphery and of the difficult experiences of wartime construction elaborates some of the overarching methods and visions of modernization. An examination of phosphate mining and processing in the Khibiny Mountains stresses the place of the environment in the Stalinist system and the anthropocentric holism of many Soviet planners. The campaigns to transform reindeer herding into a productive socialist industry and to protect wild caribou reveal how diverse ways of knowing nature influenced the behavior of elite and marginal actors. An investigation into the development of the Kola nickel industry suggests that excessive pollution in the Soviet Union is best accounted for by specific historical contexts instead of by structural factors. Finally, a review of the energy economy of the Kola Peninsula points to the tremendous transformation of human relations with the environment during modernization, while also exposing abiding, though reconfigured, connections between nature and society.


Acknowledgements Acknowledgements are one of the most rigidly structured genres of literature. As a way of shaking it up a tiny bit, let me begin with the personal before proceeding to the more formal and professional. No one has contributed more intellectual and emotional support to this project than Sarah Frohardt-Lane. Even before we fell in love, she encouraged my interest in environmental history and challenged my thinking about the Kola Peninsula. Since that wonderful moment, she has spent an adventurous month in the Arctic with me, proofread my writing more times than reasonable, served as an intelligent interlocutor about ideas for this project on an almost daily basis, supported and encouraged me when research and writing were not going well, and done too many other things than can even fit in these acknowledgements. Indeed, it would double the length of this dissertation to thank her properly. My family has also tremendously assisted me in this endeavor. My twin brother, Mike Bruno, has always been quick to challenge the soundness of any claim that leaves my mouth and in doing so has helped refine my thinking about the world in more ways than I can even comprehend. I know that this dissertation would never have been written without him. My parents, Carol Jarema and Dennis Bruno, have lovingly enabled me to pursue my goals by supporting my education, financially and emotionally. They have been encouraging throughout this long process and have helped me overcome the logistical difficulties of doing research in Russia on more than one occasion. I have also benefited from my large extended family, my wonderful in-laws, and the more recent members of my immediate family, Polly Bruno, Charlie Goins, and Mike Jarema. Thank you all! I began talking about the environmental history of the Soviet Union in my last year as an undergraduate at Reed College. All of my friends since that time have endured my nerding out about history and have helped keep me grounded. There are too many of you to name, so I would just like to thank you all. I should single out, however, my entire cohort of fellow Russianists at the University of Illinois. Jesse Murray, Steven Jug, Anna Bateman, and Rebecca Mitchell in particular offered helpful feedback during our dissertation writing group sessions. Elana Jakel graciously proofread the dissertation for me. Rebecca Mitchell has been a close friend throughout all of graduate school and iii

supported my work in numerous ways. I would also like to thank the many other colleagues and friends whom I spent time with while doing research in Russia. I endlessly appreciate all of the help and guidance provided by my dissertation committee. Mark Steinberg has been an astute, attentive, and affable academic adviser throughout my time at Illinois. His intellectual enthusiasm, engagement, and critique have done an amazing amount to help me develop as a scholar. Diane Koenker has offered remarkably thoughtful and thorough feedback. I know that her insightful challenges have forced me to make considerable improvements to this work. Since I arrived at Illinois, John Randolph has been a wonderful mentor who has frequently engaged me in deep discussions about Russian and environmental history. Zsuzsa Gille has encouraged my interest in environmental studies and helped me think about many issues with much greater sophistication. Many people have read parts of this dissertation at various conferences, workshops, and reading groups. I would sincerely like to thank everyone who has taken the time to look at my work and offer feedback. Jesse Ribot, Maria Todorova, Donald Filtzer, John McNeill, Douglas Weiner, Paul Josephson, David Darrow, Julia Lajus, Amy Nelson, and Jane Costlow have commented on parts of this dissertation at various conferences over the years. I would also like to thank the participants in the Russian studies kruzhok at the University of Illinois, the Midwest Russian History Workshop, the two workshops sponsored by the Social Science Research Council that I attended, the Human Dimensions of Environmental Systems seminar at the University of Illinois, and the Russian animal studies conference that led to the collection, Other Animals: Beyond the Human in Russian Culture and History. I first began seriously studying environmental history and the history of industrial development on the Kola Peninsula while a master’s student at the European University at Saint Petersburg. Julia Lajus, Alla Bolotova, and Daniil Aleksandrov were extremely helpful mentors at this early stage and have remained supportive colleagues in the years since then. My interest in Russian history was first sparked as an undergraduate student at Reed College where I benefited from some of the best teachers out there. In particular, I would like to thank Douglas Fix, Zhenya Bershtein, Lena Lencek, Jackie Dirks, Scott Smith, and Christine Mueller.


The logistics of doing research in Russia have always been a bit challenging. I have had the fortune to be assisted by many kind scholars, librarians, and archivists in Russia. Early on Boris Kolonitskii helped me learn the ropes of working in Russian libraries. A number of scholars on the Kola Peninsula vitally contributed to my ability to successfully conduct research there, including Aleksandr Portsel´, Nikolai Voronin, Pavel Fedorov, Dmitrii Fokin, Elena Makarova, and Valerii Berlin. The generous staff at the Murmansk State Technical University provided essential institutional support and helped keep me in good spirits during the many months of the Arctic winter. The library staff in the regional studies reading room of the Murmansk State Regional Universal Scientific Library was absolutely wonderful. Svetlana Salivova greatly assisted me in preparing a presentation for a conference in Murmansk. Paul Josephson helped me overcome some difficulties getting archival access early on during my time in Murmansk and Jenny Leigh Smith explored Lovozero with me. The staff of Praxis International took care of visa support and registration in Moscow. Finally, I am very grateful for the rich collection of the Slavic Library at the University of Illinois, which has made writing this dissertation a much less arduous task. I recognize that I have probably overlooked many people who really belong in these acknowledgements. Let me end, though, by expressing my appreciation to the many sources of financial support I have received for this research. At the University of Illinois I have benefited from large and small levels of funding from the Department of History, the Thomas M. Siebel Fellowship in the History of Science, the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, the Human Dimensions of Environmental Systems program, the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy initiative at the Beckman Institute, and two Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships. An International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a fellowship from the U.S. Student Fulbright Program enabled my research in Russia.


Table of Contents List of Tables ................................................................................................................ vii List of Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Russian Terms ..................................................viii Map of the Kola Peninsula ............................................................................................. xi Introduction: An Environmental History of Soviet Modernization................................... 1 Chapter 1. The Railroad and Environmental Ideologies of Russian Development .......... 19 Chapter 2. Stalinism as an Ecosystem............................................................................ 61 Chapter 3. Knowledge Ecologies and Reindeer ........................................................... 123 Chapter 4. Environmental Pollution and the Nickel Industry ....................................... 189 Chapter 5. Energizing the Landscape........................................................................... 242 Conclusion: Communism and the Environment........................................................... 278 Bibliography ............................................................................................................... 284


... 182 Table 7.............. 97 Table 3.......................... Birth and Death Rates in Khibinogorsk/Kirovsk ............... 101 Table 5................................................... Reported Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Emissions from the Severonikel´ Combine .................. Reported Annual Production Output of Apatit in the 1930s............. 166 Table 6...... 87 Table 2.... Demography of Khibinogorsk/Kirovsk ........... 97 Table 4.List of Tables Table 1... 1931.................................. Population of Special Settlers in the Khibiny Region on October 25...... 227 vii .......... Reported Population of Wild Reindeer in the Western Part of the Murmansk Region ...... Reported Population of Domestic Reindeer in the Murmansk Region .................................................................

and Russian Terms Apatit ARAN BBK bedniak Bol´shevik d. I. GARF GAMO GES GIPKh Gosplan guberniia Gulag Imeni V. desiatina Dobrovolets f. collection State Archive of the Russian Federation State Archive of the Murmansk Region hydroelectric station State Institute of Applied Chemistry State Planning Committee province Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps In the Name of Lenin state farm International Nickel Company of Canada Industry state farm Kedd´k reindeer-herding commune Kirovsk Branch of the State Archive of the Murmansk Region Kola Science Center Kola Nuclear Power Plant Kola Mining and Metallurgy Company Kola Production Association of Energy and Electrification collective farm Kola Construction Trust Red Tundra collective farm Red Pulozero collective farm a wealthy peasant viii . file roughly equivalent to eleven squared kilometers Volunteer collective farm fond. Lenina INCO Industriia Kedd´k KF GAMO KNTs Kola AES Kola GMK Kolenergo kolkhoz Kol´stroi Krasnaia Tundra Krasnoe Pulozero kulak Apatit Trust/Combine Archive of the Russian Academy of Science White Sea-Baltic Combine a poor peasant Bolshevik collective farm delo.List of Abbreviations. Acronyms.

Pechenganikel´ pogost pop. sheet(s) unrefined diesel Institute of Mechanical Processing of Mineral Resources Murmansk State Pedagogical University Gulag camp serving Monchegorsk National Archives and Records Administration New Economic Policy Scientific Institute for Fertilizer People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs Norilsk Nickel Mining and Metallurgy Company region Unified State Political Organization county Reindeer Herder collective farm opis´. POW RAN RBKM RGAE RGASPI RSFSR Severonikel´ shalman SKhPK Lenin nuclear icebreaker Lepse refueling vessel for nuclear icebreakers Lovozero Mining and Enrichment Combine list/listy. mazut Mekhanobr MGPU Monchelag NARA NEP NIU NKTP NKVD Noril´sk Nikel´ oblast´ OGPU okrug Olenevod op./ll.Lenin Lepse Lovozero GOK l. inventory Pechenganikel´ Combine parish population Prisoner of War Russian Academy of Sciences high power channel-type reactor Russian State Archive of the Economy Russian State Archive of Social and Political History Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic Severonikel´ Combine barn-like structure built with thin boards and wood beams Agricultural Production Cooperative ix .

sovkhoz sredniak SSSR STO Tundra uezd UNESCO USLON USSR versta Vpered Vsekhimprom VSNKh VVER zapovednik Zhelles Zhelryba Zhelsilikat Zhelstroi state farm a middle income peasant Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Council of Labor and Defense Tundra collective/state farm district United Nations Educational. Scientific and Cultural Organization Administration of the Solovki Camps of Special Designation Union of Soviet Socialist Republics roughly equivalent to a kilometer Forward collective farm All-Union Association of the Chemical Industry Supreme Council of the National Economy water-water energetic reactor nature reserve Murmansk Railroad Timber Trust Murmansk Railroad Fishing Trust Murmansk Railroad Silicate Trust Murmansk Railroad Construction Trust x .

Map of the Kola Peninsula xi .

leaving many of the steep rocky inlets with unfrozen bays year-round. summers. including many temporary homes for seasonal migrants and the recently established commercial port of Aleksandrovsk. including avian species. it was rich with unique biodiversity. except for a small portion of the peninsula along the eastern side of the southern Tersk coast. Throughout the entire territory no cities. where Russia’s empire gave way to a combined union of Sweden and Norway. though a recent influx of Komi and Nenets was deeply affecting their occupational patterns. the Gulf Stream current brought warm waters to the northern Murman coast of the Kola Peninsula. and military testing facilities filled the interior of the peninsula. industrial plants for extracting and processing the mineral wealth below the surface. Extreme seasonal fluctuations and the mollifying effect of the Gulf Stream remained.Introduction: An Environmental History of Soviet Modernization Dangling out in the White and Barents Seas sat an old. the region possessed significantly less biomass than temperate or tropical zones. fish. In the interior of the peninsula a group known as the Sami dominated in highly disperse settlements. insects. a large number of fresh water lakes and rivers. territory of the Russian Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century. Fewer than ten thousand representatives of the species Homo sapiens resided on the Kola Peninsula at the time. was north of the Arctic Circle. but the physical terrain and the collection of life forms there had been transformed radically. also known as Russian Lapland. and coniferous forests that thinned out with altitude and latitude. These people lived in a number of coastal settlements. The entire region. Campaigns to industrially develop and militarize the region had immensely affected the local environment and human society. The Kola Peninsula in the far northwest corner of the country mirrored the much larger Scandinavian Peninsula. However. the Kola Peninsula had become a very different place. but vivacious. Despite its extreme northern position. military installations. and various types of flora. lichen. As a territory comprised of tundra and taiga lands. Numerous dense cities. This polar location meant that the region endured long periods of darkness during the snowy winters and enjoyed weeks of perennial light in the brief. The Kola Peninsula included several mountain ranges in the interior. The mountain 1 . or large industrial enterprises existed. mammalian fauna. but largely unassimilated. By the end of the twentieth century.

Considerable biodiversity. For reasons I will explain shortly. flourished in limited protected zones. In the Kola Bay the metropolis of Murmansk captured the title of the most populated Arctic city in the world.1 million a decade earlier). large reservoirs added new areas of surface water to the terrain and a nuclear power plant increased the temperature of Lake Imandra by using it as a cooling pond. global trends of population growth. I call this reorganization of the relationship between humans and nature “modernization. 2 .” This dissertation is a study of the environmental history of twentieth-century economic modernization in the Soviet Union based on an investigation of a single northern region. made this space one of the most militarized areas of the world. Along the Murman coast an array of objects controlled by the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. including a myriad of nuclear submarines and closed cities. urbanization. The Kola Peninsula on the whole was the most industrialized and densely populated Arctic region with approximately nine hundred thousand human residents (down from 1. These overlapping political and sociological developments accompanied a rapid process of economic transformation of the natural world.ranges now included large hollow areas. Many of the lakes and rivers of the region were dammed and regulated. which is a political and economic system that has received considerably less attention than capitalism. nevertheless. It aspires to contribute to the environmental history of communism. It does so by comparing Soviet socialism with the state capitalism of the preceding late imperial era and the neoliberal reform efforts of the post-Soviet Russian Federation. while the eastern enclaves continued to be difficult for humans to access. and the rise and fall of the world’s first communist state. How do we understand the disparity between these two moments? What caused the Kola landscape and human life there to change so dramatically? The intervening century witnessed two massive military conflicts and the Cold War. It argues that a continual and unified process of attempting to make nature modern that cuts across variations in political economy played a pivotal role in reshaping environment and society. A network of railroad lines and highways cut through and across the western section of the peninsula. Pollution and other forms of industrial human influence significantly reduced the fish population in many water bodies and denuded large areas of vegetation near production units. and technological advancement.

[1944] 2002). Influenced by the atrocities of Nazism and the Second World War. This project began as an investigation into the campaign of the Soviet Union to overcome the alleged “backwardness” of certain forms of treating the natural world and accordingly shares these theorists’ critical disposition toward modernization. While public policy remains predicated on analytic frameworks that take economic and technological growth as potentially continual. see Martin Jay. 1923-1950 (Berkeley: University of California Press.” but inadvertently leads to environmental destruction and structures of oppression. The Domination of Nature (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.1 In the 1970s. 179.2 In her attempt to diagnose what went wrong with the Soviet Union and Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. [1972] 1994). Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments (Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1 3 . The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research.Illusions of Modernity and the Influence of Modernization Over the past decades the logic of development has been roundly and rightly criticized by numerous scholars and theorists who challenge the faulty teleology embedded in social evolutionist thinking and point to the complicated manifestations of power that have accompanied an insistence on historical directionality toward the modern. William Leiss elaborated some environmental implications of this perspective of the Frankfurt School. “the vision of the human domination of nature becomes a fundamental ideology of a social system” in both capitalism and socialism. One articulation of this critique of modernity stresses the ambivalence and ultimately the totalitarian potential of the extension of the philosophical principles of the European Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. At the root of their philosophy. It “sets for itself as a primary task the development of productive forces for the satisfaction of human material wants. technology. Such critical theorists of modernity often root their arguments in the dynamics of knowledge production. For Leiss. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno theorized that the dialectic counter of increased science. 2 William Leiss. They occasionally interrogate the configurations of the natural and the social that are entrenched in modernist imagination. and economic progress was the heightened oppression of human beings. [1973] 1996). On the philosophy of the Frankfurt School. this scholarship raises serious doubts about the epistemologies underlying the process of modernization. the impulse to attain mastery over nature implies a drive to dominate humankind more fully. Adorno.

1999). Maria Todorova. post-colonial studies. Soviet socialism had no alternative but to try to produce a utopia out of the production process itself. Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West (Cambridge. 1999). Susan Buck-Morss similarly points to a pathos embedded in a common logic of modernity that applied to communism and capitalism. 2005). Focusing both on “modernist metanarrative as dubious theoretical model and modernist metanarrative as indubitable ethnographic fact. In Search of the True West: Culture. Economics.” Slavic Review 64.” Ferguson probes how the agonizing experience of Zambians living in the country’s declining copper belt intersect Susan Buck-Morss. 1994). Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes its Object (New York: Columbia University Press. and Dipesh Chakrabarty have interrogated the imposition of a modernist temporal ordering on regions and peoples outside of mainstream Western Europe. MA: The MIT Press. Modernization from the Other Shore: American Intellectuals and the Romance of Russian Development (Cambridge. Maria Todorova. 2003). Esther Kingston-Mann. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Imagining the Balkans (Oxford: Oxford University Press. and Problems of Russian Development (Princeton: Princeton University Press.’ and of the ecological preconditions through which it might be realized. Yuri Slezkine. 1995). 2000). and cultural anthropology. In making this choice. 2000). scholars such as Johannes Fabian. and Francine Hirsch. 1983). Carrying Michel Foucault-inspired concerns about the ways that discourses of scientific knowledge infiltrate power dynamics down to the level of the individual subject and Jacques Derrida-influenced skepticism about meta-narratives and historicist universalism. For discussions of temporal ordering in Russian state governance. Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Small Peoples of the North (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. David C.brought about its collapse.4 James Ferguson brings similar concerns to an assessment of economic development policies in Africa. 4 Johannes Fabian. In the Soviet House of Culture: A Century of Perestroikas (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Temporality and the Study of Eastern European Nationalism. Martin’s Press. 3 4 . Making Peasants Backward: Agricultural Cooperatives and the Agrarian Question in Russia. 115. see Yanni Kotsonis. 1997).3 Another approach to the problem of the modern relies on the combined insights of post-modern philosophy. 1 (Spring 2005): 140-164. “The Trap of Backwardness: Modernity. 1861-1914 (New York: St. and Dipesh Chakrabarty. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press. The assignment of a lower rank on a scale of development became a technique of European rule in many colonial contexts that functioned by justifying hierarchical distancing and promising eventual evolution. MA: Harvard University Press. no. Engerman. Maria Todorova. however. By adopting the capitalist heavy-industry definition of economic modernization. Bruce Grant. the Soviets missed the opportunity to transform the very idea of economic ‘development.

2003): 60-74. no way of saying what an ‘anatomically modern human’ is apart from the manifold ways in which humans actually become. Claiming that there is “no species-specific. 16. quasiobjects.” he endorses James Ferguson.8 Theorists who are sometimes classified as post-constructivist or post-humanist challenge the ostensible distinction between the “natural” and the “social” that has been a fundamental element of the project of modernity.5 These promises had served to entrench state power in the de-politicized guise of “development. essential form of humanity.”6 Nikolai SsorinChaikov and Niobe Thompson fruitfully explore the life of such modernist metanarratives in Arctic Russia. no. Nature’s End: History and Environment (New York: Palgrave MacMillan. and Sverker Sörlin and Paul Warde. and cultural change. 7 Nikolai V. in articulations of state and economic power. 2008). and networks.” Depoliticization. “The Problematic Nature of Nature: The Post-Constructivist Challenge to Environmental History. 5 5 . and entrepreneurs during moments of economic transformation.with earlier mythical promises of industrial modernity. ultimately to the detriment of their own utopian schemes. authorities. modern states classified. simplified. the agency of non-humans.. Expectations of Modernity: Myth and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt (Berkeley: University of California Press. “The Problem of the Problem of Environmental History: A Re-reading of the Field. 6 James Ferguson. The Social Life of the State in Subarctic Siberia (Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1998). Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press. made legible. historically and in the present. and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development.7 Finally. 9 Attempts to bring these perspectives into environmental history have recently been advanced: Kristin Asdal.” History and Theory 42. 2009). Settlers on the Edge: Identity and Modernization on Russia’s Arctic Frontier (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. which applies to all species.9 They do not stop at calling attention to the arbitrary and historically contingent character of this division. and overall reduced the complexity of social and environmental realities. no. 1999). 1990). 4 (December. 2003) and Niobe Thompson. but go further in advocating for future scholars to surmount it by paying attention to hybrids. Ssorin-Chaikov. James Scott offers a more generalist view of the governing tactics of states bent on achieving “high-modernism” through social engineering projects. While pursuing an “administrative ordering of nature and society” that enabled development. 8 James Scott. They also both highlight the variegated and negotiated uses of local ecologies by communities. which only applies to human history.” Environmental History 12. 1 (January 2007): 107-130. eds. experts. Sverker Sörlin and Paul Warde. 88. Tim Ingold approaches the issue by disputing the separation of biological evolution.

391. Techno-Politics. the changes wrought by modernization have been very real and indeed very physical. or capitalist are systematically subordinated and marginalized. Western. it can be shown. placed in a position outside the unfolding of history. to create this separation: “The asymmetry between nature and culture then becomes an asymmetry between past and future. MA: Harvard University Press. 14 Timothy Mitchell. Yet in the very processes of their subordination and exclusion. but failing.”12 Timothy Mitchell offers a comparable argument for the inevitable limitations of the evolving transcendence of the social over the natural in modernity. ed.14 All of these discussions of the relationship between nature and modernity posit modernization as a process that generates its influence from human conceptions of the world.”13 In his own research Mitchell demonstrates how the “hybrid agency” possessed by the mosquito contributed to and undermined the modernization of colonial Egypt. “Elements that appear incompatible with what is modern. 13 Timothy Mitchell. 2000). xiii.“refocusing on the human-being-in-its-environment” and dispensing with “the opposition between species and culture. 2000). what depends on things and what belongs to signs. In order to capture this significant facet of modernization. 2002). 2005). 11 For the fullest expression of Latour’s views. The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood. 19-53. 71.11 He defines modernization as ultimately a project of attempting. While the supposed transcendence of modernity should be seen as fictive. it is Tim Ingold. trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge. We Have Never Been Modern. “Introduction. The past was the confusion of things and men. 10 6 .”10 Bruno Latour extends a similar line of analysis to what he supposes was an untenable. as Latour and others insist. 1993). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Dwelling. the future is what will no longer confuse them. and ultimately unstable. between mediation and purification. 12 Bruno Latour. Modern temporality arises from a superposition of the difference between past and future with another difference.. and Skill (London: Routledge. Rule of Experts: Egypt. Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press.” in Timothy Mitchell. see Bruno Latour. so much more important. in order to enter a new age that will finally distinguish clearly what belongs to atemporal nature and what comes from humans. such elements infiltrate and compromise that history. Questions of Modernity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. Modernization consists in continually exiting from an obscure age that mingled the needs of society with scientific truth. classification between objects and subjects and between nature and society in the sciences over the past several centuries.

and Social Themes (Cambridge. technological innovation. conceal political processes of much greater causal significance.15 Whatever wavering and nuances in its unfolding.” Ab Imperio. 273-285. 1974) and S. Becoming Modern: Individual Change in Six Developing Countries (Cambridge. and Clyde Kluckhohn. and Modernity (New York: John Wiley and Sons. no 2 (2002): 19-55. MA: Harvard University Press.R.16 Humans live in very different environments because of the material features of these processes of modernization and not only on account of altered knowledge. representations. Large Processes. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the TwentiethCentury World (New York: W. and Teodor Shanin. W. Smith. MA: Harvard University Press. “Sotsializm. However. Abstract assessment about the changes in social hierarchies that occur during modernization obscures the conflicts that arise among groups with different interests and levels of political influence. and Engerman. Modernization from the Other Shore. 1985). For critical reviews of this overall approach and its application to the Soviet Union. McNeill. to classic modernization theory of the 1960s and 1970s. Bauer.” which accounts for the over-exploitation of resources by evoking the rational and profit-maximizing behavior of individuals in the absence of clearly defined property rights. Ronal´d Suni. Versions of modernization theory influenced the following works on the Soviet Union: Alexander Gerschenkron. Russia as a ‘Developing Society’ (The Roots of Otherness: Russia’s Turn of the Century. 1900-1930 (Philadelphia: J. N. Its initial advocates saw modernization as a systematic trajectory toward industrial expansion. increased education. The insistence on historical directionality misses the role that value-laden knowledge production plays in enabling modernization. the claim of some modernization theorists that the process itself was largely inevitable and apolitical still deserves to be discarded. Raymond A. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective (Cambridge. see Charles Tilly. As Becky Mansfield shows in the case of overfishing in modern industrial fisheries. Eisenstadt. Huge Comparisons (New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 1962). Norton. “something new under the sun” in the twentieth century. Lippincott Company. 16 J. or cultures. 1964). Theodore H. Volume One) (New Haven: Yale University Press.helpful to return. 15 7 . and economic development. 1964). MA: Harvard University Press. Why Lenin? Why Stalin? A Reappraisal of the Russian Revolution. 1973). Tradition. these phenomena did create. Big Structures. postsotsializm i normativnaia modernost´: Razmyshleniia ob istorii SSSR. ironic though it may seem. 1984). Change. urbanization. 2000). see Alex Inkeles and David H. B. How the Soviet System Works: Cultural. In this For examples of modernization theory. Von Laue. The materialist perspective that I embrace in this study incorporates both standard structural assessments of modernization theory and the views of post-constructivists about nature’s active participation in social change. Psychological. in environmental historian John McNeill’s words. Alex Inkeles. explanations such as Garrett Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons.

“‘Modern’ Industrial Fisheries and the Crisis of Overfishing. but return to power dynamics when explaining them. 2011). This dissertation treats modernization as a political project to transform relations among nature and society.” in Peet and Watts. but are not reducible to. research-based explorations to explain the linkages in the condition and change of social/environmental systems. Political power existed in multiple forms. Watts.” in Peet and Watts. Political Ecology: An Integrative Approach to Geography and Environment-Development Studies (New York: The Guilford Press. individuals and groups committed to maximizing the economic use of the natural world. Geographer Paul Robbins defines political ecology as “empirical. environmental regulation. leaders of industry. have held the most sway over the treatment of the environment. Bassett. 12. eds.17 In order to move from illusions of modernity to the influence of modernization. Karl S. and many scientists. and Aletta Biersack and James B. 2003).”18 The eclectic methods that political ecologists use in their research assess the material features of the social/environmental linkages being investigated. Social Movements (London: Routledge. On the most basic level. the military. See Garrett Hardin. “The Tragedy of the Commons. 2004). Liberation Ecologies: Environment. 19 Richard Peet and Michael Watts. Sustainability. and businesses. Liberation Ecologies. This top-down form of political power reflects sovereign or quasi-sovereign influence over the Becky Mansfield. eds. 18 Paul Robbins. 20 Richard Peet and Michael Watts. international agencies. 8499. with explicit consideration of relations of power. technology. 2006). Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.. and Michael the large-scale economic modernization of industrial fisheries was “both envisioned and fostered” by a host of governments. Other introductions to the field of political ecology include: Richard Peet and Michael Watts. Global Political Ecology (London: Routledge.” Science 168. Zimmer and Thomas J. “Liberation Ecology: Development. Reimagining Political Ecology (Durham: Duke University Press. the “social construction of nature” should be balanced by a sense of the “natural construction of the social. it is helpful to turn to the interdisciplinary work of political ecologists. eds. Paul Robbins. 38. human thought.”20 A focus on illusions should be complimented with attention to influential material and social factors that are always being mediated by. 263..”19 As Richard Peet and Michael Watts put it. Many political ecologists achieve this form of analysis by accepting post-modernist and post-structuralist critiques of Western science only to the point in which it is “contended rather than abandoned. Development. Greenberg. no. and Environment in an Age of Market Triumphalism. 3859 (December 1968): 12431248. Liberation Ecologies. 17 8 . 1996). “Conclusion: Towards a Theory of Liberation Ecology. Political ecologists seek to unearth the political dimensions of changes in land use.” in Richard Peet. including dominant state institutions.. and economy.

21 9 . Elite state and industrial actors in twentieth-century capitalism and socialism shared a broad and influential. Foucault’s theory of governmentality stresses an assemblage of “the institutions. Environmentality: Technologies of Government and the Making of Subjects (Durham: Duke University Press.environment. The effects of this type of power emerge from what I would like to call a modernist environmentality. Arun Agrawal evokes the term “environmentality” to capture “the knowledges. institutions. The material influence of nature affects the contours of modernist environmental ideologies and policies and thus contributes to this form of power as well. eds.”23 A modernist environmentality instead reflects the alignment of “knowledges. 102. eds. with environmentality. 226. and Ecology: Departing from Marx (Urbana: University of Illinois Press. See Timothy W. which is exercised over societies. and subjectivities that come to be linked together with the emergence of the environment as a domain that requires regulation and protection. politics. procedures. 2005). politics. Democracy. Manifestations of sovereign environmental power particularly affected control over access to natural resources and the physical manipulation of people and environments. and Michael J. 1999).” in Peet. Luke. Paul Robbins. institutions. this dissertation examines the perceptions of nature that accompanied modernization. The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. the calculations and tactics that allow the exercise of this very specific albeit complex form of power. consensus about the desirability of modernization. 22 Michel Foucault. “Global Nature. and Peter Miller. power was also dispersed through society and nature with different actors affecting the outcomes of projects of economic transformation at various points. 23 Arun Agrawal. which occurs within them. though still contested.. and Watts. Nonhuman agents also modified situations in unanticipated and consequential ways. Watts. analyses and reflections. “Governmentality.” in Graham Burshell. Capitalism.”22 Applying this concept to the natural world. and subjectivities” with attempts to use the natural world to enact modernity. 31-34. The authors contrast this form of political power. Robbins. People outside of the upper echelons of regional decision makers reacted to the natural and social conditions they encountered with an abiding capacity to alter their surroundings. 1991). Colin Gordon. Yet. The term “envrionmentality” was originally coined by Timothy Luke.. In order to understand these variegated expressions of power. 21 This political power has existed since the earliest advocacy of regional development and remains present in contemporary circumstances. Global Political Ecology. the strategies employed by I take the phrase “sovereign environmental power” from Richard Peet.

no. 25 Ellen Stroud. 3 (June 2002): 798-820 and Douglas Weiner. This study reveals what some overviews of global environmental history have asserted: that the specificities of centralized command Stroud’s argument contrasts with ones offered by Ted Steinberg and Douglas Weiner.” Environmental History 10. A significant portion of modern environmental history focuses on the ways that the capitalist economic system changed relationships with nature through commodification and the increased treatment of the natural world as a repository of resources to be used for accruing profit. “the dirt of history. much less research has been done on the main alternative economic system in the twentieth century: communism. no. “Down to Earth: Nature. and gender that allows us to observe power relationships in society.industrial planners for managing natural resources. Histories of the Soviet Environment Environmental history aims at placing human interaction with the rest of nature at the center of investigations of the past. Ted Steinberg. While the emergence of the field among historians of the United States in the 1970s and 1980s cannot be disentangled from the rise of environmentalism as a political movement. class. [1979] 2004). Agency. As Donald Worster argued in an early and celebrated work of the field. the environment is not only an analytic category like race.” American Historical Review 107. and the physical influence that humans and the environment had on each other.26 However.” Stroud insists that by paying attention to this material side of nature environmental historians stand in the best position to transform larger historical interpretations. 26 Donald Worster. the lived experience of individuals working in and coping with the environment. 24 10 ." History & Theory 42. (July 2005): 404-420.24 It also has a material character. “A Death-Defying Attempt to Articulate a Coherent Definition of Environmental History. "Does Nature Always Matter?: Following Dirt Through History. 4 (December 2003): 75-81. 3. and Power in History.25 This work of Soviet environmental history seeks to address large issues relevant for comparative and global scholarship and to respond to specific problems that emerge from Russian historiography. the ultimate rationale for the type of analysis offered by environmental history comes from the ways it enriches explanations of historical phenomena often taken to exist on a purely human register. a culture of capitalism in the American West crucially contributed to the social and environmental tragedy of the 1930s known as the Dust Bowl. no. As Ellen Stroud argues. Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ann-Mari Sätre Ǻhlander. Peterson. 1972).economies during communism mattered less than the aggregate changes that resulted from pursuing a common process of economic modernization. Joan DeBardeleben. Russian Environmentalism: Leading Figures. A Little Corner of Freedom: Russian Nature Protection from Stalin to Gorbachev (Berkeley: University of California Press. 31 Douglas Weiner. E. Douglas Weiner demonstrates the initial vibrancy and heroic persistence of scientists advocating for nature protection through the creation of a system of reserves throughout the country. Oleg Yanitsky. no.27 An investigation of the distinctions of communist environmental history still bears significance because it suggests that the reduction of nature to marketable commodities and the pervasiveness of a profit-maximizing culture do not uniquely account for common changes in humanenvironmental relationships throughout the world. Facts. and Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. and Oleg Yanitsky. Philip Pryde. 1993). 1994). eds. 4 (December 2003): 30. and Iuliia Laius. Environmental Problems in the Shortage Economy: The Legacy of Soviet Environmental Policy (Brookfield: Edward Elgar Publishing Company. no. Something New Under the Sun. 1993). McNeill. and the cultural history of representations of nature.29 Current research being produced by a wide array of younger and established historians suggests that this situation is on the cusp of changing. Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly.28 However. R. Environmental Management in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. "Observations on the Nature and Culture of Environmental History. 1980). Chelovek i priroda: ekologicheskaia istoriia (Saint Petersburg: Aleteiiia. 2008). Conservation in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1992). 1991).” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 8. Murray Feshbach. Ecological Disaster: Cleaning Up the Hidden Legacy of the Soviet Regime (New York: The Twentieth Century Fund Press. 3 (Summer 2007): 635-650. A lot of ink has been spilled assessing. Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature Under Siege (New York: Basic Books." History & Theory 42. For the time being the bulk of the literature addresses the history of conservation policy and practice.31 Stephen Brain and Brian Bonhomme have recently McNeill. Models of Nature: Ecology. environmental history has not yet become part of mainstream historical scholarship on Russia. Russian Greens in a Risk Society: A Structural Analysis (Helsinki: Kikimora Publications. Opinions (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnyje Otnoshenija Publishing House. 1985). 29 J. The Environment and Marxism-Leninism: The Soviet and East German Experience (Boulder: Westview Press. denouncing. For a volume that endeavors to introduce the field to a Russian audience. Boris Komarov [Ze’ev Vol’fson]. see Dannil Aleksandrov. Sharpe. Franz-Josef Brüggemeier. 1995). Also 28 27 11 . “Russian Environmental History: Directions and Potentials. Conservation.30 This dissertation advances each of these spheres of Russian environmental history. 1999). In two authoritative tomes. large-scale technological projects and disasters. Philip Pryde. 30 Andy Bruno.. J. Troubled Lands: The Legacy of Soviet Environmental Destruction (Boulder: Westview Press. 2000). 1988) and Douglas Weiner. D. and proposing solutions for the environmental situation in the former Soviet Union. The Destruction of Nature in the Soviet Union (White Plains: M.

34 Arja Rosenholm and Sari Autio-Sarasmo. “To Storm the Arctic: Soviet Polar Expeditions and Public Visions of Nature in the USSR. Though I spent seven months in the region and engaged in numerous discussions with people living there. Josephson. For works that question this emphasis on the mastery of nature. no. and local populations that related to the entirety of the Kola ecosystem. 2 (April 2006): 300-18 and Mark Bassin. Josephson. 1917-1929 (Boulder: East European Monographs. MA: Harvard University Press. 2002).” Environment and History 3. 2004). and Landscape Art in Stalinist Russia.. Understanding Russian Nature: Representations. Resources under Regimes: Technology. Other Animals: Beyond the Human in Russian Culture and History (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. eds.. and Paul R. Also see Jane Costlow and Amy Nelson. Bernd Stevens Richter.34 I complicate this consensus by pointing to distinctions within this framework of dominance. Peasants.” in James Cracraft and Daniel Rowland. “Colonization of Nature in the Soviet Union: State Ideology. 2000). the ways that desires for harmony engendered less overtly antagonistic portrayals of nature. eds. Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World (Washington. see William Husband.” Russian Review 69. “The Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature. 1 (January 2010): 93-118. G. eds. 33 Paul R. H. 12 . DC: Island Press. no. History in an Ethnographic Vein This dissertation is not a work of ethnography. Social Vision. Scholarship that has explored the representations of nature in the Soviet Union has tended to stress the prominence of the Promethean longings to master and control it. the historical see Feliks Shtilmark. 1932-1939. including the cavalier treatment of the natural world. 1895-1995. “Nature Mastered by Man: Ideology and Water in the Soviet Union. and the influence of the material world in shaping these environmental ideologies.33 I examine massive industrialization at the enterprise-level to advance our understanding of how authorities reached distinct decisions in response to specific environmental circumstances. and Alla Bolotova. “‘Correcting Nature’s Mistakes’: Transforming the Environment and Soviet Children’s Literature. trans. no.. Forests. Values and Concepts (Aleksanteri Papers 4/2005). Paul Josephson highlights the hubristic utopianism and unchecked gigantism that informed much of Soviet economic development. Red Atom: Russia’s Nuclear Power Program from Stalin to Today (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1928-1941. “The Greening of Utopia: Nature. no. no. 3 (2004): 104-123. 150-171. Paul R. 2003). “Stalin’s Environmentalism. and the Experience of Geologists. and Brian Bonhomme. Harper (Edinburgh: Russian Nature Press. 4 (October 2010): 670-700.32 By taking a regional approach.” Environmental History 11. History of the Russian Zapovedniks. New Atlantis Revisited: The Siberian City of Science (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Public Discourse. 1997). Paul R. Stephen Brain. and Revolutionaries: Forest Conservation and Organization in Soviet Russia. Josephson. 2010). economic managers. John McCannon. 1 (1997): 69-96. 1 (January 1995): 15-31. In numerous works on Soviet science and technology. 2005). and the State (Cambridge.” Historical Social Research 29. no. I unravel some of the competing agendas of conservation scientists. Architectures of Russian Identity: 1500 to Present (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 32 Stephen Brain.” Ecumene 2. Josephson. 2003).” Environmental History 15.nuanced our understanding of Soviet conservation with studies of state policy toward Russia’s forests. Environment.

Instead of being primarily a regional history or a case study of broad phenomena in a particular place. Furthermore. In the North My Nest is Made: Studies in the History of the Murman Colonization. Yet.35 I eschew treating the specific history of the Kola Peninsula as directly representative of the entire Soviet Union. Connections. With secondary source material providing the larger picture and contemporary scientific literature facilitating historical environmental assessments. non-ferrous metallurgy. reindeer herding. eds. and museums. See Julia A. In doing so I follow a certain analytical logic not always present in historical scholarship. document collections. 18981934 gg. and Imaginations in a Postmodern World (Berkeley: University of California Press. I organize this dissertation into five chapters that treat each of these economic spheres. 2004) and Alexei Yurchenko and Jens Petter Nielsen. Lajus. 1860-1940 (Saint Petersburg: European University at Saint Petersburg Press. 35 13 .. libraries. The first chapter examines how distinct ideologies of the colonization and A fruitful discussion of the approach I am aspiring to here appears in the volume: Michael Burawoy et al. mining and chemical production. “Razvitie rybokhoziaistvennykh issledovanii barentseva moria: vzaimootnosheniia nauki i promysla. this work aspires to address general problems of Soviet environmental history through a finegrained analysis of the local. I supplement these materials with a wide array of newspapers. and other relevant archival sources. this research allows me to describe and explain social and ecological conditions in specific places throughout the century. Rossiiskaia akademiia nauk: Institut istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki.. Global Ethnography: Forces. To achieve this depth I investigate a range of economic activities on the Kola Peninsula throughout the twentieth century: railroad construction.36 For each of these branches of industry I examine enterprise-level documentation to assess specific questions about human-nature interaction during successive bouts of economic modernization. 36 I do not cover the large fishing industry that has operated out of the port of Murmansk. My decision to focus on other economic activities comes from the fact that commercial fishing has involved less interaction with the environment of the Kola Peninsula than with the ocean. 2000).” (PhD diss. regional scholarship. I write in an ethnographic vein precisely by attempting to use deep analysis of the peripheral to complicate our picture of the general and offer insights that are often unattainable in a broad overview. and the energy economy. while interrogating local nuances in order to come to a richer understanding of issues present elsewhere in the country.research I undertook was mostly limited to the written record in archives. popular and scientific literature. good research on the environmental history of the Murmansk fishing industry already exists. 2006). in another sense my research is deeply ethnographic. journals..

promoting productivity. Examining everything from the planning and ideology around the project to the lived experience of forced migrants and pollution. This analysis disaggregates the common existence of technocratic and statist ideas in late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union from the influence of wartime industrialization. and protecting wild reindeer. but end up instead stressing the significance of the culturally driven process of modernization in bringing about environmental deterioration. I pay particular attention to the history of the Severonikel´ and Pechenganikel´ combines. I look at the energy economy in the region throughout the entire time period to explore further how modernization affected the human/nature relationship. I argue for the centrality of the environment in Stalinist industrialization. I further posit that the project should be understood as an unsuccessful attempt to create harmony between humans and the rest of nature instead of as an intentionally hostile assault on the environment. I discuss several alternative explanations for the high levels of damage caused by Soviet pollution such as inherent problems in communist economies. the influence of global capitalism. which generated pollution that destroyed large territories of vegetation in the region. Finally. and the history of authoritarianism in Russia. The chapter furthermore highlights how the idea that reindeer herding was a tradition that needed to be modernized dominated until the 1970s and then the emphasis switched to promoting a discourse of traditionalism. 14 . I then turn to the main agricultural animal in the region: reindeer. The second chapter explores the environmental aspects of the Stalinist construction of socialist cities with the case of the phosphate-mining town of Khibinogorsk/Kirovsk. The fourth chapter tackles the development of the mining and smelting of metals on the Kola Peninsula as a means of directly addressing the inglorious environmental record of communism. In this third chapter I discuss the way that diverse forms of knowledge about the natural world—one based on imposing legibility and another on practical experience—informed attempts to transform the reindeer economy by organizing it ethnically. Following several theorists who have worked on this problem.conquest of nature informed a project to construct a railroad to the new city of Murmansk during the First World War. I argue that actual interaction with the natural world influenced these environmental ideologies and shaped a militaristic pattern of modernization that would be repeated in the Stalinist era.

Historians of late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union have recently returned to an older argument about the continuity between the two regimes. communist. but not transcendent. I then show how extreme versions of these approaches to the natural world became manifest in the Stalinist period. and Peter Holquist in particular. I demonstrate more thoroughly the participatory role of the natural world in a series of tsarist. I return to my theoretical discussion of modernization as possessing a transformative. The fourth chapter turns to the environmental influence of strategies and ideologies of modernization by assessing pollution in different political economies. These chapters build on each other to support my overall analysis of the environmental history of Soviet modernization. I will be making the persistent case for the relevance of environmental history to larger problems in the historiography of Russia. I begin by setting out some of the pervasive development strategies and ideologies pursued across the revolutionary divide. Shifting the focus to knowledge about a living animal. these historians.I demonstrate that a dual process of dissociation and entanglement of humans and nature occurred throughout this period of economic transformation. Burdens of Historiography Throughout these chapters. I also seek to challenge historians to take the natural world more seriously in their assessments of the past by demonstrating how environmental history can alter our understanding of well-researched problems. Departing from earlier political interpretations of persistent authoritarianism extending back to the sixteenth century and social history that stressed the effects of comparative under-development. With this overt advocacy of a specific historical approach. I primarily aim to shed new light on a range of issues that already concern scholars of modern Russia. influence on the relationship between people and the environment. For this reason it is worth reviewing some of them here. Finally. point instead to the intrusive policies of the modern state and the ways that the experience of World War I radicalized the 15 . These interventions weave in and out of the dissertation—sometimes framing the main argument of a chapter and elsewhere resting just below the surface of the analysis. and capitalist ideas and techniques for modernizing it.

.40 My explorations of the ethnic valances of human-animal relations and of Peter Holquist. or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism. 39 Terry Martin. 1995).techniques of governance used by all sides. informal political relationships. 38 David Hoffmann and Yanni Kotsonis. Forging Revolution: Russia’s Continuum of Crisis. Scholars writing in this mode frequently evoke pan-European comparisons to demonstrate how the Soviet experience fit broadly within general trends of Western countries. 1997): 415-450. 3 (September. Martin's Press.39 An environmental perspective explains unintended consequences less by the re-emergence of tradition than through the ways that the natural world prevented human control of it. and David Hoffmann.” Slavic Review 53.37 My look at an industrial project during the war aligns with this emphasis on continuity and the influence of military activities. Social Revolution. 1992). “Multiple Modernities vs. The protracted debate about the treatment of non-Russian nationalities and the question of the Soviet Union’s status as an empire also relate to this issue.” The Journal of Modern History 69. Making War. MA: Harvard University Press. 121-158. ed. Stephen Kotkin. Ronald Grigor Suny and Terry Martin. the militarization of the Kola Peninsula often overlapped with and affected its modernization. 2 (Summer 1994): 414-452. Neo-Traditionalism: On Recent Debates in Russian and Soviet History. but the focus on nature use causes me to return to another earlier line of analysis that explicitly tied the war experience to Stalinism. no. 4 (2006): 535-555. Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press. 2004). 40 Yuri Slezkine. MA: Harvard University Press. “The USSR as a Communal Apartment. no. 2002) and Peter Holquist. A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-Making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin (Oxford: Oxford University Press. and primordialism in national identity constitute a divergence from the Weberian model of modernity. Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture. Stalinism: New Directions (London: Routledge.” in Sheila Fitzpatrick. 1917-1941 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 348-367. “‘Information is the Alpha and Omega of Our Work’: Bolshevik Surveillance in its Pan-European Context. Mathew Lenoe. Stalinist Values: The Cultural Norms of Soviet Modernity. and Soviet Newspapers (Cambridge. Knowledge. 2001)... 2000). eds. Global geopolitics also shaped strategies of military development throughout the twentieth century. This continuity argument in the historiography belongs to a broader school of research that aims to define the Soviet Union as part of the Enlightenment project of modernity. Indeed. eds. New World Disorder: The Leninist Extinction (Berkeley: University of California Press. Michael David-Fox. Terry Martin. Russian Modernity: Politics. Practices (New York: St.38 Other historians such as Terry Martin have countered that to understand the unintended consequences of the policies of the modernizing state it is instead best to turn to neo-traditionalism: the argument that the pervasiveness of paternalistic and charismatic authority. and Ken Jowitt. 2000). albeit often extreme versions of them.” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 55. 2003). no. 1914-1921 (Cambridge. “Modernization of Neo-traditionalism? Ascribed Nationality and Soviet Primordialism. The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in 37 16 .

and Francine Hirsch. this study makes the case that the entrenchment of power among actors interested primarily in accruing economic value through the industrial use of nature during the collapse of the Soviet Union comprises an important continuity between late communism and neoliberalism. 17 . though it is rapidly proliferating. I also intervene in the discussion about how to understand Stalinism. 2005).41 I instead characterize Stalinism as an ecosystem. This view carries special importance for the various forms of forced labor in modern Russian history.42 Finally. instead of indices of the system’s overall ineffectiveness or a simple lack of environmental concern. see Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy. The Siberian Curse: How Communist Economic Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold (Washington. It highlights how the secrecy surrounding technologies such as nuclear power served to mask the unacknowledged dependencies on nature in the industrialized Soviet Union.colonization ideologies suggest that imperial strategies of classifying and ordering ethnic groups vitally contributed to the Soviet project. I expand beyond Stephen Kotkin’s approach to Stalinism as a distinct civilization with its own norms and culture rooted in an attempt to develop a non-capitalist version of Western modernity. This work contributes to several discussions emerging from the social scientific literature and other fields. DC: Brookings Institution Press. 41 Kotkin. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 2001). I insist that the multifarious environmental aspects of the efforts to build new industrial towns significantly shaped this distinct manifestation of authoritarian state-socialism. but that such policies also led to nationality promotion. In particular. Historical scholarship on the post-Stalin era so far remains less developed. Magnetic Mountain. In doing so. 42 For a recent argument about inherent deficiencies in the communist economy. This illusion of control over nature fed into the Cold War militarization of the country. The way that these coercive policies resulted in the increased vulnerability of forced laborers to natural hazards and the influence of harsh environments in exacerbating human misery belong at the center of our interpretations of the social history of the Gulag. 2003). 1923-1939 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. it undermines interpretations that have stressed the role of the Soviet Union. I also suggest that comparatively high levels of pollution in the Soviet Union were historically contingent outcomes of the performance of the centralized command economy in struggling circumstances.

civil society. Lithuania. Russian Environmentalism and Jane Dawson. Eco-nationalism: Anti-Nuclear Activism and National Identity in Russia. and Ukraine (Durham: Duke University Press. 43 18 .43 Yanitsky. in bringing down the communist system in Russia. including environmental activism. 1996).

British Major-General Charles Maynard paused to recall his first trip on the recently constructed Murmansk railroad. The Russian and Soviet states in the first half of the twentieth century used railroad construction as a modernizing. 42. the never-ending forest closes round you. It also elaborates a distinction between the colonization and conquest of nature as modern environmental ideologies. I trace two political approaches Major-General C.” he wrote. reflected an insightful appraisal of the construction of the Murmansk railroad. however. It truly was a brutal experience for the under-provisioned prisoners of war and workers who built it. if it was really completed within sixteen months. “You… devote yourself to a calculation of how many million trees must have been felled to clear the way for the line. thousands of whom perished in the process. Personally I reached the sleepy conclusion that half Russia must have slaved at the job. woman. the efforts to use the road as a conduit for economic development in the 1920s. draining and filling in marshes. militarizing. hyperbolic though it may be. The Railroad and Environmental Ideologies of Russian Development Reminiscing about his military experiences in northern Russia during the Allied Intervention in the 1918-1920 Russian Civil War. This chapter has two intertwined goals. and how many men must have been employed on the work. He explicitly connected the social and environmental costs of the project. and child must have felled at least one tree per minute. 1 19 . and colonizing tool to gain control over naturally harsh sections of the country. and that each man. As in many places in the world.Chapter 1. the introduction of a railroad line to the Kola Peninsula was the first major endeavor in a larger process of industrial transformation. albeit in a somewhat facetious way. It demonstrates certain commonalities in the character of development projects pursued during late tsarist state-capitalism and Soviet state-socialism. and deforesting large swaths of land. and the expansion of the regional railroad system during the Stalinist era. In this chapter I concentrate on the construction of railroads on the Kola Peninsula: the promotion of a line to the Murman coast in late imperial Russia. the construction of the Murmansk railroad during World War I. The project also hastily transformed the northern landscape. leveling hills. The Murmansk Venture (New York: Arno Press and the New York Times [1928] 1971). “Once more. Maynard.”1 This reverie.

dominated in eras when actual industrial development. Indeed.and early twentieth-century history. Technocratic statism inspired the colonization of nature and militaristic modernization aimed at its conquest. As recent scholarship on the Russian Empire has shown. The materiality of the taiga and tundra during modernization influenced that ascent of environmentally antagonistic ideas. they were often part of a general modernist framework that promoted industrialization and approached the environment in strictly utilitarian terms. but they differed sharply in the treatment of the natural world that they promoted. These two conceptions of nature did not contradict each other. They were frequently articulated at the same time and by the same people. The imperialistic policies and prerogatives of the Russian Empire shaped the overall context in which these two development models emerged. The colonization of nature is the acquisition and settlement of a natural environment formerly imagined as unused or improperly used by humans. the idea of the colonization of nature found more expression in eras of exploration and overt advocacy of regional development. Conquest relies on militaristic metaphors such as overcoming a natural enemy. occurred. The conquest of nature is the implementation of new technologies or economic activities on a natural system previously seen as potentially posing intractable limits on human behavior. The other involved the use of militaristic means for industrialization and connects the era of wars and revolutions (1914-1921) to Stalinism. including railroad construction. the tsarist government 20 . on the other hand. whereas colonization invites emphasis on the environmental attractions of a place. Forms of Russian Imperialism and the Role of Railroads Imperialism played a defining role in northern railroad development. One significant aspect of these vacillations in visions of nature is that they were intimately entangled with the physical experience of transforming the recalcitrant environment of northern Russia. However. The colonization and conquest of nature are two related but divergent environmental ideologies of modernization. One relied on a combination of technocratic and statist methods to promote the economic transformation of the region and was particularly present in the final years of the tsarist regime and the 1920s. The notion of the conquest of nature. of nature as a treasure chest.

2005). “A Broken Frontier: Ecological Imperialism in the Canadian North. The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West (New York: W. Power. and the “Frontier Hypothesis”: The Nationalist Signification of Open Spaces. eds. The Great Siberian Migration: Government and Peasant in Resettlement from Emancipation to the First World War (Westport: Greenwood Press. Also see Willard Sunderland. and Remnev.” Slavic Review 69. and settlement policies. Furthermore. 6 Willard Sunderland. Solov´ev. work that discusses these policies is Donald W. von Hagen. it remained disputed for centuries afterwards by neighboring countries. eds. Though the Russian government had claimed the territory since the sixteenth century. Russian Empire: Space. trans. Taming the Wild Field: Colonization and Empire on the Russian Steppe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. application of the term colonization (kolonizatsiia) for these contexts often carried a specific connotation of economic development of the region itself. 4 (October 2007): 759-795.4 This form of imperialism also occurred within the western United States and northern Canada. Imperial Russia: New Histories for the Empire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press.. Andreas Kappeler. Mark von Hagen. 1 (Spring 2010): 120-150 and Francine Hirsch. State projects to develop and settle the Kola Peninsula began in the middle of the nineteenth century. “Turner. assimilation. Additionally. Russian Empire.” Journal of Modern History 65. People. 5 Mark Bassin. no. 2 21 . This chapter examines the ecological logics of this second form of imperialism.5 Russian “selfcolonization” had more to do with the settlement of areas already seen as part of the country than the imposition of new administrative structures to rule existing populations. Peopling the Russian Periphery: Borderland Colonization in Eurasian History (London: Routledge. 87-92. Patricia Limerick. a distinction from imperial models based predominately on resource extraction to serve the metropole. “The Ministry of Asiatic Russia: The Colonial Office That Never Was But Might Have Been.6 Both types of imperialistic endeavor involved government efforts to assert dominance over territories.participated in colonial endeavors in at least two distinct ways. 1986). no. 2007). The tsarist government also promoted policies that it defined as self-colonization: the settlement of sparsely populated regions. and Willard Sunderland. 2007). 1998). Breyfogle. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Norton. and Anatolyi Remnev. Abby Schrader.W. for example. 3 (September 1993): 473-511. but still important.” Environmental History 12. no.2 It incorporated new regions on the western and southern borderlands into the empire through the employment of violence. eds. and Liza Piper and John Sandlos.. Jane Burbank. 1700-1930 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Treadgold.. eds. 4 An older. 2004). and Nicholas B. which nominally had been part of the country for a long time.3 This form of imperialism mirrors the overseas activities of many Western countries. 3 See. Three collections that represent the “new imperial history” in Russian historiography are Jane Burbank and David L.. The Russian Empire: A Multi-Ethnic History. Alfred Clayton (Essex: Pearson Education: 2001) and Burbank. Ransel. [1957] 1976). the journal Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in Post-Soviet Spaces based in Kazan focuses much of its content on the history of Russia as an empire.

. politically part of the Russian state. and Ronald E. and asserting military control over sparsely populated peripheries in late imperial Russia. (St. 1916). Davis. 2nd ed. 7-24 and Robert G.8 Attempts by the Russian government to use economic incentives and other benefits to entice settlers to the Kola Peninsula emerged in the 1860s. 1991). and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America (Stanford: Stanford University Press. Angevine.” 1791-1878. Znamenski. 1847-1865. Robinson. 7 22 . Vitte.” in Breyfogle.” in Clarence B. economically developing. Railway Imperialism (Westport: Greenwood Press.9 Railroads became a means of settling. see Donald W. eds. Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga: Kratkii ocherk postroiki zheleznoi dorogi na Murman s opisaniem eia raiona (Petrograd.which periodically invaded and collected tribute from its inhabitants. 8 Andrei A. He further claimed that. These efforts achieved only modest results. the population of the region remained under ten thousand by the beginning of the twentieth century. believed that the introduction of railroads could play a distinct role in creating “cultural fermentation among the population. Petersburg: Brokgauz˝ Efron˝. and Sunderland.” including among the “savage people” of the empire. Kenneth E. Schrader. “it was a sad sight: the Murman coast.. The Railroad and the State: War. As a book later produced by the Russian government dramatically put it. 1912). 106-127. “Railway Imperialism in Canada. As Andrei Znamenski argues for that location. Konspekt lektsii o narodnom i gosudarstvennom khoziaistve. 9 On railroads as an imperial tool in Canada and the United States. Iu. pre-industrial imperial paternalism based on tribute-taking irrespective of religion and ethnicity defined the “ethic of empire” until the late nineteenth century. 344-345.”7 This situation resembled imperial rule in the Siberian borderland. 101. for instance. 2004). Roman.. was in actuality at the disposal of Norway.”10 This mixture of concern about ‘cultural levels’ internally and externally reveals some of the tensions in the Russian government’s attempts to play the roles of imperial power and self-colonizer. Wilburn Jr. Peopling the Russian Periphery. The construction of railroads frequently functioned as a major tool for solidifying and strengthening state dominance during such projects of self-colonization. Only after this point did imperial policy turn to “modernization measures” such as resettlement. “The ‘Ethic of Empire” on the Siberian Borderland: The Peculiar Case of the “Rock People. eds. “in Russia the influence of railroads should be even greater than in western European states” because the country had previously “lagged behind its western neighbors in cultural attitudes. State officials like Minister of Finance Sergei Witte. They also functioned as a key in efforts to overcome the supposed cultural backwardness of Russia. Politics. 10 S. but also highlights the believed utility of railroads.

The imperative of peopling and modernizing large parts of Russia’s periphery inspired a major expansion of the country’s railroad network beginning in the 1890s. state efforts turned to using the Murmansk railroad as a tool for regional development. members of the educated public in the broader Arkhangel´sk province (guberniia) enthused about the possibilities that a railroad line offered for the Kola Peninsula for the next twenty years.. 12 Treadgold. Schrader. hired and conscripted workers and tens of thousands of prisoners of war had built about one thousand kilometers of track connecting a new Arctic port city on the Kola Bay called Romanov-on-Murman (Murmansk after April 1917) to Russia’s main railroad network. the construction of the Trans-Siberian railroad at the time served as an impetus for the migration of millions of people to Siberia. Road to Power: The Trans-Siberian Railroad and the Colonization of Asian Russia. and Sunderland. eds. Marks. 107-149 and Steven G.11 For instance. After the Bolsheviks gained control over the Kola Peninsula in the early 1920s. Only in the 1930s. 11 23 . Inspiration for this phrase came from the collection. Breyfogle. Peopling the Russian Periphery.12 Initial ideas to transform the Kola Peninsula by building a railroad line to the Murman coast also emerged near the end of the nineteenth century. The establishment of new railroad lines in the Stalinist era advanced through militaristic means akin to earlier wartime practices. 1991). when the Soviet state returned to forced migrations for the purpose of industrializing the region. Thousands of these prisoners and workers lost their lives because of this construction. 1850-1917 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. After the Central Powers effectively closed Russia’s Baltic and Black Sea ports during World War I. 32-34. The Great Siberian Migration. Offers of incentives to settlers and the organization of a variety of economic opportunities in the region attracted only a slightly greater number of individuals than tsarist efforts in the second half of the nineteenth century had. Within two years. state officials rashly pursued the construction of the line for strategic purposes. British and American forces occupied northwest Russia and made moderate efforts to improve the functioning of the poorly constructed railroad. did the population of the Kola Peninsula rise dramatically. During the Russian Civil War. Although Tsar Nicholas II decided to abandon the proposal shortly after ascending to the throne in 1894. Segments of the tsarist bureaucracy promoted the military and commercial significance of the establishment of a large port and railroad connection there.

However. 2002).. This Russian technocratic statism belonged to part of a broader trend of the twentieth-century world. I depart from Scott and prefer aspects of Mitchell’s theories on the matter of the authoritarian state. and independent businesspeople. What I am calling technocratic statism involved an effort of activists in the early twentieth century to promote and manage the country’s modernization. which claimed to bring the expertise of modern engineering. One common sphere was the emergence and sustained reliance on overbearing methods of state-sponsored development. 14 In particular. 1998) and Timothy Mitchell. but also included regional boosters. Questions of Modernity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. to repair the ills of society. These activists primarily consisted of representatives of the state bureaucracy who had a vested interest in economic development. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press. Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press. 1 (Spring 13 24 . however. no. Modern economic development often relied on such technocratic impulses.14 In contrast to these historians. 2000). Techno-Politics. “the politics of national development and economic growth was a politics of techno-science.Technocratic Statism and the Colonization of Nature The history of railroads on the Kola Peninsula reveals deep environmental and social similarities in the ways that the autocratic state of the late imperial era and the socialist Soviet Union approached economic modernization. 15. It is important to make this distinction because of another theme in Russian historiography that advances a similar critique. I do not treat the common Timothy Mitchell. and social science to improve the defects of nature. technology. “‘In Accord with State Interests and the People’s Wishes’: The Technocratic Ideology of Imperial Russia’s Resettlement Administration. James Scott. and to fix the economy. scientists. to transform peasant agriculture. ed. Rule of Experts: Egypt. I do not see authoritarian states as having a unique predilection to embrace technocratic and modernist policies. regardless of whether or not countries embraced market mechanisms and private property.”13 The global scale of this phenomenon should be kept in mind.” Slavic Review 69. As political theorist Timothy Mitchell has noted. My approach to technocratic statism also in many ways resonates with James Scott’s critiques of the transformative endeavors of the modernist state. A number of authors suggest that the hostility to private property among technocrats shaped Russian political culture across the revolutionary divide. They promoted a version of modernization that was technocratic in that it took the employment of scientific expertise and new technologies as the primary drivers of development and was statist in that they sought to use the central government apparatus to guide and regulate the process. see Peter Holquist.

and the Ministry of Agriculture after 1915). “‘In Accord with State Interests and the People’s Wishes’. Sciences socials 64. Another interesting exploration of the concept of property in late imperial Russia is Ekaterina Pravilova. They subscribed to an ideology that “championed technocratic knowledge. advocated forms of scientized state intervention. and the Resettlement Administration (under the Land Department of the Ministry of the Interior from 1896 to 1905. certain governorships. Russian Corporate Capitalism from Peter the Great to Perestroika (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Histoire. trade. 16 On economic sociology.” Slavic Review 69. These advocates included various representatives of educated society and the tsarist bureaucracy such as the Ministry of Finance.” Annales. no. these technocratic statists were united in promoting plans to rationally settle and develop new territories through government guidance and the application of scientific expertise. 17 Holquist. He argues that members of this body embraced a technocratic worldview that crossed the revolutionary divide.’”17 Some of the most prominent officials in the Resettlement Administration such as Vladimir Voshchinin. even capitalistic markets are social institutions that almost always depend on state support. 3 (2009): 579-609. Historian Peter Holquist has recently examined the institutional culture of the Resettlement Administration. Despite conflicts over the specific methods of colonization. the Main Administration of Land Management and Agriculture from 1905 to 1915. 1 (Spring 2010): 157. 15 Thomas C.15 As economic sociology and anthropology have long established. The Great Transformation (New York: Rinehart and Company. Owen. 1944). I am more interested in the ways that economic modernization—whether based on private or state initiative—was taken as an imperative and what this meant for human interaction with the natural environment. In late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union the colonization of sparsely populated realms of the country was high on the agenda for advocates of technocratic statism. and prices. no. 2010): 151-179. In some of this work the very fact and extent of state involvement in the economy is treated as a matter requiring significant explanation. see Karl Polanyi’s classic argument about capitalist institutions depending on social and political arrangements: Karl Polanyi. 25 .16 Additionally. as if the null hypothesis of a modern economic order is minimal government regulation of corporate behavior. “Les res publicae russes: Discours sur la propriété publique à la fin de l’empire. and emphasized ‘productive’ labor over ‘speculation. 1995) and Marks.apprehensiveness about unregulated markets as somehow out of touch with a natural economic order. Road to Power.

The focus in the discussion of environments shifted from the impediments they imposed to the opportunities they offered. 4. in the colonization vision. there also existed limitations on the extent of environmental transformation in it. This colonization ideology regarded the natural world in a quintessentially utilitarian way: it emphasized the usefulness of nature.”18 That is. These officials understood colonization as “a process of settlement and the use of productive forces of under-populated and economically underdeveloped territories by a significant mass of people emigrating from more densely populated regions. Voshchinin. 1926). Uchenie o kolonizatsii i pereseleniiakh (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe isdatel´stvo. P. The resettlement efforts of technocratic statists entailed a conviction in the colonization of nature. However. and Genadii Chirkin went on to work for the Soviet government. The ideology of the colonization of nature included an implicit acceptance that a given natural system only possessed a discrete array of potential uses. In the process. Murman Colonization before the Railroad From the beginning of official colonization efforts of the Murman coast in the 1860s. Government officials such as Russian General Consul in Christiania (Oslo) Leo Mechelin and Arkhangel´sk Governor Nikolai Arandarenko stressed that the Kola Peninsula’s comparable environmental I. nature became imagined as a set of resources that simply needed productive labor to release their value and allow for regional modernization. 18 26 . Iamzin and V. Advocates of it sought to maximize these uses as a means of facilitating permanent settlement and economic development. Voshchinin and Chirkin became active in the Murmansk region specifically. The goal was the long-term transformation and improvement of certain regions. they saw colonization as a means of economic modernization through in-migration. which was adjacent to the Kola Peninsula. individuals promoting regional development debated strategies of nature use and the desired national composition of settlers. The initial incentive structure sought to apply a model of development that had succeeded in the northern Norwegian region of Finmark. While this vision of the colonization of nature of the Kola Peninsula appealed to adherents of top-down planning and management. L. utilizing nature did not necessarily imply subsuming it completely.Ivan Iamzin.

“Legislative Aspects of the Norwegian Colonization of Murman (1860-1915). the intended role of the state in coordinating the settlement process. oceanic fishing in the case of the Murman coast.. Russian Corporate Capitalism from Peter the Great to Perestroika. 2006).” pan-Slavist philosopher Nikolai Danilevskii elaborated a unique vision of Murman development.” Tatiana Schrader. 1860-1940 (Saint Petersburg: European University at Saint Petersburg Press. “The Murman Coast and Russian Northern Policies” and 19 27 . Popov and R. Davydov. These officials hoped that the Norwegian fishermen would exert a positive influence on the Pomors by helping them abandon their ‘backward’ fishing practices. 29-73. Ia. Danilevskii.20 It depended on a minimal role of the state in building infrastructure to expand markets and charging protectionist tariffs. and a conception of northern nature as valuable. advocates of Slavophile capitalist colonization idealized rural and decentralized communities that engaged in ‘traditional’ livelihoods. “The Murman Coast and Russian Northern Policies ca. “Economic Adaptation by Colonists on the Russian Barents Sea Coast (mid-19th to early 20th century). 126-138.” in N. 21 N.” and Alexei Yurchenko.conditions meant that it could undergo a similar transformation.21 Moscow businessman Jens Petter Nielsen. Embodying what economic historian Thomas Owen has called “Slavophile capitalism. Strakhova. Ia. A. Danilevskii. They also successfully advocated for the extension of colonization benefits to foreigners and not just the Russian Pomors. and private investment of Russians concerned for their Pomor brethren.” Ruslan Davydov. “O merakh k obezpecheniiu narodnogo prodovol´stviia na krainem severe Rossii. 20 Owen. Murman: Ocherki istorii kraia XIX-nachala XX v. Other individuals involved in promoting Murman colonization disagreed sharply with parts of these government efforts and instead posited a more nationalistic and entrepreneurial model. 588-601. (Ekaterinburg: UrO RAN. “From Correspondence to Settlement: the Colonization of Murman 1860-1876. 1890). eds. This plan for permanent settlement of the Murman coast also included a proposal to develop a single concentrated port town in the Kola Bay. 1855-1917. limitations on foreign settlement and economic activities in the region. In the North My Nest is Made: Studies in the History of the Murman Colonization. P.19 In these initial plans and policies we see certain features that would become essential elements of the technocratic statist approach to colonization: the interest in using foreign experiences as a model.” in Alexei Yurchenko and Jens Petter Nielsen. Also see Nielsen. 1999). 10-85. 94-110 and G. This more nationalist and less managerial proposal for colonization included distinct ideas about the proper economic activities for the region and forms of nature use. Sbornik politicheskikh i ekonomicheskikh statei (Saint Petersburg: Izdanie N. who already migrated seasonally to the Murman coast for summer fishing. an emphasis on the utility of science even before it had been applied. In particular.

28 . Dilemmas of Russian Capitalism: Fedor Chizhov and Corporate Enterprise in the Railroad Age (Cambridge.24 The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation supported extending this development strategy to the Kola Peninsula in the 1890s. Military concerns also became entwined with the economic modernization of the Kola Peninsula for the first time. S. Road to Power. The initial settlement campaigns had only attracted a few thousand permanent residents to the Murman coast by this time and consensus emerged in certain government circles that more intensive state activity would be necessary to further development. State Attempts at Railroad Development In the final decade of the nineteenth century. Such a port required natural and geographic specificities that would make it usable year-round and resistant to blockades. Both sides of this dispute—technocratic statists and Slavophile capitalists— nevertheless shared an appreciation for the economic opportunities that the Kola environment offered.22 Nationalist concerns would continue to frame the debates about colonization and economic development of the Kola Peninsula until the Soviet era. MA: Harvard University Press. trans. 134-148. Indeed. 95-96. railroad construction in this era represented a turn toward state intervention as a means of economic transformation and the colonization of sparsely populated regions.23 As Steven Marks argues in the case of the Trans-Siberian line. An English translation of this book was also published: Alexander Platonovich Engelhardt. 2005). 1897). Russkii sever˝: putevyia zapiski (Saint Peterburg: Izdanie A. Chizhov was inspired by a desire to enliven the region and believed that a Russian-owned shipping company would provide an essential service to help strengthen Pomor industry. This more transformative vision of northern development found support at the highest levels of the tsarist bureaucracy. Owen. 1899). the primary source of state interest in the Murman coast came out of a search for a location for a new naval base. Engel´gardt. Davydov. 24 Marks. 35-37. 23 A. Minister of Finance.. ambitious projects to use railroads as a colonizing tool first received serious consideration in Russia.Fedor Chizhov attempted to enable this form of development in the region by creating a company that offered steamship service between Arkhangel´sk and the Murman coast. “From Correspondence to Settlement.” in Yurchenko and Nielsen. 48-49. P. Not expecting to make a profit. In the North My Nest is Made. and 18-20. A Russian Province in the North. eds. Henry Cooke (Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company. Suvorina. 22 Thomas C.

Engel´gardt used his actual observations of the region to refute claims that the natural conditions there were too harsh for development: “While studying the issue of Murman. which reinforced a colonial mentality toward northern nature. 389. the government arranged for several expeditions to the Kola Peninsula.Sergei Witte. During a trip in 1895. and enticing. 1. Vospominaniia. vol. 26 25 29 .” 26 Upon his return to the capital. Engel´gardt was a notably active governor who used his annual reports to the tsar to outline plans for regional modernization. They wanted to be impressed by the possibilities of the area and found natural features to emphasize in support of this point. and the Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. The book he published upon his return espoused a full vision of colonizing Kola nature: resources such as fish. He justified the desirability of a railroad line to the Murman coast as a needed investment to integrate the entire complex of the area’s natural environment into the economy. science. but also benefit the entire state. and the Governor of the Arkhangel´sk province. 1994). See Richard G. its climatic conditions. This process of exploration played a significant role in shifting impressions of the territory from desolate. 1987).”27 Reflecting the importance of exploration for this environmental ideology. The Tsar’s Viceroys: Russian Provincial Governors in the Last Years of the Empire (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. The combination of travel. Travel experience also informed Engel´gardt’s more elaborate promotion of regional development and emphasis on the natural treasures of the Kola Peninsula. 27 Engel´gardt. and mineral ore could “not only develop and strengthen the welfare of the local population. “the importance of Murman lies in its splendid natural harbors that sit on the open ocean and do not freeze all winter. Iu. Vitte. S. Aleksandr Engel´gardt actively endorsed the Ekaterina harbor on the Murman coast as the ideal site for this new port. A representative of the Ministry of Finance who traveled there in 1894 declared. harsh. and inhospitable to rich. Russkii sever˝. he gave a report to Tsar Alexander III urging the construction of a naval and commercial port in the Ekaterina harbor and the establishment of a railroad line to connect it to the center. Robbins. he surveyed the natural and human resources of the Kola Peninsula. 1 (Moscow / Tallinn: Skif Aleks. valuable. As part of the assessment of suitable options for the new port. and economic surveying created a specific environmental experience for those on the expeditions. 15-16. forests.”25 Witte left this voyage convinced that the Ekaterina harbor was “remarkable. 67-71.

that colonization of it is impossible. the water in the harbor at the time did occasionally freeze in the winter. 30 Sergei I. no. Russkii sever˝. “the time is already not far off when Murman will finally receive its proper commercial and political significance. 398-399. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. A. Tom 1: Kol´skaia zemlia (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 133. Tom 1. no. state officials overestimated the natural advantages of the Ekaterina harbor. “K voprosu o porte na Murmane. Engel´gardt. Shortly after he came to power. 210-212. 1915): 135. Ushakov. F. The Memoirs of Count Witte. preventing the waters from freezing in the winter for the most part. etc. Seeing Like a State.31 In their enthusiasm for colonizing nature. What James Scott has outlined as a simplifying approach to natural environments in high-modernist state planning also played a role here. Murman. Tsar Nicholas II chose the option for the new port that was being advocated by the War Ministry and Naval Ministry: the Latvian city of Libau (Liepāja) on the Baltic Sea. that its harsh climate prevents a healthy existence. Most remarkably. we have quite often read and heard that one cannot live on Murman. strong winds and the port’s distance from fishing grounds inhibited it from becoming a center for commercial fishing.32 These impediments limited the growth of Aleksandrovsk for the next fifteen years and Engel´gardt. 12-16. Magistral´ (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. Sidney Harcave (Armonk: M. 29 28 30 . Russkii sever˝. which stalled until just before World War I.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. Popov and Davydov. 1914): 421-422 and A. 1990). and the creation of a new commercial port and city called Aleksandrovsk in the Ekaterina harbor in 1899.E. Witte.”28 He concluded. 31 Scott. which nature itself has specified. 5 (May 15. Sharpe. I. 186-187. 14 (July 15.colonization of the Murman coast. Khabarov. The Gulf Stream current mollified the climate there like most locations on the Murman coast. and V. and ed. 1986).30 The inability of this new port town to function as a conduit for colonization was not only due to the fact that it lacked a railroad connection. The above data testify to precisely the opposite. Zhilinskii. The lands surrounding the harbor were almost exclusively steep rocky tundra without meadows or forests that could serve settlers’ livelihoods in other ways. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. trans. “Neskol´ko slov o zheleznoi dorogi na Murmane. 32 Ushakov. However. 390-400.”29 These late nineteenth-century development plans for the Kola Peninsula were unsuccessful. A. which already possessed a railroad connection. 1997).” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 7. Witte eventually convinced the new tsar to approve the construction of a railroad line from Saint Petersburg to Petrozavodsk. Zhilinskii. 130.

14 (July 15. Problems of Colonization. As the editors of a new journal and regional organization Julia A. referring to it frequently as diverse. 33-147. 410-414. inexhaustible. However. 1909): 5-18.34 The tumultuousness of early twentieth-century politics in Russia—the Russo-Japanese war. from an insufficient number of humans to use it economically. and his position in the government to advance the idea that railroad lines needed to connect to locations of desired resettlement and not only existing economic centers. no. 34 Voprosy kolonizatsii. Lajus. Technocratic Dreams in the North The technocratic statist ideas of northern development spread in the early twentieth century. “‘In Accord with State Interests and the People’s Wishes’. these same transformations also inspired ambitious state thinking and by 1912 plans for a railroad line to the Murman coast were again being pursued.” Slavic Review 69. 1914): 417-423. 10 (1912): 303-304 and Holquist.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. 2 (June 1. Numerous explorations of the region occurred in the decades before World War I for the expressed purpose of gaining economically useful scientific knowledge. “Whose Fish? Controversies between the State and Local Actors about the Knowledge and Practices of Resource Use in the Russian North. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. “Razvitie rybokhoziaistvennykh issledovanii barentseva moria: vzaimootnosheniia nauki i promysla. no.” (Unpublished paper). “Ot redaktsii. and a treasure chest.” and S. 33 31 . Chirkin used the journal he co-edited. Tom 1.. 36 For example. and the dramatic land reforms of Prime Minister Petr Stolypin—inhibited the advance of the plans for railroad lines to northwest Russia.33 Members of the imperial Resettlement Administration also became more active in trying to direct the expansion of the railroad network toward the goal of colonization. 2004). Magistral´. Activists in the tsarist administration and regional society became more concerned with the issue and desirous of using their scientific skills and new technologies to facilitate modernization. and Zhilinskii. “Neskol´ko slov o zheleznoi dorogi na Murmane. 1909): 3-6.35 Regional boosters of this era also articulated a heightened sense of the value of northern nature. Julia Lajus. Averintsev. the establishment of a limited constitutional monarchy. Rossiiskaia akademiia nauk: Institut istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki. 35 Khabarov. no. no.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. the 1905 Revolution. 14. “Neskol´ko slov o postanovke nauchno-promyslovykh issledovanii u beregov Murmana. many of them asserted.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. and Ushakov. 1 (May 15. “Chto nuzhno dlia kolonizatsii Murmana? (Murman i ego nuzhdy).resulted in a later decision to place the terminal station of the Murmansk railroad elsewhere. no. 1898-1934 gg.36 Nature’s deficiencies resulted. 1 (Spring 2010): 151-179.” (PhD diss. 25-38.

” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. 1910): 25-27.” wrote another journalist. 39 A. 1910): 18-19. They tended to reject calls for the adoption of new fishing technologies as a solution. A continual and significant influx of new forces and working hands is urgently required for the successful expansion” of their use. no. Many of the critics of modernization came from an avowedly conservative stance. Iaren´gin. they also praised northern nature as “Ot redaktsii. no. “Life on the Murman and other coasts then would be turned toward vigorous labor and trading. 1910): 20. Even some nationalists who were hostile to foreign science and remained attached to a romanticized traditionalism supported plans for using a railroad to settle the Kola Peninsula. 37 32 . G. 9 (May 1. criticized the activities of foreign trawling ships for depressing the economy of the Pomors. 12 (June 15. no. and “Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa. 40 A.”37 Specifically addressing the Kola Peninsula.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. They often rejected technocratic solutions but not necessarily statist ones. and they viewed the influence of foreign colonists on the Murman coast as tragic. “Zlo ot inostrannykh traulerov.. 14 (July 15. 1909): 5-6. 1909): 8. Representatives of this mentality.40 However. 38 “Chto nuzhno dlia kolonizatsii Murmana?. Widespread ambivalence about the desirability of economic modernization existed among sections of state and society in late imperial Russia.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. A.”39 Similar to Witte and Engel´gardt. 2 (June 1.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. “O zheleznoi doroge na Murmane. who were concerned with issues of the north.centered in Arkhangel´sk put it: “The enlivening of the North can only stand on solid ground after a period of exploiting its resources. another article highlighted the need for colonization to enable total nature use: “the size of the current population of Murman does not correspond to its natural resources.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. these boosters believed that regional settlement depended on the colonization of nature.38 Many of these local advocates agreed with individuals in the Resettlement Administration that the construction of the delayed railroad line could solve these labor shortages. “Inostrantsy na Murmane. “The rich forests along the railroad would be objects of industrial extraction.” They continued that “the colonization system should be focused directly on the exploitation of natural resources of the North” and not “one-sided goals. S.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9. 2 (June 1. no. 7-8 (July-August 1917): 333-339. no. Adrianov. mineral resources would not be left without exploitation. no.

and construction of the Murmansk railroad. For other sources that emphasized the colonization potential of the Murmansk railroad as it was being completed. it posited that the natural richness of the region justified the investment in the long run. Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign against Enemy Aliens during World War I (Cambridge. Rinek. “K voprosu o Murmanskoi zheleznoi doroge. see Eric Lohr. 3 (1916): 1-45 and A. 1914): 321-324. fertile ground existed for the implementation of colonization schemes innovated in late imperial Russia. Sviashch. the ideas of technocratic statists were put into action.41 This consensus assured broad support among regional advocates during the wartime construction of the line. 1910): 21-42.” Russkaia mysl´ 37. Arkh. no. Chirkin. However. The Railroad as a Colonizer After the Bolsheviks re-captured the Kola Peninsula in early 1920. “Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga i zadazhi ekonomicheskoi politiki na Severe. 42 World War I also intensified state attempts to promote Russian nationality within the empire. see A.43 The actual militaristic modernization of the Kola Peninsula involved a shift to an environmental ideology that stressed the conquest of nature (which I will address later in the chapter). the desire to colonize nature abided and found expression as a future possibility. “Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga i zadazhi ekonomicheskoi politiki na Severe. R. 117.” Slavic Review 69. “‘In Accord with State Interests and the People’s Wishes’. “K istorii russkogo severa (Russko-norvezhskie otnoshcheniia). Grandilevskii. who now headed it. no. During the wars. no. A propaganda publication commemorating the completion of the line in 1916 noted that “the introduction of a railroad here opens up the brightest possibilities.42 The Resettlement Administration turned its efforts to regulating the food supply during the wars. The devastated economy of the country and the largely destroyed condition of the “Kolonizatsiia. no. 1 (Spring 2010): 164-171.” including “for the development of productive forces. 43 Holquist. 11 (June 1.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. Zaitsev. no. 1910): 37-41.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. 41 33 .rich and believed that proper railroad development could help Russify the territory. F. 10 (May 15.”44 Although this book took the construction of the line as a wartime necessity. revolutions.” Voina i ekonomicheskaia zhizn´.” “In terms of the colonization of the vast Murman region—the current population of which does not correspond to its enormous natural resources—the railroad is destined to have a prominent role. and A. 11 (June 1. 2003). MA: Harvard University Press. Zaitsev and N. no. also became interested in long term plans for the colonization of northern Russia. F. 44 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. 8 (1916): 1-16. Rodionov.

the economic activity of human settlers with this nature would then unleash “productive forces” and “enliven” the region. “‘Kanadizatsiia’ Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. 1920-1939 (London: Routledge.Murmansk railroad. 47 G.46 The technocrats from the tsarist era who proposed this development scheme believed that the transformation of nature would allow it to be self-financing. no. however. Modernising Lenin’s Russia: Economic Reconstruction. 1923). Chirkin. In the first years of Bolshevik rule railroads in general played an important role in state economic strategy. In fact. With support from Vladimir Lenin and Felix Dzerzhinskii. What Chirkin called “a whole treasure chest of untouched nature” could help fund initial colonization.47 Chirkin extolled the role of the railroad here. Soviet Karelia: Politics. Foreign Trade and the Railways (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Timber from the region would fuel the railroad. the Military. 4 (July-August 1970): 114. and Transportation pushed through a plan to transform the railroad into a self-sustaining “industrial-colonization-transportation” combine. 1923 and allocating huge sections of land to its administration. but resisted the imposition of any development schemes that challenged their regional autonomy or denationalized the population of Karelia. The leaders of the new Karelian Labor Commune—Finnish communists hoping for an eventual re-unification of the newly independent Finland after the anticipated proletarian revolution there—supported renovating the railroad.” Istoriia SSSR. Planning and Terror in Stalin’s Russia. “K istorii razrabotki postanovleniia STO ob osvoenii Karel´sko-Murmanskogo kraia. V. members of the new State Colonization Institute. impeded an immediate renewal of colonization efforts. 225.000 square kilometers under the purview of the Murmansk railroad were located on the Kola Peninsula. and the central People’s Commissariats of the Navy. F. the Council of Labor and Defense (STO) passed a resolution officially re-organizing the Murmansk railroad in this direction on May 25.45 Officials in charge of the Murmansk railroad. The STO resolution transforming the railroad into a multi-function combine also referenced the goals 45 34 . see Anthony Heywood. 1999). 46 V. 2007). and generate profits from exports. Most of the 241. Supporters claimed that land allocation could substitute for state subsidies from the central government. provide local building materials. The fishing industry and the efforts to develop agriculture in the far north would feed the new settlers. Nick Baron. several central government agencies in the early 1920s proposed closing the railroad for the time being and only restoring it to a functioning condition at some point in the future.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi: Sbornik (Petrozavodsk: Pravlenie Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. Sorokin.

115. Fersman’s research in the 1920s also examined the characteristics of deserts. 1924) and A.50 Income from deforestation and investments from private and regional groups allowed for the quick restoration of the railroad line to working condition. op. f. l. Zhelsilikat. 544. The railroad administration also took over the Murmansk port in 1924 and of enlivening the region and harvesting productive forces. Because of the barrenness of the region it is impossible to bring to life the industrial colonization of the territory without the assistance of the road. these monikers associated these economic activities with industrial development as well.51 Throughout the era of the New Economic Policy (1921-1928). Sorokin. The railroad administration managed subsidiary enterprises—Zhelles. “‘Kanadizatsiia’ Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. E. the “pioneering role of the Murmansk railroad brings about the urgent necessity of using the natural resources that lie in this region for the economic revival of the ruined Russian interior.” he wrote. Zhelstroi.460. Clearly. Akad. zheleznaia doroga. E. Soviet Karelia.” Zhelryba meant “iron-fish. “Sovremennye pustyni. 231. 4 (July-August 1970): 107-116. the timber harvest of the railroad grew. 51 Baron. fishing. 52 ARAN. and its potential to benefit the country as a whole. Magistral´. 50 Each of these subsidiary names combines the term for railroad in Russian. 1931). Thus. Zhelles meant “ironforest. and others—that organized timber collection and processing. 544. construction. 77-78. He specifically challenged definitions of the polar deserts in the far north as lacking natural value.comparing it to the example of Canadian development. 41-62.”48 This vision of making the entire territory industrially productive through the colonization of nature expanded throughout the 1920s.000 cubic meters of forest materials in 1924 to 1. 35 . and brick-making respectively.” Istoriia SSSR. no. Kola wood almost exclusively served as railroad fuel.49 To a notable degree this model for the Murmansk railroad shaped the strategy for exploiting natural resources locally through the end of the 1920s. 49 A. no. 48 Chirkin. 1. f. 365. ll. 3.52 Most of the higher quality forest material came from Karelia. E. 1-6. in no small part aided by the expeditions of tsarist-era geochemist Aleksandr Fersman that began to reveal the mineral wealth of the region. A. d. Fersman.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. Fersman. op. Zhelles went from gathering 720.857. 1. and felled a total of 5.” with the economic sphere it covered.” and so on. d.000 cubic meters of forest in these years.000 cubic meters for the 1928-1929 accounting year. 5-6 (1926): 15-26 and ARAN. Khabarov. Fersman. “On the basis of ‘Canada-ization’. Novyi promyshlennyi tsentr SSSR za poliarnym krugom (Khibinskii apatit) (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR. Tri goda za poliarnym krugom: Ocherki nauchnykh ekspeditsii v tsentral´nuiu Laplandiiu 1920-1922 godov (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia. which literally translates as “iron road.” Priroda. “K istorii razrabotki postanovleniia STO ob osvoenii Karel´sko-Murmanskogo kraia. Zhelryba.

it is a means. and it is only one of the elements of the colonization process. 57 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga kak promyshlenno-kolonizatsionno-transportnyi kombinat (Leningrad: Pravlenie Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. M. and surveying mineral deposits. Magistral´. f. 55 Baron. but had a hard time convincing people to come and to stay. defensively wrote in 1925: “Such resettlement does not have a dominant significance but a functional (sluzhebnoe) one.58 Embarrassed by the lack of progress of the colonization department. 16-17 and GAMO.53 Zhelryba took in 16. 1. Great numbers of the colonists re-located to Karelia. 1926). It offered land and employment options to settlers. 56 See the essays in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. only several hundred moved to homesteads near railroad stations on the Kola Peninsula and many of these settlers left after a short period of time. it had a much more spotty record with human colonization. 1.56 It also entailed work by the colonization department of the railroad on land reclamation. planting trees in certain areas. the head of the Murmansk railroad administration. op.483 tons of fish from 1923 to 1929. Zheleznodorozhnaia kolonizatsiia v Karel´sko-Murmanskom krae: Po materialam razrabotannym kolonizatsionnym otdelom pravleniia dorogi (Leningrad: Pravlenie Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. not a goal. ARAN. d. ll. and preparing parcels into potential homesteads. op.54 Finally. 25-28.”59 This rationale re-affirmed that the colonization of the Kola Peninsula for the technocrats in the railroad administration Khabarov. Arnol´dov.expanded commercial trawl fishing out of it. 59 A. Soviet Karelia. 3. l. Arnol´dov. But even here the new labor force was insufficient for the timber operations of the railroad. … The task of colonization work is the organization of an entire range of enterprises for the industrial use of the natural resources of the colonized region.57 If the Murmansk railroad administration succeeded to a significant extent in colonizing nature in the 1920s. 55-56. 58 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga kak promyshlenno-kolonizatsionno-transportnyi kombinat. R-397. with a large amount of territory on the Kola Peninsula under its control the Murmansk railroad looked for new ways to use the marshy and tundra lands. 1925). 9. A. d. 54 53 36 . f. 544. 72-78. which continued to employ thousands of seasonal workers throughout the decade and began again relying on prisoners by the late 1920s.55 In part this endeavor included examining the potential of expanding productive forces by creating a network of hydroelectric power stations. In the first few years. 12-14. 34. modernizing reindeer herding. 115.

no. 60 37 . d.000 since 1923. no.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai 5. no. 1. 63 At an early planning meeting of the Apatite trust. 1914-1921 (Cambridge. Magistral´.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai 5.” Istoriia SSSR. op. l.” GAMO. Commonalities in the articulation and implementation of technocratic ideas of using the railroad as a tool of colonization in the late imperial and early Soviet eras should not obscure the fact that alternatives to development practices were possible in both periods.meant above all the colonization of its nature. Empire of Nations. 62 Khabarov. f. Unlike some other scholars who emphasize the continuum of war and revolution. Society. Also see Hirsch.500 to 23. Reflections of an expanded desire to highlight the natural attractiveness of the place appeared in publications around this time. 64 Peter Holquist. 3 (March 1927): 7-9 and V. Zinov´ev. 2002) and Donald Raleigh. “Tri goda kolonizatsionnoi rabyty.63 Techniques of industrialization and regional settlement more closely resembling wartime modernization replaced tsarist-era technocrats’ efforts to colonize the Kola Peninsula. 4 (July-August 1970): 115.62 The word colonization (kolonizatsiia) itself. Mikhail Tomskii scolded the new head of the enterprise Vasilii Kondrikov that “the term ‘colonization’ needs to be thrown out. 103. 1917-1922 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Throughout 1930. “Bogatstva lesnykh massivov Murmanskogo raiona. Making War. 68 and Sorokin. MA: Harvard University Press. disputed but accepted in the 1920s.61 But these positive results in no way altered the transition in Soviet development models from ones based on colonization to ones emphasizing conquest. 61 Baron. Raevskii. and Revolutionary Culture in Saratov.60 The overall economic development facilitated by the Murmansk railroad combined with its deliberate colonization efforts made more headway by the end of the decade. 773. became increasingly marginalized in Soviet discourse with the rapid industrialization of the first five-year plan. 1. 2 (February 1927): 21-23. 87-98. 77. I do not believe that the existence of heavy-handed state development models curtailed any possibility of more humane and environmentally sound versions of socialism. “K istorii razrabotki postanovleniia STO ob osvoenii Karel´sko-Murmanskogo kraia. the Murmansk railroad relinquished its role in regional settlement and by September it lost its status as an “industrial-colonizationtransportation” combine. In 1929 Chirkin boasted that the Murmansk region had grown in population from 14. Soviet Karelia. 2002).64 Proponents of using Murmansk railroad to colonize the Kola Peninsula were N. Experiencing Russia’s Civil War: Politics. including articles that now stressed the potential of the Kola forest industry. Forging Revolution: Russia’s Continuum of Crisis.

Russia under the Old Regime (New York: Schribner.acutely aware of the history of forced labor in the construction of the line and wanted to attract settlers with incentives instead of coercion. My point here is not to defend technocratic statism. Militaristic Modernization and the Conquest of Nature Russian wartime modernization in the far north was catastrophic. 1974). which created vulnerable conditions and led to the loss of many lives.” in Diane P. yet slightly diverge from. It involved the careless treatment of humans and nature. Party. 1990). The pattern of urgent and rushed industrialization undertaken with the building of the Murmansk railroad resembled essential characteristics of railroad construction in the Stalinist era. The Origins of Communist Autocracy. Richard Pipes. I complement. and Ronald Grigor Suny. The Russian Revolution (New York: Knopf. and Richard Pipes. “The Legacy of the Civil War. 66 65 38 . Koenker. MA: Harvard University Press. The vision of the colonization of nature included limitations on nature use—a resistance to some activities seen as plundering and predatory—that desires of conquest did not. (Cambridge. chaotic planning. major constraints in acquiring adequate supplies and finances. William G. Despite distinct sets of political and ideological justifications. the use of prison labor for construction. eds. 1989). and Society in the Russian Civil War: Explorations in Social History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. An essay that reviews some of the literature that highlights the connection between War Communism and Stalinism is Sheila Fitzpatrick. 100-104. Impossible time schedules. the militarized practices of railroad construction on the Kola Peninsula during World War I and from 1928 to 1953 comprised overarching connections between these two areas.67 By emphasizing common approaches to economic development that emerged out of World War I. Soviet Karelia. 67 A number of historians have drawn connections between the autocratic tsarist state to the Soviet experiment or war communism (1918-1921) to Stalinism. and shortsighted methods of nature use that undermine land health and subsequent economic growth all characterized a form of development that I call militaristic modernization. 33-35.65 They turned away from this hesitation in the latter part of the 1920s when their colonization ideology became overshadowed by other notions of regional development. Baron. Zheleznodorozhnaia kolonizatsiia v Karel´sko-Murmanskom krae. but simply to distinguish it from a more nefarious form of development: militaristic modernization. 2nd ed.. 385-398. the environmental costs of the colonization activities of the Murmansk railroad were dwarfed by the next phase of Soviet industrialization. Holquist’s arguments about the Arnol´dov. see Leonard Schapiro. 1977).66 Furthermore. On continuities between tsarist autocracy and the Soviet Union. Rosenberg. State.

“Rossiiskoe gosudarstvo i kol´skii sever: pritiazhenie i ottalkivanie. 3 (September. He highlights the emergent militarism in regional development of the Kola Peninsula and a deep history of attraction and repulsion of the center towards the north. 183-186. 70 Reinhard Nachtigal. 1997): 415-450. and Peter Gatrell. 2005). Bardileva. 68 39 . “‘In Accord with State Interests and the People’s Wishes’. V. Zhivushchie na Severe: Vyvoz ekstremal´noi srede (Murmansk: MGPU. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919: Kriegsnotwendigkeit und Wirtschaftinteressen (Remshalden: BAG-Verlag. The need for an accessible port that had not been closed by the activities of foreign navies impelled Russia to embark on this project of rapid industrialization. unlike political practices such as surveillance and colonization programs. “Murman Railway. Iu.68 The actual establishment of railroad lines. 107-115. The construction of the Murmansk railroad also reveals how geopolitics helped first intertwine the processes of modernization and militarization on the Kola Peninsula. became brutal more because of a martial approach to the natural world than the pursuit of technocratic impulses. POWs and the Great War: Captivity on the Eastern Front (New York: Berg. “‘Information is the Alpha and Omega of Our Work’: Bolshevik Surveillance in its Pan-European Context. V. and France all participated in the construction of the Murmansk railroad from the beginning and later oversaw sections of the line during the Russian Civil War. I. no.” The Journal of Modern History 69. 1 (Spring 2010): 151-179. 2000).” Slavic Review 69. Fedorov. Russia’s First World War: A Social and Economic History (Harlow: Pearson Longman. 2002). Forging Revolution. 87-90. Austro-Hungarian soldiers and Chinese workers helped actually build the road. Fedorov. 2001). eds. 194-195. Additionally. the building of the Murmansk railroad puts some of these connections into sharper view. The international context of the history of its construction suggests that militaristic industrialization practices extended beyond a particular political regime or ideology. Reinhard Nachtigal. V.. and sweeping social and economic transformations shaped the actions of the warring powers in Europe at the time. 102-108.69 An international context of urgency. and Holquist. 69 Historian Pavel Fedorov argues in a similar vein as this chapter. 2007). The United States. “Rossiiskaia okraina: prirodno-kul´turnyi landshaft i problema genezisa zapoliarnogo goroda” and P. Peter Holquist.appearance of modern political practices in this era.” in P. no. Die Murmanbahn: Die Verkehrsanbindung eines kriegswichtigen Hafens und das Arbeitspotential der Kriegsgefanfenen (1915 bis 1918) (Grunbach: Verlag Bernhard Albert Greiner.70 Holquist. P. P. Fedorov. mass mobilization. the involvement of a plurality of governments and countries helped forge the heavy-handed practices of militaristic modernization. Making War. Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. Mikhailov. Reinhard Nachtigal. ed.” in Jonathan Verne. 2005).. As one of the worst wartime projects in terms of human suffering and mortality. Alon Rachaminov. Britain. and E.

tangible interaction with the natural world influenced the articulation of modern environmental ideologies. 1914): 421. A more radical way to put this idea is that the recalcitrance of environments to anthropogenic manipulation helped lead to more frequent evocations of the conquest of nature. 71 40 . incorporation of it into heroic tales of successful industrial action. These concerns had been high on the agenda during Witte’s abortive effort in the 1890s and remained important as government officials and Quoted in Zhilinskii.Militaristic modernization relied rhetorically on the language of conquering nature and materially on antagonistic and shortsighted environmental practices. The conquest of nature entailed viewing the environment as a set of obstacles to be overcome through industrial transformation. not only did ideas of conquest influence environmental practice. 14 (July 15. no. Thus. This rhetoric appeared only in response to an economic transformation of an environment seen as an obstacle. Related to this distinction. Therefore.”71 The celebration of a “victory” over nature incorporated it into a heroic conception of conquest. During the opening of the port city of Aleksandrovsk in 1899. …The newest Russian victory over northern nature is called the new city of Aleksandrovsk in the Ekaterina harbor.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. beyond the wartime context. Wartime Urgency and the Beginning of Construction From the outset the construction of a railroad line to the Murman coast possessed strategic military significance. A pre-war example of this phenomenon in the history of Kola railroad construction supports this point. conquest rhetoric tended to become more frequent in descriptions of actual transformation while colonization discourse imbued surveys of economic potential. As such the natural environment was narrated with a set of militaristic metaphors. The wartime context obviously influenced the ideology of conquering nature by positing the environment as another front. the newspaper The Light (Svet) cheered: “Russia celebrated a big victory over the stepmother of geography. and propagandistic posturing of it as an ally. but nature’s intractability also helped engender those very ideas. In contrast to the colonization of nature. “Neskol´ko slov o zheleznoi dorogi na Murmane. the conquest of it focused on economic activities themselves—the means of modernization— instead of the attractiveness of a new industrialized world—the end of modernity. including portrayals of it as an enemy.

5 (March 1. officials initially designated the town of Kola as the terminus of the railroad and then moved it north about eleven kilometers to the Semenov bight –the future site of Murmansk—where the bay water remained unfrozen in the winter. no. no. “Istoriia sooruzheniia Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. 76 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga.73 At the time. Izbrannye proizvedeniia.74 Strategic calculations changed dramatically with the commencement of the war. no. no. Press. and Ushakov. 1913): 817-820.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 5. Zhilinskii. 75 Ushakov. “Zheleznodorozhnye puti. Kh. “Neskol´ko slov o zheleznoi dorogi na Murmane. Magistral´.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. 1914): 417-423. thereby cutting off the most accessible trade hubs for the Allies. 18 (September 15. 15-18. During the first few months of the conflict. 549-551. 20-22.private entrepreneurs renewed preliminary planning for a railroad connection several times in the decade before the outbreak of the First World War. Khabarov. A. 74 Prof A. “Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. no. 1914): 652-654. “Zheleznodorozhnye puti. 1914): 321-324. “K voprosu o Murmanskoi zheleznoi doroge. 19 (November 15.76 Accepting that Aleksandrovsk had been an inappropriate location for a major port. 4 (February 15. 77 Khabarov. Tom 1. 73 72 41 . M. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. The Olonets railroad sought investments from Russian and foreign sources and began construction on the line by the summer of 1914.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. 14-15. the navies of the Central Powers effectively closed Russia’s Baltic and Black Sea ports.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. members of the government and the educated public floated various ideas for a further expansion to the north.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. 8 (April 15. no. These developments left Russia with the distant Pacific port of Vladivostok and one in Arkhangel´sk. 11 (June 1.75 The urgent need for greater access to foreign supplies inspired the government to go forth with a plan to build a railroad line to the Murman coast rapidly.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. 1914): 155-156.72 In 1912 the regional government of the Olonets province cooperated with central state agencies to form a private company to build a connection from Saint Petersburg to Petrozavodsk. 15. Magistral´.77 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. Tom 1. Rinek. 549-551. including several options for a railroad to Murman and the possibility of bypassing the Kola Peninsula and running the line through the Grand Duchy of Finland. 1914): 254-255. “Zheleznodorozhnye puti. Rinek. and “Zheleznodorozhnye puti. which closed for five months in the winter. 1914): 125-127. 18-19. no. 14 (July 15.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6.

leaving it to Russian management. over one thousand kilometers of railroad track connecting Petrozadovsk and the Semenov bight were laid during 1915 and 1916. The Pauling Company hired several hundred Canadian railroad workers to lay part of the line on the Kola Peninsula. Nachtigal. and travelers through the region. Foreign firms withdrew from the construction altogether in February 1916. Such a bout of break-neck industrialization exemplified a key element of militaristic modernization: hastiness in construction that results in chaos. construction of the final 78 79 Nachtigal. locomotives. Soroka to Kandalaksha. capital. 42-53.80 Pomors had historically used this route for making the trek to summer fishing grounds. Magistral´. The protests of these workers over the conditions that greeted them exacerbated the souring relationship between the Pauling Company and the administration of the Murmansk railroad. The actual construction of the line began in the spring of 1915 and was completed for the Petrozavodsk-Soroka and Kandalaksha-Kola segments a year later. goods.82 With a massive influx of POW labor during that summer. as did Sami coachmen for carrying mail. for British financiers and construction companies to build part of the line. 26-28.79 The single line track of the Murmansk railroad traversed north from Petrozadovsk along Lake Onega and then up to Soroka on the southern shore of the White Sea. and laborers. 82 Khabarov. These three segments of the railroad—Petrozavodsk to Soroka. and wagons. 81 Khabarov.With the help of foreign supplies. through Ambassador George Buchanan. 63.78 However. including rails. Magistral´. Russian officials arranged. 17. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919. 42 . Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919. To expedite the process. The line then went through an extremely marshy area in northern Karelia up to Kandalaksha in the southeast corner of the Kola Peninsula.81 In June 1916 the new port city of Romanov-on-Murman opened with a martial celebration. On the Kola Peninsula the railroad line followed a valley that paralleled Lake Imandra and eventually extended up to the Kola Bay. and Kandalaksha to Kola—were the main sections around which building activities were arranged. 28. 80 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. the railroad administration continued as previously to rely heavily on imported equipment.

section—the difficult Soroka-Kandalaksha segment—was finished by the end of the year.83 Conquering Natural Obstacles During the construction of the Murmansk railroad the people involved in the project approached the natural environment belligerently and heedlessly. The martial character of the project contributed to these actions and ideas. However, the environment also resisted these modes of manipulation. Certain stable environmental features created difficulties for the project from the outset. On the Kola Peninsula, for instance, the long, dark, and snowy winter severely limited the times of the year that work could be done there. The abundance of marshes and rocky ground in the region as a whole forced considerable extra work: a total of 250 verst (a versta is roughly equivalent to a kilometer) went through marsh, including a continuous fifty-two versty section from Soroka to the town of Kem, requiring numerous bridges and curves in the track and the dredging of many swamps.84 The inability to grow many crops required a greater dependence on the imported food supply system than in agriculturally fertile regions.85 Finally, the materials available for construction and fuel along the line were limited. Forests in the north became sparser and only usable for fuel and not as sleepers or for buildings.86 There was also a general lack of sandy land along parts of the line to use as ballast for the embankments.87 Impediments also arose in response to destructive efforts to transform the landscape. Supporters of the project classified many of these difficulties as technical, but the complete anthropogenic control implied by this term was largely illusionary.88 Nature repeatedly “bit back” in ways unpredictable at the time.89 For instance, in many places builders used rocks and logs to lay the roadbed of the track through marshy areas.
Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 71-75. Press, “Istoriia sooruzheniia Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi,” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi, 20; Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 198; and Bentley Historical Library, Russia Route Zone A: Murman Railway and Kola Peninsula, Copy No. 706, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1918), 25. 85 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 46-65. 86 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 31 and Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 39. 87 Khabarov, Magistral´, 18. 88 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 43. 89 I take this phrase and idea from Zsuzsa Gille, From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007).
84 83


Elsewhere workers attempted to drill into frozen rock that splintered in the process.90 The roadbeds required approximately 15,000 cubic meters of land per versta and ended up using 10 million cubic meters of excavated earth, including over one million that had been blown up with dynamite.91 Nevertheless, these roadbeds often sank under the newly placed track. In locations near the White Sea at Soroka and the Kandalaksha Bay, the tide would outright flood the high embankments until engineers invented a means to let the water drain out.92 Additionally, shipments of supplies from abroad often had trouble reaching the worksites in part because the frozen White Sea closed the Arkhangel´sk port and because of the inaccessibility of northern areas of the line.93 Imported animals intended to assist in transportation and provisioning the labor forces suffered from the cold and malnourishment and died in large numbers in several instances.94 Finally, de-forestation from felling huge areas for laying the track and acquiring fuel and by fires from industrial activity exacerbated the lack of energy resources in the region.95 The administration of the railroad desperately attempted to ration wood and arrange for fire prevention services.96 These measures achieved little in terms of increasing the pace of construction, limiting forest destruction, or preventing human suffering. By 1918 no dried wood usable for locomotive fuel remained in the region of the railroad and the trains relied entirely on imported coal from England.97 In a July 4, 1916 report, British Major-General Alfred Knox grouped these various obstacles as “natural difficulties of construction” and correctly predicted that combined with a prioritization of the rapid completion of the project these difficulties would result in the line operating at less than half of its intended capacity.98

Norman Stone, The Eastern Front, 1914-1917 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1975), 158. Khabarov, Magistral´, 22 and Bentley Historical Library, Russia Route Zone A, 25. 92 Khabarov, Magistral´, 22. 93 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 59 and Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 41, 60. 94 P. Surozhskii, “Kak stroilas´ Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga,” Letopis´: Ezhemesiachnyi literaturnyi, nauchnyi politicheskii zhurnal 11, no. 7-8 (July-August 1917): 240 and GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 3, l. 158. 95 GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 1b, ll. 64-66; GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 3, l. 37; and A. A. Kiselev, Kol´skoi atomnoi – 30: Stranitsy istorii (Murmansk: Izdatel´stvo “Reklamnaia poligrafiia,” 2003), 10. 96 GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 1a, ll. 24-26 and GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 33, l. 12. 97 Bentley Historical Library, Russia Route Zone A, 26. 98 Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 197-198. On Knox’s experiences in the Russian north during World War I, see Alfred Knox, With the Russian Army, 2 vols. (London: Hutchinson and Company, 1921).



The experience with these material features that inhibited railroad construction played into a fully militarized expression of the conquest of nature. Typical mentions in the press in the immediate aftermath of the construction of the Murmansk railroad described it as “a struggle with harsh and primordial northern nature” and “an uninterrupted struggle with elemental obstacles.”99 Such militaristic language often was elaborated with explanations of the multiple ways that the environment challenged modernization work. For instance, the 1916 book published by the Russian government celebrating the line’s completion categorized the work on the Murmansk railroad: This is a grandiose war with elemental forces and economic obstacles. The elemental obstacles were the local conditions. The conditions of the worksite included a harsh climate, the continuous polar night for a month and a half, the short summer construction period, a negligible population, the absence of housing, the absence of transportation and a local means of transit, the distance and isolation of the road construction from the railroad network, and the lack of local medical help and hospitals because of the severe climate, etc.100 Most of these spontaneous obstacles clearly related to the natural conditions of the region. Echoes of this theme of construction work as a war appeared in many places, including the standard letters of congratulations sent by Tsar Nicholas II to the administration of the Murmansk railroad after completion of different segments of the line and the entire road. The tsar made a point to mention “the technical difficulties and harsh local conditions” of the project.101 After the completion of the line the conquest of nature rhetoric could take a heroic tone, though the ongoing conflict seemed to mitigate such revelry. On the eve of the collapse of the monarchy in early 1917, a journalist referenced a litany of aggravating natural conditions—the darkness and cold in the winter

Zaitsev, “Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga i zadazhi ekonomicheskoi politiki na Severe,” Russkaia mysl´ 37, no. 8 (1916): 1 and Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 23. Also see Surozhskii, “Kak stroilas´ Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga,” Letopis´ 11, no. 7-8 (July-August 1917): 232-244. Wartime censorship prevented much discussion of the project in published sources for most of its construction. However, the foreign press mentioned the Murmansk railroad as early as February 1916 and the Central Powers knew about the line during the first half of 1915. Cyrus C. Adams, “Russia’s Ice-Free Port,” The New York Times (February 27, 1916), 16; “The Port of the Midnight Sun,” The Independent (May 22, 1916), 274; “Gulf Stream Aids Czar,” The Washington Post (November 19, 1916), 18; and Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 90. 100 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 31. 101 GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 13, ll. 136, 202 and Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 6.



and the rapacious insects in the summer—before triumphantly praising the workers on the Murmansk railroad, “you defeated the harsh north.”102 Militaristic Modernization and Brutal Work Conditions This treatment of the natural environment contributed significantly to the miserable experience of the thousands of individuals forced to build the Murmansk railroad. The efforts of the leadership of the railroad to recruit a workforce failed to produce sufficient workers; few people lived in the region and the demands of the Russian army severely diminished the potential labor pool.103 Data are elusive, but according to its Chief Engineer, Vladimir Goriachkovskii, in January 1917, the administration of the Murmansk Railroad employed approximately 32,000 Russian citizens, which included ethnic Russians, Pomors, Sami, Buryats, and Caucasians, and 8,000 Chinese workers on the project.104 Many hired workers refused to renew their initial six and a half month contracts.105 Faced with these limitations, the Russian government decided to rely primarily on the punitive labor of prisoners of war with disastrous results. German historian Reinhard Nachtigal, who has extensively researched the Murmansk railroad, declares that it was “one of the worst horrors of captivity in Russia during World War I.”106 Peter Gatrell and Alon Rachamimov agree.107 According to the (likely inflated) estimates of Red Cross nurse Elsa Brändström, who lived with POWs in Russia during the war, 25,000 of 70,000 POWs sent to work on the Murmansk railroad died as a result. “Of the remaining 45,000 there were, in the autumn of 1916,” wrote Brändström, “32,000 sick of scurvy, tuberculosis, rheumatism, and diarrhea.”108 This horrific outcome for the people subjected to the work conditions on the Murmansk

M. Bubnovskii, “Po novomu puti (Iz dnevnika narodnogo uchitelia),” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9, no. 1 (January 1917): 7. 103 Khabarov, Magistral´, 18-20 and Gatrell, Russia’s First World War, 113-117. 104 Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 101 and D. L., “Ot Arkhangel´ska do Kandalaksha i obratno,” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 8, no. l2 (December 15, 1916): 484. These Russian citizens included at least 5,500 Finns and a considerable number of other nonRussian ethnicities. Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga, 61. Upon arrival workers exchanged their passports for tokens. A total of 102,344 tokens were issued. Khabarov, Magistral´, 20. 105 Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 198. 106 Nachtigal, “Murman Railway,” in Verne, ed., Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment, 195. 107 Rachaminov, POWs and the Great War, 111-112 and Gatrell, Russia’s First World War, 184. 108 Elsa Brändstrom, Among Prisoners of War in Russia and Siberia, trans. C. Mabel Rickmers (London: Hutchinson and Co., 1929), 139.



railroad, like the technical difficulties of the project, need to be understood in relation to the natural context. The weather conditions, the lack of food and shelter, and diseases aggravated the experience of the workers on the Murmansk railroad. All of these elements were environmental at a significant level: the frozen dark winter and constantly light summers with ravenous mosquitoes led to several tragedies and increased workers’ exhaustion; nutritional deficiencies related to foods that could not grow in the region caused avitaminosis; and crowded and unhygienic sanitary conditions allowed for viral and bacterial pathogens to thrive epidemically. Overall, the barren polar Kola Peninsula experienced some of the worst work conditions. The vulnerability of the labor force to these natural elements, however, obviously arose from deliberate decisions to build the railroad in this way and the militaristic character of the industrialization project. Political and social processes made POWs and hired workers vulnerable to natural hazards.109 Political ecologist Piers Blaikie and several of his colleagues have elaborated a set of general vulnerability-creating processes for biological hazards related to human action: conditions of the micro-environment such as diet, shelter, sanitation, and the water supply; migration and especially forced displacements; and the degradation and limited capacities of a physical environment.110 All of these processes played a role in the construction of the Murmansk railroad. In this specific case political and economic activities comprised what we have been calling militaristic modernization: the pursuit of recklessly urgent industrialization at a moment of limited capacities to obtain necessary materials and supplies. The conquest of nature ideology supported this vulnerabilitycreating process of militaristic modernization by justifying a struggle with the environment as part of the war. The POWs building the railroad line suffered from an array of harsh conditions and deprivations. In late 1915 the Governor of the Arkhangel´sk province, Sergei Bibikov, wrote to the Minister of Transportation, Aleksei Trepov, about the dire
On the social production of vulnerability, see Michael J. Watts and Hans G. Bohle, “The Space of Vulnerability: The Causal Structure of Hunger and Famine,” Progress in Human Geography 17, no. 1 (March 1993): 43-67; Piers Blaikie, et. al., At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability, and Disasters (London: Routledge, 1994); and Greg Bankoff, Georg Frerks and Dorothea Hilhorst, eds., Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development, and People (London: Earthscan, 2004). 110 Blaikie, et. al., At Risk, 106-108.


conditions on the line and advocated for the government to arrange an evacuation through Finland.111 After an inspection in the summer of 1916, Bibikov filed an impassioned report surveying the desperate situation. “The majority of the barracks,” he wrote, “do not account for the hygienic conditions of the harsh northern climate.” Lacking walls, adequate floors, windows, and sufficient kitchens, they were “completely unfit for the winter.” The dense marshes, where the barracks were located, also now kept them filthy: full of dirty water, waste, and insects. Without adequate drinking water, bathing facilities, and medical help, diseases among the workers proliferated. Bibikov also highlighted the sanitary problems and cold that resulted from a lack of clothing and noted that the pitiful food provisions, which mostly consisted of rye flour, led to scurvy outbreaks.112 By this time, scurvy and other diseases like typhus gripped the population of POWs and hired workers. While certainly a low priority for the tsarist state, government officials and railroad administrators tried to ameliorate the situation by arranging for shipments of foodstuffs believed to prevent and cure scurvy and for evacuations of the ill.113 The head of the Russian Sanitation and Evacuation Section, Prince Aleksandr Oldenburg, considered the conditions illegal and informed the administration of the railroad that it was responsible for the “sanitary well-being” of the POWs and hired workers.114 The wartime conditions also elicited a more callous response. Since the beginning of construction, the railroad administration set prices for wood, kerosene, and food and prioritized supplying hired laborers, especially Russian ones, over POWs. The outbreaks of diseases forced a revision in these policies, but it maintained heavy-handed restrictions on trade and acceptable provisions.115 Furthermore, the administration of the Murmansk railroad initially responded to the spread of diseases in March 1916 by attempting to reinforce labor discipline and restrictions on leaving the construction site to
Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 50, 84-86. Surozhskii, “Kak stroilas´ Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga,” Letopis´, 11, no. 7-8 (July-August 1917): 242-243. 113 Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 83, 87-89. 114 GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 33, l. 65 and Nachtigal, Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919, 87. 115 GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 1, ll. 181-183, 191; GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 1a, ll. 24-26; and GAMO, f. I-72, op. 1, d. 33, ll. 97, 99. In general administrators prioritized providing for Russian workers. In the autumn of 1916, for instance, Russian workers earned 4 rubles a day and Chinese ones only received 1 ruble and 80 kopecks. D. L., “Ot Arkhangel´ska do Kandalaksha i obratno,” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 8, no. l1 (November 15, 1916): 459-460.
112 111


394. 1. d. 69-71. f.118 A particularly illustrative episode of militaristic modernization occurred on the Kola Peninsula at a subsidiary project of the Murmansk railroad. I-72. I-72. some preferred to take their chances with the eastern front instead of with the northern environment. 4. 37. 16-17.124 The diplomatic conflict between the Central Powers and the Russian Empire over the POWs on the Murmansk railroad opened way for expression of different sides of the 116 117 GAMO. 1. 15-19. 99. f. 120 GAMO. in particular the “frosts. I-72. 33. ll. ll. 166. a large influx of laborers also arrived to complete the line. d. 29. d. during the first evacuations from the area in the summer of 1916. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919. officials repeatedly referred to the “climatic conditions” of the winter. f. 112. they had no accessible wood to use for fuel. f. I-72. f. I-72. In March 1916. op. 1.121 However. 119.120 The engineer purchased reindeer hides and venison to attempt to ameliorate the situation. 124 GAMO. l. 122 GAMO. 1. op. 3. 161. 49 . 12-14. and they lacked sufficient food. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919. d. 1. 158. 97-123. fogs. d. 1. f. 3. op. ll. 137-138. 417-423 and GAMO. l. Here we see how natural obstacles stymied construction and negatively affected human medical help. 123 GAMO.117 At this point the condition of the POWs grew into a diplomatic dispute and the Central Powers used threats and limited acts of reprisal to secure the evacuation of many POWs from the Murmansk railroad by the autumn of 1916. 3. the Naval Ministry contracted the Murmansk railroad administration to build a military port at Iokanga on the eastern end of the Murman coast. ll.119 A lack of adequate supplies and food greeted the workers sent to build the facility. I-72. 62. op. 73 and Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. 119 GAMO. Nachtigal. d. ll. op. 3. op.116 Considerable numbers did flee. I-72. op. and short days. The on-site engineer responsible for the Iokanga port wrote desperate telegrams outlining the conditions in the summer of 1916: the workers slept in wet clothes in the cold. f. 1. 153. I-72. d. 1. op. d. they were falling ill from parasites. 2. f. 118 Nachtigal. Finally. 4. 50.122 When explaining the halt in construction. a strike broke out in the middle of October and the leaders of the project made arrangements to evacuate the port for the winter. ll. 121 GAMO.”123 The efforts of the Provisional Government the next year to operate the construction of the Iokanga base more humanely failed to prevent a scurvy outbreak and the need to abandon the port during the winter.

. Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of War (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. The efforts of various powers—the Provisional Government. Tucker and Edmund Russell.128 The Murmansk Railroad as a War Zone Months after the announced completion of the Murmansk railroad.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 8.. eds. American. evocation of this story aimed to emphasize rational and flexible human control over nature. see Richard P. the tsarist regime ceased to exist. 127 On the competing wartime function of the environment as an ally and an enemy. “But here in the North the winter helps the summer and the summer helps the winter. 128 D. 2004). part of this effort included wartime propaganda to portray more benevolent construction practices that accommodated natural limitations. and French forces—to exert authority over this area included repeated attempts to bring the line up to operating condition. The Civil War that came the next year turned the Kola Peninsula into part of the northern front of this conflict. In large part the tsarist government attempted to respond to the grievous conditions on the line out of fear of reprisals against their own POWs. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919. one journalist also flipped the logic of northern nature as an enemy.125 In addition to their chaotic attempts to evacuate some of the sick. l1 (November 15. L. explaining that the summer allowed for access to materials for erecting embankments and bridges and the winter provided strong ground to reach less accessible sections. For instance.126 Whether or not it was true.conquest of nature ideology. The status of the Kola Peninsula as a war zone inhibited the replacement of temporary structures with permanent ones and made the line largely Nachtigal. The socialist revolution of October 1917 followed the liberal one in February. 90-106. when they could only eat after the sun set. In response personnel on the railroad had these individuals transferred to a section further south so they would have a brief window for eating. 1916): 458-459. an official government publication discusses how the polar day posed a perilous threat to Muslim workers who were observing a summer Ramadan fast. the Bolsheviks. the White Army. “Ot Arkhangel´ska do Kandalaksha i obratno. Natural Enemy.127 Leading up to a sympathetic account of an Austrian POW who now cursed the Germans for starting the war. Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. no.” wrote the author. The most positive theme of the conquest of nature that emerged in the aftermath of public knowledge about the POWs on the line was the representation of both the prisoners and nature as transformed allies. 126 125 50 . 72. and British.

Grazhdanskaia voina na Murmane glazami uchastnikov i ochevidtsev: sbornik vospominanii i dokumentov (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 98. 161.” Letopis´ 11. op. d. ll. soliciting limited medical help. imposing sanitation rules. 174-177. 1a. ll. 4. 130 GAMO. op. d. ll. d. 5-6. 7-8 (July-August 1917): 232-244 and GAMO. 31. 33. 96. 24-26. f. 1. 133 GAMO. in turn. throughout the year and into the era of Bolshevik rule. GAMO. The deprivations these prisoners faced again led to scurvy outbreaks. 180. 1. 16. no. op. I-72. d. 131 Nachtigal. I-72. 13. and trying to enforce discipline and surveillance over workers and prisoners. 1. 1. d. 165. 17. GAMO. 1b. Magistral´. I-72. 1. 1а. d. f. 1. l. ll. I-72. op. f. d. 1. d. GAMO. 5-6. f. I-72. 161. op. and GAMO. d. GAMO. 2006). 86. 1. op. I-72. 13. hasty and chaotic approaches to immediate difficulties. 186. I-72. keeping people vulnerable to bacterial diseases. 181-183. f. 1. op. 120. f. I-72. d.131 The railroad administration attempted to manage the situation and keep the road operating by using familiar tactics such as regulating food prices. I-72. l. op. stations. d. d. 1.130 However. a pattern of shortsighted and destructive nature use. internal opponents of the Bolsheviks. 132 GAMO. 86. 17. d. I-72. ll. l. and material storehouses speak to the effects of the human pollution in making these places filthy and. l. GAMO. f. 1. ll. 32. 152. f. 1. GAMO. l. 1. op. f. op. 1а. op. 129 51 . 186. f. 1. and the ambivalent Allied Powers reveal the overarching impact of the military imperatives of this economic modernization over specific political ideologies. d. I-72. 1b. op. op. 174-177. and an antagonistic view toward the northern environment. f.133 The “difficult climatic conditions” once more convinced authorities Surozhskii. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919. 139-173. 191. I-72. d. ll. l. I-72. f. op. 4. f. GAMO. 1. GAMO. 1. Journalists writing exposés on the brutal construction of the railroad and government ministers now overseeing the line evoked the February Revolution as a transformative break with the disgraced tsarist regime. 67-68.129 The new port city of Romanovon-Murman was renamed Murmansk in April 1917. 55. 165. f. 3. op.nonfunctional by the end of the conflict.132 The intensified efforts to clean and disinfect the train wagons. I-72. ll. I-72. f. 1. 232 and Khabarov. The wartime economic practices of these international and ideologically diverse actors shared certain common features: continued use of POW labor. op. “Kak stroilas´ Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga. These common practices among revolutionary Russian liberals and socialists. 86. 96. 98. 128-131. GAMO. The decision of the Provisional Government to prolong the First World War influenced the continuation of practices on the Murmansk railroad that had been disavowed. and GAMO. f. ll. I-72. 14. l. the government continued to employ large numbers of POWs to work on the Murmansk railroad. 1. and GAMO. d.

which ended the country’s involvement in World War I in March 1918.139 GAMO. 53. Russian Sideshow: America’s Undeclared War (Washington. 2 vols. f. David S. 131-138. R-397. 3. 2. 10. GAMO. Kol´skoi atomnoi – 30. 1995). 30. Fogelsong. 1. ll. d. they managed the railroad similarly. f. RG 120. 394. op. 15. op. 1996). GAMO. 1. l. 2003). 33. I-72. l. 8. America’s Secret War against Bolshevism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 1. 27. 136 GAMO. d. Boxes 1-3. 139 Willett. R-397. 135 134 52 .138 A prominent part of the military confrontation in the region during the Russian Civil War was the repeated bombings of railroad bridges by the Red Army and the repair of them by the Allies. The Murmansk Venture. I-72. f. ll. d. and GAMO. 1. 101-102. 138 Several works of military history review these developments. l. op. f.136 Some POWs remained on the Murmansk railroad through the spring of 1918. op. 1a. but had tentative plans to confront the Bolsheviks if the conflict unraveled in particular ways. 180 and Kiselev. ll. 1. f. 9. 123 and GAMO. 67. large forces of foreign troops intervened the following summer. 31-32. 139. d. R-488. I-72. Increasingly ambivalent about being involved in the Civil War after the November 1918 armistice ended World War I. Ilya Somin. and NARA. GAMO. 137 Nachtigal. With the support of the Murmansk Regional Soviet. Kennan. including specific American military companies focused on maintaining the Murmansk railroad. op. 1. The Decision to Intervene. 49-50. d. 58. and Robert L. f. 1. ll. 1. d. The Bolsheviks then captured the Kola Peninsula in February and March 1920 after the remaining anti-Bolshevik forces retreated. R-621. Boxes 1594-1597. Maynard. op. op. which disobeyed orders from the Bolsheviks in the center to terminate cooperation in the spring of 1918. remained in the area until the fall of 1919. NARA. RGASPI. f. d. Stilborn Crusade: The Tragic Failure of Western Intervention in the Russian Civil War 1918-1920 (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. d. d. op. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919. f. 13. See George F. 1-33. 42. The Allied forces officially sought to protect large stores of munitions and the railroad line there from a potential Central Power invasion. 97. Russian Sideshow. ll. British marines first landed in Murmansk with the initial acceptance of Bolshevik leaders immediately after the signing of the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Willett. d. 120. R-397. 163 and GAMO. f. Also see Grazhdanskaia voina na Murmane glazami uchastnikov i ochevidtsev. 8. RG 182. 1958).135 From the time the Bolsheviks gained control of the government in November 1917 to the Treaty of abandon work on the Iokanga base for the winter. 22. op. DC: Brassey’s. 1. R-488. f. l. the foreign interventionists.134 Rampant de-forestation persisted and again under-fed and unsheltered livestock perished. (Princeton: Princeton University Press. op. 18. GAMO. 4. 1.137 The road then turned into a war zone during the Russian Civil War. l. 2.

Box 1594. 141 NARA. RG 120. February 26.”144 At the same time the ideas of the Allies about the harsh Kola environment could reflect the “conquest of nature” in a way that emphasized the defensive security it provided. particularly about the women who had to deal with the harsh climate. in Arkhangel´sk and then with the White leader in the north. Red Victory: A History of the Russian Civil War (New York: Simon and Schuster. Harry Duink Papers. 1919]. February 21. Coordinating first with the socialist government under the renowned former revolutionary. the Allies succeeded in obtaining enough to feed the population in spite of delays and conflicts between the British and American governments about the issue. the Allied Powers effectively ruled the Kola Peninsula during the first years of the Civil War. 145 Bentley Historical Library. Bruce Lincoln. Polar Bear Collection. [Situation in North Russia Theater. [Letter from W. RG 182. Due to greater available provisions in these countries.141 Delivery of food beyond Murmansk remained difficult because of natural factors. Desperate to supply other areas of the country W. Russia Route Zone A. RG 120.142 The military sought to use the Murmansk railroad to bring supplies down to the White Sea coast. The frozen waters made Arkhangel´sk inaccessible and caused much alarm within the U. Boxes 1-3. We call it the North Pole Limited or the Tri-weekly. Boxes 1-3. government. not just for their troops but also as a means of gaining and maintaining the loyalty of the local population. General Evgenyi Miller.143 Such impediments fostered deprecating discussion of the environment. 1919]. It goes up one week and trys (sic) to get back the next. 140 53 . 40-41. but the spring thaws flooded and destroyed much of the track and made it unreliable. 144 Bentley Historical Library. 9. 142 NARA. 1989). 22.”145 The Bolshevik forces on the southern part of the Murmansk railroad faced more miserable conditions during the Civil War.140 They imposed their own food rationing system on Murmansk. 270-286. A pamphlet of the American War Department given to soldiers noted that the “topographical conditions of the Murman region are such that in the north an enemy would have little chance of seizing the railroad. Delano Osborne. 143 NARA.” joked in a letter home: “The only excitement to-day was a train leaving for Murmanska.All sides involved in the Russian Civil War treated the natural environment as a wartime obstacle and expressed elements of the conquest of nature ideology. One American soldier.S. who worked on repairing the Murmansk railroad and in general described the region as “bleak and dreary. Nikolai Chaikovskii.

147 After capturing the Kola Peninsula in early 1920. This wartime pillaging responded. 61-62. 1. 151 GAMO. 29-32. Kiselev. ll. 26. op. op. R-483.with fuel but lacking skilled cadres of loggers and necessary equipment. 42. and GAMO. the Reds and the Whites and their allies responded to difficult circumstances in comparable ways. 1. 1. 11-12. lagerei. and GAMO. where 100 people died. d. ll. l. d. 1. op. R-621. 1992). 36. 1. d. d. 21-25. 146 54 . R-621. 1a. kolonii. 16-20. op. 18ob. f. ll. 3. 2. f. 1. 1. GAMO. the Bolsheviks encountered snowdrifts and avalanches in their attempt to keep their portion of the railroad operating. f. R-621. 147 GAMO. to military needs and produced a level of chaos that undermined the prerogatives of economic modernization in the immediate term and created vulnerability to famine and disease among the population. f. d. felling went well beyond what had been intended. A. 100. 32. op. 22. 150 GAMO. R-483.”151 Such economic actions and the responses to a recalcitrant environment expose GAMO. R-483. 1. op. GAMO. 149 GAMO. d. GAMO. The appropriate response to the “distressing situation” created by the inability to manage snow was “to combat snow drifts. f. 1. 2-6. Complaining about the rationed norms days before the Civil War ended in the north. 67ob. They both treated captured prisoners brutally: the Bolsheviks renewed the use of POWs on the railroad and the White Guard sent individuals to a prison at Iokanga in the fall of 1919. one engineer on the Murmansk railroad wrote: “This is a real famine emerging among the population and the railroad workers (more than 60% of their families live in horror). ll. 94. l. 2.149 While the Allies worried about spring thaws. f. R-483. I-72. 30. op. d. f. 271 and A. 61. 3. op. 169-171. 3-5. l. ll. op. l. f. 32. 13-16. 1-4. 141-142.148 In the midst of the conflict. 6. the “Office of Forest and Peat Development” of the Murmansk railroad carelessly ravaged the Karelian forests in an attempt to meet immediate needs. R-483. 22. d.” He also predicted yet another scurvy outbreak. f. d. 1. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. f.146 Agents at the railroad referred to the trees as “inexhaustible forest resources” and the People’s Commissariat of Transport re-defined “rational” forestry as using “heroic measures” to obtain the most wood possible. R-483. 31-38. 36-38.” Sovetskii Murman (October 7. 138. 3. d. 138. 53-54. 22. 94. d. op. 100. R-483. l. of course. 1. 21. 148 GAMO. op. ll. 1. d. Despite continued difficulties transporting the wood. op. f. f.150 Here it is clear that the actual difficulties caused by snow during these desperate times inspired more aggressive descriptions of northern nature. 115-120. officials now sought to use all wood available just to operate the trains and bring food provisions to the famine-stricken area. R-483. l. GAMO.

” Sovetskii Murman (October 22. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. Though the threat of war lingered over the 1930s. and T. 3.. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. provisions. Rautio and O. 181-184.153 The decisions to rely on marginalized and coerced labor in the Important works on railroads during Stalinism include E. 1992). A. 1995) and Matthew J. 3.” Sovetskii Murman (October 23. Continuing a tradition of using prisoner labor to build railroads that extended at least back to the Trans-Siberian railroad of the early twentieth century and became entrenched during World War I. Murman. Stalinism and Soviet Rail Transport. lagerei. Salimova. A. 1923-1960 (Moscow: Zven´ia. forced peasant migrants known as special settlers. Sotsial´naia 152 55 . M. Kiselev. 1998). 1920-1945 gg.” Sovetskii Murman (October 13. the practices of Stalinist industrialization closely resembled the militaristic modernization of the construction of the Murmansk railroad. M. kolonii. A. 2001).” in G. B. M. Petrova. D. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. almost every new railroad branch on the Kola Peninsula until the death of Stalin in 1953 relied on some form of coerced labor: Gulag prisoners. I. A. Smirov.152 While officially justified as a step toward socialism. which made little economic sense outside of a context of wartime necessity. Martin’s Press. no immediate conflict accounted for the embrace of chaotic economic development masked by a veneer of state planning. 1992). projects went forward with inadequate supplies. and V. Podgorbunskaia. A. The Stalinist Embrace of Militaristic Modernization and the Conquest of Nature The Soviet government in the 1930s embarked on one of the most rapid and disruptive episodes of industrialization ever undertaken. lagerei. Payne. kolonii. kolonii. 2002). A. A. 153 Marks. Kiselev. Stalin’s Railroad: Turksib and the Building of Socialism (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. The resemblances between the impact of railroad construction in the far north on people and nature during World War I and the Russian Civil War and during Stalinist industrialization are striking. ed. 3. 3. lagerei. A. Bodrova. Khrestomatiia (Kirovsk: “ApatitMedia” 2006).” Sovetskii Murman (October 9. 1928-1941 (New York: St. Khibiny do i posle… (Apatity: Sever. Kiselev. 1992). The rationale of the Stalinist state for pursuing these modernization practices will be addressed in the following chapters. 36-37. Andreev. In part as a means of overcoming a dearth of construction materials. Rees. eds.the common pattern of militaristic modernization practiced by the different governments involved in the construction and early operation of the Murmansk railroad. Sistema ispravitel´no-trudovykh lagerei v SSSR. “Gulag na Kol´skom Severe. ed. Kiselev.. Determined to meet breakneck goals of rapid construction. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. 56-58. Road to Power. and labor. and POWs. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. 1992). A. A. lagerei. S. industrialization relied on improvident and environmentally destructive uses of local natural resources.. kolonii.

56 .157 By the end of 1930 about 2. languished behind schedule. 3.” 1968). 53-54. E. Vishnevskii. 14. 1932). 5-7. they scheduled the new branch for completion by August 1930 and specified that the labor could come from inmates of the Solovki prison camp. Fersman. 318-319. ed.” in Geber. op. I. tuberculosis. 156 A. 2004). 123-132. pervaded popular sources in the 1930s.154 One Soviet propagandist echoed the forceful descriptions of the tsarist government during the construction of the Murmansk railroad when he wrote about socialist industrialization in the Khibiny Mountains: “the railroad and the automobile. ll. 155 S. like most of the construction in the Khibiny Mountains in these years. 154 For example. 1. Expressions such as the “struggle with nature” and “the conquest of nature. vol. electricity and radio. f. and G. Kossov and B. 158 GAMO. 3-4 (1932).’”155 Fersman depicted these early road construction efforts in the Khibiny Mountains in similar language.158 Similar diseases broke out among the workers as during the construction of the Murmansk railroad—typhus.. 1932). 54. Fersman. M. M. The era of Stalinist industrialization also saw a renewal of the aggressive articulation of the conquest of nature ideology. scientific thought. Sedlis. Fersman. “Kul´turnaia revoliutsiia pobezhdaet za poliarnym krugom. Khibinskie Apatity: Sbornik. focused on the mining and processing of the phosphorousrich material apatite for chemical fertilizers and the accompanying socialist city of Khibinogorsk (later Kirovsk).” which attempted to narrate industrial activity as a military campaign.. E. 47-48. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. Novyi promyshlennyi tsentr SSSR za poliarnym krugom. Fersman. eds. Geber. 157 “Chast´ ofitsial´naia.156 The initial return to militaristic modernization occurred with the establishment of an enterprise. and V.000 prisoners worked on the railroad as the harsh winter approached and the project. eds. 1. 12-15. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo pisatelei v Leningrade. “Severnyi gorno-khimicheskii trest Apatit vo 2-m piatiletii.. 1930).” in A. 773. and Bolshevik perseverance regenerated this ‘land of fearless birds. Soviet planners ordered the construction of a railroad branch connecting the mainline of the Murmansk railroad to the new worksite in the Khibiny Mountains. 1932). Khibinogorskii rabochii (October 18. Tri goda za poliarnym krugom.pursuit of hasty modernization led to the acute vulnerability of these under-provisioned and barely sheltered workers to natural elements. At the outset. and scurvy—because of restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti (Murmansk: Murmanskii gumanitarnyi institut / Barents tsentr issledovanii. no. 1. Maizel´. B. the Apatit trust. Barsuk. M. 1 (Leningrad: Izdanie Gostresta “Apatit”. Maizel´. 285. Nash Apatit (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo “Nauka. Upon the final decision to begin the project in September 1929.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai. Kagan. Kamen´ plodorodiia (Moscow/Leningrad: Partiinoe izdatel´stvo. and Sedlis. d.

” in V. 1. 1992). 60-61. the Murmansk railroad itself also remained tangentially dependent on a different group of forced laborers for its most significant upgrade of the era. when approximately five thousand Gulag prisoners—a number of whom built a road to Ena— arrived at the site of the future mining city of Kovdor. 1934). 15-16. Razumova. 694. Ia. 160 Kiselev. 773. d. 191-194. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. op. 773. Magistral´. lagerei.” 2004). kolonii. d. 3. ll. 55. 229. Khabarov. 1. 1. 132-133.” Sovetskii Murman (October 10. d. Eremeeva. 78-81. Soviet Karelia. Monchegorsk. to build a line from the new nickel works to the Olen´ia railroad station north of Lake Imandra. 3. op. Monchegorske Murmanskoi oblasti. 161 Tekhnicheskie usloviia na dostroiku i rekonstruktsiiu Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Nauchno-tekhnicheskogo soveta Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. 163 GAMO. 3-5. 160. 1. “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´” (period do nachala velikoi otechestvennoi voiny) v g. 773. ll. Kiselev. ll. ll. The prison camp leaders declared the project finished in April 1936. who had been subject to de-kulakization (“special settlers” in Soviet terminology) and faced conditions comparable to the Solovki prisoners. In August 1935. 63. a Gulag organ. 147-151. op. 64. Forced peasant migrants.161 The construction of an extension line from the Murmansk railroad to an emerging center for nickel mining and smelting. On the operation of the White Sea-Baltic Combine in these years. 53. op.the unhygienic environment and natural deprivations. 137-227.. f. f.159 Furthermore.” Sovetskii Murman (October 13. GAMO. GAMO. f. see Baron. “GULAG na Murmane. 53. ll. GAMO. 2004). 162 A. 255-256.162 Economic planners initially hoped to have the line operational by November 1935. op. op. and V. f. food. built the Niva Hydroelectric Station that enabled electrification of the sections of the railroad. f. 110. Petrov and I. 90-92. but the road was still unusable and workers from the Severonikel´ combine needed to repair it over the next several months. Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe (Apatity: Kol´skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. d. and housing. but work dragged on into the summer of 1936.163 The several thousand prisoners who labored on the railroad during 1935-1936 faced horrendously insufficient supplies of equipment. 236-237. which required A.160 Throughout the early 1930s. 1. Shashkov. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti (Murmansk: “Maksimum. 711. eds. 1992). 264-265 309-311. The administration of the fourteenth department of the BBK primarily provided military tents as housing. A. and GAMO. ll. 70. d. 1. they quickly chopped down all the trees in the area to set up camp and shelter. and GAMO. the newly established Severonikel´ combine contracted with the fourteenth department of the White Sea-Baltic Combine (BBK). 248-252. 385-389. A. P. 15-16. 159 57 . A. 62. d. 773. 773. 773. f. also reveals how this development model and the ideology of conquering nature affected Stalinist industrialization.

169 Smirov. 91. eds. d. “GULAG na Murmane. 250-252 and GAMO. The application of Gulag labor for assorted railroad repair and construction projects increased with the outbreak of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union in late 1939 and remained the norm in the 1940s and early 1950s. 410-411. Sistema ispravitel´no-trudovykh lagerei v SSSR. 1992). Finally. Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti. 166 Eremeeva. 773. 165-166. l.167 The irate head of Severonikel´. 1923-1960. The cold. 397-398. Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe.169 Additionally. the militarization of the regional economy in the years approaching World War II and the rebuilding of it after wartime devastation continued this pattern.170 Efforts to Quoted in Kiselev. 773. 167 GAMO. the natural world demonstrated its resistance to manipulation when haphazardly treated. A. and use as sleepers for the road.165 Interaction with the surrounding environment during the founding of this railroad mirrored wartime construction as well. Razumova. op. 430-433.”164 Food rations for them were unreliably shipped to the camps from Kola. Kiselev. 12-15. ed. 1. described how nature retaliated in this instance: “The situation with the railroad branch is very distressing: the snow came off and clearly revealed the disgraceful work of the fourteenth department on the line.”168 Approached as an object of urgent conquest. 1. f. The lack of material used for the roadbed and insufficient number of sleepers resulted in such sloppy construction that the spring thaws quickly destroyed the railroad.” Sovetskii Murman (October 22. Vasilii Kondrikov. f. ll. “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´. 170 Rautio and Andreev.166 This nature use hastily transformed the environment. but failed to adequately construct the road.. 62. 168 GAMO. “GULAG na Murmane. 3. 160. 169-170. Petrov and I. In essence there is no branch since along almost the entire length it proceeds at ground level and through swamps. P.prisoners to sit and lie directly on the snow. l. Workers quickly chopped down any trees nearby to clear space for the track. f..” in V. op. filth. d. They also gathered sand along the road to erect embankments for the roadbed. and lack of nutrition took its toll as apparently almost a tenth of the prisoners working on the railroad line perished. One prisoner bitterly described these accommodations: “it was as filthy in them as a barnyard and often there was no hot water. prisoners of war during and after World War II helped with a variety of construction projects. including work on railroads and the redevelopment of the Pechenga region. Eremeeva. 1.” in 165 164 58 . “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´. 1992). supply firewood. 63. 3. 387. d. op. 296. 62. 773.” Sovetskii Murman (October 22.

171 Leonid Potemkin. A. brought reprieve from this arduous modernization strategy that had been innovated during World War I and revamped in the 1930s. The conquest of nature as an idea predated the First World War. In this case the lines connecting the Pechenga region to Kola only opened at the end of 1960. nevertheless. environmental impediments thwarting human economic activity. P. as seen in the case of railroads on the Kola Peninsula. ed.lay down a railroad line to link the nickel deposits of the Pechenga territory to the mainline of the Murmansk railroad commenced in the early 1950s. Petrov and I. but as inspiration for militaristic modernization it grew out of the context of total war. However. militaristic modernization entailed a vicious cycle of reckless nature use. and the increased articulation of antagonistic environmental ideologies. Imperialistic urges for colonization and development fed into hasty industrialization justified by war or V. Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe.171 The end of the Stalinist era. Conclusion Commonalities in economic development strategies and practices united late imperial Russia and the Soviet Union. 1965). Numerous sides participated in the creation of these policies during the war. 215-225. eds. 59 . In partial contrast to colonization efforts. Razumova. 400. 97. U severnoi granitsy: Pechenga sovetskaia (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. Matsak. it was militarism. A. and not technocratic statism exacerbated during wartime. but the Soviet Union under Stalin adapted them to peacetime modernization.” 2005). These similarities did not emerge out of deep-seated authoritarian politics or out of inherent inclinations of socialism. but instead out of a combined conviction in the necessity of rendering the economy modern and in military prerogatives. but yet again the natural conditions of the region—the rocky and swampy landscape and seasonal fluctuations in weather. that exerted a deeper influence on the environmental and economic practices of Stalinism. Pechenga: Opyt kraevedcheskoi entsiklopedii (Murmansk: Prosvetitel´skii tsentr “Dobrokhot. which undid previous work—caused significant delays.. and V.. Modernization based on conquering natural environments and transforming them with militaristic practices led to atrocious results for humans and nature in projects ostensibly aimed in part at development and improvement.

It also shows how the environment did not simply play a passive role in human culture. but. disaggregating technocratic statism and militaristic modernization helps explain the varied outcomes shared by the early twentieth century and the 1920s and common to the World War I era and Stalinism. the physical difficulties it posed intensified the hostility towards nature present in modernist ideas. A focus on the environmental ideologies that accompanied these modernization projects demonstrates diversity within utilitarian approaches to nature that took the natural environment purely as an economic asset. However. The results of pursuing the conquest of nature were clearly worse for people and the environment in the short term. as we will see.the fear of war. 60 . the totalistic view of natural resources in the colonization of nature ideology may have had a more profound effect on the economic use of the environment in the long run.

1979). 1 The infusion of revolutionary enthusiasm into These elements come through in much of the revisionist and post-revisionist historiography of Stalinism. Stephen Kotkin. Lewis Siegelbaum. An environmental ideology that stressed the conquest of nature accompanied both the wartime construction of the Murmansk railroad and the building of railroad branches in the 1930s and 1940s. I insist that the Stalinist system possessed a deep and intricate relationship with the environment. 1977). Donald Filtzer. Beyond excavating socialist cities for insights into how the Stalinist system functioned as a civilization. 1978). 1995). Hiroaki Kuromiya. Shelia 1 61 . As part of the project of building socialism in one country and as a key feature of the social. I also argue that Stalinism was an extreme method of creating a modern economic relationship with the environment that simultaneously strove for a new level of ascendance of humans over nature and for socialist harmony among humans and their environment.” industrial towns have served as sites of microhistorical analysis for scholars interested in examining the social history of the Soviet Union. The Best Sons of the Fatherland: Workers in the Vanguard of Soviet Collectivization (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1928-1932 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. this chapter examines the multifarious relations among people and other elements of nature during the forced modernization of the 1930s. 1917-1941 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. political. 1928-1941 (London: Pluto Press.W. then. and economic system known as “Stalinism.Chapter 2. In the previous chapter we saw that the Russian Empire was already apt to use coerced labor and exploit natural resources carelessly in order to complete pressing industrial projects in peripheral places. Stakhanovism and the Politics of Productivity in the USSR. and coercive solutions to supplying labor for industrialization. Industry. 1988). Kendall E. 1989). David Shearer. Norton. ed. what. Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization: The Formation of Modern Soviet Production Relations. 1935-1941 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1921-1934 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Beyond the commonalities. Shelia Fitzpatrick. chaotic attempts at centralized planning.. Stalinism as an Ecosystem The Stalinist construction of socialist cities organized the relationship between human beings and the natural environment in specific ways. this important period in Soviet history combined a renewed revolutionary zeal. 1926-1934 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. distinguished this Stalinist variant of militaristic modernization? As many scholars have noted. 1996). Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press. 1986). Bailes. Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union. See Robert Tucker. Technology and Society under Lenin and Stalin: Origins of the Soviet Technical Intelligentsia. Lynne Viola. Stalinism: Essays in Historical Interpretation (New York: W. State. Stalin’s Industrial Revolution: Politics and Workers. 1988). and Society in Stalin’s Russia.

Stalinism cannot be characterized by pure hostility toward nature. Nevertheless. A Social History of Soviet Trade: Trade Policy. 1917-1941 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 19171953 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Consciousness. 62 .militaristic economic practices led to an approach to the environment that eclipsed technocratic statism and militaristic modernization. 19271941 (Armonk. Instead. Revolution on My Mind: Writing a Diary Under Stalin (Cambridge. and Consumption. MA: Harvard University Press. State planners grappled with trying to make the natural world more economically useful and suitable for human settlement. and Salvation in Revolutionary Russia (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. this militant attempt to turn inhospitable natural environments into realms where humans and nature can abide in harmony precipitated new social and environmental tragedies. The civilization approach to understanding the Stalinist Soviet Union began to be elaborated in the 1990s by historians who benefited from greater access to the primary sources of social history. Instead of just colonizing and conquering nature. Retail Practice. Accordingly. Elena Osokina.E. 2. Our Daily Bread: Socialist Distribution and the Art of Survival in Stalin’s Russia. 2003). 1999). 2006). NY: M.”2 In order to understand the system’s social history. 2007). 2004). the Stalinist state also aspired to transform environments to fit a vision of holistic socialism. The Political Economy of Stalinism: Evidence from the Soviet Secret Archives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kotkin positions the Soviet project as a radical new embodiment of the European Enlightenment and insists on the relevance of Foucauldian power dynamics. 2000). His concentration on the minutiae of daily life and use of micro-history unite his approach with other historians of Stalinism. Julie Hessler. Igal Halfin. Sharpe. 1999). Oleg Kharkhordin. and Lynne Viola. David Hoffmann. The Collective and the Individual in Russia: A Study of Practices (Berkeley: University of California Press. From Darkness to Light: Class. This examination of the creation of an enterprise to mine and process apatitenepheline ore and the accompanying socialist city of Khibinogorsk (Kirovsk after December 1934) on the Kola Peninsula endeavors to treat Stalinism as an ecosystem instead of just as a civilization. Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford: Oxford University Press. The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004). 2 Kotkin. 2001). Paul Gregory. Jochen Hellbeck. Stephen Kotkin’s study of the socialist city of Magnitogorsk argues against interpretations that claimed that Stalinism was simply a form of despotism or the result of counter-revolution. who sometimes diverge on interpretative issues but share Kotkin’s concern with understanding Stalinism Fitzpatrick. while also hoping to prevent excessive destruction of nature. Stalinist Values: The Cultural Norms of Soviet Modernity. Magnetic Mountain. he defines it as “a specifically socialist civilization based on the rejection of capitalism.

Lewis Siegelbaum and Andrei Sokolov. Nick Baron. political. and inanimate matter. Though this borrowed term from ecology might seem imprecise in this work of environmental history. Stalinism as a Way of Life: A Narrative in Documents (New Haven: Yale University Press. influence. University of Toronto. We Have Never Been Modern. this scholarship either eschews environmental issues or treats them as evidentiary support for social. and James R. and modify each other. 1920-1939 (London: Routledge.3 For the most part. 4 See Bruno Latour. 1995). and Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Catherine Porter (Cambridge. I trace the emergence of a Stalinist form of modernization in the Khibiny project and analyze the place of the environment in urban and industrial planning and in the culture of socialist construction. other living organisms. it serves my analysis here in two important ways. pointing to issues beyond pollution. Planning and Terror in Stalin’s Russia. or cultural analysis instead of as a primary realm of investigation. I use the concept of an ecosystem to capture the web of interaction among the actors: people.. trans. 1993). The See Fitzpatrick. Mass. no. MA: Harvard University Press. 2007). it shifts the discussion toward the totality of a natural system in a given area. The term ecosystem also allows me to stress the potency of nature as a set of actors without digressing into debates about nature’s agency.” Political Studies Review 2. An essay that interprets some of the recent historiography on the 1930s as more broadly connected to the notion of Stalinism as a form of civilization is Astrid Hedin. environmental management. 1999). Catherine Porter (Cambridge. 2004). Douglas T. Harris.: Harvard University Press. 2005). 3 63 . Northrop. 2000). and Bruno Latour. and local flora and fauna as inherently environmental features of this history. This discussion of the political ecology of Stalinism focuses on the era of the first and second five-year plans (1928-1937). Everyday Stalinism. This inclusive focus encompasses all aspects of a “civilization” approach and adds unaddressed factors especially pertinent for understanding the creation of a new industrial world. I also probe how the natural world shaped the social experience of participants in this industrial project. Heather Diane Dehaan. geological processes. Agency. The Great Urals: Regionalism and the Evolution of the Soviet System (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Bruno Latour. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. climate. The Mangle of Practice: Time. 2005). I will highlight human health and habitat. 2004). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press. “From Nizhnii to Gor´kii: The Reconstruction of a Russian Provincial City in the Stalinist 1930s” (PhD a specific type of society. I assume that in a natural system all beings and forces act on.4 Instead. Andrew Pickering. population dynamics. First. Soviet Karelia: Politics. seasonal variation in climate. trans. “Stalinism as a Civilization: New Perspectives on Communist Regimes. the properties of mined material. and conservation efforts in the history of this enterprise and city. 2 (April 2004): 166-184. Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

later sections of the chapter address the strategies of enterprise planners to confront environmental impediments and curb pollution. Finally, I show how these Stalinist efforts to create environmental harmony often failed to come to fruition. The Discovery of Apatite Geological processes created the Khibiny Mountains and supplied them with the phosphorous-rich material apatite, but humans sought to convert this rock formation into a source for realizing economic modernity. This process began with the scientific exploration of the area that eventually led to the opening up of large veins of apatitenepheline ore in several of the mountains of the massif. This form of learning about the natural world and promoting the potential wealth of resources fit squarely within the colonization approach to the environment that had been innovated by late imperial technocrats. The activities of geologists in the 1920s also later functioned as foundation myths of the heroic feats of regional pioneers. Foreign scientists began exploring the Khibiny Mountains in the nineteenth century, but focused more on geological questions than the potential uses of minerals like apatite. Apatite is a form of calcium phosphate (Ca5(PO4)3) with an extra ion of fluorine, hydroxyl (OH), or chlorine. Along with other types of mineral ore and bat guano, apatite could be processed into a material called superphosphate and used as a chemical fertilizer. Until the proliferation of nitrogen-fixating technologies after World War II, superphosphate was the dominant product of the chemical fertilizer industry worldwide.5 In the late nineteenth century researchers from abroad proposed a rough date for the origin of the Khibiny Mountains and described the crystallization process of the pervasive nepheline-syenite rock. After these initial endeavors, geological research on the Khibiny halted in the first couple of decades of the twentieth century.6 After the Bolshevik victory over White Army forces and their foreign allies in northwest Russia in the first months of 1920, scientists with a longstanding interest in putting their sophisticated knowledge to practical economic use for the state renewed
Vaclav Smil, Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001); J. R. McNeill, Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World (New York: W. W. Norton, 2000), 22-26; B. M. Gimmel´farb, Chto takoe fosfority, gde i kak ikh iskat´ (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe nauchno-tekhnicheskoe izdatel´stvo literatury po geologii i okhrane nedr, 1962); and Richard A. Wines, Fertilizer in America: From Waste Recycling to Resource Exploitation (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1985). 6 Victor Yakovenchuk, et al., Khibiny (Apatity: Laplandia Minerals, 2005), 3-6.


geological surveying on the Kola Peninsula. In May of that year the Petrograd Soviet Executive Committee formed a commission of the Academy of Sciences to inspect the postwar condition of the Murmansk railroad. During a brief trip with the commission up to the Kola Peninsula, Aleksandr Fersman became excited at the presence of unknown minerals in the Khibiny Mountains. Soon after returning he arranged a full geological expedition of the massif.7 This surveying of the Khibiny region in the fall of 1920 commenced a period of intensive study of the range's mineral resources and would eventually lay the groundwork for the industrialization of the Kola Peninsula. Fersman was a moderately progressive intellectual from the liberal tradition of imperial Russia. His academic advisor, collaborator in geochemical research and public service, and lifelong interlocutor, Vladimir Vernadskii had helped form the Constitutional Democrat Party (Kadets) during the 1905 Revolution and remained an active member through the November 1917 Bolshevik takeover.8 Despite their occasionally fierce opposition to the autocracy of tsarist Russia and the socialism of the Soviet era and their preference for capitalist democracy, scientists with such liberal proclivities tended to be technocratic statists. They supported modernization guided by a beneficent government and believed in their personal obligation to use their expertise to assist national interests. Accordingly, starting in 1915 Fersman helped organize expeditions to locate militarily strategic mineral deposits during the First World War. He continued his willingness to find practical applications for his mineralogical knowledge, especially when it could help fund fieldwork, almost without interruption into the Soviet era. During the early 1920s, the Fersman expeditions discovered large sections of green apatite ore on Mount Kukisvumchorr and Mount Iuksporr of the Khibiny Mountains. The quantity of the material remained a mystery, but its potential utility as a

A. I. Perel´man, Aleksandr Evgen´evich Fersman, 1883-1945, 2nd ed. (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo “Nauka,” 1983), 69-70 and D. I. Shcherbakov, A. E. Fersman i ego puteshestviia (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo geograficheskoi literatury, 1953), 63-66. 8 Kendall E. Bailes, Science and Russian Culture in an Age of Revolutions: V. I. Vernadsky and His Scientific School, 1863-1945 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), 81. While the precise contours of Fersman’s pre-revolutionary political views and their exact similarities with Vernadskii’s are difficult to trace, it is worth at least noting that Vernadskii felt comfortable expressing his disillusionment with the course of events in 1917 and 1918 in his letters to Fersman. M. I. Novgorodova, ed., Neizvestnyi Fersman: 120-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia A. E. Fersmana posviashchaetsia (Moscow: EKOST, 2003), 89-93.



source for phosphoric acid was immediately apparent to the researchers.9 Soon afterward a new stage of research began that was more focused on assessing the capacity of these apatite deposits. The results of this surveying rapidly increased the estimates of the apatite reserves in the Khibiny and opened new deposits.10 After an expedition in 1928, the agencies involved in the project unanimously agreed about the industrial significance of the apatite deposits.11 Simultaneously, experiments with apatite samples from the Khibiny established the ability to enrich the ore to above a 36% concentration of phosphorous pentoxide (P2O5), the active substance in superphosphate fertilizers.12 The reflections of geological surveyors in the Khibiny Mountains at the time contributed to what would become a local cult of scientific explorers in later periods. Boris Kupletskii characterized the region during a 1922 trip with the following stanza: “The landscape is dejected. Severe nature / Only provided the north with dull tones: / Scorched forest, a boulder, sad marshes, / Melancholic rain and a dim moon.” 13 Another researcher, A. N. Labunstov, evoked the natural calamities of the area when describing how his team overcame “Khibiny weather” in August 1925 by huddling in their cold tent during a frigid summer downpour.14 In addition to highlighting the struggle of these scientists with hardship, he also publicly insisted that “Khibiny apatite” and other minerals of the range would serve “as a new factor in the colonization and revival of the Murmansk Region.”15

See an excerpt from Fersman’s diary in “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska,” Zhivaia Arktika, no. 1 (October 2001): 17. 10 “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska,” Zhivaia Arktika, no. 1 (October 2001): 17; B. Kupletskii, “Khibinskie i Lovozerskie tundry,” Karelo-Murmanskii krai 5, no. 3 (March 1927): 11-13; I. Eikhfel´d, “V Khibinakh za apatitami (Iz dnevnika uchastnika ekspeditsii),” Karelo-Murmanskii krai 5, no. 2 (February 1927): 8-13; A. Labuntsov, “Kak byl otkryt khibinskii apatit,” Karelo-Murmanskii krai, no. 1112 (1929): 17-19; A. V. Barabanov, et al., Gigant v Khibinakh: Istoriia otkrytogo aktsionernogo obshchestva “Apatit” (1929-1999) (Moscow: Izdatel´skii dom “Ruda i metally,” 1999), 16; and Yakovenchuk, et al., Khibiny, 3-8. 11 A. E. Fersman, “Ot nauchnoi problemy k real´nomu delu,” in G. Geber, M. Maizel´, and V. Sedlis, eds., Bol´sheviki pobedili tundry (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo pisatelei v Leningrade, 1932), 28. 12 “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska,” Zhivaia Arktika, no. 1 (October 2001): 20. 13 Printed in “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska,” Zhivaia Arktika, no. 1 (October 2001): 20. 14 Labuntsov, “Kak byl otkryt khibinskii apatit,” Karelo-Murmanskii krai, no. 11-12 (1929): 1719. 15 A. Labuntsov, “Poleznye iskopaemye Khibinskikh tundr i Kol´skogo poluostrova,” KareloMurmanskii krai, no. 5-6 (1927): 9.



The Creation of a Stalinist Enterprise The turn from studying the Khibiny to mining and processing phosphates for fertilizer there occurred as part of the Soviet Union’s massive campaign to create a modern economy and propel the country closer to socialism and communism. In 19281929 a political-economic system called Stalinism emerged in the Soviet Union. Billed as the “great break,” the Stalinist revolution ushered in the first five-year plan and the collectivization of agriculture. Initial plans for the industrial and urban development of the Khibiny region were modest, but expanded, in Fersman’s words, to “an unprecedented scale for work undertaken in a polar realm.”16 The evolution of Soviet designs for the area involved decisions to build an entire socialist city in the region, a willingness to use forced laborers, bureaucratic disputes connected to national politics, and an expansive vision of natural resource use. Several of the economic and regional factors surrounding the advent of Stalinism carried special relevance for the creation of a chemical industry in the Murmansk region. The New Economic Policy of the 1920s in many ways helped the country’s economy recover, but agricultural production remained depressed. The lack of grain surpluses hindered the growth of foreign trade and the ability of the state to fund industrial development.17 This situation influenced the decision to mine Khibiny apatite by creating strong incentives to reduce imports (the Soviet Union had been importing superphosphate from Morocco) and increase fertilizer consumption as a means of improving agricultural yields.18 In terms of spatial organization, the Khibiny region enjoyed several features that appealed to industrial planners, despite its location in the sparsely populated polar tundra. Above all, its proximity to a functioning railroad line that connected it to Leningrad and the Murmansk port rendered it a cheaper source of phosphorous material than other deposits. The administrative organization of the territory also made it an ideal place to treat as an extraction colony. After the Civil War the Kola Peninsula became its own independent regional unit, the Murmansk province (guberniia), but in 1927 it was
A. E. Fersman, “Predislovie,” in G. N. Solov´ianov, Kol’skii promyshlennyi uzel (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe ekonomicheskoe izdatel´stvo, 1932), 3-4. 17 R. W. Davies, “Changing Economic Systems: An Overview,” in R. W. Davies, Mark Harrison, and S. G. Wheatcroft, eds., The Economic Transformation of the Soviet Union, 1913-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 1-23. 18 Acknowledgement of these factors appears in RGAE, f. 3106, op. 1/2, d. 367, ll. 62-81.


downgraded to a county (okrug) of the Leningrad region (oblast´).19 Under this jurisdiction, the Khibiny Mountains could be subjected to the plans of one of the most powerful regional administrations in the country. Government and scientific planning organs in 1928 and 1929 initially envisioned using the Khibiny exclusively for mining and extracting apatite-nepheline ore with minimal construction of accompanying settlements. With this option on the horizon more geological expeditions raised the confirmed apatite reserves to 90 million tons and research agencies—the Scientific Institute for Fertilizer (NIU) and the Institute of Mechanical Processing of Mineral Resources (Mekhanobr)—devised methods for producing superphosphate from Khibiny apatite.20 In December 1928, the Supreme Council of the National Economy (VSNKh) outlined a possible first five-year plan for the chemical industry in the Leningrad Region. This document highlighted the expediency of building the superphosphate factory in Leningrad and not “directly at the Khibiny deposits of apatite.”21 Planners also proposed research on the potential to use the small White River for hydroelectric energy and on the best path for connecting the deposits to the mainline of the railroad. They presumably believed that labor would be supplied by a combination of invigorated colonization efforts of the Murmansk Railroad and continued seasonal hires.22 This limited development model was soon replaced with another strategy of modernization that is properly called Stalinist. This shift from simple extraction to the construction of an enrichment factory to produce apatite concentrate and a large accompanying city entailed a different vision of nature use. Instead of peripheral resource extraction predominately for the sake of bolstering the economy of the country overall, this emergent model of modernization sought also to use the minerals of the north as a means of creating a new, ostensibly socialist, urban environment. This type of socialism in theory would feature prosperous workers, who had a thriving modern collectivist culture and lived in accord with their subjugated natural surroundings.
D. A. Fokin, “Obrazy prostranstva: Kol´skii sever v administrativno-territorial´noi politike Sovetskogo gosudarstva (20-30-e gg. XX v.),” in P. V. Fedorov, et al., eds., Zhivushchie na Severe: Obrazy i real´nosti (Murmansk: MGPU, 2006), 101-103. 20 Barabanov, et al., Gigant v Khibinakh, 16. 21 RGAE, f. 3106, op. 1/2, d. 367, ll. 62-79. 22 “Chast´ ofitsial´naia,” in A. E. Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity: Sbornik, vol. 1 (Leningrad: Izdanie Gostresta “Apatit”, 1930), 281-283.


The turn to Stalinist modernization began in the fall of 1929 with discussions about moving the proposed enrichment factory to the Khibiny region from Leningrad.23 It also coincided with a request that the Unified State Political Organization (OGPU, the secret police) arrange a labor force partially based on the Solovki prison camp (USLON).24 VSNKh rejected the OGPU’s bid for the project; its representatives claimed that the great potential for the chemical industry in the north necessitated oversight by an economic organization and agreed to contract out some labor from USLON.25 On November 13, 1929, VSNKh, following earlier resolutions by the State Planning Committee (Gosplan) of the USSR and the Economic Council of the Russian Republic (RSFSR), officially created the Apatit trust and appointed Vasilii Kondrikov as its temporary manager.26 An under-educated but hard-working enthusiast for socialist industrialization, Kondrikov would lead many of the enterprises involved in the economic transformation of the Kola Peninsula until 1937.27 Conflicts over the basic methods of how to organize the project, how much to fund it, how to supply labor, and how to meet production quotas defined the first year of existence of the Apatit trust. The main sides of these disputes revolved around Kondrikov, who was being supported and tutored by First Party Secretary Sergei Kirov of the Leningrad region and Fersman, and the members of the reputed “right” deviation at the All-Union Association of the Chemical Industry (Vsekhimprom) of the VSNKh, who were in charge of the trust. Vsekhimprom’s leader, Mikhail Tomskii—a Politburo member and the former head of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions— opposed Stalin’s plans for forced collectivization and rapid industrialization.28 Along with Nikolai Bukharin and Aleksei Rykov, Tomskii promoted a more gradual method of
GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 1, ll. 1-17 and M. D. Petrova, S. M. Salimova, and T. I. Podgorbunskaia, eds., Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh, 1920-1945 gg. Khrestomatiia (Kirovsk: “ApatitMedia” 2006), 33-34. 24 “Chast´ ofitsial´naia,” in Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity, vol. 1, 284-286. 25 GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 1, ll. 18, 22. 26 GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 1, l. 18; Petrova, Salimova, and Podgorbunskaia, eds., Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh, 38-39; and “Chast´ ofitsial´naia,” in Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity, vol. 1, 286291. 27 “Boi za nikel´: Vospominaniia I. L. Kondrikovoi-Tartakovskoi,” Monchegorskii rabochii (September 13, 1986), 3-4; A. A. Kiselev, “K kharakteristike obraza i tipovykh chert pokoritelia tundry 30kh godov XX veka (Vasilii Kondrikov),” in P. V. Fedorov, Iu. P. Bardileva, and E. I. Mikhailov, eds., Zhivushchie na Severe: Vyvoz ekstremal´noi srede (Murmansk: MGPU, 2005), 76-81; and Sergei Tararaksin, Sudeb sgorevshikh ochertan´e (Murmansk: “Sever,” 2006), 81-90. 28 I. O. Gorelov, Tsugtsvang Mikhaila Tomskogo (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2000).


47-64. Kondrikov believed that they could rely on a combination of temporary prison labor from USLON and hired laborers. Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press. An Economic History of the U. they would be able to extract 3. 1961). Stalin’s Industrial Revolution. Fersman’s influence here was clear. “I am a maximalist: either nothing or a very large management. 29 70 . 1. You Summaries of the economic debates about how to industrialize that occurred in the late 1920s appear in: Alec Nove. Kondrikov annoyed Tomskii by raising the question of the economic viability of processing nepheline tailings when the intended agenda of the meeting was the use of USLON labor.R. 119-135 and Robert C.S.000 tons of ore and requested a budget of approximately 13 million rubles. Farm to Factory. Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization. d. 1969). Justifying the Stalinist position. Tomskii responded to this model of development by rejecting the idea of “colonization” as too expensive and questioning the arrangement of a combined labor force. 1. Allen. At this scale the project would require “colonization” of the region and necessitate housing construction and a permanent work force. L.29 Kondrikov and his patrons. At the time the Apatit trust had drawn up a plan to mine 400.economic development that would not have required a total rejection of NEP nor funded industrial buildup by forcefully increasing taxation of the peasantry and reducing real wages for workers. Tartakovskaia. Kondrikov argued.5 million tons by the end of the first five-year plan. Chapman. MA: Harvard University Press. no. op. the different factions quarreled about the Khibiny project. Kuromiya. Recently Robert Allen has challenged this interpretation and claimed that the country had attained a higher standard of living by the eve of World War II than would have been possible without an industrialization strategy that entailed massive investment in heavy industry as a conduit for stimulating the consumer goods sector. “Fersman i Kondrikov. The argument that Stalin-era industrialization was partially funded by reducing real wages appears in much of the economic literature and social history on this era: Abram Bergson. 1963). l.” Zhivaia Arktika. 30 I. The Real National Income of Soviet Russia since 1928 (Cambridge. He had already encouraged Kondrikov to believe that the optimal way to process mineral ore included the maximal conversion of the nepheline-rich wastes into economically valuable substances. f. 1 (October 2001): 34-37. The enterprise would construct a hydroelectric dam on the Niva River and an enrichment factory. 773. Janet D. and Filtzer. in contrast.31 Tomskii’s criticism of Kondrikov’s plan reflected an ideological rift in the Soviet leadership about the correct method of industrialization. represented the enthusiastic embrace of Stalinist industrialization. At a meeting of the commission on apatite of Vsekhimprom on December 23. 103. 1929.S. See Allen. (Middlesex: Penguin Books. 2003).30 Kondrikov also proposed that by mining on three different mountains at once. 31 GAMO. MA: Harvard University Press. Real Wages in Soviet Russia since 1928 (Cambridge.

Kuromiya. 35 GAMO. 1. Novokuznetsk. During the 1930s the Soviet Union built several of these new industry towns. op. As the central government retreated somewhat in March from the violent collectivization campaign that it had begun at the beginning of the year.35 This restored funding required Apatit to increase its quota of extracted ore for 1929-1930 to 250. no.000 tons of mined ore for 1929-1930 before the trust’s budget had been restored.cannot create a small business in the Khibiny.36 With the decisions to plan a permanent socialist city and to use de-kulakized peasants for the bulk of the labor force that also came about this year. 137-172. ore extraction. 1930). op. The result was that by the middle of the year industrial production in the country had started to decline at a moment intended to be one of massive expansion.”32 This conflict with Vsekhimprom followed Apatit throughout much of the chaotic year of 1930. On February 6. I. ll.” Zhivaia Arktika. 6.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai. even if you want. f. The construction plans for the city of Khibinogorsk on the Kola Peninsula reveal many of the ambitions for arranging optimal relations with the environment.000 tons. and others.34 This cut further paralyzed urban planning. and construction of the enrichment factory. VSNKh and the Council of Labor and Defense (STO) forced Vsekhimprom to reverse the earlier budget reductions. including Magnitogorsk. “Sostoianie i perspektivy stroitel´stva v raione Khibinskikh razrabotok. 1. f. d. 34 GAMO. and to expand to mining one million tons the next year. funds. 109-141. d. A look at the “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska. Stalin’s Industrial Revolution. 144. no. 1.33 Apatit predictably staggered in this period. 773. 312 and V. Vsekhimprom slashed Apatit’s annual budget for 1929/1930 in half. 5-6 (1931): 10. ll. 773. See Poliarnaia pravda (April 25. d. ll. 33 32 71 . f. Planning a City in the North The creation of a new urban area where not even a village had existed demanded that planners deal with natural conditions and attempt to organize an ideal arrangement of the necessary infrastructure. industrial enterprises throughout the country found themselves incapable of obtaining necessary supplies. The Kola Peninsula should be a son of industry. A local newspaper announced this new output target of 250. 1. 142-144. In May 1930. and labor. 773. the basic model for Stalinist modernization in the Khibiny Mountains had overtaken the earlier possibilities for the economic transformation of the northern environment. 1. 1. 36 GAMO. 1930. Kondrikov. op. 1 (October 2001): 32. We came there not to waste our time on trifles. Komsomolsk-on-Amur. which it reportedly fulfilled. however.

In January 1930 a commission began to investigate options for building a “socialist city” for approximately 20. made it unacceptable. cafeteria. 81-82. 318. And this construction would have served only a fraction of the 14. in a section of a valley along the Iuksproik River. and allow room for expansion. 1929 meeting with Vsekhimprom and included the same figures discussed there. school. and other items.000 workers for the Apatit trust that would have modern cultural-enlightenment and domestic services. free workers from individual economic concerns.planning process also shows the ways that nature was not passive in the process. despite its superior climatic conditions. movie theater. The commission also rejected the idea of building the city at the railroad station because its distance from the mines.700 who actually lived in the Khibiny at the end of the first economic accounting year in November 1930 when the second cold season began. f. 1. GAMO. In what was probably part of Kondrikov’s initial plan to Vsekhimprom. a section on housing construction suggested building half of the living quarters for a 1100-person workforce and their families (3300 people total) during the first year plus an array of infrastructure such as a hospital. 37 72 . 1. but could act and occasionally stymie some attempts at human manipulation. bakery. ll. The commission concluded that a modern socialist city The plan I am referring to was unclearly labeled in the archival file but came immediately before the verbatim report from the December 23. climatic and topographical conditions. The option near the main mining site on Mount Kukisvumchorr had particularly poor climatic conditions such as strong winds and snowdrifts and lacked the possibility of arranging a sewage system “without pollution of Vud˝iavr which is the single source of a water supply.37 But soon the multifarious environmental factors affecting urban construction attracted greater consideration from planners. d. and the organization of a sewer system and water supply. 773. near the Apatity station of the Murmansk railroad. The commission evaluated four possibilities: on Mount Kukisvumchorr. Not only did this proposal impractically estimate costs.” The valley of the Iuksproik River would have similar problems with sewage but would offer protection from pollution winds (stochnykh vetrov). Some of the earliest proposals for the urban design of the new industrial site overlooked the Khibiny region’s environmental conditions. and on the south side of the Great Vud˝iavr Lake. it would have meant leaving many individuals without adequate housing during the first snowy winter. Major considerations in choosing a location were access to the worksite. op.

40 In response to these criticisms the Apatit trust again slightly altered its plan. 773. and Podgorbunskaia.39 Further outside evaluations in June heaped criticism on this potential location.on the south side of the Great Vud˝iavr would be the most ideal. the enterprise wanted to reduce the distance from the town to the mining areas and place the enrichment factory where the lake flowed out into the White River.41 Since the design of the city and the enterprise occurred simultaneously. Another evaluation agreed with the main objection of the last report that building infrastructure for the sewer system would be impossible. and the possibility of using the White River for dumping wastes while maintaining Great Vud˝iavr for the water supply. 107-108. op. the presence of an adequate water supply. the commission instead chose to emphasize the “comparatively” level surface on a dry area. Salimova.. climatic. 1. Petrova. For Apatit the main item that required choosing a location was the enrichment factory. op. d. f. This commission evaluated three potential 38 39 GAMO. safety during avalanches. the possibility of developing a loading route.38 In March 1930 the Apatit trust modified this option to position the city a few kilometers deeper into the mountains. and Podgorbunskaia. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. Acknowledging the strong winds and heavy snow cover in this location. the sufficient effect of the sun. 33-34.. One report encouraged an urban design that would establish “good sanitary conditions on account of the self-purifying properties of water. 1. eds. and green sections. 1. winds. since three separate mining settlements would be irrational and this location optimized transportation. At this extremely confused moment of planning. though still along Great Vud˝iavr. and sewage considerations. and the quality of the ground. the conditions for the diversion of tailings. and under the management of the trust. ll. 73 . Salimova. the location of industrial objects determined much of the layout.” But it noted that the proposed area would create tremendous difficulties with street design due to the steep inclines. f. In February 1930. ll. safety during explosions at the mines. the cover of fir trees on sandy soil. eds. 773. and air. 40 GAMO. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. 149-154. soil. d. 1. which should be preserved. 33-34. given their recent budget cut. a commission to determine the location of the enrichment factory created a list of eight factors to consider: the conditions for delivering the ore from the mines. the possibility of positioning the equipment in a cascade. 41 Petrova.

After the construction of the enrichment factory had already begun. “Pervyi khibinskii ekolog. Of all of the factors mentioned.” in Fersman. a foreign consultant offered another objection to its proposed location in August 1930. 209-210. Smirnov. 182-191. 238-244. and the dumping of tailings in the White River. ed.44 When outlining the overall features for the new city. the ability to dispose of tailings without polluting Great Vud˝iavr predominated in their decision to recommend the final location at the mouth of the White River on lower ground than the lake. enterprise leaders felt confident in the ability to create harmony between industrial modernity and the natural environment in the future. A local newspaper article referred to this episode as a way to claim that Kondrikov was the “first ecologist” in the Khibiny. ll. “Obogashchenie apatito-nefelinovoi porody Khibinskogo mestorozhdeniia. transportation issues. Fersman. op.” in A. Vorontsov made a point of mentioning the beauty of the settlement areas when giving a summary of the separate mining settlements and the new socialist city. 1932). in the Iuksporr valley on the northeast shore of Great Vud˝iavr. the main architect. op. 1. F. “Khibinskoe stroitel´stvo. Nikolai Vorontsov.42 Neither pure recklessness nor genuine antipathy toward nature inspired this environmentally destructive decision about what to do with industrial waste. R. 122-139 and GAMO. O. detailed G. 11. 1.” Khibinskii vestnik (November 12. 42 74 . 51. d. 2.. 43 GAMO. 2 (Leningrad: ONTI VSNKh SSSR Lenzkimsektor. Khibinskie Apatity. vol. f. The interest in maintaining the lake arose from the need to have an industrial and drinking water supply for both the city and the enterprise and the desire to avoid immediate expenditures on water purification. Vorontsov.. d. 773. 44 N. Munts. ll. Khibinskie Apatity. defended their decision against the consultant’s objections. 1.43 Overall.locations that overlapped with some of the options for the city: on the southern incline of Mount Iuksporr. The White River in this model would serve as an industrial sewer and trust employees developed estimates of the maximum loads of tailings that could be dumped in the river. Vorontsov insisted that in the future the wastes from apatite enrichment would be reused to produce a variety of materials and this further processing would reduce the amount of tailings being dumped. including the cost of the project. 1999). E. Instead. 773. ed. He suggested several reasons why building it in the mountains would be better. In a reply letter the head of the enrichment factory. They saw pollution of the White River as only a temporary problem. f. Maksim Nikolaev. vol. the architectural vision for the Khibiny revealed a desire to harmonize nature. and on the southern shore of Great Vud˝iavr. N. dwelling a bit on the “most substantial” one about polluting the river.

. 1 (October 2001): 6667. 2. 1932). 1930. a sewer system. “that man. popular literature by both renowned and relatively unknown authors extolling the project. vol. “Bor´ba za apatit v svet sovremennoi khudozhestvennoi literatury. including 57 intended for popular audiences. A book popularizing a new scientific center 75 ..48 This official culture in the Khibiny region relied on local Communist Party newspapers. telephone service.” in Geber. “Gorod Khibinogorsk i ego planirovka.” Munts concluded. 1928-1931 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. and new establishments created by the state for its propagation. ed.000 copies printed of B. M.” in Fersman. R. Maizel´. almost uninhabited. there were 20. Admitting the current difficulties of cultivating plants in a polar region. Some of these publications had strikingly large circulations. 49 The main local newspaper Khibinogorsk Worker (Khibinogorskii rabochii) first appeared on December 22. Munts sketched out how housing for workers.”47 Cultural Transformation An outpouring of cultural commentary. Munts.”45 To do so. is able to accord his labor with its eternal beauty. 46 47 48 Munts. “Gorod Khibinogorsk i ego planirovka. Cultural Revolution in Russia. and various municipal services could be built. activities. illumination. no.” Zhivaia Arktika. A general radicalization of Soviet culture during the first five-year plan that highlighted the revolutionary potential of Stalinist modernization inspired much of this enthusiasm..” in Fersman. Khibinskie Apatity.49 Applied to the environments of inhospitable 45 O. Khibinskie Apatity. ed. ed. 207. Vishnevskii. vol. eds. Sheila Fitzpatrick.the desired type of urban environment. a transportation network. and Sedlis. 1978) and Sheila Fitzpatrick. 2. The project demanded that a “wild. “Gorod Khibinogorsk i ego planirovka. “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska. simultaneously with a victory over nature and the disturbance of its majestic tranquility. ed. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. 193. Munts. In 1931 one source claimed that 673 publications about Khibiny existed. the architect proposed that in the future acclimatization could be used to create green belts throughout the city connecting the parks. Kamen´ plodorodiia (Moscow/Leningrad: Partiinoe izdatel´stvo. vol. a water supply. region will need to be transformed into a populated one and will need to supply its population with the satisfaction of all the requirements of a normal and cultured existence in the unique conditions of the far north. 209. Maizel´. Khibinskie Apatity. 1992). For instance. heating.” in Fersman.. 207.46 “It is necessary. Munts also envisioned three parks in the city that would preserve the forest sections remaining on the site and serve the sanitary purpose of protecting the city from noise and dust generated by the enrichment factory. and institutions accompanied the creation of Khibinogorsk and apatite mining. 192- 2.. The Cultural Front: Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

E. 1932-1939. 1924). “To Storm the Arctic: Soviet Polar Expeditions and Public Visions of Nature in the USSR. Edward Rae. 3 (2004): 104-123. Red Arctic: Polar Exploration and the Myth of the North in the Soviet Union 1932-1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1988).50 The place of the natural world in this local culture seems better characterized as a transformative and holistic vision of humans’ relationship to the environment. Emma Widdis. no. Nash Apatit (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo “Nauka. Anthropocentric in essence.” in James Cracraft and Daniel Rowland. M. Values and Concepts (Aleksanteri Papers 4/2005). 1928-1941” Environmental History 11. the rigidly confined cultural productions of the era frequently emphasized heroic narratives of Soviet citizens overcoming natural obstacles. Commentary on the sparse and desolate character of the territory was common among travelers to the region in late imperial Russia and the early 1920s. Kupletskii.” 1970). as a source of transformation during modernization. This analysis of the contours of the Stalinist representations of the Khibiny environment demonstrates this holistic logic by outlining descriptions of the natural world as incomplete and meaningless before human interference. 2003). Models of Nature: Ecology. and Bernd Stevens Richter. in the region was A. Yet.51 These remarks often carried some positive connotations as well: the beauty of pristine nature. 76 . Stalinist representations of nature were less uniformly antagonistic to nature than posited in some of the historiography. A Little Corner of Freedom: Russian Nature Protection from Stalin to Gorbachev (Berkeley: University of California Press. During the first five-year plan. Understanding Russian Nature: Representations. Tri goda za poliarnym krugom: Ocherki nauchnykh ekspeditsii v tsentral´nuiu Laplandiiu 1920-1922 godov (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia. Social Vision. 51 For example. Industrialized Nature. 1 (1997): 69-96.. Prishvin. “Nature Mastered by Man: Ideology and Water in the Soviet Union” Environment and History 3. 50 Works on Soviet representations of nature often highlight the pervasiveness of the theme of mastery. Douglas Weiner. no. 150-171. 1 (January 1995): 15-31. Public Discourse. Josephson. Douglas Weiner. “Colonization of Nature in the Soviet Union: State Ideology. and Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. M. and as a feature of socialist harmony in the future..” Historical Social Research 29. See Arja Rosenholm and Sari Autio-Sarasmo. Khibinskaia gornaia stantsiia (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR. eds.peripheries. eds. 1999). Fersman and B. the enticing exoticism of the far north. Fersman. Fersman. the Khibiny region as it existed before socialist construction was portrayed as lacking significance. I agree more with the analyses of William Husband and Mark Bassin that emphasize diversity in how nature was portrayed. eds. “The Greening of Utopia: Nature.. no. and Landscape Art in Stalinist Russia. E. V Kraiu nepuganykh ptits / Osudareva doroga (Petrozavodsk: Izdatel´stvo “Kareliia. Conservation. Architectures of Russian Identity: 1500 to Present (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Visions of a New Land: Soviet Film from the Revolution to the Second World War (New Haven: Yale University Press. this vision subsumed narratives of conquest but maintained room for divergent discourses about nature. 1881).” Ecumene 2. 1998). M.” 1968). John McCannon. 1934). See William Husband. Alla Bolotova. Also see A. John McCannon. “‘Correcting Nature’s Mistakes”: Transforming the Environment and Soviet Children’s Literature. and A. and the Experience of Geologists. E. 2003). The White Sea Peninsula: A Journey in Russian Lapland and Karelia (London: John Murray. 2 (April 2006): 300-318 and Mark Bassin.

1-2 (1934): 49. 1962). 54 Khibinogorskii rabochii (October. however. M. 1936).”55 This characterization implied that the pre-industrial environment of the Khibiny region was deficient in time. the local press used this phrase to refer derisively to the region before Bolshevik transformation.and a sense of nationhood that incorporated the “meagerness” of Russian nature into its landscape aesthetic.” KareloMurmanskii krai.”56 In this formulation and the words of other contemporary commentators on Christopher Ely. V Kraiu nepuganykh ptits / Osudareva doroga and M. Kagan and M.54 The revolutionary culture of Stalinist modernization used the desolateness of northern nature more exclusively to mark something that needed to be changed. Concern over “backwardness” was a long-standing issue in Russia. sluggishness. The authors continued. This Meager Nature: Landscape and National Identity in Imperial Russia (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. 53 Prishvin. M. 2002). 35. Poliarnaia pravda (May. Kagan and M. I. “Backwardness” was a category that encompassed a whole range of contemporaneously existing groups of people. Sheinker. N. a moniker that Mikhail Prishvin coined for the north in the early twentieth century —“the land of fearless birds”—was designed to inspire awe at the uniqueness of isolated patches of wilderness putatively beyond human influence. 1939). Describing the development of an apatite industry in the Khibiny in 1933. beliefs. Undeveloped territories symbolized the country’s supposed backwardness.53 In the 1930s. Khibinskie Apatity (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Lenoblispolkoma i Lensoveta. that “wild conservatism. expanding on their notion of backwardness. 52 77 . B. “The Kola Peninsula (the Murmansk district) in old times was one of the most neglected and backward borderlands. Kondrikov. Kol´skii krai v literature (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo. “Itogi i perspektivy Kol´skogo promyshlennogo kompleksa. 55 B. no. 91. 2. Two main Soviet modes of characterizing nature’s incompleteness before industrialization highlighted temporal lags and purposelessness. I. 1. and Kirovskii rabochii (February 28. 1933). I. 8 1932).. conditions.52 For instance. Kossov wrote. 2. Kondrikov repeats these lines without attribution a year later in V. 91. M. This temporal hierarchy functioned primarily through spatial comparisons that took foreign countries with industrial economies as advanced and modern. Kossov.” in V. Khibinskie Apatity. and places and relegated them to a diminutive spot on an imagined temporal hierarchy. ed. and the Asiatic tempos of the Tsarist government kept this huge region untouched and unstudied. “Reka Niva i ozero Imandra. Prishvin. 5 1938). 56 Kagan and Kossov. 3. Poliarnaia pravda (November 20.

vol. Productive forces embedded in nature could only be released by conscious human activity that rendered such elements of the environment economically useful. 6 and V.. 1. 1-2 (1933): 55. Markova.the status of the Khibiny territory in the pre-Soviet era. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. “Rol´ khibinskikh apatitov v kolonizatsii Kol´skogo poluostrova. 58 Vishnevskii. Pul´s Khibin (Leningrad: Sovetskii pisatel´. and S. “Kul´turnaia revoliutsiia pobezhdaet za poliarnym krugom. Brusilovskii and N.59 During his tour of the far north.. “Na kraiu zemli. Bogatstva Murmanskogo kraia – na sluzhbu sotsializmu: Itogi i perspektivy khoziaistvennogo razvitiia Kol´skogo poluostrova (Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe sotsial´no–ekonomicheskoe izdatel´stvo. The logic here reflected a deeply utilitarian and anthropocentric environmental worldview with clear connections to Marxist labor theories of value. would make whole. 14. The low population density of the region became a key element of a rhetoric that highlighted the insignificance of nature.58 Other writers also employed cartographic imagery in referring to the territory as a “blank spot on the map. 57 78 . Nikol´skii and Iu. 1934). Maksim Gor´kii lamented the “meaningless work of the elemental forces of nature” of the Kola Peninsula. eds. 60 Maksim Gor´kii. A. Semerov. Nowhere else provided such “a picture of premature chaos than this peculiarly beautiful and severe region. I. “Magnetity Kol´skogo poluostrova.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai.. Here you get the impression that “nature” wanted to do something. 4-8. Kamen´ plodorodiia. but only sowed this enormous space of the earth with rocks. Maizel´. Sovetskaia Kanada: Ocherki (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo “Federatsiia..” in B. 7. A. 69. 204. Maizel´. Kamen´ plodorodiia. 59 Bogatstva Murmanskogo kraia – na sluzhbu sotsializmu.” in Fersman. This past played the role of setting the stage for what socialist construction would transform.” in Geber. and Sedlis. 21. Khibinskie Apatity. ed. Pompeev. and P.” emphasizing an ostensible emptiness that elided the populations of pastoralists and fishers and the complex natural systems that existed there. Descriptions of the process of industrializing the Khibiny in Stalinist culture concentrated on the manipulation.” 1931). eds. Many authors would make this point by giving an arbitrary estimate of the number of people per square kilometer in the tsarist era. Zorich. would complete.” in Geber. slow industrial development deprived such peripheral landscapes of their potential significance. “Gornye sokrovishcha Kol´skogo poluostrova. I.”60 For Gor´kii polar nature was unable even to fulfill its own intentions and thus required the “reasonable activity of people” to correct its mistakes. Osinovskii. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. 1984). 124-146. 7-8. and Sedlis. 101. eds. I. Barsuk. See Vishnevskii.57 This notion of the meaninglessness of unused nature is another strand that often appeared in representations of the pre-industrial north. no.

” in Geber.64 Though corresponding with difficult.62 Commentators on the transformation of the area combined militaristic metaphors of conquest with more variegated portrayals of nature that romanticized work in an extreme northern environment. eds.. and education. Averbakh. Maizel´. In Stalinist culture the environment usually only played the role of an enemy to the extent that it helped positively define human action. eds. and Sedlis. Belomorsko-Baltiiskii Kanal imeni Stalina: Istoriia stroitel´stva (Moscow: Istoriia Fabrik i Zavodov. Sedlis. prisoners and former “kulaks” could become proper Soviet people. “Pervaia v mire.” 2004). Understanding Russian Nature. Understanding Russian Nature highlight the connection between re-forging and nature and quote this phrase. nature’s recalcitrance during initial industrial development helped evoke descriptions of the hardnosed treatment of the environment. eds. included activities like participation in greening campaigns. and reckless moments of interaction with the environment. The diverse contextual uses of the conquest theme help demonstrate this point. Sometimes.”63 As in the case of railroad construction. Ia.. the conquest of nature did not imply its intentional destruction. and S. Maizel´.. eds. Shashkov. Firin. as M.61 This impulse to totally transform nature and people and to ultimately eliminate conflict between them helps capture the place of the environment in the culture of Stalinist modernization. 62 V. and drew attention to the role of science in enabling industrial development. 99-124. changes himself” in the frequently cited epigraph to The History of the Construction of the Stalin White SeaBaltic Canal—that implied that through the mastery of nature.subjugation. 63 Geber. and Sedlis. 1934). Gor´kii. As discussed in the first chapter.. the ideology of the conquest of nature found frequent expression during the militaristic modernization of the Stalinist period. industrial labor. The process of socialist construction in the Khibiny was often lauded by the catchphrase “the Bolsheviks defeat the tundra. and local party and industrial leaders in the endeavor. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. eds.” in Rosenholm and Autio-Sarasmo. These ideas often fit into a dialectic of re-forging—“Man. 144 and Alla Bolotova. The re-education efforts among forced peasant migrants to the Khibiny region. Confrontations with such obstacles were used to establish the heroic qualities of the geologists. in changing nature. 64 V. venerated the natural resources of the region. chaotic. 280-282. and improvement of the natural environment by humans. 61 79 . for instance. volunteer workers. “The State. Geology and Nature in the USSR: The Experiences of Colonising the Russian Far North. L.. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. 175-189. Some of the articles in Rosenholm and AutioSarasmo. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti (Murmansk: “Maksimum.

37. 1972). and Sedlis.. eds.” in Geber. 69 G.” authors made an analogy between actual military experiences during the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War and the work of industrializing the Khibiny. “the remoteness of the region with its alluring nature and the unusual conditions of life in the north did not frighten several young members of the NIU but on the contrary attracted [them] (a manili) with its novelty and interest. P. and Sedlis. participants in the expeditions to this polar. Grigorii Pronchenko wrote. G. snowy.”67 Representations of Khibiny nature in discussions of the process of industrialization also depicted it as extreme. Descriptions of northern nature as distant..” in Geber. Authors often dwelt on the formidable difficulties and dangers posed by nature when establishing narratives of heroism. Take.”69 This enthusiasm for work in potentially frightening nature found widespread expression. for scientists. 67 Maizel´. Maizel´. “Pervootkryvateli Khibinskikh Apatitov. and Sedlis.. 5-12 and V.68 Reflecting on exploration in the Khibiny sponsored by the NIU in the spring of 1929. harsh. Maizel´. barren.65 Elsewhere. 1. such as in articles in the local party newspaper Khibinogorsk Worker. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. 66 Khibinogorskii rabochii (October 8. Bol´sheviki pobedili a song by A. dark.” in G.66 A key idea in the Stalinist version of the conquest of nature was that it would lead to the mutual improvement of humans and territories. I. 65 80 .. windy. “Bor´ba za apatit v svet sovremennoi khudozhestvennoi literatury. E. Additionally. 27..” in Geber. Maizel´. Pronchenko. Khibinskie Klady: Vospominaniia veteranov osvoeniia Severa (Leningrad: Lenizdat. uninhabited. this fragment of Lev Oshanin’s poem about A. and alpine terrain became mythologized as pioneers and discoverers of new deposits. “Privet zavoevateliam (pesnia). From the beginning of geological research in the Khibiny region. for instance. “Ot nauchnoi problemy k real´nomu delu. Fersman. eds. Reshetov. 222. “the courageous Bolshevik work on the assimilation of the mineral resources of the Khibiny” brings about “the creation of the new man who in the struggle with nature transforms himself into an active builder of a classless socialist society.” 2000). Maizel´. Timofeev. eds. eds. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. cold. and Sedlis. “V Bor´be za ovladenie nedrami Khibinskikh gor. and dangerous fit into romantic narratives of economically developing the region. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. military metaphors for the industrial transformation of the environment referred to expanded research that allowed nature to be put further under the rational control of humans. As M. ed. Akademik A. Maizel´ wrote. 1932). 207-208. Piatovskii. the language of conquest served to align economic development in the north with Stalin’s dominant faction in the central party apparatus. 68 V. Moe otkrytie Rasvumchorra (Apatity: Izdatel´stvo MUP “Poligraf.” in Geber. Rakov. Reshetov called “Hello Conquerors.

Pul´s Khibin. Poliarnaia pravda (November 17. 1 (October 2001): 60-61. Sedlis.. 200.”74 Such a moniker attributed animate properties to this rock. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru.” in Nikol´skii and Pompeev. “Povest´ ob udarnikakh gory Kukusvum (Otryvok iz poema). they referred to the substances in the depths of the earth as a treasure chest filled with inexhaustible mineral resources and assigned value and potency to the land holding such materials. Geochemisty for Everyone (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House.. 51. / One might freeze under a wolf-skin coat. Continuing to express the colonization of the nature ideology that extended back to the late imperial era and dominated in the 1920s.” Zhivaia Arktika.. 2. “Khleb i metall (znachenie khibinskoi promyshlennosti v dele khimizatsii narodnogo khoziaistva). eds.73 Another striking aspect of this adoration of the minerals below the earth’s surface was the stress on the interconnection between inorganic and organic materials. extending the claimed worth of mined materials beyond the treasure chest metaphor. 99-110.” Karelo-Murmanksii krai. Maizel´. “Rabochaia noch´. 70 81 .”72 For Tolstoi this feature of the northern environment helped it be transformed into a new mainland (materik) for industry. “Novyi materik.” in Geber. Iakovlev. A full reprint of the poem appeared in Lev Oshanin. and GAMO. E. Aleksei Tolstoi. l. “If these mountains were pure gold. S. 68.” 70 In this lyric it was the threatening wind and frost that set up the conditions for the personal transformation of the miners into heroes of industrialization. no. 4 (1933): 8. “Predislovie. References to the “stone of fertility” appear in Vishnevskii. 1946). no.” Karelo-Murmanksii krai. / But must never simply stand before the wind. M. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. 1936). 74 Rolf Hellebust.. 4 (1927): 14. Pul´s Khibin.shock workers at the Kukisvumchorr mine from 1932: “The all-out wind blows along the ledges. Prof. E. “Khibinskie nefelinovye sienity i pervoe stelko iz nikh. eds. no. Kamen´ plodorodiia.” in Nikol´skii and Pompeev. 67. P. 2003) and A. Borisov. and Poliarnaia pravda (April 27. 3.71 Writer Aleksei Tolstoi exaggerated. 87. 185-188. 9-20. “Novyi materik. 1. Vospominaniia o kamne (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo Akademii nauk SSSR. f. “Osvoenie minerala: Vsesoiuznaia konferentsiia po nefelinam. Maizel´. eds. Ivanov. 71 P. Semerov. Pul´s Khibin.” and V.” in Geber. d. “Novyi materik. 73 Tolstoi. 1958).” in Vishnevskii. 69. A. Fersman. The “stone of fertility” implied an ability of apatite to create not Lev Oshanin. eds. sliding on the slopes. and Sedlis. eds. Related to the geochemistry practiced by some of the scientists involved in the project and the symbolic veneration of metal in Soviet culture. and Sedlis. they would not be so precious. [1940] 1960). A. 773.” in Nikol´skii and Pompeev. Fersman. 2-3. Kamen´ plodorodiia. / Thundering on the grounds. Commentators on the creation of a mining and processing enterprise in the Khibiny also effused about the wealth of the mineral resources on the Kola Peninsula. Flesh to Metal: Soviet Literature and the Alchemy of Revolution (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. “Gornye sokrovishcha Kol´skogo poluostrova.. apatite became praised as the “stone of fertility. op. 72 Tolstoi.

Etnokul’turnye protsessy na Kol’skom Severe (Apatity: Kol’skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. Makarova. A. then the Kola Branch of the Academy of Sciences in 1949. Even in such proclamations we can see a focus on justifying expanded research and seeking total comprehension of nature. and man not Fersman played a crucial though ambivalent role in a restructuring of the Academy of Sciences in 1929-1930 that gave scientists at the institution an explicit goal of finding practical applications for their research. “Ot Tietty—k Kol´skoi base AN SSSR: Istoriia organizatsii geologicheskogo otdela po arkhivnym dokumentam. V. industrial. 2003).78 However. 2004). F. eds. See E. Another category of depiction of the natural world in the Khibiny region during the first years of Soviet industrialization involved a scientific perspective. 77 James T. of course. 159-164. Public Science. “Stanovlenie i razvitie Kol´skogo nauchnogo tsentra RAN kak istoricheskii opyt Rossiiskogo puti promyshlennoi tsivilizatsiia severnykh territorii v XX veke. 120-189. Ushakova (Murmansk: MGPU.” in V. “Sud’by nauki na Kol’skom Severe (Po materialam Kol’skoi bazy AN SSSR). and finally the Kola Science Center of the Academy of Sciences in 1988.” Science in these years became more wedded to specific service to the state. Makarova. including the mountain station “Tietta.” in V.” in Mineralogiia vo vsem prostranstve seto slova (Apatity: Kol’skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. I. 3-14. P. required extracting it from the mountains. Andrews. Petrov and I. accepted this change. N. A. Razumova.just wealth but life itself. 2004). life. Vinogradov. 2006). ed. The Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Communist Party.76 Researchers also came under pressure to popularize their scientific research for the sake of cultural enlightenment. and cultural assimilation of distinct territories lies above all on the scientific mastery of them and the conquest of all sides of nature.. 1927-1932 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. T. To unleash this power. 1917-1934 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press. they did require putting generalizations into a more Bolshevik language. 1967). Science for the Masses: The Bolshevik State. Kalinnikov and A. 75 82 .” It later became the Kola Base of the Academy of Sciences in 1932. “Kol’skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk v istorii Kol´skogo severa. 78 S.75 A practical focus opened new research opportunities in certain fields and helped lead to the creation of the Khibiny Mountain Station of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1932. 76 This institute combined several previously existing organizations. This stated aim of their research was common in modernizing states and continued an element of the scientific culture from the pre-Soviet era that emphasized “pure science. I.77 These political pressures on scientists did not change the basic understanding of nature as an object of study for many of the people working in the Khibiny. T. Graham. Loren R. 2004). but individuals working in the north. and the Popular Imagination in Soviet Russia. such as Fersman.. Fersman wrote “that the path to economic. 27-30.” Ushakovskie chteniia: Materialy pervoi nauchno-prakticheskoi mezhregional´noi kraevedcheskoi konferentsii pamiati professora I. Kalinnikov. E. The main desire of many of the scientists working in the Khibiny was to comprehend nature fully in this peripheral place. Prirodopol´zovanie v Evro-Arkticheskom regione: Opyt XX veka i perspektivy (Apatity: KNTs RAN. 101-116. Duizhilov.

Ia. Novyi promyshlennyi tsentr SSSR za poliarnym krugom (Khibinskii apatit). In this cultural logic Stalinist industrialization would have fulfilled an incomplete landscape through a process of mutual re-forging and made it a beautiful monument to socialist modernity. and darkness” to a “blossoming industrial and cultural region. ed. vol. eds. 182-191. 32.) (Murmansk: MGPU. Vorontsov. red corners. libraries. but in complete envelopment of all the complex economic and social diversity of their mutual separation. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru.. Lastly. 7. Salimova. the vision for the future socialist city included a harmonious relationship between the transformed Arctic tundra and new Soviet people. theaters. eds. see Petrova.” in Geber. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. but also a complex entity that could only be comprehended through “complete envelopment” with human beings.”80 From the perspective of Stalinist modernity. and Munts. athletics in the Khibiny predictably enough focused on skiing and other winter sports. Khibinskie Apatity. On the cultural rehabilitation of special settlers in particular. a habitat that included these cultural and industrial installations provided an inherently better-suited ecosystem in which humans could thrive than the desolate tundra. Barsuk.”79 Nature as represented here was not just an object of conquest. including previously existing features like the mountain relief. Maizel´.. vol. and Podgorbunskaia. cinemas. ed. Spetspereselentsy na Murmane: Rol´ spetspereselentsev v razvitii proizvoditel´nykh sil na Kol´skom poluostrove (1930-1936 gg. 54. “Gorod Khibinogorsk i ego planirovka. Besides following many of the contours of the physical cultural movement in the country. a lack of culture. clubs. research institutions. 80 79 83 . Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. see V. 2. 2. 176-183.. Kamen´ plodorodiia.81 New ways for people to experience and take advantage of polar nature through sport and tourism began to be emphasized.” in Fersman. and the polar night as well as new facilities such as parks and buildings. 159-176. Shashkov. 1993). conservatories. 27. 81 Vishnevskii. the lakes. and Podgorbunskaia.. 192-207.82 Events started to be organized in the early 1930s and by the time the annual Holiday of the North began on the Kola Peninsula in Fersman. Through the creation of schools. 82 Petrova. the area would go from being “held in the pincers (kleshchakh) of ignorance. On the establishment of various institutions and activities.. and Sedlis. Khibinskie Apatity. “Khibinskoe stroitel´stvo. The idea of this transformation also opened way for a renewed stress on the beauty of elements of the Khibiny environment. pioneer camps. Salimova. eds. 78-89.” in Fersman. parks and health facilities and with the aid of mass enlightenment campaigns and anti-religious propaganda in the newspapers. “Kul´turnaia revoliutsiia pobezhdaet za poliarnym krugom.

Gorsuch and Diane P.” in Geber.... 68. to rest with real pleasure after the descent. Koenker. 1984). the area had become a center of downhill skiing in the northwest part of the Soviet Union. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. Though initial suggestions of handing over the entire project to the prison camp administration were rejected for the sake of building a new socialist city in the far north. Turizm: The Russian and East European Tourist under Capitalism and Socialism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 86 Barsuk. “Mir zhenshchiny v istorii Khibinogorska (K 75-letiiu goroda). From the beginning state planners considered using some form of forced labor for mining in the Khibiny. 83 84 .”84 These distinct characteristics of polar nature also became important in efforts to promote tourist excursions to the Khibiny Mountains. In this ideal the modernized environment not only became more hospitable but also acted to improve human life beyond what had been possible in a pre-industrial territory. 85 Barsuk.March 1934. Koenker.85 In making the case for the Khibiny as an attractive place to vacation. and Sedlis. having climbed up one of the high mountains. promoting energetic work immediately upon return from the excursion. G. 68 and A. eds. This tempers and strengthens the organism of a person well. see A. increasing these highly valued traits of strength and vigor.” in Anne E. On “purposeful” recreation. Salimova. It would be much nicer to relax here on the shore of a river or. and Sedlis. 1932). a newspaper article urged Kirovsk residents to “fully use the splendid topographical and climatic setting of their city.. eds. Fersman. 2006).. Putevoditel´ po khibinskim tundram (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk.86 Northern nature under Soviet control could serve to replenish workers in the other parts of country. eds. E. “Kul´turnaia revoliutsiia pobezhdaet za poliarnym krugom. Forced Labor in the Tundra During the height of these optimistic cultural expressions about finding industrial harmony with nature.83 During the 1937 ski season. 119-140. see Diane P. one writer declared: I would not exchange the nature of the north for even a section of the Caucasus. 84 Petrova.” in Geber. On women's participation in ski events there. 145. Maizel´..” in Tretie Ushakovskie chteniia: SBornik nauchnykh statei (Murmansk: MGPU. The campaign to create a new form of purposeful proletarian relaxation can be seen in the encouragement of visitors to come and potentially assist in further geological exploration during their hikes. Maizel´. eds. Khrapovitskii. and Podgorbunskaia.. 180. Dubnitskii and A. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. “Kul´turnaia revoliutsiia pobezhdaet za poliarnym krugom. 2006). the social history of the Khibiny Mountains was turning in a more ominous direction. From the north you always arrive vigorous and strong. Prazdnik Severa (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo.. Samorukova. “The Proletarian Tourist in the 1930s: Between Mass Excursion and Mass Escape. ed. the government and M. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. continuing a precedent begun by the wartime tsarist government with the construction of the Murmansk railroad.

87 Families arrived in new. inhospitable. 1 (Winter 2007): 105-135. This episode of forced resettlement included 918 individuals who arrived in the Khibiny region in mid-March. In April 1930. agriculture. or kulaks. As part of a mass collectivization campaign during the winter of 1929-1930.” in Fersman.” Relocated peasants would work in timber. 14-88.” in the economic development of the peripheral regions. They were stripped of their property and excluded from membership in the new collective farms.. “Sovremennoe sostoianie i perspektivy razvitiia stroitel´stva v raione Khibinskikh razrabotok. self-sustaining “colonization settlements. 2. 51 and V. 151. d. no.”89 This agency also specifically believed it was “impossible” to meet the needs of the Apatit trust by “hiring a free labor supply” because of the “remoteness and natural wildness of the Khibiny. but only a general idea of using these de-kulakized peasants to exploit natural resources in distant peripheries. 23-24.” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 8. 88 Viola. 89 Oleg V. I. millions of comparatively well-off peasants became targeted as class enemies. 87 85 . Kondrikov similarly complained that “the severe Shashkov. l.”90 In a request to hire USLON prisoners as technical specialists. The History of the Gulag: From Collectivization to the Great Terror (New Haven: Yale University Press. Khibinskie Apatity. 17. “Special Settlements in Soviet Russia in the 1930s-50s. OGPU head Genrikh Iagoda outlined the idea of turning these camps into more or less permanent. op. ed. The Unknown Gulag. vol. f. Spetspereselentsy na Murmane. and mining and help “colonize the North in the shortest possible time. 120. The government slated a huge portion of these households for exile. and unfamiliar environments with minimal accommodations arranged. 1-31. 26. The twin policies of collectivization and de-kulakization aimed at giving the state control of agricultural output. Also Oxana Klimkova. Khlevniuk. Kondrikov. 90 RGASPI. the Soviet state chose to use these de-kulakized peasant migrants.enterprise leaders remained uncertain about how to supply labor for the project.88 In order to try to help solve a severe labor shortage in the early 1930s. 2004). Apatit was born during the first major drive to collectivize agriculture. Deportations began in the winter of 1930 at a time when there was no clear plan for resettlement. An impetuous decision in the spring of 1930 to send millions of peasants stripped of their property during collectivization to settlements around the country determined the dominant strategy for peopling the Khibiny project. who were known by the euphemism “special settlers.

op. 1. 15. 34.000 in 1927. 8. op. 315. d. the Apatit trust signed a contract with the OGPU for a contingent of up to 15. f. op.climate” of the region inhibited the enterprise’s ability to recruit experts. GAMO. d. op. 1. 95. 773. 5. and Podgorbunskaia. 91. d. 1. 773. 93 GAMO. and certain communal services. 773. 315. 1. 1. l. l. the contract prohibited special settlers from going on vacation. op. ll. 773. 1. It would also be responsible for providing housing. and wages (except for the 15% that would be paid to the camp administration) as offered to other workers. 773. GAMO. All but a few thousand of them Petrova. GAMO. The OGPU would offer funds for heating. 1. 6. On the more punitive side. but many new voluntary migrants would leave soon after encountering the conditions there. l. Mortality. the special settlers provided an extra source of workers that cheapened labor costs in the first year and helped make the industrial project possible. 22ob. and schools. and put the OGPU commandant in charge of disciplinary issues. d. 247. sanitation infrastructure.000 special settlers. This agreement stipulated that the Apatit trust would supply the special settlers with equivalent levels of food. material provisions.. f. labor recruitment proved exceedingly difficult for Apatit. op. 185-189. 1. limited their ability to serve in administrative positions without the approval of the OGPU commandant’s office. op. eds. d. 92-96 and GAMO.. GAMO. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. and Podgorbunskaia. 230-232.94 The special settlers became the main source of labor at this industrial site in the Khibiny Mountains. This lack of retention occurred despite a system of benefits that existed specifically in northern industry that would grant recruited laborers higher wages and more vacation after a year of employment. 94 Viola. demanded that they live in separate areas or buildings. 225. f. 34. f. d. Salimova. we can estimate that in this period more than 45.000 special settlers came to the Kola Peninsula. GAMO. In the summer of 1931. eds.91 Indeed. f. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh.92 Given this overall shortage. 773. d. and mass exodus of recruited laborers make it difficult to trace the precise population fluctuations during the 1930s. 1. The trust recruited groups of skilled workers. 92 91 86 . including ‘enthusiastic’ communists and Komsomol members from Leningrad. l. escapes. and Petrova. being deprived of mobility and civil rights but contractually entitled to wages and (frequently unfulfilled) amenities. l. Salimova. 773. 41. ll. illumination. medical facilities.93 The special settlers occupied an intermediate status between citizens and labor camp prisoners. However. f. f. 77. which only had a total population of 27. The Unknown Gulag.

eds. Salimova. close to 20. Though initially the special settlers primarily lived in separate settlements outside the city (see Table 1).9% were women) and 32% were under sixteen years old. 167. 95 87 . 2) Settlement at the 20-21 kilometer mark Settlement at the 18 kilometer mark Settlements at the 6. (Murmansk: Murmanskii gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii institut. 97 Petrova. 1930-1954 gg. but the largest percentage of them was relocated from parts of the Leningrad region. 96 V. the labor needs of this project required greater integration of these forced migrants with the new socialist city of Khibinogorsk. Population of Special Settlers in the Khibiny Region on October 25.. Raskulachivanie v SSSR i sud´by spetspereselentsev.95 In comparison to the majority of special settlers who worked in small isolated settlements serving the forest industry. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh.97 Table 1. and Podgorbunskaia. 1996). Shashkov. special settlers made up 69% of the total population (25. 98 Petrova. Salimova. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. 32 and Shashkov.13. 108-113. Ia. 95.000 of them resided in Khibinogorsk by 1933. 193198 Settlement Population of special settlers 1340 3277 724 7195 3018 1601 591 31 37 Percentage of the population that were special settlers 38% 56% 80% 82% 99% 88% 67% 6% 54% Khibinogorsk Mining Settlement No. eds.485) in the Khibiny region in October 1931. 16 kilometer marks The state farm Industriia and the Closed Workers’ Cooperative “Apatity” station of the Murmansk Railroad Nepheline administration Shashkov. Spetspereselentsy na Murmane.96 The special settlers came from numerous places in the country. 14. and Podgorbunskaia. Excluding the construction site of the Niva Hydroelectric Station. 94-96.. At this point the gender ratio was near equal (48. 1 (the 25 kilometer mark from the Murmansk Railroad) Iuksporiok (Mining Settlement No.directly served the apatite works.

It is being reprinted with permission from Cambridge University Press. and possibilities of habitation. the availability of basic domestic supplies. and special setters’ access to food and water. hunger. contrary to intention. the unsuitable system of waterways. have obvious natural dimensions. the steep mountain relief of the worksite. pollution. for instance. and barn-like The material in this section appeared in Andy Bruno. the limited presence of building materials. Nature occasionally exacerbated the situation as industrial activities caused environmental changes such as pollution and increased avalanches. political decisions to undertake rapid industrialization with forced labor heightened the vulnerability of migrants to an array of natural hazards. The disastrous situation partially reflected a deeply disharmonious relationship with the environment created. The visions for making Khibinogorsk a place where life and work would overcome obstacles posed by nature and people would coexist peacefully with this new tamed environment contrasted sharply with the situation on the ground.Human Ecology in the Khibiny Mountains The species of fauna known as Homo sapiens did not thrive in this habitat created by Stalinist industrialization and forced deportations. “Industrial Life in a Limiting Landscape: An Environmental Interpretation of Stalinist Social Conditions in the Far North. and hygiene. and the distance of the region from supply sources significantly affected the housing situation. coldness. while a perilous environment remained outside state control. Stalinist modernization did not initially lead to a functioning socialist city above the polar circle. mud huts. the infertility of the soil.99 Issues of housing. filth. food. The habitat that first greeted the forced migrants to the Khibiny region consisted of snowy mountain tundra with ad hoc housing of tents. climatic phenomena and geographical features shape the needs.” International Review of Social History 55. and disorder raged. but to a profound human and natural tragedy in which disease. clothing. the dearth of flora and fauna for human foraging. limitations. As in the case of the construction of the Murmansk railroad. On the whole. S18 (December 2010): 153-174. 99 88 . Plants and animals nourish humans and supply materials. In the case of the Khibiny Mountains the long and snowy polar winter. by the state’s industrialization drive. de-forestation. It makes sense to examine the abysmal living conditions that the special settlers encountered in the Khibiny region from an environmental perspective.

f. 17. 773. A hierarchical allocation of better accommodations first to freely recruited laborers meant that special settlers lived in these temporary dwellings the longest.”105 Trust leaders also explained their failures in housing 100 A. 104 RGASPI. Barabanov and T. d. there is comparatively little wood. are extremely unfavorable. “Apatit”. but the other housing types and extremely crowded conditions lasted through the first five-year plan. d. d. The lack of suitable forest materials on the Kola Peninsula led the city to import wood from the Arkhang´elsk region. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti. pathogens causing diseases such as measles. 38. 5-6 (1931): 9. 101 89 . close to 12. 38.103 The Apatit trust also continually failed to fulfill its own plans for housing construction. typhoid fever. ll. 773. 105 Kondrikov. claimed that the large portion of the current housing stock that “consists of shalmanov. At one point in late 1930 after the winter had begun. 5. 773. typhus. V.000 of 14. 191-193. GAMO. 5. f. and Podgorbunskaia. Kirov wrote that special settlers in the Khibiny region only had 1. “Sostoianie i perspektivy stroitel´stva v raione Khibinskikh razrabotok. 103 Barabanov and Kalinina. considerably less than the desired three square meters per person. I. op. 2004). and GAMO. d. ll. 44.” The mud huts seem not to have survived the winter of 1931 here.structures built with thin boards and wood beams called shalmany. f. op. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. and tuberculosis spread throughout the population. op. Kalinina.. It exacerbated the endemic problems the Soviet state had in providing basic supplies to new industrial sites. op. “Apatit”: vek iz veka (Apatity: Laplandia Minerals. l. A. large supplies of limestone on the Kola Peninsula have still not been found.104 Kondrikov described the role of the Kola environment in inhibiting construction: “Unfortunately.100 As numerous families crowded into these dirty living spaces. ll. l. eds. 190. particularly during an epidemic situation. f. d. 191-193.” Tihkomirov’s overall assessment was that “the housing conditions of the population. A. the renewal period of which extends here up to 200 years. 26. A condemning report from December 1930 by the regional inspector of housing and communal sanitation. 67 and Shashkov. 773. op.9 square meters of space per person. 1.101 In 1934. and until very recently there was a large deficit of clay. 85.102 Polar nature further complicated the housing situation in the Khibiny Mountains. 1. and tents that act as surrogates of housing is unacceptable for the conditions of the polar winter. 60-61. 120. no. mud huts. 1. 9.000 residents in the Khibinogorsk region lived in these types of houses. GAMO.” KareloMurmanskii krai. 271-278. Petrova. Salimova. 9-10. 102 GAMO. 1. 22-23. Tikhomirov. f.

108 For the eight to nine months of the year when temperatures in the Khibiny Mountains were below freezing. 1974). 1..”106 Moreover.112 This catastrophe inspired an active campaign in the city to monitor Petrova. 51. 122-139. ed. op. S..109 The mountainous terrain already made the potential for avalanches and rockslides especially great..” in Rakov. 334. Shashkov. and Podgorbunskaia. 107 106 90 . 112 Smirnov. Morev. Odovenko and R. ARAN.”107 The frequent forest fires along the Murmansk railroad and the near exhaustion of the limited wood supply near Little Vud˝iavr Lake also limited special settlers’ options for remedying the housing shortage themselves. Boldyrev. A. The use of industrial explosions in the mines during the long winter heightened this risk. d. 24. Gamberg. One report from 1934 summarized the situation for the special settlers: “there are no funds and also no construction materials—this means that there are no houses. K. M. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti.. 1936). f. “Sovershenstvovanie tekhnologii otkrytoi razrabotki moshchnykh rudnykh zalezhei. ll. 290-300. 149-154.. “Obogashchenie apatito-nefelinovoi porody Khibinskogo mestorozhdeniia. 1. V.” in I. Khibinskie Klady. Kirova (Leningrad: Seriia izdatel´stva po khibinskoi apatitovoi probleme. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. Vladimirov and N. 92. Salimova. as partially due to the “harsh climate of the polar tundra” and “the mountain relief of the location with rocky ground. N. S.110 A major avalanche from Mount Iuksporr on 5 December 1935 destroyed two buildings. op.111 State and industrial planners clearly contributed to making the migrants vulnerable to this disaster by deciding to place the settlement in an area known to be avalanche-prone. 1. 773. f. and killed eighty-nine individuals. 108 GAMO. f. which housed 249 people. 1. “Lavina s gory Iukspor. 1. including forty-six special settlers. ed. which reduced available building materials even further. dust from the enrichment factory started destroying local flora. 110 P. Turchaninov. Osvoenie mineral´nykh bogatstv Kol´skogo poluostrova (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. The area had an annual average of over 160 days of snowstorms a year and significantly greater snow cover than other parts of the Kola Peninsula. 109 B. 120-121. l. 101-102 and S. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. ed. Apatitovyi rudnik im. snow acted as a dangerous environmental influence. vol. 66. eds. Khibinskie Apatity. 773. and Podgorbunskaia. op. 544. and GAMO. 277. 107-108. 111 Petrova. d. 1-6.” in Fersman. After the production of concentrated apatite began in the fall of 1931. d. special settlers who attempted to construct their own housing could not find adequate supplies. M. eds. Salimova.

” in Spetspereselentsy v Khibinakh: Spetspereselentsy i zakliuchennye v istorii osvoeniia Khibin (Kniga vospominanii) (Apatity: Khibinskoe obshchestvo “Memorial.” in E. 68-69. and staying warm in the tundra. 113 91 . op. sheets. The supply system in the Khibiny region managed to procure a somewhat reasonable level of some of the required clothing such as leather shoes. d.”116 Food shortages characterized life in the Khibiny region throughout the 1930s. B. bags. Zamotkin and N. part 2 (Apatity: Akademiia Nauk SSSR Geograficheskoe Obshchestvo SSSR Severnyi filial. op.115 However. underwear.113 The special settlers also often lacked basic items necessary for survival in such a cold climate. 773. f. 117 GAMO. Like elsewhere in the country. vol. which facilitated food shipments. the trust and the city government petitioned for special winter clothing. 1971). working. suits. and cooking. 114 Viola. 305-310. The government had stripped them of most of their property except for a bit of money and some clothing and equipment for agriculture. 2. 33-44. and established a few stores. Ia.114 To augment the clothing and tools brought by the migrants. They occurred despite the contractual obligations of the trust and the secret police to supply the special settlers with sufficient food provisions and the settlement’s proximity to the Murmansk railroad. eds. coats. f. and Podgorbunskaia. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa.117 The state and party organs in Khibinogorsk attempted to procure foodstuffs through several organizations including a Closed Workers’ Cooperative and a special trust to manage imports. Belen´kii. The Unknown Gulag. M. 116 F. B. 2. Zubkova later summarized it succinctly: “In material terms we lived poorly. As special settler F. “Iz istorii issledovaniia snega i lavin v khibinakh. d.. 115 GAMO. and hats by late 1930. 20. these efforts failed to overcome the chronic lack of sufficient items needed for living. they also set up a network of cafeterias where people ate most of their meals.. The frequently violent expropriations of the de-kulakization campaign left many peasant families with much less than the sanctioned norms. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. but their continued threat limited the locations of new settlements in the long run. Egorova. “Opiat´ nas ushchemliaiut. construction. 183-186 and Petrova. M. Salimova. 230-232. 64-65.” 1997). ll. as forced and voluntary migrants continued to flow to the worksite. 1. 773. felt boots. set up occasional open fairs. B.and prevent avalanches. eds. 6. 1. ll. Zubkova.

spent its first years on land reclamation. 74-75. Zverev. 16. and Podgorbunskaia.Far short of supplying the state-sanctioned rations. only they've gone away. Diuzhilov.” in Fedorov. “Nauchnoe reshenie problemy poliarnogo zemledeliia. 11-18. 15. He goes out for mushrooms and fetches netting and fish. Salimova. In this way we didn't starve.119 Given these environmental constraints. The fish is good. in the fall of 1931 Apatit began dumping massive amounts of wastewater from enrichment Petrova. Zhivushchie na Severe. 54. 82-86. And there was perch where the airdrome is. D. and Mikhailov.. 118 92 . 76-79. ll. and Podgorbunskaia.118 The natural conditions of this rocky polar land inhibited efforts to feed the special settlers adequately. 68-74 and GAMO. Indeed. Bardileva. The meat and milk economy of the state farm also suffered from a lack of shelters for livestock. d. 120 Petrova. A. 120 Some special settlers in the Khibiny region dealt with these shortages by making use of natural elements familiar to them in a new environment.. scientists only conclusively established the possibility of growing certain vegetables in the 1920s and grain cultivation never became a viable option. eds. The migrants caught freshwater fish in the nearby lakes and rivers and collected mushrooms and berries in the summer. “Rasskaz o zhizni bogatoi.121 In the first years after their arrival many families supplemented their diets with aquatic fauna that they obtained outside of the state-sponsored distribution system. 773.D. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. which caused many animals to freeze to death. The state farm Industriia. In the White River there used to be a lot of fish.” in Spetspereselentsy v Khibinakh. f. Salimova. farming only a few hectares of land. He also goes there and catches.. eds. 1. L. 119 S. He went into the mountains where there were already pools and caught fish. He was a craftsman and made nets. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. where a number of special settlers worked. and the short growing season characteristic of such latitudes made agriculture nearly impossible here. it is hardly surprising that the initial attempts of the Apatit trust to organize local agriculture were largely unsuccessful. However. these institutions were only minimally effective in helping to prevent the population from starving. We had ponds around home and there were many fish. the region’s alpine elevation. later described the tactics employed by his family at the time: Father made nets. 121 L. eds. op. One special settler. The infertility of the soil. Zverev.

125 Shashhkov. 1. the special settlements also suffered terribly from the lack of food and ruthless government action. f. causing scurvy. 278-279 and GAMO. Regardless of whatever ideas urban and enterprise planners had for the use of the region’s water bodies.. revealed a continued insufficiency in the diets of workers and their families. d. ll. and extinguishing fires. 122 93 . cooking. 40-42 and GAMO. f. The lack of food led some to flee. especially Ukraine. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti. 13. 100. d. The Unknown Gulag. The problem here was not so much a dearth of the substance as a lack of the infrastructure needed to arrange a clean water supply and remove sewage. 141. eds. Gigant v Khibinakh. Specific conditions of the Khibiny environment played a role here in the scurvy outbreaks and the fact that 70% of children suffered from rickets in 1934. ll. 51. thereby guaranteeing the further suffering of this population. the first migrants in 1930 immediately began drawing water from the closest sources to their settlements for drinking. Furthermore.123 A famine in 1932-1933 hit the grain-producing regions of the country. trash receptacles. cleaning. As sanitation inspector Tikhomirov wrote at the end of 1930: Barabanov. Diuzhilov.122 This industrial pollution would soon kill off the fish there and eliminate this source of food for the special settlers.124 A 1934 report of the Khibinogorsk City Council. in what became a chronic problem for many years in the Khibiny region. Zhivushchie na Severe.processing into the White River.. giving rise to rickets. 1. 544. The lack of local fruits and vegetables inhibited vitamin C intake. and used water from the bathhouses began to pollute the water supply. A. 161. op. et al. these everyday forms of pollution already made the unpurified water far from clean. Food shortage also resulted in widespread incidents of diseases caused by malnourishment. 1. op. R-163. 123 ARAN. after ration levels had been restored. l. 124 Viola. the hardest. d. 773. cesspits. An immediate response of the central authorities was to reduce food rations for special settlers. others died of starvation..g. et al. 44-59 and S. “‘Arkhipelag Svobody’ na Murmane (vtoraia polovina 1920-kh—1930-e g. various sources of human contamination from laundry. However. f. 132-149.). op. and the long sunless months and insufficient dairy consumption likely led to vitamin D deficiencies.” in Fedorov. bathing. 92-94. They often filled barrels with water from lakes and rivers or built temporary pipes that froze in the winter. Even without industrial dumping.125 The situation with water was no better.

doing laundry in living quarters. and taking water from a specific lake and river for any reason besides housing construction. lavatories. cesspits. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. placing cafeterias. eds.126 As diseases connected to contaminated water gripped Khibinogorsk and its outlying settlements in 1931-1932. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti. One hundred copies of it were printed and presumably posted around the area.130 The steep tundra mountains and the existing water system of the area confounded industrialists’ schemes for organizing the territory’s hydrology to their maximum benefit. op. Salimova. 94 . 129 Petrova. eds.Independent of the results of the study [on the bacteriologic content of the water] one can already now count all of the available sources of a water supply as to a greater or lesser degree contaminated. R-163. 26. 62-63. stables. d.128 Eventually. 130 Shashhkov. d. The regime’s unwillingness to prioritize sewer construction and the effects of industrial pollution added to the difficulties with arranging a water supply for the new settlement. 1. At the end of 1930 the Apatit trust still intended to begin construction on a sewer system. 26. R-163. and pigsties within fifty meters of any water body. They often relied on draconian measures that sought to place the burden of environmental protection on the forced migrants instead of the industrial enterprise or the city’s administration. 152. 15-16.129 In later years the authorities tried to limit the number of trips special settlers made to the bathhouses and accused individuals who reused their tickets of subversive behavior. the mountain character of the place with a sharp incline represents an almost insuperable obstacle to the protection of them from pollution. f. One resolution of the Khibinogorsk City Council from 1931 created a fifty-meter territory around Great Vud˝iavr Lake that was to be on a “strict regime” of reduced human activity and construction for the sake of preserving this water source. f. ll. and Podgorbunskaia. 128 GAMO. 283. l. water pipe. 1. the city began onsite chlorination of drinking water drawn from a water body that was already polluted. and Podgorbunskaia. GAMO. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. bathhouses. Salimova. and a purification station during 1931. the drinking water source in this plan would come from the river Loparki and not Great Vud˝iavr. The decree prohibited dumping wastes on the ground..127 Another resolution of the City Council from 21 August 1931 aimed at sanitary protection of the water supply. the local government attempted to regulate migrants’ use of water. which would only be the 126 127 Petrova. op. 17..

eds.131 However. Barabanov.132 This postponement delayed the construction of a sewer system until after Apatit had polluted the water of the White River and Great Vud˝iavr with byproducts from enrichment. On sewage issues in postwar Soviet cities. and GAMO. et al. 192-193. eds.. ll.”135 By this point the party leaders in Leningrad had also become somewhat more attentive to the problems with water in the Khibiny region. ll. Gigant v Khibinakh. 9. Pul´s Khibin. Kirov wrote to the People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry (NKTP) and Gosplan in 1934: In Khibinogorsk and its settlements there is a complete lack of a sewer system and it does not have an independent system of municipal water supply—the supply of the city is produced with unpurified water from Great Vud˝iavr Lake through a pumping station of the industrial water supply. 63. f.133 Furthermore. such basic municipal expenditures as the provision of safe water service were repeatedly deferred. see Donald Filtzer. 95 . 773. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. 192-193. 51. the cold. Late Stalinist Russia: Society Between Reconstruction and Reinvention (London: Routledge. d.. 136 GAMO. 1943-1953 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The destruction of the town means that most likely a sewer system only began functioning again in the late 1940s or early 1950s. 1. 134 Ivan Kataev offers a vivid description of a fire in Khibinogorsk from this period. Salimova. d. but only near the end of the decade did they even approach completion. 42-66. 52-53. 773.134 As a City Council report put it in 1934: “There are a lot of unsanitary conditions and the fire prevention situation is unsatisfactory—there is no water. The Axis powers extensively bombed Kirovsk during World War II..137 The overall picture of life during the construction of this new socialist city is one in which crowded dwellings. without a pipe system to supply water. ed. Salimova. f. 1.industrial water source. GAMO. This pollution changed the chemical character of the water and made it even less suitable for domestic use.” in Nikol´skii and Pompeev.136 Construction of these services did finally begin the next year. and Living Standards. the ability to extinguish fires that arose at industrial sites or in crowded wooded housing was virtually non-existent.” in Juliane Fürst. 51. darkness. 84-100. “Ledianaia Ellada.. 2010). 2006). 5. Ivan Kataev. Further postponing the urgent construction of the sewer system might bring the population to mass diseases of an epidemic character. d. and Podgorbunskaia. 773. 1. eds. op. ll.. 137 Petrova. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. d. 1. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti. and inadequate water 131 132 Petrova. 773. 62-70. 143-146. f. op. hunger. “Standard of Living versus Quality of Life: Struggling with the Urban Environment in Russia During the Early Years of Postwar Reconstruction. 135 Shashhkov. Hygiene. op. 278. and Podgorbunskaia. 133 GAMO. 51. f. op. as the enterprise lagged in its production quotas. filth. 81-102 and Donald Filtzer. 92-94. The Hazards of Urban Life in Late Stalinist Russia: Health. ll.

142 For many special settlers the final outcome of all of these natural phenomena of disease. 3. Kiselev. d. eds. you would sleep on the edge in the cold. hunger.” Khibinskii vestnik (October 5. If you arrived late. 26.”138 A meeting of doctors in Khibinogorsk on September 11. 1992). and measles. f. 8-10. and diphtheria. 8-10.A.” 38. d. op.”139 The local environment combined with the oppressive development model of the Soviet state to produce conditions of widespread disease and death among those individuals who did not escape. Starting in this year doctors in the area managed to administer thousands of inoculations against typhoid. the absence of a basic stock of everyday items and the dirtiness of the area undoubtedly is a favorable atmosphere for the development of disease. f. cold. Aleksandra Iablonskaia. Salimova. and twenty children in Iablonskaia’s shalman died of typhus. Lebedik later drew connections among these factors: “It is hard to say how many people lived in this barrack. 26. The new residents in the Khibiny region fell ill with similar diseases that hit other special settlements in the north such as typhus. kolonii. ll. op. Over 175 children died from measles in September and October 1930. 2006).141 These diseases raged throughout the area into 1932 and then began to subside. 6. and filth in the Khibiny region was death. recalled decades later: “Only at night could I find a place. 152-153. 6.140 The available data of the incidents of these diseases are largely anecdotal. GAMO. R-163. 140 Viola. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. There was no thought about hygiene.” Khibinskii vestnik (October 5. 139 138 96 . … I crept among the sick in the cold and dirt. tuberculosis. “Iablonskie. “Iablonskie. 1931 proposed limiting the number of people per tent to 40 or 45 based on their overall assessment of the situation at the settlement at the 18-kilometer mark: “The contamination of the settlement with garbage. The sum of this situation from the proximate cesspits to the ill person sleeping on the floor nearby was a sanitary nightmare.pervaded. M. doctors reported fifty-five new cases of typhoid fever in the late summer of 1931 at one of the outlying settlements. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. 142 Petrova. lagerei. Special settler V. which primarily accounted for the improvement despite the continued lack of the municipal infrastructure necessary for urban sanitation. As one special settler.. overcrowding. scurvy. 1. R-163. 1. and Podgorbunskaia. typhoid fever. small pox. “Apatit. ll. and Shishkina.” Sovetskii Murman (October 8. 34-141 and A. The Unknown Gulag. Diseases began and every Tat´iana Shishkina. 2006). p. Children suffered disproportionately. 141 Barabanov and Kalinina. GAMO.

325 Total births 564 856 717 718 Special settler births 420 506 374 310 Total deaths 999 860 850 620 Special settler deaths 864 657 518 401 Deaths of children 589 339 352 192 Jan. R-163. 1.” in Spetspereselentsy v Khibinakh. Children made up 44.4% Total death rate 4. f. M.1% 3.1% 3. especially for children. historian Viktor Shashkov has pieced together some demographic data for the city of Khibinogorsk. GAMO.2% 2.0% 2. 191. 141. 1932 Jan.144 Aggregate figures showing overall deaths in the Khibiny region remain elusive. G. 143. 143. though this percentage declined V. 17. Lebedik. from 1931 through 1934 in Khibinogorsk. noted that the mortality rate.9% 1.500 34. the population of which had a smaller percentage of special settlers than the other settlements in the region. op.6% Total birth rate 2.6% 1. 2440 from the population of special settlers and 1472 children. 1. Shashkov. Friliand. 24. 1. 144 143 97 . The figures for the surrounding settlements were almost certainly worse.0% 2. A.332 36. However. 1935 Table 3. Table 2. 191.957 Special settler pop.9% 3. “Stranitsy detstva.3% 2.5% Nonspecial settler birth rate 2. ll.3% 1. 9-26. 1933 Jan.9% Special settler death rate 4. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti.172 19. at this new site of socialist modernity was considerably higher than the Soviet average.3% 3.6% 1.”143 In 1935 a health inspector in the region. 145 Births and deaths refer to the previous year.4% 2. 24.2% of those who perished in these years. 146 Shashkov.8% 2. Demography of Khibinogorsk/Kirovsk145 Date Total pop.485 28. d. Birth and Death Rates in Khibinogorsk/Kirovsk146 Year Special settler birth rate 2.7% 1931 1932 1933 1934 The data in Table 2 show a total of 3329 deaths. 1.morning we brought out the dead.756 19. 1.4% 2.9% Nonspecial settler death rate 2.0% 2.1% 1. 1934 Jan. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti.731 21.5% 1.

over this period both the birth rate and death rate of settlers gradually declined. The initial plan of fully constructing this object during 1930 quickly staggered as chemists at Mekhanobr and NIU realized that they could not produce high enough concentrations of phosphorous pentoxide from apatite-nepheline ore for superphosphate through selective crushing: a method in which only specific.4% for 1932. Scales of Growth Over the next decade the establishment of stable mining and enrichment operations in Khibinogorsk and its outskirts involved several spatial scales of industrial development and environmental transformation. Interestingly.9% for the special settlers for 1931 and 3.from a particularly dreadful 59. compared with the 2. the Kola phosphate industry served as a foundation upon which to expand local mining and transform the area into an industrial center. Seeking the means of getting mineral matter to do what they wanted it to do. On each of these scales existed diverse understandings of the economic aspects of nature and the different roles played by the material world.0% for the remaining population for 1931 and 2. Apatit became the main supplier of material for chemical fertilizers. The project scheme for the enrichment factory in particular utilized information obtained from abroad. Regionally. Within the Soviet Union.2% for 1932. Internationally.0% for 1934. technicians at Apatit relied on foreign equipment and methods to devise a model for industrial operations and the company struggled to make its apatite concentrate into a viable export product. The death rates of 4. which involved pulverizing most of the 98 . engineers and scientists made use of techniques already devised in “advanced” Western countries while simultaneously claiming the superiority of socialist industrialization at conquering nature in extreme realms. The interactions of Apatit with foreign companies and their representatives relied on vacillations between appreciative dependence and assertive competition. apatite-rich segments of the mined material underwent additional chemical processing to make superphosphate. Enterprise and state planners therefore turned to an enrichment technique based on the flotation method. The figures in Table 3 also reveal a general trend of improvement in the rate of mortality.0% for 1931 to 31. demonstrate the disproportional suffering of these forced migrants over freely recruited laborers and enterprise administrators.

1 (October 2001): 57. d. Nevskii. ll. Vladimirov and Morev. ed. 773. 1.. Iu.” in Fersman. The apatite operations in the Khibiny region allowed the Soviet Union to transition from an importer to a major exporter of superphosphate.”152 The successful enrichment of Khibiny apatite allowed newspapers to claim a unique ability of the Soviet state to industrialize extreme environments. when faced with criticism or competition from abroad.151 The Kola press responded by denouncing Krügel as a “bourgeois specialist” who “defends Moroccan phosphorous. 39-40. op. 152 Khibinogorskii rabochii (October 18. Nevskii. F.. 7. and Podgorbunskaia. et al. d. ed.148 Yet.. d. 108-109. 34-107. the Apatit trust brought the first phase of the enrichment factory into operation in September 1931 and the second phase in 1934. 773. 156. 148 Barabanov. but not without controversy. 151 GAMO. l. 5. “Apatity—na vneshnii rynok. op. M. op. d. f. Smirnov to a consultation visit with General Engineering Company—a copper company in Salt Lake City. 25-26 and “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska. Brandt and G. “Sostoianie i perspektivy stroitel´stva v raione Khibinskikh razrabotok. Gigant v Khibinakh.147 In order to figure out the specifics of this technique. no. 1932). op. f. ll.” in Fersman. 1932). 312. 121. In October 1932 Khibinogorsk Worker proclaimed. f. Khibinskie Apatity. eds. Khibinskie Apatity. 121. 1. Iu. S.. 1. f.150 Around the same time a German specialist on phosphates named Krügel questioned whether it would actually be possible to enrich Khibiny apatite into usable superphosphate and discouraged foreign companies from buying from the Soviet Union. Salimova. 1. 153181. “Ocherk obogatitel´nykh fabrik SASSh. and Kondrikov. 44-59. Iu. Brandt.” Zhivaia Arktika. 773.” in Fersman. ed.149 For instance. 2. “Apatity—na vneshnii rynok. 773.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai. We build a large mining and chemical industry in the far north. Apatitovyi rudnik im. d. 1. in July 1930 a shipment from the Kola Peninsula arrived with contaminated apatite and caused foreign buyers to cancel their orders.. 153 Khibinogorskii rabochii (October 18. Khibinskie Apatity. 1. 7. F. 150 GAMO. Brandt and G. ll. ll. 773. 5-6 (1931): 8. Kol’skii promyshlennyi uzel. vol. op. 2. “Proekt obogatitel´noi fabriki dlia khibinskikh apatitov i proverka ego ispytaniiami i konsul´tatsiei v Amerike” and V.’ we successfully capture the natural resources wasting away in the earth above the polar circle. and GAMO. Barabanov and Kalinina. 149 Solov´ianov. l. 23. no. A. “Apatit”. vol. 1. 6. P. d. vol. 184-187. industrial planners in the Khibiny insisted on the superiority of socialist industrialization over capitalism. Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh. Apatit sent V. “Overcoming the ‘unfavorable climate. 7. 1.”153 GAMO. GAMO. Smirnov. and V. f. Relying on international expertise and purchases of foreign equipment. op.removed ore and then separating the contents in liquid solutions. 154-176. 58-70 and Petrova. Kirova. 1. f. and GAMO. 2. 773. 147 99 .

Within the Soviet Union as a whole the new industrial settlement on the Kola Peninsula began to fulfill its role as an extraction periphery. Nature on this spatial scale functioned primarily as a production unit: a resource to be taken from the earth at maximally increasing levels and put to use elsewhere in the country. In this case phosphorous-rich apatite mined and processed in the Khibiny supplied fertilizer factories throughout the country such as the ones in Leningrad, Vinnitsk, Odessa, and Konstantinovsk, and then farms applied these fertilizers in agricultural regions.154 In 1934, 77% of the superphospate used in the Soviet Union came from apatite.155 In contrast to capitalist economies, the form of state-socialist economic organization being innovated by the Soviet Union in this period relied less on revenue accrued by an enterprise than on gross production. This privileging of output over profitability was especially pronounced in new industry towns like Khibinogorsk/Kirovsk where the entire project was designed to achieve self-sufficiency in a certain economic sector.156 The Apatit trust attempted to implement this use of the Khibiny to serve the national economy by stridently increasing production output to meet rising quotas during the next two five-year plans. This expansion included building the second and third phases of the enrichment factory. At the mine it also entailed mechanizing work with drills powered by compressed air, rearranging the transportation scheme from the mines to the enrichment factory, commencing underground mining, and undertaking preliminary efforts to ventilate these new shafts.157 In the late 1930s Apatit also began small-scale mining and enrichment of radioactive lovchorrite, titanium, and nepheline.158 Though the enterprise failed to meet production quotas in 1931 and 1932 and never matched the tempo of some of the early projections, it did raise output consistently

GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 5, ll. 62-70. Vladimirov and Morev, Apatitovyi rudnik im. S. M. Kirova, 12. 156 On the primacy of this goal in Soviet economic planning, see Allen, From Farm to Factory, 203-207. 157 Vladimirov and Morev, Apatitovyi rudnik im. S. M. Kirova; P. Semerov, “Ot opytnogo kar´era do mekhanizirovannogo rudnika,” in Geber, Maizel´, and Sedlis, eds., Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru, 121130; and GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 63, ll. 162-169. 158 G. M. Rzhevskaia and B. N. Rzhevskii, ““Malye” rudniki tresta “Apatit” kak popytka kompleksnogo osvoeniia mineral´nykh bogatst Khibin,” in Chetvertye Ushakovskie chteniia: Sbornik nauchnykh statei (Murmansk: MGPU, 2007), 120-122; Boris Rzhevskii, “Ruiny, izluchavshie smerty” Khibinskii vestnik (August 1, 1998), 6; and Barabanov, et al., Gigant v Khibinakh, 59.



throughout the 1930s (see Table 4).159 By the end of the decade, miners had extracted over 13.5 million tons of apatite-nepheline ore and the enrichment factory had produced 6.5 million tons of apatite concentrate. Table 4. Reported Annual Production Output of Apatit in the 1930s160 1929- 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1930 Apatitenepheline 250 ore mined (1,000 tons) Apatite concentrate -produced (1,000 tons) 416 385 687 1,117 1,600 2,001 2,121 2,303 2,627


157.3 213



1,049 1,157 >1,300 1,460

Within the context of the Kola Peninsula the expansion of Apatit helped direct the process of regional development—a continuation of the campaign to transform the territory from a supposedly wild and backward hinterland to a strategic industrial center. Over the decade the population of the Kola Peninsula rose to almost 300,000, the fishing industry out of the Murmansk port grew astronomically, the government established the Northern Fleet of the Soviet Navy on the Barents Sea in 1934, and the corridor of the Murmansk Railroad on the Kola Peninsula became a center of mining, non-ferrous metallurgy, hydroelectricity, and chemical processing. Apatit provided the foundation for this latter development.161 Through the first half of the 1930s, the trust managed the initial projects for a chemical and aluminum processing plant in Kandalaksha on the White Sea, a nickel mining and smelting combine called Severonikel´ on the west side of Lake Imandra, and hydroelectric power plants along the Niva and Tuloma rivers.162 Kondrikov himself directed most of these entities for a period and in 1936 headed a new
GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 5, ll. 62-70; Barabanov, et al., Gigant v Khibinakh, 51; and Petrova, Salimova, and Podgorbunskaia, eds., Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh, 105. 160 Barabanov, et al., Gigant v Khibinakh, 44-66; Vladimirov and Morev, Apatitovyi rudnik im. S. M. Kirova, 3-4; and Petrova, Salimova, and Podgorbunskaia, eds., Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh, 119. 161 A. A. Kiselev, Rodnoe Zapoliar´e: Ocherki istorii Murmanskoi oblasti (1917-1972 gg.) (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo, 1974), 244-315 and M. M. Kossov and B. I. Kagan, “Severnyi gorno-khimicheskii trest ‘Apatit’ vo 2-m piatiletii,” Karelo-Murmanskii krai, no. 3-4 (1932): 1422. 162 Barabanov, et al., Gigant v Khibinakh, 44-66.


enterprise called Kol´stroi, which was solely focused on regional construction for industry. Of course, his tenure here and as director of the nearby Severonikel´ combine was short. Like many of the local party and industry leaders he was arrested and shot during 1937. 163 Environmental Impediments From the very beginning the organizers of mining in the Khibiny Mountains grappled with the obstacles posed by the polar-alpine environment. The agricultural infertility of the land, darkness of the polar night, the seasonal influx of mosquitoes, and meteorological occurrences such as heavy snowfall and avalanches concerned the leaders of the Apatit trust and others involved in the Khibiny economy. Their attempts to overcome these hindrances and the ways that nature could foil their efforts reveal a complex field of interaction. These impediments of the polar environment often occurred with some semblance of predictability and their consequences could be extremely dangerous. Human efforts to ameliorate hazards and accommodate distinct natural limitations sometimes succeeded and sometimes floundered. The Soviet state managed to establish the cultivation of certain crops north of the Arctic Circle. In late imperial Russia many people suspected that the cultivation of grains, vegetables, and grasses needed for feeding livestock was impossible at such latitudes.164 This conviction found support in common sense about the lack of farming in these territories. The theories of Vasilii Dokuchaev about vegetation zones and Austrian botanist Gottlieb Haberlandt about the minimal exposure to warmth required for many plants to grow also dissuaded people of the possibility of polar agriculture and limited experimentation.165 In the early 1920s the Khibiny Experimental Agricultural Point was organized under the leadership of Iogan Eikhfel´d in order to establish the possibility of

Tararaksin, Sudeb sgorevshikh ochertan´e, 81-90 and GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 62, l. 260. An example of the frequent evocation of this idea is A. A. Kamenev, “Iz zhizni Pomor´ia,” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia russkogo severa 2, no. 7 (April 1, 1910), 18. 165 Diuzhilov, “Nauchnoe reshenie problemy poliarnogo zemledeliia,” in Fedorov, Bardileva, and Mikhailov, eds., Zhivushchie na Severe, 82; ARAN, f. 544, op. 1, d. 161, l. 10; and N. A. Avrorin, et al., eds., Pereselenie rastenii na poliarnyi sever, Chast´ 1: Rezul´taty introduktsii travianistykh rastenii v 19321956 gg. (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo “Nauka,” 1964), 7. On Dokuchaev’s theories in an earlier context, see David Moon, “The Environmental History of the Russian Steppes: Vasilii Dokuchaev and the Harvest Failure of 1891,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 15 (December 2005): 149-74.



cultivating crops in the north.166 Their tests quickly refuted the hypothesis about warmth as a limiting factor and suggested that a lack of moisture and suitable soil on the rocky Kola Peninsula played a much larger role in curtailing the region’s agricultural development. The station succeeded in growing a few types of a variety of crops: potatoes, cereals, grains, grasses, cabbage, peas, lettuce, and others.167 It also assisted Apatit by helping establish the suitability of Khibiny minerals as fertilizers.168 Apatit also created the state farm Industriia to help provide food for the new northern settlement. Acknowledging that growing grains was not a viable option, Industriia concentrated on milk and vegetable production. Both of these tasks required that the state farm transform the land of the Kola Peninsula. During the 1930s, the agricultural establishments of the Khibiny region performed land reclamation on a large territory of marshland, put 1634.9 hectares under cultivation, and yielded a harvest of 6295 tons of potatoes, vegetables, and edible roots in 1939.169 Furthermore, the development of non-pastoral animal husbandry depended on the creation of grassland pastures. To this end agricultural organizations in the Khibiny drained marshes and planted 1244.4 hectares of grass during the 1930s, which allowed Industriia to keep cattle, horses, and pigs.170 These experiments with local food production, nevertheless,
Diuzhilov, “Nauchnoe reshenie problemy poliarnogo zemledeliia,” in Fedorov, Bardileva, and Mikhailov, eds., Zhivushchie na Severe, 83 and Iu. Iordanskii, “Sel´sko-khoziaistvennye opytnye raboty za Poliarnym Krugom,” Karelo-Murmanskii krai, no. 21 (1926): 2. Eikhfel´d was a plant scientist who began as a student of Nikolai Vavilov and later became an early and enthusiastic advocate of the theories of Trofim Lysenko. Eikhfel´d’s position in this dramatic episode in the history of Soviet science is elucidated in David Joravsky, The Lysenko Affair (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970), 379-383, 397 and Zhores A. Medvedev, The Rise and Fall of T. D. Lysenko, trans. I. Michael Lerner (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), 274. Eikhfel´d later served as the president of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. In reminiscences published in 1972, after Lysenko's fraudulent theories had finally been discredited, Eikhfel´d strove to emphasize his close relationship with his oppressed advisor. I. G. Eikhfel´d, “Za kamnem plodorodiia,” in Rakov, ed., Khibinskie Klady, 13. 167 Diuzhilov, “Nauchnoe reshenie problemy poliarnogo zemledeliia,” in Fedorov, Bardileva, and Mikhailov, eds., Zhivushchie na Severe, 82-86; Iordanskii, “Sel´sko-khoziaistvennye opytnye raboty za Poliarnym Krugom,” Karelo-Murmanskii krai, no. 21 (1926): 1-4; I. Eikhfel´d, “Pobeda poliarnogo zemledeliia,” in Geber, Maizel´, and Sedlis, eds., Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru, 151-157; and Osinovskii, “Rol´ khibinskikh apatitov v kolonizatsii Kol´skogo poluostrova,” in Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity, vol. 1, 204-211. 168 Eikhfel´d, “Pobeda poliarnogo zemledeliia,” in Geber, Maizel´, and Sedlis, eds., Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru, 157. 169 Petrova, Salimova, and Podgorbunskaia, eds., Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh, 54, 94-95, 132133. In 1945 the state farm “Industria” had 1735 hectares cultivated. RGASPI, f. 17, op. 122, d. 104, l. 163. 170 Petrova, Salimova, and Podgorbunskaia, eds., Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh, 54,132-133 and Osinovskii, “Rol´ khibinskikh apatitov v kolonizatsii Kol´skogo poluostrova,” in Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity, vol. 1, 204-211.


remained of secondary importance in the overall scheme of regional economic development. The possibility of the comparatively cheap importation of food combined with the environmental impediments to agriculture in the polar north limited the transformation of land for this purpose. The Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden also endeavored to make the Khibiny environment more accommodating to human use. Created in 1932 and led by Nikolai Avrorin, this institution had the specific goal of introducing new flora to the region. The botanical garden concentrated on characteristics that made the region’s environment unique—its polarity and high altitude—and began testing different species of plants, trees, and bushes to see if and under what conditions they could grow there.171 An astute promoter of the practical value of his research, Avrorin from the beginning stressed the garden’s cultural value. He argued that the botanical garden was part of “a wide front of the struggle for succulent meadows (tuchnye pokosy), unprecedented berry gardens, splendid parks, and a healthy and comfortable life for the laborers of the socialist north!”172 Throughout the next few decades, the botanical garden put particular effort into the greening of Kirovsk through the introduction of acclimatized species.173 In a 1941 handbook outlining how cities in the polar north could create green spaces, Avrorin specifically connected the research of the Polar-Alpine Botanical Garden to the Lamarckian science of agronomist Trofim Lysenko.174 Responses to environmental impediments related to seasonal variation came more in the form of attempts to accommodate nature rather than transform it. Every year the Khibiny region experienced several weeks around the winter solstice when the sun did not rise above the horizon and over a month and half in the summer without darkness at
N. A. Avrorin, Poliarno-al´piiskii botanicheskii sad v khibinakh (proekt) (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, 1931); Petrova, Salimova, and Podgorbunskaia, eds., Kirovsk v dokumentakh i faktakh,, 81-83; and N. A. Avrorin, “Poliarno-al´piiskii botanicheskii sad,” in Fersman and Kupletskii, eds., Khibinskaia gornaia stantsiia, 49-58. 172 N. A. Avrorin, “Poliarnyi botanicheskii sad v zapoliarnoi tundre,” in Geber, Maizel´, and Sedlis, eds., Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru, 170. 173 Kalinnikov and Vinogradov, “Stanovlenie i razvitie Kol´skogo nauchnogo tsentra RAN kak istoricheskii opyt Rossiiskogo puti promyshlennoi tsivilizatsiia severnykh territorii v XX veke,” in Kalinnikov, ed., Prirodopol´zovanie v Evro-Arkticheskom regione, 5-6; N. A. Avrorin, Chem ozeleniat´ goroda i poselki Murmanskoi oblasti i severnykh raionov Karelo-Finskoi SSR (Kirovsk: Izdanie Ispolnitel´nogo Komiteta Murmanskogo oblastnogo Soveta deputatov trudiashchikhsia, 1941); and GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 52, l. 506. 174 Avrorin, Chem ozeleniat´ goroda i poselki Murmanskoi oblasti i severnykh raionov KareloFinskoi SSR, 4.


night. Party and enterprise leaders wanted to figure out how to utilize the advantages of the fluctuations in daylight and cope with the disadvantages. The Apatit trust concentrated mining work in open pits during the summer in the first year and later implemented a regime of three work shifts a day to maintain constant mining.175 In the winter the trust and the city relied extensively on artificial light sources, including simple torches before a temporary steam-based electric station began to operate in 1931.176 Regional leaders also sought to understand the effects of such extreme seasonal variation on the human population. As part of a health inspection report in 1935, Friliand presented preliminary data on the acclimatization of humans to the climatic and geographical conditions of Kirovsk. Noting theories that the polar night can cause depression and the polar day can lead to insomnia, the inspector rejected the claim that polar seasonality harmed human health. He dismissed reported incidents of adverse conditions during these periods as part of the process of adaptation.177 In the late summer and fall mosquitoes caused a great nuisance. As V. Iu. Fridolin put it: the mosquitoes of the Khibiny Mountains were “one of the biggest obstacles for the colonization of the region” and have been known to kill horses and small children through excessive blood loss.178 The mosquitoes in the area were indeed ravenous creatures whose brief life span in the Arctic required them to forage and mate quickly and aggressively when the opportunity arose.179 A prime concern about mosquitoes, however, was the role that they might play in spreading malaria. As a countermeasure the Apatit trust and the Malaria Commission of the Zoological Museum of the Academy of Sciences sponsored research beginning in the summer of 1930. Fridolin led this study and sought to assess the entirety of the mosquito habitat in the Khibiny and the relationship of the insects with predators and prey. He argued against a standard belief at the time that the

Kondrikov, “Sostoianie i perspektivy stroitel´stva v raione Khibinskikh razrabotok,” KareloMurmanskii krai, no. 5-6 (1931): 10 and Vladimirov and Morev, Apatitovyi rudnik im. S. M. Kirova, 42. 176 GAMO, f. 773, op. 1, d. 12, ll. 146-148 and Vladimirov and Morev, Apatitovyi rudnik im. S. M. Kirova, 6. On the temporary electricity station, see Kondrikov, “Sovremennoe sostoianie i perspektivy razvitiia stroitel´stva v raione Khibinskikh razrabotok,” in Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity, vol. 2, 11. On plans for the illumination of the city, see Munts, “Gorod Khibinogorsk i ego planirovka,” in Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity, vol. 2, 203. 177 GAMO, f. R-163, op. 1, d. 141, ll. 9-26. 178 V. Iu. Fridolin, “Izuchenie nasekomykh Khibinskikh gor v sviazi s voprosom o kolonizatsii kraia,” in Fersman, ed., Khibinskie Apatity, vol. 2, 446. 179 ARAN, f. 544, op. 1, d. 161, ll. 19-26.



On Fridolin’s conservationist ideas. From 1933 to 1938 observers recorded about three hundred avalanches of 200 cubic meters or more. part 2. eds.182 As mentioned earlier.’ Fridolin showed that drainage of certain peat bogs and marshes could alter the hydrology of the area and cause new moist zones to emerge.. 295 and Barabanov.. GAMO. ll. 306. 39-41. however. One author promoted the idea that a subsidary benefit of draining and burning marshs to cultivate grassland for animal grazing was the elimination of mosquitoes and flies: Osinovskii.183 These avalanches destroyed buildings and caused injuries and death.” in Rakov. an exploration geologist and secretary of a local Communist Party cell. ed. 1. ed. avalanches plagued the Khibiny region in the 1930s. including that of two miners in 1934 and the tragedy on Mount Iuksporr in 1935.”186 The next day. f.” in Zamotkin and Egorova.. could actually increase the mosquito population by destroying the larvae of dragonflies. one of the few local predators. see ARAN. “Lavina s gory Iukspor. d. 544. 161. 1. “Izuchenie nasekomykh Khibinskikh gor v sviazi s voprosom o kolonizatsii kraia.185 In late December Pronchenko wrote about the work that the monitoring crew had done in his diary: “the gusty wind from the snow storm covers the eyes. Khibinskie Apatity. and prevents [you] from moving forward.. part 2. 184 Belen´kii. op.184 Part of the immediate response to the latter event was to create an avalanche prevention service headed by Pronchenko. 446-451.. “Iz istorii issledovaniia snega i lavin v khibinakh. was that they do not carry malaria. “Lavina s gory Iukspor. Pronchenko was back out monitoring the snow on Iuksporr and shouted out his last words to other members of the team: Fridolin.” in Fersman. 51. Khibinskie Klady.181 The inability of the protozoan parasites that cause the disease to thrive in such cold environments ameliorated this threat to industrial projects on the Kola Peninsula. 544.. 186 Quoted in Boldyrev. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa. 295-296. vol. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa. 180 106 . Khibinskie Apatity. “Iz istorii issledovaniia snega i lavin v khibinakh. ed. Gigant v Khibinakh. f. vol. 2. op. Kirova. 208. M. et al. l. vol. according to Fersman’s stylized account.draining of marshes was the primary tactic in the ‘struggle with mosquitoes. d. hits the forehead and cheeks. 1. … Climb up in the blizzard under overhanging rocks and cornices of snow! What do you do? – the people of the settlement live in constant fear. in particular. 185 Boldyrev. 203. The drainage of black poplar marshes. 182 Enterprise leaders continued to express concern about mosquitoes. d. op. All around only a blizzard whizzes. 1. Apatitovyi rudnik im.” in Fersman. 2. 115-121. 2. 306 and Vladimirov and Morev. “Rol´ khibinskikh apatitov v kolonizatsii Kol´skogo poluostrova. f. 161. 773. ed. S. 181 ARAN. though. 40-42.” in Rakov. ll. vol.” in Zamotkin and Egorova.180 The main finding of this research on Khibiny mosquitoes. 183 Belen´kii. 305-310. Khibinskie Klady.. 19-24. eds.

18-21.190 At a party meeting of miners in February 1938 after another avalanche. and instituted new safety requirements for mining work. 388. 335.4 miles per hour).191 That same year Apatit had to stop operating its lovchorrite mine on Mount Iuksporr because of frequent avalanches. 190 ARAN. Vospominaniia o kamne. f. 189 Barabanov and Kalinina. P-152. watch out!”187 His death under tumbling snow secured him a place as a hero in local lore. 544. “Iz istorii issledovaniia snega i lavin v khibinakh. 334. 63. the depth of the tension over these phenomena was apparent. part 2. The bosses at the mine had refused to clear the work site as called for by protocol after wind speeds exceeded 10 meters per second (22. 1. 57. “Iz istorii issledovaniia snega i lavin v khibinakh. 1948). Rikhter. d. Some of the researchers involved in studying snow cover and avalanches here later produced monographs on the subject generally: G. f. GAMO. ““Malye” rudniki tresta “Apatit” kak popytka kompleksnogo osvoeniia mineral´nykh bogatst Khibin. op.189 The leaders at the Apatit trust were in a more ambiguous position since the explosions they were using in mining exacerbated the problem. part 2. began to use controlled explosions to reduce the randomness of avalanches. ARAN. holding conferences to discuss the issue. part 2. l.” in Zamotkin and Egorova. 544. d. researching the morphological dynamics of snow cover. f. P-152. 78 and Belen´kii. f. vol. d. op.” in Zamotkin and Egorova. ARAN. vol. op. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa.” in Chetvertye Ushakovskie chtenii. ll. ARAN. 162-169.188 The city allocated more money to the construction of stone buildings that could better withstand the tumbling snow and rocks and to the erection of four-meter high walls protecting the settlements. By the 1950s and 1960s Fersman. 1. d.. 1-2. 304. 1. “Iz istorii issledovaniia snega i lavin v khibinakh. 1v. f. “Apatit”. 8. 188 187 107 . 1. 1. op. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa. 773. eds. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa. and attempting to determine zones most prone to avalanches. 1. 191 GAMO. op. The enterprise established a snow service. and Belen´kii.. d. 305-310. 2.192 In the long run the efforts to mitigate injuries and damage from avalanches in the Khibiny Mountains paid off. 192 Rzhevskaia and Rzhevskii. 334. ll. 1v. 2. 544. d. 2..” in Zamotkin and Egorova. ll. d. eds. 18-21. and GAMO. D. attendees denounced enemies of the people as responsible and reported the spread of rumors that the Bolsheviks had intentionally killed people. Belen´kii. f. 544. 305-310. Rol´ snezhnogo pokrova v fiziko-geograficheskom protsesse (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo Akademii nauk SSSR.’ Local scientific organizations devoted more energy to the study of the phenomenon by establishing a permanent meteorological base on Iuksporr. op. 1-6. eds. Still in the crux of the terror within the Communist Party. ll. op. ll. f. The reaction to the considerable loss of life during the winter of 1935-1936 entailed several strategies in the invigorated ‘struggle with avalanches. 1.“Avalanche. 1-22. 121. ll. avalanche. vol.

including crystalline pegmatite rocks. As geologists and local enthusiasts began to get excited about the possibilities of apatite development in the 1920s. and Sedlis. no. no. 7-8 (1927): 15-16.193 The Waste that Does Everything and Nothing Some of the planners of this project in the far north made strident efforts to manage industrial waste as resourcefully as possible. Gaevskii. 4372. Unlike the deposits of apatite that The Apatit combine in this period. “Khibinskie nefelinovye sienity i pervoe stelko iz nikh. and therefore was also partially responsible for having attracted mineralogists to the area. “Khleb i metall (znachenie khibinskoi promyshlennosti v dele khimizatsii narodnogo khoziaistva).” Karelo-Murmanksii krai. 3. P. potassium. and GAMO.” Karelo-Murmanksii krai. Sedlis. making the reserves of nepheline in the region seem “inexhaustible” to many commentators. nepheline itself first inspired the elaboration of this grand design to utilize all elements of extracted mineral ore and then inhibited its realization. Bol´sheviki pobedili tundru. 773. and the main materials subjected to such schemes were the nepheline by-products from apatite mining and enrichment. f. “Osvoenie minerala. 1936). the impulse maximally to reuse certain mining by-products and reduce pollution coexisted comfortably with the idea of harmoniously transforming nature. Borisov. and Inzh. op. Iakovlev. Additionally. and silicon. they simultaneously turned to another nagging question: What should be done with the massive amounts of nepheline in the area?194 The bulk of the Khibiny Mountains was a large igneous intrusion of this rock form. The revolutionary hopes of building socialism helped inspire it and some of the particularities of the emerging centralized command economy allowed for it to be pursued initially. 200. routinely would receive funds for snow removal equipment. Kamen´ plodorodiia. The dominant idea behind this approach was referred to as the complex utilization of natural resources. no. 87. an alkaline rock containing sodium.” Karelo-Murmanksii krai. Finally. 1. Maizel´. the Soviet economy in this period had a conservationist strand in its approach to wastes from industry. “Poleznye iskopaemye Khibinskikh tundr i Kol´skogo poluostrova. 51. First. “Khibinskie nefelinovye sienity i pervoe stelko iz nikh. for instance. 195 Poliarnaia pravda (November 17. 4 (1927): 14-16.. no.people had learned to accommodate these natural occurrences and largely avoid the catastrophic consequences of the 1930s. op. d. “Promyshlennoe ispol´zovanie nefelinogo sienita. 62.” KareloMurmanskii krai. l. aluminum. d. 565. 4 (1927): 14.195 Nepheline in the Khibiny occurs as nepheline seynite. Labuntsov. 193 108 . “Predislovie.” in Vishnevskii. 194 Borisov. Ivanov.” in Geber. 5-6 (1927): 7-9. The nepheline rock gave rise to many of the rare minerals of the Khibiny Mountains. 2. f. RGAE. eds. 4 (1933): 8. The story of nepheline in the Khibiny reveals some striking aspects of Stalinist economic transformation.” Karelo-Murmanksii krai. no.

34% alumina (aluminum oxide). 1-2. 1-2. and porcelain industries.” KareloMurmanksii krai. E.. 6. vol. 199 Fersman. 1-2.” in Fersman. 4. Vlodatsev.existed in isolated slivers along a narrow ring that could quickly and fairly cheaply be transformed into fertilizers. primenenie. vol.. 5-6 (1931): 14-16. Fersman. “Predislovie. i ekonomika. 1932). i ekonomika. 3. “Primenenie nefelina dlia ochistka vody po sposobu koagulirovaniia. 4 (1933): 8-13.. Kind and N. E.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai.198 The most important of these possibilities was the potential use of nepheline as an alumina source. ed. Iakhontov. The main forms of nepheline that attracted attention were the sections of mined apatitenepheline ore that were not suitable for processing as phosphates and the tailings from apatite enrichment that contained 70-75% nepheline and. vol. barring reuse. I.” Prof V. “Nefelin.199 Throughout the 1930s the Apatit trust endeavored to transform the nepheline wastes it produced into a source material for the aluminum industry. ego mestorozhdeniia. Khibinskie Apatity i nefeliny. i ekonomika. ceramic.” in Fersman ed.” in Fersman. vol. ed. I. the supply of these sands came to only 5 million tons. Fersman elucidated twenty-three different uses for these molecular agents. “Magnetity Kol´skogo poluostrova. “Nefelin. Khibinskie Apatity.” in A. 150-156. “Nefelinovoe syr´e Khibinskikh gor. primenenie. “Tri goda v Khibinakh.” and A.197 Breaking down the chemical structure of Khibiny nepheline to 21-22% alkaline. would be dumped into the White River. ego mestorozhdeniia. and 44% silicon dioxide. no. Fersman. no. 197 Fersman and Vlodatsev. The mass of urtite (nepheline seynite) outside the apatite deposits could in theory be used to make a whole array of nepheline products but would be economically inexpedient. Voronin. Iakovlev. However. a relatively small total. ed. Brusilovskii and Markova. Khibinskie Apatity. A. 1-2 (1933): 49-55. vol. no. I. However. zapasy. nepheline did not have an industrial significance that would have warranted building a settlement from scratch. primenenie. Khibinskie Apatity. A. ego mestorozhdeniia. and Prof. 246-250. A. Khibinskie Apatity i nefeliny. “Predislovie. ed. Khibinskie Apatity i nefeliny: Nefelinovoi sbornik.” V.” in A. “Osvoenie minerala. vol..196 Four different forms of nepheline were of interest. 3.. Teppor. The main framework of industrial waste management advocated by planners of the Khibiny project entailed what they called the “complex utilization” of natural Akad. “Predislovie. Fersman and N. E. 3 (Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe nauchnotekhnicheskoe izdatel´stvo Lenkhimsektor. A. 23-44. 4 (Leningrad: Goskhimtekhizdat Leningradskoe otdelenie. ed. 198 Fersman and Vlodatsev. “Ispol´zovanie nefelinovogo shlama v proizvodstve viazhushchikh veshchestv. “Nefelin. P. “Perspektivy Khimicheskoi pererabotki nefelina. 196 109 . Borisov.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai. Kondrikov. its potential status as subsidiary material inspired scientists and industrial planners to outline its multifarious uses. 33-44.” in Fersman. 1931). The nepheline sands on the eastern shore of Lake Imandra could serve the glass. zapasy. Fersman. zapasy. 23 and Fersman. 4..” and F.

therefore. f. no. 1932). GAMO.” exclaimed Fersman. Kompleksnoe ispol´zovanie iskopaemogo syr´ia (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR. Kompleksnoe ispol´zovanie iskopaemogo syr´ia. The idea of complex utilization developed through the practical work of scientists like Ferman with Khibiny nepheline. op. where there is not one gram of waste. Fersman’s optimism about the potential of this model in a planned socialist economy came through especially when he turned to its environmental implications. E. 5. where nothing is emitted into the air and washed away by water.”201 As his main example of this model.resources.200 At a Gosplan conference in April 1932. In December 1929. Fersman defined a combined economy as resting “not in the external combining or the summation of diverse manufacture. 1. Complex utilization “is the idea of the protection of our natural resources from their predatory squandering. he cited the apatite industry he had helped create in the Khibiny Mountains.202 He further described how this complex utilization of mineral material would rely on technological innovations in heavy industry processing and the recycling of tailings from enrichment in order to manufacture other valuable products. This model sought to use maximally all of the material removed from the earth and develop industry that would achieve regional self-sufficiency. depending on the complete use of all mining mass extracted from the earth during the maximum constriction of the radius of use of raw materials. the idea of using raw material to the end. 19. 200 110 . 1. d. This idea of industrial production that was maximally efficient with the raw materials extracted from the earth and minimized nepheline waste and pollution inspired the initial planning and modes of expansion pursued by trust leaders. 9. Kompleksnoe ispol´zovanie iskopaemogo syr´ia. l. “where not one gram of extracted mining mass is lost. 8-10. 11-15. op. before the basic plans for the project had even been worked out. 202 Fersman. d.”203 The goal of complex utilization in the Khibiny. Fersman. but also to prevent nepheline waste from polluting the local environment. 201 A. ll. was not only to use mined ore efficiently. f. 3 (2007): 93111. “Embedding Science in Politics: ‘Complex Utilization’ and Industrial Ecology as Models of Natural Resource Use. 773. 773. Kondrikov pressed the Olli Salmi and Aino Toppinen. united only by a determined territory or in the best case by a general power and energy economy.” Journal of Industrial Ecology 11. the idea of the possible preservation of our natural supplies for the future. and GAMO. 174. 1. but in the deep interweaving of production processes. 203 Fersman.

ll. ed. 773. f. d. 207 GAMO. f. 29. d. 3-4 (1932): 14-22. Gigant v Khibinakh. f. 832.” and L. d.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai. 1. and alumina—that would process materials extracted from the Khibiny. d.205 From 1931 onward the Apatit trust became involved in a protracted campaign to turn nepheline wastes into a source material for aluminum production and to create a processing plant in nearby Kandalaksha. 1987). Production of Aluminium and Alumina (Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. 1. 50.”208 A few months later.207 In a complaint that would reach Stalin. op.. 100-106. providing enough material for almost a half million tons of alumina over this period. 209 GAMO. 11 and Barabanov. however. op. l. 205 204 111 .issue of the potential applications of nepheline.1. had a comparative dearth of this raw material that was especially stark before low-grade deposits of it just south of Lake Ladoga in the Leningrad region began GAMO.210 The processing of nepheline tailings into alumina was uncommon. d. 1. 1. f. 8 and GAMO.” in A. 206 RGAE. d. 773. no. l. d. op. 773. ll. op.. 15. 1. Bauxite was and has remained the primary source material of the aluminum industry globally. GAMO. f. “Process Description. f. l. Near the end of the year trust leaders estimated that they could gradually increase their annual output of nepheline concentrate from tailings from 140. the issue was solved for the time being when the state transferred Apatit to the NKTP and allocated it approximately 17 million rubles for the construction of the new combine. d. Hudson. in May 1932. various agencies involved in the project protested a decision to place the alumina plant under the Aluminum Union of the Main Administration of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy of the NKTP. 773. taking it away from Apatit. 211 N. op. one chemist objected to this move because it would separate aluminum production from the “complex utilization of the minerals of the Khibiny. R. 283 and Kossov and Kagan. 9. ll. 9. f. et al.000 tons in 1933 to 750. 7-11. f. 773. Burkin. 773. l. 4372. 2. 1. op. 238-244. Jarret. Rich deposits of bauxite rock contain up to 40-60% of alumina and the main process for isolating this substance has been used since the late nineteenth century. op. 1.211 The Soviet Union. thermophosphate. 3-46. “Severnyi gorno-khimicheskii trest “Apatit” vo 2-m piatiletii. K. 208 GAMO. “Alumina Production. 210 GAMO. 102-104. ll.206 In February 1932. the facility was planned to have three main sections—cement. 773. 1.000 in 1937. 9. op.204 The next year Vorontsov justified dumping nepheline tailings into the White River as a temporary measure until reprocessing began.209 At the time dubbed the Northern Chemical Combine. 9.

Matthew J.214 These negative factors ultimately made alumina production from nepheline more expensive. “The Soviet Aluminum Industry: Recent Developments. 1. 267-274.” Soviet Geography 24. no. 252-266.212 Though alumina production required a significantly larger amount of nepheline than bauxite (four tons of nepheline concentrate per ton of alumina). 2 (February 1983): 89-99. In the 1970s the nepheline process could claim to turn 4 tons of nepheline concentrate and 8 tons of limestone into 1 ton of alumina. such a production equation does reveal the minimal material waste resulting from the process.” Soviet Geography 15. The main obstacle to using this method was the lack of limestone (needed as a reagent) in the region and the transportation and energy costs associated with the manufacturing scheme. GAMO. 151. no. “The Soviet Aluminum Industry in the Former USSR in 1992. Of course. 94-107. 773. 212 112 . l. l. op. 773. 216 The discovery of new rich bauxite deposits in the Urals in the mid-1930s strengthened the position of the segments of the non-ferrous metallurgy industry that ARAN. The Chemical Industry in the USSR: An Economic Geography (Boulder: Westview Press. Basic Industrial Resources of the USSR (New York: Columbia University Press.” Post-Soviet Geography 33. and potash (a form of potassium carbonate that can be applied as a fertilizer). 544. 378. ll. Theodore Shabad. op. l. op. op. the process created several useful by-products: cement. but significantly less than from the bauxite process. and Theodore Shabad. and Matthew J. 1. 310.215 It is likely that an economy primarily concerned with profit instead of output would not have embraced this path of waste recycling for nepheline. GAMO. no. f. op. 1. 9. 6 (June 1974): 386-387. 53-77. 9. 10 tons of be exploited in 1931. 1969). Sagers and Theodore Shabad. 1990). State agencies refused further funding requests from the trust. 283ob. d. the project faltered. 9ob. the Apatit trust claimed that even considering these factors an alumina plant in Kandalaksha was economically expedient. 544. After the initial decision to build a chemical combine in Kandalaksha. d. “News Notes.” Soviet Geography 15. 6 (June 1974): 386-387. l. f. f. d.213 The value of these substances figured into the calculations that advocates of re-processing nepheline tailings at Apatit made to demonstrate its economic viability. d. 213 Theodore Shabad. and 1 ton of a soda-potash mixture. no. During this period none of the main industrial objects was built and the surveying for local limestone sources had come to naught. 773. 773. “News Notes. a combination of concern over a lack of bauxite sources and attraction to processing technology that minimized waste and maximized the output of an array of products inspired initial investment in the construction of a new combine. 1. f. Sagers. 1. ll. d. f. 214 ARAN. 9 (September 1992): 591-601. f. allocating only one-fifth of the proposed amount for 1932-1935. d. 9. Though neglecting the anthropogenic loads of energy use and transportation. 9-9ob and GAMO. 378. soda ash (sodium carbonate for glass manufacture). 1. op. 216 GAMO. Nevertheless. 215 The proposed process of obtaining alumina from nepheline would create sludge (shlam) and alkali wastes. Shabad. 9.

In 1935 a controversy arose as Apatit attempted to sell nepheline concentrate as a coagulant for water purification and the State Sanitation Inspectorate prohibited this use. 309-326. 242. “Primenenie nefelina dlia ochistka vody po sposobu koagulirovaniia.217 Nevertheless. “Kol´skii khronograf.220 A fullcapacity. 52. 1. 222 GAMO. d. combined apatite and nepheline enrichment factory. 1. f. 246-250. op. As the project began moving again in the mid-1930s and the development of the nearby nickel industry was underway. f.”219 At this point. op. as Apatit began to pay some attention to the effects of dumping in the White River. to examine the ARAN. 773. 220 GAMO. R-990. 402409.” in Fersman. ed. 59. ll. ll. d. 47. 1. l. and Teppor. ll. GAMO.218 G. GAMO. 51. f. 55. 248-251. 61-82. 773. outside of Leningrad and near a limestone quarry. op. 773. 544.221 Limestone’s presence and absence partially determined this alteration. 773. ll. d.” that would process alumina from nepheline with sulfuric acid. to convert to using nepheline concentrate. 371 and GAMO. 4. Khibinskie Apatity i nefeliny. 95. f. d. Solov´ianov enthused about this time that “the only raw material source able to play a decisive role as a substitute of the world aluminum industry is Soviet /Kola/ nepheline. 237-265. 114-115. 773. initially begun in 1933. 3-4 (1999): 95. 55. d. 1. 59. 773. 218-244. 157-166. 3. l. 1.222 At a meeting of a bureau of the scientific research sector of the NKTP in January 1936 devoted to “the questions of the complex utilization of Khibiny apatitenepheline ore” attendees passed several resolutions. and GAMO. 378. the enterprise commenced construction on a nepheline enrichment facility to produce nepheline concentrate out of tailings. 1. 39-47. op. f. d. 1. f. op. vol. d. f. f. “Apatit”. 221 Barabanov and Kalinina. F. d. One endorsed the construction of a new factory in Leningrad. op. engineers and consultants for the trust continued to promote research on nepheline and in 1935 succeeded in getting an alumina plant in Volkhov. 9ob. 1. 1. f.. ll. 219 GAMO. l. d. 19.” Zhivaia Arktika. l. The agency was concerned about the relationship between the purifying fluorine and the potentially poisonous phosphorous anhydride in Khibiny apatite and forced the enterprise to continue testing before giving its approval.opposed using nepheline. 267-274. op. op. “Red Chemist. went into operation in 1939 and that year construction began on a redesigned aluminum refinement plant (producing aluminum from alumina and not alumina from nepheline) in Kandalaksha. 218 217 113 . 773. op. researchers and enterprise leaders searched for additional applications for nepheline waste. Others called for the State Institute of Applied Chemistry (GIPKh) to devise a chlorination method for processing nickel and copper ore. no. GAMO. 9.

d. 1. ll. op. 31ob-32ob. ‘And only them. 1. They want to receive refined alumina and to the 'holy mother' with everything else.223 During this meeting. To this comment Kondrikov replied. d.227 Apatit produced very little nepheline concentrate before the Second World War devastated Kola industry. 226 GAMO. 773. 227 ARAN. we can judge Fersman’s environmentally hopeful vision of the complex utilization of nepheline as a failure. 228 Shabad. 59. 16ob. d. 773. 1. ‘Yes ‘the tails of bulls’ interest me’ /laughter/. op. 114 . and to study the enrichment of rare minerals in the region. I collect all kinds of trash. Basic Industrial Resources of the USSR. 161. “Please. “We will leave all the dumping mounds and save them (otvaly) /laughter/” and Kuznetsov retorted. Volkhov and Pikalevo. l. the participants joked playfully about the entire issue of reusing industrial wastes and revealed some of their thinking about the problem. but how to use it. to research applications of tailings from nickel and copper processing. “it is the same in heavy industry. and the Kandalaksha Aluminum Factory finally opened in 1951. op.”226 The overall disposition that was displayed at this meeting of Soviet industry demonstrates the convictions both that minimizing industrial waste was inherently economical and that human manipulation would eventually be able to get nature to do what they wanted it to do. Kondrikov did blurt out the crux of the issue from the perspective of Apatit: the need for the “modernization of methods” as ore qualities fall and that the issue is “not how to throw it away. ll.”225 While continuing in a jovial vein. f. GAMO. In the long run. supposedly turning the water literally white by the late 1930s. Kuznetsov of the GIPKh told Kondrikov to build the factory with old methods if it was so pressing. 59. 59. Kondrikov quipped. op. Two alumina plants south of Lake Ladoga. f. f. 544. d.”224 After explaining the need for more research on a chlorination method of nickel processing that would utilize nepheline tailings. But I do not need the ‘bull. l. began using Khibiny nepheline in 1949 and 1959. 1. f. 1. For instance.’’ And let’s end this business.potential use of chlorine as a gas. 41. 30.228 As production figures for 223 224 GAMO. The nepheline tailings produced by apatite production never came close to being completely reused and the dumping of them in the White River continued for many years. d. op. 225 GAMO. 59. N. mocking opponents of complex utilization. 773. f. respectively. 5-7. l. A. Here and now. 773.

“Poluchenie glinozema iz nefelina. et al. 558-559.232 By 2002. “Environmental Impact Assessment of the Mining and Concentration Activities in the Kola Peninsula. Lebedev. “Economic Deposits Associated with Alkaline and Ultrabasic Complexes of the Kola Peninsula. Gigant v Khibinakh. only reaching the level of 750. 230-231.” Post-Soviet Geography 33. no. and so much emitted into the air and washed away by water? An explanation focusing solely on human intentions and economic logics misses the fact that Barabanov. “The Soviet Aluminum Industry in the Former USSR in 1992. 9 (September 1992): 591-601.230 Through that time only around 15% of the nepheline wastes created by the mining and processing of Kola apatite were used to make nepheline concentrate. Phoscorites and Carbonatites from Mantle to Mine: The Key Example of the Kola Alkaline Province (London: Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. ed.229 To the chagrin of Apatit the country’s aluminum industry remained more attracted to the idea of importing foreign bauxite than increasing processing with nepheline after Soviet bauxite sources began to dwindle in the 1970s and 1980s.234 This estimation would mean that at most 20% of the material taken from the mountains had been transformed into an industrial product. eds. the amount of nepheline concentrate manufactured by the trust staggered. 231 V. so many grams of waste produced. V. Istomin.” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 75. Sagers. N. 234 S. Fedoseev and A. A. no. 77. Wall and A. the rest of it was either discharged into local waterways or placed in one of several tailing dumps (khvostokhranilishcha).” in F.” in Nauka i obrazovanie – 2002: Materialy Vserossiiskoi nauchno-tekhnicheskoi konferentsii (Murmansk: MGPU. V. The three dry tailing dumps eventually filled and became point sources for hazardous dust. 2002).233 Another scholar made a more critical estimate in 2004. putting this figure at close to 900 million tons and additionally noting that over half of the 3 billion tons of ore (over a cubic kilometer in area) extracted from the Khibiny Mountains remained in rock heaps near the mines.231 Until 1957 the company poured unfiltered wet tailings into the White River and continued to pollute this waterway on a large scale after this point. 1 (April 2002): 11-31. 96.” in Turchaninov. 2004). Russia by Multidate Remote Sensing. 232 Olga Rigina. Zaitsev.. But why were so many grams of extracted mining mass lost. one scientist estimated that half a billion tons of nepheline sat in these tailing dumps and still spoke of the possibility of someday processing aluminum from these wastes. 233 V.. Petrov.000 tons a year that had been estimated for 1937 in the 1960s. “Ekonomicheskie predposylki osvoeniia novykh mestorozhdenii i sozdaniia pererabatyvaiushchikh proizvodstv na Kol´skom poluostrove. Osvoenie mineral´nykh bogatsv Kol´skogo poluostrova. 486-487..apatite concentrate grew astronomically. thereby creating an equivalently large amount of nepheline tailings. 230 229 115 . N.

The point here is not that political and economic will could not have overcome nepheline’s recalcitrance. local government leaders worried about the impact on human health. d. 51. ll. Nepheline’s potential as both a pollutant and aluminum source inspired the schemes of complex utilization to turn it into the latter. 51.236 A report of 235 236 GAMO. the leaders of Apatit in the 1930s knew about the problems being caused by air and water pollution and made some attempts. Different groups within the state apparatus carved out divergent positions: sanitation inspectors were the most concerned. d. preserving the remaining green areas in the city. 773. 1. If the promotion of complex utilization reflected the environmental optimism of Stalinist modernization. albeit often impotent and half-hearted. but that in this case they did not. A number of agencies expressed concern about remedying the poor organization of the water system. f. scientists seemed eager to extend their expertise into further realms. 773. to address these issues. republic.235 Concerns about this proposal spread through planning bureaucracies at the city. op. op. reducing dust in town created by the enrichment factory. Confronting Pollution To a surprising extent. GAMO. and enterprise leaders defended the measures they had taken and resisted new ones. 88-90. ll. regional. The issue of pollution came to the forefront as state planners began devising a scheme to expand the city of Khibinogorsk in the fall of 1934. and closing or moving an experimental phosphorous factory that had been in operation since 1933. 116 .000. it does reveal both part of the origin of these environmental hopes during Stalinist industrialization and an important reason why they did not come to fruition. f. 1. raising the population of the town and the mining settlements at Kikusvumchorr and Iuksporiok to 68.nepheline rock was not passive in this process. debates about pollution in the 1930s pointed more to the contradictions that abided in Soviet socialism between efforts to render nature economically useful and attempts to harmonize humans’ relationships with the environment. 84-100. but its intractability hindered these plans and resulted in it primarily functioning as an agent of environmental destruction. and state levels. Though the behavior of mineral ore does not explain the human craving for industrial production in the Khibiny.

op. 240 GAMO. 773. 92. 1. l. f. 1935 sent to Apatit and other organizations was particularly explicit. 239 GAMO.. d. vol. upon noticing a stench from the water in the Iuksporr valley. 51. 1. 122-139. op. 51. tested samples and GAMO.243 In March 1935 an engineer for Apatit. 773. 1. 92ob. op. 773. l. GAMO. d. 51.” in Fersman. 773. l. It also predicted that the conversion of the mines at Kukisvumchorr and Iuksporiok to underground work would raise new possibilities for polluting the water supply. 238 237 117 . 1.”238 Lebedeva also called on Apatit to filter out “resinous substances and kerosene” from the water it dumped. l.241 The trust decided to build this installation quite close to a site that had been rejected for the apatite enrichment factory because of the stated need to maintain Great Vud˝iavr as a safe source for drinking and industrial water. d. 91ob-94. 51. 242 Smirnov.240 A major topic discussed in this report and by others in this period was the experimental phosphorous factory a half kilometer from the mining settlement of Iuksporiok. should be changed. ed. 51. 1.242 After only a few years of operation the phosphorous factory had already begun to deplete the fish population in the ostensibly protected Great Vud˝iavr Lake and gases such as carbon monoxide threatened human health. op. f. “Obogashchenie apatito-nefelinovoi porody Khibinskogo mestorozhdeniia. but acknowledged that the location of the enrichment facility meant that it would continue to represent “definite insalubrities for the city. d. Khibinskie Apatity. 1. 92ob. 773. Lebedeva claimed it was “a source of extraordinarily dangerous water and air” because of its phosphorous discharges. op. ll.”239 The report advocated that the location of the town’s food combine.V. currently in close proximity to sources of water and air pollution. f. She noted that currently a layer of dust sat on top of the roofs and steps of buildings and had begun to kill coniferous trees. f. E. 241 GAMO. Lebedeva of the Main State Sanitation Inspection of the RSFSR from January 25. 51. l. 92ob. She suggested installing new electric filters at the enrichment factory and greening the area to bulwark air quality. d. 773. d. f. Kirovsk was a difficult place in which to arrange good sanitary conditions. The White River itself might turn into a canal of liquid sewage. op. 243 GAMO. These materials “can spoil the water of the lake and kill the fish it has there. 92ob. f. 1.237 The report claimed that overall.

it was clear that concern about dust and poisonous drinking water circulated throughout the city. d. f. 93ob-94. 773. 51. 1. op. 248 GAMO. f. 247 GAMO. 246 GAMO. GAMO. the purification of industrial and fecal wastewaters. Despite the litany of environmental problems with the proposed expansion of Apatit. 1935. 51. 282. op. 250 GAMO. 297-301. 84. 51. 317-318. 773. which could oxidize and stabilize phosphorous substances. ll. op. 773. f. there will be poisoning. l. ll. 276-278. I. ll. 773. f. 773. d. f. 1. 249 GAMO.246 The Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR also approved the project and supported the request of the recently renamed Kirovsk City Council for comprehensive research into potential sources for the water supply. the enterprise urgently needed to purify the industrial sewage from the phosphorous factory and add fluorine to the water. Fridliand concluded: “if we do not take sanitary (ozdorovitel´nykh) measures. 1. op. 51. op. l.244 He insisted that immediate action should be taken to reduce this hazard. 51. ll.”250 Other speakers 244 245 GAMO. sewer construction. l. Vol´fkovich presented some of the preliminary results of an ongoing government study that indicated that sewage water from the phosphorous factory was reaching Great Vud˝iavr. 1. d. 1.245 Shortly thereafter Gosplan of the RSFSR approved the expansion. The resolution highlighted the priority of increasing production at the Kikusvumchorr mine to 4 million tons and at the Iuksporr mine to 2 million tons. 51. 1. d. d. f. op. 51. d.established the presence of the poisonous phosphine (PH3). At a gathering of the Society of Regional Studies the previous evening there was what one critical attendee called “unwarranted racket” about the water quality of Great Vud˝iavr.248 S.249 Fridliand focused his comments on dust from the enrichment and phosphorous factories. 773.247 Controversy over pollution soon appeared again. Though the present levels seemed safe. At a meeting of local party and enterprise leaders on April 8. He claimed that these particles could cause tuberculosis. f. 1. 118 . 773. Encouraging ventilation measures on the work sites. the State Sanitation Inspection of the RSFSR concluded that it did not need to oppose it if certain issues were addressed. 100. op. d. and the preservation of the existing green areas in the city.

” He reported that he was receiving calls day and night about phosphorous in the water and that “panic is already beginning to be felt” in the city. ll. Though he used the lack of thorough knowledge about pollution to depict discussion of this environmental issue as dangerous in a borderland region. d. L. He noted that he felt fine after four years there. 288. especially those from Apatit. f. 773. 119 . Kondrikov defended the choice as preferable given other issues such as transportation and the availability of a water source. retorted that raising concern over the issue before the completion of testing in August was “indecent” if not “politically disloyal. op.254 The manager also defended the dust-collecting filters they were currently using as more effective than anticipated and argued that the long winter and icy conditions there helped prevent the dispersal of the dust already emitted. 51. op. ll. but over the last two years our mortality rate has not increased. d. 1. ll. Isakov. 255 GAMO. 307-309.”252 The technical director of Apatit’s enrichment factory. f. A. l. They emphasized the uncertainty about the issue as a means of dismissing its seriousness. f. 51. improving housing and establishing conditions to make the city attractive to potential workers were more important. Kasparov. 309-310. op. 254 GAMO. 279-281. 773. 281-283. 1.255 On the issue of the potential contamination of water with an active form of phosphorous.253 Kondrikov had the last word at this meeting and displayed impatience with all of the criticism being leveled. 773. 253 GAMO. One obstreperous speaker. f. 773. ignored the reports of Vol´fkovich and Fridliand and the recent discovery of toxic phosphine in the water. d. “But in the meantime the drinking water from Vud˝iavr in my opinion does not represent a danger in relation to poisoning. including two years when filters were not being used at all. op. d. d. f. 1. employed a similar tactic in dismissing the consequences of air pollution. 51. Isakov also was quick to evoke his own subjective impression to dismiss the issue. op. 1. ll. For him air and water quality were subsidiary issues in a totalistic vision of industrial planning. GAMO. Responding to the notion that the location of the city was less than ideal. 292-297. 773. 307. 51.brought up the failure of the enterprise to build the planned sewage system and the general location of the city as factors exacerbating the effects of pollution. People not only haven’t been poisoned.251 The dominant voices at this meeting. 1. he was 251 252 GAMO. 51.

op. op. you know. f. 1. d. f. and new construction at the enrichment facilities partially as means of reducing the effects of industrial dust. and GAMO. f. 1. He expressed skepticism that the concerns about the health effects of this pollution were legitimate. 261 GAMO. l. However. 773. f. 59. f. then the issue needs to be put before an authoritative commission and not confessed to all gods. 259 GAMO. thereby potentially poisoning the water originally intended for drinking. 305. GAMO. 1. 506. 442-443. perhaps the Kola Peninsula will collapse and we will not extract apatite then. 51. not confessed at all intersections. 258 GAMO. the fact that Apatit continued to fund the experimental phosphorous factory. 773. Above all the issue being pushed by the Health Protection and Sanitation Inspections is that perhaps something will happen. 1. 55. 260 GAMO. 52. f.261 GAMO. et al. speaks of an inability of this form of industrial modernization to do what advocates claimed it would. Uncertainty about problems more closely tied to production in the short-term would not have justified such inertness. op. op. d. 773. f. … Well. Give figures.260 These measures reveal that the idea of building a new socialist city where humans would be in harmony with the environment maintained some salience in these echelons. d. 1. 257 256 120 . l. Though the response of Apatit to concerns being raised about pollution demonstrated that it was indeed a low priority and that its leaders attempted to avoid some of these new tasks. d. 238. Do not speak of an off-chance because for an off-chance we will not give one kopeck. ll. 55. 773.256 He forcefully stated the position of Apatit: In regard to the question of the water supply.bombastic in his refutations. 773. 1. 773. op. l. op. d. d. 55. GAMO. l. 241.. 773. Gigant v Khibinakh.259 Apatit also looked into using Little Vud˝iavr Lake as a new drinking water source and sought more investment in the sewer system. 305-306. All analyses need to be checked thoroughly. a ventilation system in the underground mines. 63. 256. 388ob. 1. f.257 There is something interesting going on here. 773. d. 55. 251 and Barabanov. Over the next few years it funded more organized greening campaigns. 1. If we ourselves do not understand. ll. the enterprise did take some actions. ll. op. 51.258 Management and consulting agencies discussed the idea of reusing water during the enrichment process. 162-169. op. ll. Kondrikov’s response displayed a typical opportunistic employment of uncertainty in the face of environmental problems that one might expect from captains of industry in many political-economic systems. d.

op. “But since this time factory sewage waters in particular and the abundant concentration of thin dust of crushed apatite has so changed the character of the previously absolutely pure and typical mountain lake Great Vud˝iavr.000 inhabitants discussed in 1934-1935. allow for certain technological innovations. the complete use of mined apatite-nepheline ore. 266 ARAN. was quite ambitious when he turned to the issue. 41. 1-9. 6. Fridolin offered a bleak assessment of the anthropogenic loads that apatite production was having on the Khibiny ecosystem in December 1938.263 In contrast to this continued environmental optimism. op. 161. Geographer Gavriil Rikhter studied the internal water system of the Kola Peninsula in these years and urged further research on the relationship between aquatic organisms and pollution. high tides. d. snow cover. 262 263 ARAN. f. 264 ARAN. 1.”265 The dust from apatite production. and the establishment of new nature reserves in the area. He sought to explain how putative impediments of the local climate such as wind. 1. ARAN. 207. he advocated the preservation of water bodies near industry. 265 ARAN. 40. op. the polar sun. which despite the efforts of the enterprise’s engineers already had become concentrated so thickly that it blocked sunlight “like during a forest fire. and provide unique transportation opportunities. He proposed that a general plan for the “complex utilization” of water resources needed to be devised to balance industrial. Every year. d. municipal. 1. ll. that the large fish that were found there earlier already do not live there. Fridolin reported.Several scientists involved in the economic development of the Khibiny region continued to think creatively about environmental protection in the late 1930s. In an unpublished essay on nature protection on the Kola Peninsula from 1940.262 Fersman. 121 . and ecosystem needs. 544. 544.” accumulated on leaves of nearby flora and disturbed their normal functions. f. 161. 1. d.264 Economically valuable fish such as salmon (losos´) that require fresh water rich in oxygen became threatened by industrial activity after 1932. op. 161. l. f. sections of forested land near Little Vud˝iavr were being cut or burned. d. 544. op. l. typically. ll. f. the reduction of dust from processing. on the shore of which the city Kirovsk is located. d. 544. f. ll. 40-41. and low temperatures could serve the region’s energy economy. 544. 1-6. 362.266 In the longer term the cramped landscape of Kirovsk prevented the expansion of the city from ever reaching the 68.

The significant increase in the population of the socialist settlement and the production capacity of the company in the 1950s and 1960s required building the new town of Apatity twenty kilometers away on a main railroad line and placing a new enrichment facility between the two cities. In this chapter I have argued that an under-recognized omnipresence of environmental factors influenced the essential character of Stalinist modernization. and the way that a combination of a totalistic vision during rapid and chaotic industrialization and the unanticipated behavior of nature gave rise to an irreconcilable tension between the dictates of maximizing production and those of building socialism. the gap between the assertive ideas of mollifying the natural world for human use and the brutal social conditions nature helped create. The story of socialist construction during the first five-year plan is a familiar one for students of Soviet history. forced labor. 122 . The specific role of the environment in Stalinist modernization can ultimately be seen in several spheres: the attempt to transform territories with the potential for detached resource extraction into self-sustained industrial centers. 267 Barabanov. Throughout the analysis I strove to demonstrate how nature functioned as an actor capable of foiling human designs for it but also of acquiescing in the short run to forms of manipulation and exertions of power. Gigant v Khibinakh.267 Conclusion The rapid creation of a new industrial civilization north of the polar circle in the Khibiny Mountains was part of a deliberate effort of the Stalinist political system to transform a periphery into a center of socialist modernity. I began this chapter by noting that within a cauldron of revolutionary optimism. 94-129. et al. and disorganized central planning a seemingly contradictory approach toward the environment emerged: one that both embraced the metaphor of nature as an object of conquest and also sought to establish a non-destructive harmony between humans and the rest of the natural world. I then endeavored to show how this tension played out in everything from the visions of the project and its initial organization to the dastardly hardships faced by the migrants to the new town and the diverse methods employed to cope with environmental problems..

When advocates of modernization turned their attention to this territory. simplifying. Legible ecologies most clearly contributed to the process of modernization. and sustenance decisively shaped the transformation of Kola reindeer economies through both the imposition of abstract frameworks aimed at establishing legibility and the adoption of environmental understandings based on experiential interaction with the natural world. Diverse forms of ecological knowledge crucially shaped a process of radical transformation of human interactions with reindeer during the twentieth century. Legibility. Attempts to create a productive reindeer economy on the Kola Peninsula required more explicit dependence on living nature and the participation of non-human animal agents than railroad construction and phosphate mining. A large portion of the small number of people who lived in the region before the twentieth century relied critically on hunting reindeer to maintain their livelihoods. in James Scott’s rendering. the economic project of making reindeer husbandry productive. I use this term to capture the environmental dimensions of the creation of “legibility” in the modern world. like most Arctic environments. Climate and other natural phenomena significantly curtailed the ability for flora to grow there and for herbivores to thrive. The elaboration and employment of these forms of knowledge served diverse and contradictory political purposes. this dearth of biomass and the difficulties of cultivating crops led them to consider special strategies for making organic nature economically beneficial. I propose classifying the two powerful modes of knowledge production about reindeer as legible and sentient ecologies. The production of legible knowledge serves state power by 123 . is ultimately a tool for the manipulation of societies and nature by states that functions through standardizing.Chapter 3. This chapter posits that knowledge about animals. abstracting. Knowledge Ecologies and Reindeer The Kola Peninsula. landscapes. had never been teeming with life. classifying. and making “rational” complex and not entirely reducible phenomena. and the endeavor of conservation scientists to protect wild reindeer. but on the whole contributed to the emergence of an extensively modernized reindeer economy that is also now a site for emphasizing the preservation of an alleged tradition. They each appeared in various manifestations in the ethnic politics of reindeer herders.

authorized kind. including sometimes reindeer herders themselves. James Scott. Anderson. 2000). As such. On the Kola Peninsula campaigns to organize and consolidate herding communities along ethnic lines involved embracing rigid categories of national difference and simplistic understandings of herding techniques. and Skill (London: Routledge. Tim Ingold discusses sentient ecology as “knowledge not of a formal. The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood. 3 Tim Ingold. and understandings that are difficult to reduce to abstract reason. State reformers and scientists also relied on practical experiences. Dwelling. Sentient ecologies yield understandings of specific animals and environments through practical. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press. transmissible in contexts outside those of its practical application. in promoting the modernist project. Identity and Ecology in Arctic Siberia: The Number One Reindeer Brigade (Oxford: Oxford University Press. communicative. Departing somewhat from Scott. control. The efforts to industrialize reindeer herding entailed a bias toward monocultural megafauna. Lastly. sensitivities and orientations that have developed through long experience of conducting one’s life in a particular environment. and change society at heightened levels. or the selective breeding of particular species to promote traits that benefit human societies.enabling it to manage. 1998). and tactical involvement with the natural world. it is based in feeling.” This sensitivity and responsiveness roughly corresponds to what has been called intuition. On the contrary. 25. scientists sought to conserve the local population of wild reindeer by attempting to maintain a pristine ecosystem that was minimally modified by people. consisting in the skills. the creation of large reservoirs for dams. though these efforts at modern transformation have often.”2 Expanding on Anderson’s theory. Scott insists. which could be predictably monitored. 2002). 116. interactions.3 This ecological knowledge is not limited to pastoral communities living in close proximity to animals and tundra landscapes. failed.1 Environmental legibility can occur through the cultivation of carefully maintained timber forests. 1 124 . I venture that this form of ecological knowledge was propagated not only by sovereign entities like the state but also by a diverse array of actors. David Anderson develops this concept in his ethnography of Evenki reindeer herders who “act and move on the tundra in such a way that they are conscious that animals and the tundra itself are reacting to them. 2 David G.

eds. 1998). 2005). excluding specific works on the Murmansk region.sentient ecological knowledge also constitutes a vital element of modernist environmentality. Komi. What it 4 125 . Bruce Grant. see Eric Hobsbawm and Terrence Ranger. 2008). 1995). 2003). Caroline Humphrey. Piers Vitebsky. This point agrees with much of the anthropological literature about indigenous peoples. Patty A. 1983). The Predicament of Chukotka’s Indigenous Movement: Post-Soviet Activism in the Russian Far North (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This chapter demonstrates how sentient ecologies informed the process of transforming the Kola reindeer economy on multiple scales. albeit often in crude and forceful ways.5 For a classic statement on the invention of tradition. In the Soviet House of Culture: A Century of Perestroikas (Princeton: Princeton University Press. which is often taken as a traditional rural activity today. The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nikolai V. Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia (London: HarperCollins Publishers. Diverse types of interaction with reindeer among the Sami. The efforts to transform human/reindeer interactions additionally gave rise to the imagined traditionalism of pastoralism on the Kola Peninsula. during which policy makers focused on the modernization of the reindeer economy. living in northern Eurasia.. Such traditionalism has become a major form of symbolic identity and political capital for the Kola Sami in the contemporary world. Niobe Thompson. and especially reindeer herders. Historicizing the invention of this tradition demonstrates continuities that connect late imperial Russia and most of Soviet history. The on-the-ground efforts of state agents to reform the reindeer economy frequently depended on action that adapted to local social and environmental conditions. Conservation scientists incorporated indigenous insights into their knowledge about wild reindeer populations and developed passionate commitments to this particular species. during which reindeer traditionalism received significant emphasis. Nenets. Red Ties and Residential Schools: Indigenous Siberians in a Post-Soviet State (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Gray. and Russians contributed to the nationalization of reindeer herding. only became dominant in the region during the twentieth century. Alexia Bloch. reindeer herding. Joachim Otto Habeck. 2003). Identity and Ecology in Arctic Siberia. Ssorin-Chaikov.4 I wish to highlight the overall Soviet contribution to the image of reindeer herding as traditional. 2005). 5 Ethnographies and historical works on the Russian Arctic. However. and tie together the later Soviet era and the postcommunist one. Settlers on the Edge: Identity and Modernization on Russia's Arctic Frontier (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. as well as the way that traditionalist symbolism emerged as a manifestation of legibility during modernization campaigns. Marx Went Away but Karl Stayed Behind (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. are Anderson. The Social Life of the State in Subarctic Siberia (Stanford: Stanford University Press.

2004). This development transpired to a considerable degree because of changing ecological relations that affected inhabitants of different places of the Russian north. I am doing so for the sake of readability. The combination of types of knowledge ultimately led to the emergence of a reindeer economy based on hybrid forms of herding techniques that included participants of multiple ethnic groups. and the cultural promotion of reindeer traditionalism. differences in the ways that Sami. 1992).” Human Ecology 38. 2005). 2 (2006): 6-30.6 The Sami. Hugh Beach and Florian Stammler. and James Forsyth. which included those who migrated to the Kola Peninsula. economic restructuring. Nenets. For them I keep the words Lapp and Samoed when they appeared in a primary source.The Ethnic Organization of Reindeer Herding The transformation of reindeer/human relations on the Kola Peninsula during the twentieth century largely developed through the interaction of different ethnic groups and attempts by state reformers to order rural economies in the far north along these lines. Property and Globalisation at the ‘End of the Land’ (Münster: LIT Verlag. proposals for reform. the move to classify Kola reindeer herding as appropriately Sami despite its multiethnic origins fed into abstract and preconceived state logics that marked this territory and modes of livelihood in ethnic terms. 6 In this discussion I am translating references to the Izhemtsy in primary sources as Komi. 1994). Yuri Slezkine Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Small Peoples of the North (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 126 . though people living there had hunted the animals for a long time. Komi. who already Means to Be a Herdsman: The Practice and Image of Reindeer Husbandry among the Komi of Northern Russia (Münster: LIT Verlag. “Human-Animal Relations in Pastoralism. “Dynamic Mutual Adaptation: Human-Animal Interaction in Reindeer Herding Pastorialism. It resulted primarily from Komi (or Izhemtsy) and Nentsy (or Samoedy) herders in the Pechora-Izhma River basin attempting to escape increased environmental pressures by migrating to the Kola Peninsula with large herds of reindeer. 5 (October 2010): 613-623. Kirill Istomin and Mark Dwyer. A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia’s North Asian Colony 1581-1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This practice differs from how I refer to the Sami and Nenets. The politics of ethnic relations on the Kola Peninsula shaped the introduction of reindeer pastoralism in the region. The Izhemtsy were a specific group of Komi. On the one hand. no. On the other hand. but that was defined as Sami. The Development of Pastoralism on the Kola Peninsula The rise of large-scale reindeer herding on the Kola Peninsula did not occur until the end of the nineteenth century.” Nomadic Peoples 10. and Pomors understood and experienced their interactions with animals and landscapes contributed to changes on the ground in important ways. Florian Stammler. no. Reindeer Nomads Meet the Market: Culture.

160-185.C. Izbrannye proizvedeniia.000 B. and “Vvodnyi ocherk. 1993). They spoke dialects of a Finno-Ugric language common to a number of other. 70. Tom 1: Kol´skaia zemlia (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. F. F. 29-165 and I. A.” in A. 1 (Saint Petersburg/Apatity: IS/ KNTs RAN. Kol´skii entsiklopediia.000 years ago. They responded by orienting their livelihoods more towards reindeer pastoralism and modifying some of their own strategies for keeping the animals. 8 I. With dense furs. seek cold environments and often migrate long distances to forage on seasonal pastures. 1997). Slavic-speaking residents known as the Pomors began inhabiting the Tersk coast as far back as the thirteenth century. The prerogatives of reindeer hunting were also inscribed in their loose system of territorial organization deemed pogosty (parishes). and ed. N. Dashchinskii. Current archaeological evidence dates the earliest human inhabitants on the Kola Peninsula to between 7. but also hunted wild reindeer and kept limited numbers of domesticated draft animals. 2008). Ushakov and S. reindeer (Rangifer taranda). 1988). the Sami allocated reindeer a more significant place in their culture and spiritual beliefs than the Pomors. 7 127 .faced a dwindling stock of wild reindeer available for hunting. seasonal antlers. Ushakov. trans. now encountered greater competition for lichen pastures. 40. or caribou as they are known in North America.E. Due partially to their inland orientation. Kiselev. Reindeer People. vol. ed. which often involved different seasonal settlements for given kin groups and included areas officially belonging to the Orthodox Church or the imperial government. Igor Krupnik. and an instinct to form herds. Reindeer and people have been some of the most prominent mammalian megafauna on the Kola Peninsula for millennia. Arctic Adaptations: Native Whalers and Reindeer Herders of Northern Eurasia.8 The domestication of reindeer depended on intimate understandings of the animal and responsiveness to the variable behavior of individual creatures. more populous.. Marcia Levenson (Hanover: University Press of New England.000 and 8. it emerged from northern communities using their ecological knowledge to adapt to changing circumstances. 17-39. unlike most of the economic activities analyzed in this dissertation. groups of Sami in northern Scandinavia. the key first step in the growth of “modern” reindeer herding did not come from state reform efforts.7 The ancestors of a group that came to be called the Sami (Laplanders and Lapps in earlier terminology) first arrived in the region sometime after 2. Instead. Both the Sami and the Pomors relied predominantly on fishing for sustenance for much of their history. Thus. Communities Vitebsky. Lovozero (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 86-127.

1890). However.9 Ingold describes this development as “a change in the terms of engagement” between humans and animals from a predatory relationship based on trust to a protective one of domination. no. Russkie lopari. 160-184. 17-39. migration. “Animals as Capital: Comparisons among Northern Nomadic Herders and Hunters.” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 9. Pastoralists and Ranchers: Reindeer Economies and Their Transformations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. milk. Beginning in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries domestication extended to allow for the manipulation of grazing. 11 Nikolai Kharuzin. no. Most families kept only about 15-19 reindeer and would release them for grazing in the summer and collect them Vitebsky. and reproduction of entire herds and accordingly to provide the basis for pastoralism (reindeer herding). according to an ethnography from the time by Nikolai Kharuzin. “Nikolai Kharuzin and the Quest for a Universal Human Science. See Nathaniel Knight. 101-120.”12 In response to these resource limitations the Kola Sami became more orientated toward pastoralism as the population of domestic reindeer increased noticeably between the 1860s and 1880s.13 Herding practices remained organized in a way that allowed opportunities for engagement in other occupations. 9 128 . Pastoralists honed different skills and knowledge as they began to interact primarily with domestic reindeer. 104. 12 Kharuzin. “not only Lapps but also Russian residents unanimously say that Lapps are becoming poor in reindeer. Arctic Adaptations. Russkie lopari (Ocherki proshlago i sovremennago byta) (Moscow: Izvestiia imperatorskago obshchestva liubitelei estestvoznaniia. This process occurred without much of the selective breeding that characterized the domestication of other animals. but gradually led to the presence of certain traits in domestic reindeer that make the animals more prone to interact with humans in a variety of ways. and Robert Paine. 1 (Winter 2008): 83-111. and as hunting decoys. Russkie lopari.” Anthropological Quarterly 44. Krupnik. 3 (July 1971): 152-172. the hunting economy had begun to decline because of a dwindling stock of wild reindeer. Hunters.10 In the late nineteenth century the Kola Sami still relied more on fishing and hunting wild reindeer than on harvesting the products of domesticated animals. 1980).11 Kharuzin stressed. 61-76 and Tim Ingold.throughout Eurasia first innovated methods for training individual wild reindeer for transportation. antropologii i etnografii. 10 Ingold. 105. Reindeer People. Nathaniel Knight demonstrates how Kharuzin became one of the first Russian ethnographers to embrace evolutionist theory in his scholarship. but shows that this volume fit more in line with an earlier framework of Russian ethnography that concentrated on gathering and systematizing information about peoples without the application of theory. The Perception of the Environment. 13 Kharuzin.

31-32 and Robert P. The migration patterns of these pastoralists T. Well-off Komi kept massive herds. Having actively collected and traded furs with Russian merchants. 214-236. and V. the Mythic Sami Reindeer: Part 1. which reflected cognition of the creatures’ active role in their hunting economy. The Russian Sami: Historical-Ethnographic Essays. “Folktales of Meandash. 15 Edward Rae. (October 1999): 31. While Sami communities nominally had converted to Orthodox Christianity centuries earlier and regularly attended church services in the late nineteenth century. and managed a total of close to twenty times the number of domestic reindeer as the Sami. The Nenets pastoralists in the region began to keep large reindeer herds comparatively early and taught herding to the Komi migrants of the sixteenth century. legends of a man-reindeer called Miandash who traversed between human and non-human worlds circulated among the Kola Sami. Russkie lopari. no. Legenda o olene-cheloveke (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo “Nauka. a quite different reindeer economy and ecology existed.” Arctic Anthropology 45. I. “Babinski and Ekostrovski: Saami Pogosty on the Western Kola Peninsula. hired other herders. 1877). V. Enn Ernits. eds. Vol´fa. 29. Strana kholoda (Saint Petersburg/Moscow: Izdanie knigoprodavtsa-tipografa M. (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo “Nauka. These stories drew on Miandash’s ability to transform from a wild reindeer into a human in certain locations such as a tent and associated separate lands of the Sami and reindeer with the realms of the living and the dead. 95-107 and Kharuzin. 1881). (May 2000): 66-92.” Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore 13. O. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIX-XX v. Russia from 1880 to 1940.” Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore 11. 2004). 182-190. V. Luk´ianchenko. the Komi in the Izhma region embraced market-oriented economic practices in their reindeer herding. Russkie lopari.” 1971).16 Additionally. Kharuzin. Lars-Nila Lasko and Chuner Taksami (Kautokeino: Nordic Sami Institute. 1 (2008): 81. 17 Enn Ernits. 262-277. Volkov. N. profited from selling reindeer products to traders.15 One of their rituals involved sacrificing wild reindeer under the direction of village sorcerers and displaying the animal’s horns on the roof of their dwelling. The White Sea Peninsula: A Journey in Russian Lapland and Karelia (London: John Murray.again in the fall.14 Wild reindeer possessed deep spiritual significance for the Kola Sami in this era. and Veli-Pekka Lehtola. The Sámi People: Traditions in Transition (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press. Migration patterns varied noticeably between the western and eastern sides of the peninsula in part because of topographic differences. 235-236. Nemirovich-Danchenko. 17 Across the Arkhangel´sk province in the Pechora River basin. 16 N. 208209. sorcerers (kolduny). rock formations (seidy) and animal spirits. “Folktales of Meandash. Wheelersburg and Natalia Gutsol.” 1965). 14 129 . V. Charnoluskii. the Mythic Sami Reindeer: Part 2. they still held religious beliefs in shamans (noidy). 1996).

no. including summer grazing. Po bol´shezemel´skoi tundre s kochevnikami (Arkhangel´sk: Gubernskaia Tipografiia. several Komi in the Izhma region learned of abundant lichen pastures and a lack of reindeer epizootics on the Kola Peninsula. What it Means to Be a Herdsman. no. 42. Razumova. 2 (1993): 92-102. “Ecological Adaptation of Komi Resettled Groups. N. A. who were confined to a peninsular environment.” Arctic Anthropology 30. Severiane. After a few years of migration around different parts of the Kola Peninsula. V. A large anthrax outbreak in 1896 among reindeer on the Komi homelands inspired a number of additional families to join the herders on the Kola Peninsula. “K izucheniiu protsessov adaptatsii izhemskikh komi na Kol´skom severe. According to anthropologist Nikolai Konakov. no. “Ecological Adaptation of Komi Resettled Groups. Suffering from a decline in their herds at the time. 63-68. 2 (1993): 97. including several Nenets herders. and N. Unlike the Kola Sami. 19 Konakov. The Kola Peninsula only partially fit this model because of its distance and detachment from other Komi lands and its different climate. S.20 Habeck. two wealthier herders provided several thousand domestic reindeer to allow for a group of sixty-five individuals. the Komi searched for new lands and expanded the territorial presence of their herding activities.were also distinct.” in V. 2006).18 This expansion included a move to the Kola Peninsula in the 1880s by a group of herders from Izhma. 20 Konakov. Konakov. 1911). Petrov and I. the Komi and Nenets families settled in the small Sami settlement of Lovozero. As lichen pastures became crowded and outbreaks of epidemics became increasingly common among the reindeer.” Arctic Anthropology 30. P. 2 (1993): 97-99 and Isaeva. This more intensive protective role of their domestic herders resulted in greater intimacy with how the animals behaved in expansive tundra lands. D.” in Petrov and Razumova. These features dissuaded most pastoralists with smaller herds from making the trek. Isaeva.” Arctic Anthropology 30. eds. Severiane: Problemy sotsiokul´turnoi adaptatsii zhitelei Kol´skogo poluostrova (Apatity: Kol’skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. Komi migrants tended to seek similar environments that could support the basis of their current economic complex. Kertselli. They set out from the PechoraIzhma River basin in the autumn of 1883 and arrived the following spring. Komi herders continually guided the animals over hundreds of kilometers of territory every year and guarded them during every season. P. to make the journey. “Ecological Adaptation of Komi Resettled Groups. 18 130 .. 42-47. “K izucheniiu protsessov adaptatsii izhemskikh komi na Kol´skom severe. eds..19 Nevertheless.

. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova (Moscow / Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel´stvo sel´skokhoziaistvennoi i kolkhozno-kooperativnoi literatury. 29-34. the influence of their pastoralism starkly raised the productivity of the reindeer economy.” in Petrov and Razumova. 1931). no. G. “K izucheniiu protsessov adaptatsii izhemskikh komi na Kol´skom severe.21 The Komi continued many of their conventional herding methods here that conflicted with Sami practice. constructing fences during summer grazing. 7 (August 15. 44.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. Vinogradova. scientists. Lovozero. 2007). no.The introduction of the Komi reindeer economy to this new environment established large-scale reindeer herding on the Kola Peninsula. “Iz oblasti olenevodstva. The arrival of the Komi and Nenets alone dramatically increased the domestic reindeer population of the Kola Peninsula. eds. Severiane. 68-69.22 Antagonism between the groups grew especially tense as some Sami made accusations that the Komi stole free-grazing Sami reindeer during the summer—branding them with their own earmarks—and used lichen pastures intentionally reserved by the Sami. S. resulting in an over sevenfold growth in the domestic reindeer population in the region by World War I. which extended back to at least the eighteenth century. N. 2 (1993): 98-99. 23 V-r. They frequently evoked the images. I. The commentators involved— primarily state officials. 22 N. Furthermore.. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov (Apatity: Kol´skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIXXX v. 21 131 .24 These changes in Sami practice marked their shift to a pastoralist reindeer economy. journalists and regional enthusiasts centered in other parts of the Arkhangel´sk province—tended to agree on the need for some type of reform of indigenous societies and their economic practices. Debating Nationality and Modernity through Reindeer Discussions about the fate of Kola reindeer during the final decades of the Russian empire reflected anxieties about nationality in a multiethnic polity and about the type of modern economy best suited for the country. and more vigilantly attempting to round up all their animals before the autumn rut. and A. Samorukova. Budovnits. 10-11. and Isaeva. N. 24-25. 1909): 45-47 and Ushakov and Dashchinskii. 24 Luk´ianchenko. of northern indigenous peoples Konakov.23 Confronted with a disappearing population of wild reindeer available for hunting. especially with the summer release of reindeer for the sake of concentrating on fishing. “Ecological Adaptation of Komi Resettled Groups.” Arctic Anthropology 30. some groups of Sami also responded by altering their herding practice: beginning to keep much larger numbers of animals. Gutsol.

state categorization for the sake of control was a dominant part of this story. writing under the pseudonym V—r. Thus. but also their distinct environmental experiences and knowledge. see Indreek Jääk. and Nationalities Policy in Late Imperial Russia.68. Aleksandr Engel´gardt. no. while discursively inscribing the “wildness” of their environments and societies. Arctic Mirrors. Yet. 27 Engel´gardt. who “conduct the reindeer trade correctly and sensibly guard reindeer against attack from predatory beasts.and their economic practices as backward and lacking civilization. A little over a decade later another commentator. He contrasted them to the recent Komi migrants. S. relied on a brief travel experience to advance a general evaluation of the ethnic organization of the Kola reindeer economy. 1. P. Suvorina. 26 25 132 . Engel´gardt here implicitly imposed an ethnic hierarchy that placed the Komi somewhere between Russians and the Sami on a scale of modernity. Engel´gardt. In an assessment of the potential economic benefit of the Russian north to the central state from 1897. Ethnic Stereotypes. they engaged in the cultural construction of Sami and other groups’ ethnic identities.25 By doing so.” The Russian Review 68.”27 This comparison of ethnic herding practices would become a major element in discussions about the Kola reindeer economy until after collectivization. An ephemeral summer encounter with the Kola environment supplemented preconceived stereotypes about the Sami as appearing “gnome-like” and being on the path to extinction as he insisted that there were plentiful natural resources available to them on state lands. Russkii sever˝: putevyia zapiski (Saint Peterburg: Izdanie A. A. however. 2 (April 2009): 199-220. On representations of the Komi among policy makers and others in late imperial Russia. 1897). This time. the governor of the Arkhangel´sk province. evoked a similar hierarchical arrangement of groups involved in the reindeer economy on the Kola Peninsula.26 According to Engel´gardt. the Sami were bad pastoralists who did not care about increasing their herds and let their reindeer roam freely in the summer. 64-66. Russkii sever˝. “The Komi. 67. the sometimes acerbic debates among late imperial reformers reflected not just political or scientific differences about the desired national ordering of the empire. At the time the fledging assistance efforts of outside scientists to improve Pomor fishing techniques and competition from Slezkine. the author’s observations of the practices of tending transportation reindeer led him to invert the established order by placing the Russians below the other ethnicities.

but worst of all it has penetrated not only the life of savages or semisavages. “Iz oblasti bibliografii i kritiki: A.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. 29 V-r. no. he stressed that indigenous practitioners were on the whole well-off economically. and S. 30 V-r. like Engel´gardt. “Razvitie rybokhoziaistvennykh issledovanii barentseva moria: vzaimootnosheniia nauki i promysla.” (PhD diss. “receiving everything from the tundra and nothing from humans. A. Ushakov. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. 31 Quoted in V-r. Makarevskii i V. “Zlo ot inostrannykh traulerov. Vystn. 14 (July 15. but also of the Russian peasant who is almost fully deprived of cultural influence on the Kola Peninsula. reindeer give them everything. no. 2 (June 1. D.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. 1910): 25-27. Iaren´gin. The proprietor of the Pechora Experimental Agricultural Station.foreign trawling ships was a matter of great controversy among educated society in Arkhangel´sk. 1909): 48.. S. 28 133 . including the Kola Peninsula. N. “Inostrantsy na Murmane. “this carelessness is very harmful and unprofitable. Averintsev. Estimating that reindeer could give pastoralists an 800% return on invested capital after five years.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. The author continued. Rossiiskaia akademiia nauk: Institut istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki. “Iz oblasti olenevodstva. Andrei Zhuravskii. In the years immediately preceding the outbreak of the First World War. V—r believed that “more rational use of resources from the natural environment” could allow Kola reindeer herding to become profitable. 33-147. A. espoused a romantic view of reindeer herding as an inherently productive activity that required minimal labor. 7 (August 15.28 V—r criticized the “excessive exploitation of the strength of the reindeer” by some Kola herders. Severnyi olen´. Petrushevskii.”31 The ease of the herding economy. 410-414. Adrianov. Lajus.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 1. “Neskol´ko slov o postanovke nauchno-promyslovykh issledovanii u beregov Murmana. shared this optimistic assessment of tundra nature use. One wrote. “Iz oblasti olenevodstva. 7 (August 15. Tom 1. Other commentators on the reindeer economy in the Arkhangel´sk province. 2004). the environmental and social context of the region undermined the Pomors’ status as the supposedly superior group and spoke to the direness of the need for reform. 1909): 25-38.30 By “more rational” he meant. Vserinarii. Obsh. rather than a lack of Julia A. adopting Komi methods of husbandry and land use. no.”29 In this rendering. no. 1898-1934 gg. divergent ecological visions of the economic role of the North informed debates about the nationality among reformers in the Arkhangel’sk province. 12 (June 15. 1909): 41-42. 1910): 18-19. no. Domashnee zhivotnoe poliarnykh stran (SPb: Izdatel´stvo zhurn.

Po bol´shezemel´skoi tundre s kochevnikami. 70-71. 2009). served to prevent northern realms from being worked for crops. “Iz oblasti bibliografii i kritiki. Jewish Activist (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Evropeiskii Russkii Sever˝: K voprosu o griadushchem i proshlom ego byta (Arkhangel´sk: Gubernskaia Tipografiia. who wrote.”36 According to Kertselli. 81.” He quoted Zhuravskii. Kertselli disputed his ideas about tundra landscapes and their mutability. They accused him of exaggerating the viability of reindeer pastoralism and using pseudoscience in his study of tundra landscapes. 3. which could support less mobile livestock and 1909). 35 Kertselli. Po bol´shezemel´skoi tundre s kochevnikami. 134 . Evropeiskii Russkii Sever˝. See Sergei Kan. no. remarked on Zhuravskii’s ignorance of veterinary medicine and held him culpable for spreading the inaccurate idea that reindeer herding was especially profitable. Zhuravskii was close.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2.33 Promoters of Komi herding V—r and Sergei Kertselli.34 Kertselli engaged in an even more polemical critique. Zhuravskii elaborated this assessment of reindeer herding for the sake of launching into the promotion of agricultural colonization of herders’ tundra lands by Russians. Lev Shternberg: Anthropologist. no. attacked Zhuravskii’s position.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. 1910): 28. Also around this time Zhuraveskii was involved in a major scandal with Lev Shternberg at the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in Saint Petersburg in which the former’s anti-Semitism and conservatism came out even more strongly. 33 Zhuravskii. who were likely the same person. 172-177. 4 (February 15. financially and intellectually. 32-33. 1910): 28. V. “wherever there is the donkey of a settler in 2. for instance. Russian Socialist. V—r.35 Kertselli described his opponent’s position thusly: “the polar tundra—this is an ordinary uncultivated plot of land that is superficially marshy and thus easily transformed into a meadow. The New Times (Novoe Vremia). Zhuravskii also claimed that migrating herds of domestic reindeer had been trampling the tundra mosses and thus preventing the regeneration of grasslands.32 His general approach for understanding and transforming the “primitive landscape” of the north involved relying on Russian “self-knowledge” instead of “Western European science” and the introduction of traditional agricultural activities of rural Russians to the tundra. 70-77 and A. Po bol´shezemel´skoi tundre s kochevnikami. or 4 years magnificent meadows appear in the places of former “marshes” (tundra). 4 (February 15. 1911). to conservative journalist Mikhail Osipovich Men´shikov at the newspaper.culture. Indeed. 34 V-r. Besides questioning Zhuravskii’s credentials as a scholar. 32 Kertselli. Zhuravskii. 36 Kertselli.

37 Kertselli attempted to refute Zhuravskii’s vision of the tundra point by point.fertile soils. K. Vladimir Vize prefaced an article from January 1917 on Sami legends with the words: “the process of the “Russification” and the infection of Russian Lapps with new ideas is going very quickly and will hasten even further with the installation of the Murmansk railroad. 12 (June 15. A. For instance. Pinegin “Iz skazov Laplandskogo Severa (Listki iz zapisnoi knizhki turista). 1910): 13-15. 81-82. Kertselli also showed that the tundra was less marshy than Zhuravskii thought. “Lopari i nashe 38 37 135 . Kertselli generally emphasized the comparative immutability of the tundra and the suitability of it for Komi activities such as reindeer herding. V. Despite the distinctions in nationality politics and the models of economic development present in these two positions. “Narodnyi epos russkikh loparei. 106-107. 70-77. Meletiev. Kertselli.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. 1910): 13-18. no. 1914): 372-377. denied that reindeer trample moss. they coalesced around the stance that the current reindeer economy required transformation: either conversion to agricultural practices more common in other regions of the country or further expansion of the commercial approach of some Komi groups. Po bol´shezemel´skoi tundre s kochevnikami. That is why we should realize that it is not far from the time when the legends of olden times will completely fade from the memory of the Russian Lapps. 81-82. capable of cultivating crops.38 For his part. 39 V. Vize. 3 (February 1. no. Regel´. and demonstrated the heavy manure requirements to make these lands agriculturally fertile. 1 (January 1917): 16. Zhilinskii. Meletiev. 4 (February 15. Sviashchennik V.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9. “Puteshestvie po Kol´skomu poluostrovu letom 1913 goda. no.40 This desire to capture the past while embracing the future would become more assertive in the 1920s. “V vezhe (Iz zhizni loparei). 40 Sviashchennik V.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. 1910): 27-33. He challenged the accuracy of the historical and contemporary examples of meadows existing in the region and claimed that Zhuravskii exaggerated the profitability of pastoralism. 17 (September 1. Both sides left little room for Sami economic practice to evade reform. Po bol´shezemel´skoi tundre s kochevnikami. “Iz zhizni loparei. no. no.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. Kertselli.”39 A sense that the indigenous knowledge of this historically defined “other” was irretrievably slipping away inspired a number of other journalists and researchers to collect Kola Sami folklore and write ethnographic accounts of this group and its lifestyle. 70-77. Writers discussing the Kola Sami during the last years of the Russian Empire reflected agreement with this sentiment. N.

no. 19 (November 15.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 7. The lives of reindeer and the ecosystem of the Kola Peninsula were modified to fit the nationality politics of the Soviet Union: a post-colonial and avowedly non-imperial empire bent on nation-building as a form of operationalizing socialism. Within the context of the Kola Peninsula this strategy evolved so that the reindeer economy became legible as a Sami terrain. no. as being somehow appropriate for the region. mediated through local bureaucrats and scientists. 6 (June 15. It also included the articulation of experiential forms of land use. This research has revealed much about the nature of nationality politics during the formation of the Soviet Union: the significance of the Leninist commitment to self-determination and the reliance on territorial units aimed at making populations national in form but socialist in content.The Promotion of “Sami” Reindeer Herding Plans for reforming the Kola reindeer economy in the early years of the Soviet Union turned to a more consistent focus on raising the status of specific national minorities. 1914): 657-663. and the tense overlap of policies that offered special opportunities to members of minority groups and ones that repressed zakonodatel´stvo. Kir Kozmin. no. “Narodnyi epos russkikh loparei. V. Recent scholarship on nationality in the Soviet Union has interrogated the treatment of nonRussian groups to develop deeper understandings of modern nationhood and elucidate the resemblances of the country to an empire. no. 136 . Briskin.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9. and Nik. “Loparskie skazki. Vize.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 6. Through the 1920s. no. Vize. assessments of the Kola reindeer economy shifted from emphasizing “poor Lapp practice” to positing the potential suitability of Sami land use patterns. “Narodnyi epos russkikh loparei. The process of restructuring the reindeer economy in ethnic terms involved top-down applications of nationalities policy.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9. 5 (May 1917): 213-223. in particular standardized institutional forms and abstract assessments of variations in herding among different groups.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9. the belief that encouraging ethnic identities was a temporary part of a historically necessary process to advance the country culturally and economically. despite the actual incorporation of Komi and Nenets herding techniques into the collective farms. “Laplaniia i laplandtsy. 2 (February 1917): 65-73. 1915): 176-187. 1 (January 1917): 1524.

See Richard Pipes. 43 T.” in Voprosy istorii Evropeiskogo Severa (Problemy ekonomiki i kul´tury XX v. most notably Terry Martin. 132. Older works tended to view early Soviet nationality policy as unwaveringly hostile to minority nations or as a cynical and insincere manipulation of nationalist movements. eds. A. The influential ecological knowledge produced by these early Soviet organizations emerged not only through the elaboration of classificatory schemes. The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union. 2 (Summer 1994): 414-452. 1923-1939 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press.” Slavic Review 53. Arctic Mirrors.overly assertive articulations of nationality. 2001). and Francine Hirsch. The Nation Killers: The Soviet Deportation of Nationalities (London: Macmillan. including stories of an annual reindeer holiday and the appearance of reindeer on old Yuri Slezkine.41 There is a division in this historiography between scholars who highlight the significance of a coherent policy and the institutions of implementation. or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism. 72 and Slezkine. MA: Harvard University Press. 1954) and Robert Conquest. in particular Francine Hirsch. “The USSR as a Communal Apartment. 1970). 2005). The turbulence of the wars and revolutions of 1914 to 1921 caused the domestic reindeer population to shrink sharply: the Sami in particular lost 70-75% of their herds. but also from researchers’ practical experiences in the tundra. 1923). 93.. 42 Martin.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi: Sbornik (Petrozavodsk: Pravlenie Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi.”44 Journalist Zinaida Rikhter more sensationally evoked the place of reindeer in Sami culture. and those who point to the critical role of knowledge production.42 The attempts to deal with Kola reindeer herders offer a good site to examine the interaction between state institutions and ethnographic knowledge. no. 1917-1923 (Cambridge. The Soviet promotion of the Kola reindeer economy as Sami began with public commentary that stressed its perils and potentials. V. A State of Nations: Empire and Nation-Making in the Age of Lenin and Stalin (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1994). since not only were both present and instrumental here.43 Reflecting on this situation. Empire of Nations. Ronald Grigor Suny and Terry Martin. “Olenevodstvo Murmanskogo kraia. 2001). Terry Martin. 41 137 . while Komi (zyrianskoe) reindeer herding should be regarded as a type of industrial reindeer herding. “Vliianie sotsial´no-ekonomicheskikh faktorov na razvitie olenevodstva Kol´skogo poluostrova v 1900-1980 gody.) (Petrozavodsk: Petrozavodskii gosudarstvennyi universitet. Kertselli claimed that the wars only exacerbated the extant problems rooted in the irrational system of keeping reindeer used by the Sami. but they also involved many of the same people. The Affirmative Action Empire and Hirsch. Kiseleva. 44 S. He continued to employ an ethnic hierarchy that placed the Sami below the Komi: “Lapp reindeer herding can be regarded as the subsidiary reindeer herding of a hunting and fishing tribe. The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism. Kertselli. Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

46 138 . 47 Slezkine. 98. Pervoe desiatiletie. Rikhter. F. Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World (Washington. 45 Popular portrayals like Rikhter’s also employed reindeer as a metonym for the natural wildness and lack of civilization of the region. 1928). Tri goda za poliarnym krugom: Ocherki nauchnykh ekspeditsii v tsentral´nuiu Laplandiiu 1920-1922 godov (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia. This separate territory and their higher status on 45 Zinaida Rikhter. ekonomikam kul’tura (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. Kiseleva. Writers also publicized the potential value of reindeer. A. Pervoe desiatiletie: zapiski zhurnalista (Moscow: Sovetskii pisatel´. and A. “Razvitie rybokhoziaistvennykh issledovanii barentseva moria: vzaimootnosheniia nauki i promysla. Zorich. 1957). 1898-1934 gg. “Znachenie olenia v tundrovykh khoziaistvakh Murmanskogo okruga. The Sami and the Nenets fell into the category of the “small peoples of the north. Kratkii putevoditel´ po Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi (1923). no. A. despite being an indigenous group living in the north and engaging in reindeer pastoralism.47 Neither the Russian Pomors nor the Komi belonged to this category of ethnicities and they were not seen as geographically indigenous to the Kola Peninsula. V. Sovetskaia Kanada: Ocherki (Moscow: Izdatel´stvo “Federatsiia.” which was devised in the first decade of Soviet rule. DC: Island Press. 197-229. This grouping associated them more closely with hunter-gathering societies than pastoralists tending animals besides reindeer.” and Paul R. Josephson. Kiselev and T. had a status closer to other large nationalities. This conviction in their extreme backwardness inspired aid programs designed to lift their cultural status quickly so that they could be incorporated fully into a modern socialist state. The classification included twenty-six indigenous groups seen as occupying the most traditional level on a historicist hierarchy that was ideologically dominant in modernizing and colonizing regimes.”46 The institutional mechanisms for targeting the Sami for ethnic promotion emerged from a state framework that placed them at the bottom on a scale of national minorities. 52. 48 Lajus. 31. 2. Poliarnaia pravda (January 3. Fersman.” 1931). as evidence of backwardness. A. A. 9 (September 1928): 14. 1987). 2002). 1924).” Karelo-Murmanskii krai 6.48 The Komi.Orthodox icons. Sovetskie Saamy: Istoriia. “no animal in nature is more industrially productive than reindeer. Beliavskii. In the regional realignment of the 1920s and 1930s the mainland territory of the Komi first became an autonomous region and then an autonomous republic. 133. 199. In contrast to the special attention they received in the imperial era. Alymov. E. dubbing the animal the “gold of the tundra” and proclaiming. 127-144. the Pomors received no ethnically based aid and witnessed a total government embrace of the industrial fishing practices that had earlier threatened their livelihood. Arctic Mirrors.

Charnoluskii. His evolutionist ethnographic work embraced a special sympathy for the plight of the Sami.50 Under the leadership of Vasilii Alymov. Vladimir Charnoluskii. intensively studied the reindeer economy and Sami folklore. ed. d. and V. Zolotarev. no. 5859.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. which used on-site fieldwork to evaluate the physical anthropology. 1930). 51 E. warned that if native northerners went extinct. V. Materialy po bytu loparei: Opyt opredeleniia kochevogo sostoianiia loparei vostochnoi chasti Kol´skogo poluostrova (Leningrad: Izdanie Gosudarstvennogo Russkogo Geograficheskogo Obshchesvta.. D. V. 50 49 139 . 23-70. 7. Sorokazherd´ev. V.” in Zolotarev. G. ll. no.49 Institutional and ethnographic support for Sami reindeer herders arose simultaneously. Empire of Nations. 52 F. Legenda o olene-cheloveke.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16. Anatolii Skachko.” 1972). no. Kol´skie lopari: Trudy loparskoi ekspeditsii russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva po antropologii loparei i velikorusov kol´skogo poluostrova (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk. and Kiselev and Kiseleva. 84-107. 1927). Zolotarev.” Acta Borealia 16. 75-86 and Hirsch. Zolotarev. GAMO. Arctic Mirrors. A.51 In 1927 the Russian State Geographic Society sponsored the Lapp Expedition to the region. 2 (April 2004): 12-16. the tundra lands on which they lived would become uninhabited deserts that lacked the beneficial influence of their economic activities. and an eagerness to find applications to help make his research assist the subjects being studied. f. A. the Committee for Assistance to the Peoples of the Northern Borderlands) was created in June 1924 to boost the status of the small peoples of the north.53 Based on this ethnographic work and discussions with local Habeck.. ed. “Alymov i Komitet Severa. Charnoluskii. the Murmansk Branch of the Committee of the North worked specifically on raising the economic and cultural level of the Sami and Nenets of the region but not the Komi. R-169. 1 (1999): 117-124. Ivanov-Diatlov.the imagined temporal scale underlying nationalities policy meant that the Kola Komi received little institutional support and evoked less ethnographic interest. “Murmanskii komitet Severa. health. V. 53 V. op 1. and cultural and economic conditions of the Kola Sami. V kraiu letuchego kamnia (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo “Mysl´. Loparskaia ekspeditsiia (Leningrad: Izdanie Gosudarstvennogo Russkogo Geograficheskogo Obshchesvta. Charnoluskii. 1930). 1928). V. The Committee of the North (officially. Kol´skii sbornik. A. “Expeditions to Sámi Territories: A History of the Studies of the Kola Sámi in the 1920s-1930s. and Marina Kuropjatnik. a conviction in the value of deep and detailed research that included practical experiences in the tundra. 1928). 150-152. Slezkine. D. The functional head of the organization. V. Fedorova. Kol´skii sbornik: Trudy antropologo-etnograficheskogo otriada kol´skoi ekspeditsii (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk. What it Means to Be a Herdsman. V. Sovetskie saamy.52 The primary ethnographer of the expedition. “Zametki o past´be i organizatsii stada u loparei. Charnoluskii. 62-98. 3-5. 4 (August 2003): 54-57. Nabliudeniia vracha na Kol´skom poluostrove (Leningrad: Izdanie Gosudarstvennogo Russkogo Geograficheskogo Obshchesvta. D.

41. R-169. 2 (April 2004): 14.57 The preference for this method of reform clearly reflected the sympathies of the Murmansk Committee of the North for the Sami since a major concern justifying territorial formation was preventing Komi from using Sami pastures. Sorokazherd´ev.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. op 1. d. 6. 6-10. 23. the Murmansk Committee of the North drew up plans for two Lapp native districts in the east and the west of the Kola Peninsula.populations. d. f.55 A primary strategy of the Murmansk Committee of the North for reforming the reindeer economy was the process of territorial formation (zemleustroistvo). 57 GAMO. ll. 148-170. op 1.54 A main means through which the Murmansk Committee of the North and ethnographers studying the Kola Sami sought to promote that group’s national distinctiveness were their plans for reforming the reindeer economy. f. no. 10. 4 (August 2003): 56-57. In 1929 Alymov lamented a lower than desired growth rate of the domestic reindeer population and blamed the “multiplicity of farms with few reindeer”—80% of Sami herders had fewer than 50 animals at this point—and the “irrational. figuring out the optimal arrangement for seasonal grazing and migration paths. rearranging the borders of the eastern Lapp native region to overlap with the already existing Lovozero district. Identity and Ecology in Arctic Siberia. op 1. “Murmanskii komitet Severa. 21. “Alymov i Komitet Severa. Anderson. 7. ll. Both Alymov and Charnoluskii believed that proper regulation of lichen pastures was a key element in serving Sami interests and increasing the profitability of herding. no. establishing the capacity of reindeer on certain territories. In this case regional authorities in Leningrad altered the scheme. Charnoluskii produced works of ethnography that explicitly valorized the Sami methods of land use. and Finnish settlements and the isolation of different sections of reindeer pastures. and GAMO. 52. 55 Fedorova.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. f. 3-5. ll. R-169. Fedorova. primitive running of the economy. 56 I follow David Anderson in translating zemleustroistvo as territorial formation. 60-64. R-169. 72-74 and GAMO. 58 GAMO. R-169. no. 4 (August 2003): 61-62. ll. He chose to study a research site on the eastern part of the Kola Peninsula because it had been the least influenced by Komi and Nenets The proposed borders of these areas sought to implement the nationality principle in regionalization by maximizing the Sami presence in territories through the exclusion of Komi. op 1. d. and performing a number of other tasks to develop a basis for economic and administrative reform.56 Territorial formation involved surveying landscapes to assess the presence and varieties of lichen. 3-5. d. which at that point had more Komi residents than Sami. Russian. “Murmanskii komitet Severa. 54 140 . f. 6. 7.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16.” which allowed many reindeer to be lost to wolves.58 For his part.

”61 When outlining his vision of how the Kola reindeer economy should be reformed. Geobotanist Aleksandr Salazkin conducted detailed surveys of flora on Kola lands. “Zametki o past´be i organizatsii stada u loparei. usually Charnoluskii. 23.”62 Here the environmental and ethnic concerns coalesced as Charnoluskii offered a more sustainable vision of development that made use of indigenous knowledge.” in Zolotarev. 13-26. The Kola Peninsula was unique. 59 141 . At about this time the Polar census was collecting statistics on nomadism in the Kola tundra. The Kola Sami felt “deep indignation” at the “the Komi methods of using lichen” because it unnecessarily trampled and destroyed pasturelands through overgrazing. Materialy po bytu loparei. Charnoluskii insisted that the “prudent herd management” of the Komi and Nenets be combined with Sami means of “carefully treating the pastures of their region. native” and 85 were “nomadic. 140-141 and Luk´ianchenko. Charnoluskii also stressed the primacy of reindeer: “Reindeer in the everyday life of a Lapp is everything: food. Kol´skii sbornik. Kol´skii sbornik. 77.” in Zolotarev. 20. 38-39. ed.”60 He further posited that aspects of the Sami grazing methods. This rejection of a system of pasture usage based on Komi methods extended to natural scientists working for the Murmansk Committee of the North.. “Zametki o past´be i organizatsii stada u loparei. were appropriate for the Kola Peninsula. 61 Charnoluskii. 1929). Consequently. which pointed out that only a quarter of the abundant foraging resources for reindeer herding were being used. According to Charnoluskii. ed. which are disappearing before our eyes. “Zametki o past´be i organizatsii stada u loparei. 60 Charnoluskii. 62 Charnoluskii. 69. Kol´skii sbornik. ed. in the richness of its summer lichen pastures and in the comparative surplus of pasturelands in the forest zone.. the Sami desired a “totally conditional designation of the boundaries of several sections of land (in general land that no one owns) with natural markers.” See Pokhoziaistvennaia perepis´ pripoliarnogo Severa SSSR 1926/1927 goda: Territorial´nye i gruppovye itogi pokhoziaistvennoi perepisi (Moscow: Tsentral´noe statisticheskoe upravlenie SSSR.reindeer herding.. which are necessary for avoiding the mixing of herds. a means of transportation and a source of secondary earnings. he asserted. one can say without exaggeration that the entire budget of a Lapp of moderate means is provided by reindeer. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIX-XX v..59 While attentive to the significance of fishing and hunting in the Sami economy. The census also recorded that of the households that had reindeer herding as a main occupation 47 of them were “settled. It estimated that 286 Sami households (277 of which owned reindeer) were nomadic and 85 (72 of which owned reindeer) were sedentary in 1926-1927.” in Zolotarev. 24. in contrast to Komi practice.

Ethnic identity first became a distorting lens for what were intended to be class-based policies. the markers of class distinction based on ethnicity among reindeer herders came to be used in decisions to subject the Kola Komi to disproportional de-kulakization. one observes places with crowded pastures in the tundra. S.”63 Ethnicity and Repression During the 1930s the debate about Sami and Komi herding methods took a violent turn. Salazkin argued that these traits made the Kola environment better suited for Sami pasture usage. Throughout these bloody episodes. In the middle of the 1930s the target of state oppression shifted to the Sami. 63 142 . Instead. who were accused of organizing a nationalist plot with the support of Finland. Advocates at the Committee of the North initially sought to sidestep class distinctions within indigenous communities by associating them with the primitive communist stage of development. typically used for summer grazing.” in Sovetskoe olenevodstvo (Leningrad: Institut izdatel´stva olenevodstva.” he wrote. this emphasis on the proper foraging techniques placed the historic Sami practice as an appropriate foundation for the development of “socialist reindeer herding. including the summer release of reindeer.occupied in the winter. However. “Estestvennye kormovye ugodiia Murmanskogo okruga. A. Later accusations of Sami “nationalism” were waged against a diverse group that included many non-Sami individuals. he blamed this practice for the problems of the reindeer economy: “despite the far from full use of the foraging resources. 1934). Salazkin. The conviction that indigenous peoples had been somehow frozen in time affected interpretations of the class composition of native northerners. over those in the tundra. The ethnographers and members of the Murmansk Committee of the North ceded to larger state policy on the basic terms for forming collective farms. which had been criticized as a sign of their backwardness. “The Komi-Nenets system of grazing herds for the whole year certainly does not respond to the particularities of the local lichen pastures and quite harmfully affects their condition during summer pasturage. 55.” Like Charnoluskii. the complexities of the ethnic composition of the indigenous communities and herding techniques challenged the stability of the classificatory frameworks used by collectivization activists and the secret police.

d. 11. ll. including the work association Saam in the Voron´e pogost and one called Olenevod (later Krasnaia Tundra) in the Semiostrov pogost. 66 Kiselev and Kiseleva. 1.70 In his continual The Murmansk Committee of the North’s specific advocacy of ethnic collective farms appears in GAMO. 68 On the process of attributing class identity in the Soviet Union. Ia.66 In an attempt to defend their gradualist approach to reform. 4 (August 2003): 53-63. Alymov clearly bemoaned the efforts to apply class categories to indigenous society. Skachko also proposed a scheme that denied the measurable class stratification among hunters and fishers but admitted to the existence of kulaks among reindeer herders.68 As those assisting the Kola Sami made abundantly clear. “Ascribing Class: The Construction of Social Identity in Soviet Russia. see Shelia Fitzpatrick.64 Beginning in 1928 several small collective farms based on a few Sami families were created. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti (Murmansk: “Maksimum. 21. 169. one showing class on the basis of income levels measured during the Polar Census of 1926-1927 and the other using the number of 64 143 .” Journal of Modern History 65. “Murmanskii komitet Severa. Sovetskie saamy. “Ecological Adaptation of Komi Resettled Groups. op. 23 and Fedorova. 68. V. no. no.” 2004). 7.69 But he also contributed crucially to the outcome of these efforts by compiling data that demonstrated a disproportional number of Komi households owned larger reindeer herds and hired laborers. 27. 9 (September 1928): 14-16. 69 GAMO. and Samorukova. d. f. causing the Committee of the North to cede ground. 4 (December 1993): 745-770. “Znachenie olenia v tundrovykh khoziaistvakh Murmanskogo okruga. 2 (1993): 100. 70-78. no. 20 and Gutsol. 70 Fedorova. and Alymov. ll. Alymov gave two charts. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIXXX v.” KareloMurmanskii krai 6. 192-193. f. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. 169. complaining that the middling group (sredniaki) was so porous that it rendered simple indices of economic stratification inaccurate. Vinogradova. no. “Murmanskii komitet Severa. 65 Luk´ianchenko. Part of its strategy in the Murmansk region was to help organize separate Sami.67 Individuals who owned more reindeer could be ascribed the class status of kulak. Konakov. and Komi collective farms.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane..” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. these kulak herders were disproportionally Komi. Nenets. 6. Shashkov.” Arctic Anthropology 30.65 These on-paper collective farms essentially broke up when herders left their winter pastures in the spring and the intentional maintenance of ethnic composition in collective farms ceased by the end of 1929. this notion came under attack by the middle of the 1920s. The focus on comparatively wealthy Komi herders as class enemies emerged primarily from the generalities of state policy and the information about the class composition of indigenous groups supplied by the Murmansk Committee of the North. 78-79. op. 67 Slezkine.However. no. 1. Arctic Mirrors. 4 (August 2003): 58-59.

f. 7.. “Iz istorii kollektivizatsii olenevodcheskikh khoziaistv Kol´skogo poluostrova. 74 A. V. stating that. 1. As collectivization unfolded in the 1930s. the figure for Kola Sami with fewer than 50 reindeer is 58. this amount would be 68. Budovnits. 73 T. 69% of them. Severiane.75 Around this time. owned between 51 and 300 reindeer and none of them had more than 300 animals. 79-83. As it appears in Fedorova’s publication. 1979).5% had between 51 and 300. “Murmanskii komitet Severa. 21. 49. Alymov reported that he “more and more frequently” received grievances from Sami about “unauthorized occupation of Lapp pastures by large and predominantly Komi reindeer herders. Severiane.2% of them had fewer than 50 reindeer. eds. d.74 Targeted as kulaks. 71 Fedorova.” in Petrov and Razumova. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. Assuming a typographic mistake of putting a 3 instead of a 2 in one of the table’s subdivisions.promotion of Sami herding methods. The percentages in Alymov’s table for the Sami add up to 110%. 44-45. expropriation of their animals.9%. A. Isaichikov in Kiselev and Kiseleva. the majority of herders oppressed as kulaks were Komi. 72 GAMO.. 144 . “labor was assigned improperly. 23. he relayed “the unanimous opinion” of “Lapps and their Russian neighbors” that the presence of “rich Komi” with 600-700 reindeer “systematically harms their reindeer herding. no. 37. 70-73. Charnoluskii complained of continued Komi dominance to the Committee of the North. The second table revealed that over half of Kola Sami owned fewer than 50 reindeer and only a few percent had more than 300 animals. and exclusion from the collective farm. 6. 75 Budovnits. 73. several of the Artievs faced arrest. Most Nenets. Reverberations of the sentiment that the majority of kulaks were Komi and that the Sami had few among them appear in a statement by I. and 12.73 In one instance at the Krasnaia Tundra collective farm in Ivanovka the conflict between Komi and Sami fell on the ancestors of the village’s founder Ivan Artiev—a Komi herder who had migrated there in the nineteenth century. eds. 4 (August 2003): 58. “Chal´mny-Varre: Likvidirovanniia derevnia kak mesto pamiati.3% owned more than 300 reindeer.”72 The optimal reindeer ecology remained central to the new class-based ethnic politics on the Kola Peninsula. 38.”71 These critiques of Komi herders became more vocal as the forced collectivization campaign neared.” in Voprosy istorii Evropeiskogo Severa (Petrozavodsk: Petrozavodskii gosudarstvennyi universitet. Also see Isaeva. op. Kiseleva. ll. 169. and in Budovnits’s explanation for the existence of a Sami kulak in the Pulozero region because of the lack of Komi in the area. Simanovskaia. The Lapp group carried a large load and completed more difficult work than reindeer owned.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane.9%. Sovetskie saamy. For the Komi.” in Petrov and Razumova. 24.” and urged the Murmansk Executive Committee “to raise the issue of prohibiting the unauthorized occupation of reindeer pastures by large herds and the unauthorized migration of reindeer herders to already settled places. M. The other columns for the Nenets and Komi add up to 100%. “K izucheniiu protsessov adaptatsii izhemskikh komi na Kol´skom severe. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova.

Trying to explain the minimal Sami presence in the Tundra collective farm in Lovozero. and exploiter-kulaks. 11. the vocal promotion of Komi herding methods as “Komi” instead of “Soviet” ceased. no.”76 Meanwhile. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. Budovits vividly evoked the existence of atavistic national antipathies: “Lapps. 46197. criminals. 169. 172.) as elements of modern reindeer husbandry. Sovetskie saamy. Like much of the rest of the country. 77 76 145 . etc. 2 (April 2004): 47-61.” Zhivaia Arktika. 2007). V. 78 Kiselev and Kiseleva. Communist Party activists attributed difficulties in collectivization to ethnic tensions. party reporter I.others. “Saamskii zagovor (Delo No. op.”77 As the Komi became disproportionally demonized as kulaks. 101. Accordingly. l. f. bedniaki. who sucked in hatred for the Komi nationality (the great power in the conditions of the Kola Peninsula) from their mother’s milk. During the mid-1930s the ethnographers and reformers of the Kola Sami continued to try to develop a Sami literary culture and later renewed their campaigns to create an autonomous Sami region in the western part of the Kola Peninsula. 3-4 (December 1999): 58-60. keeping significantly larger herds than the Sami and earning more. 46197). 1920-1939 (London: Routledge. year-round surveillance. d. and specific nationalities believed to pose GAMO. V. less overt attention to the ethnic composition of the reindeer economy after the early 1930s made it appear more Sami. the economic success of certain Komi allowed for some features of their herding to be embraced (large herds. thieves. However. anti-Soviet elements. reflected historical precedent and longstanding generalizations of the area as Sami lands. 79 Nick Baron. Sorokazherd´ev.” This development. The Komi continued to dominate Kola reindeer husbandry. Soviet Karelia: Politics. do not understand that among the Komi there are farm hands. above all. and Aleksei Kiselev. no. as well as predatory money-lenders. the 1937-1938 terror targeted segments of the Kola reindeer economy. Additionally.79 These mass operations scheduled specific populations— former kulaks.78 Then a series of arrests connected to the mass operations against Finns in Karelia halted these efforts. 84-107.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16. the rejection of the specific “Komi” character of this model combined with the simultaneous abandonment of the effort to delineate and preserve “Sami” herding led the multiethnic Kola reindeer economy to become more discursively generalized as “Sami. Planning and Terror in Stalin’s Russia. 1. sredniaki. uprooting and undermining previous class and ethnic distinctions promoted by the state. Budovnits. “Po stranitsam sledstvennogo dela No.

no. “Po stranitsam sledstvennogo dela No. 83 Kiselev.html. 2 (April 2004): 63-64. and “Vozvrashchennye imena: Severo-zapad Rossii.” 80 146 .” Rossiiskaia natsional´naia biblioteka. state police agents elided the ethnic distinctions in Kola herding communities and implicated Komi in promoting “Sami nationalism. no. and Russian individuals. http://visz.a potential military threat to the country—for arrests and exterminations by quota. 3-4 (December 1999): 5860 and “Vozvrashchennye imena. Just as many were Komi or Nenets. and other Sami. and at least 18 were reindeer herders. 46197. Alymov confessed that he planned on becoming president of a new Sami state and that Salazkin would be the War Minister. Russians. Part of this plot included the establishment of an independent Sami state. 82 Sorokazherd´ev. “Po stranitsam sledstvennogo dela No. In 1938 state security agents accused Kola reindeer herders and Sami advocates of participating in a conspiracy involving fascists in Finland and nationalists in Karelia to unite the Kola Peninsula with Finland. 46197). including several of the Atrievs. 2 (April 2004): 46-64. “Po stranitsam sledstvennogo dela No. 61-62.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16. which would aid in the creation of a Great Finland extending to the Urals.83 The Rise of Sami Traditionalism In the late Soviet era Kola reindeer began to be increasingly celebrated as a traditional Sami animal. “Saamskii zagovor (Delo No. This development occurred primarily through the multiethnic targeting of individuals involved in plans for creating an independent Sami government that lumped together Komi.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16. 2009. accessed November 2. the Atrievs.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16. no. including Alymov. and Nentsy with Sami.” Zhivaia Arktika. The rise of traditionalism resulted in part from the previous halfSorokazherd´ev. 1938 state agents executed fifteen of the individuals involved in this case. “Saamskii zagovor (Delo No.” Zhivaia Arktika. Salazkin. 46197. it conversely and unintentionally highlighted the Sami identity of the region. 3-4 (December 1999): 58.” Several Komi herders who had faced earlier repression as kulaks lost their lives in this case. no. On the whole fewer than half of the approximately thirty individuals repressed for alleged involvement in a counterrevolutionary Sami nationalist plot were actually Sami. During the terror. Komi. 46197).nlr. 81 Sorokazherd´ev.81 Under the duress of interrogation. Kiselev.82 On October 22.80 The efforts to promote Sami ethnicity served as the main link in the case that allegedly connected this group to anti-Soviet plots. 46197. Though this bout of repression suppressed linguistic and cultural expression of the Sami. 2 (April 2004): 56-57.

Dubnitskii and A. Nevertheless.” began in 1934 and included reindeer races as one of its most popular events. an annual sports festival that would come to be known locally as the “Polar Olympics. The Holiday of the North. The athletes and animals would wear the historic attire of native groups and several of the competitions would specifically require the use of old technologies like Sami sleighs. became itself an institutionalized and imposed form of legibility. This Soviet origin reflects a connection between the communist and post-communist eras that has often been obscured by narratives that stress ethnic repression in late socialism. 1984). For many urban Kola residents. … We are a reindeer M. Prazdnik Severa (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. began publishing some of the Sami folklore he had collected earlier in popular science books. 84 147 . the promotion of tradition grew into a new development strategy only in the post-socialist era. Charnoluskii. and resettlement. He quoted one old Sami man saying “And how are we not reindeer? We are reindeer and reindeer are us” and “We are not plowmen. V kraiu letuchego kamnia. This shift from a focus on reform to preserving tradition at first occurred as a cultural practice surrounding indigenous groups and the reindeer economy in an era of the fully developed state farm system of late socialism. this was the only time they would see reindeer and herders.84 In the 1960s.85 One of them included numerous fragments of Charnoluskii’s earlier conversations with Sami who stressed reindeer herding as a traditional activity. 85 Charnoluskii. which had also contributed to understandings of what was traditional. At this point local ecological knowledge. Legenda o olene-cheloveke and Charnoluskii. Khrapovitskii. who survived the terror but served a lengthy stint in Gulag camps.century of the modernization campaigns that had reshaped the reindeer economy through collectivization. amalgamation. The performance of Sami reindeer traditionalism already existed in the 1930s. The official celebration of folkways after the Second World War intermixed a romantic Soviet traditionalism with an enervated form of ethnic particularism and culturally elevated reindeer as quintessential tundra animals. we are not mowers. but became a prominent element of Kola regional culture in the post-Stalin era.

vol. political.” in Murmanskaia olenevodcheskaia opytnaia stantsiia (Sbornik nauchnykh rabot). “Politics and Culture among the Russian Sami: Leadership. V kraiu letuchego kamnia. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIX-XX v.92 Beginning in the perestroika era. A. Sami activists started using notions of tradition to pursue political ends and international agencies sought to reform the reindeer economy in ways that would more closely resemble pre-Soviet forms. 87 86 148 .people. “Izgorodi na olen´ikh pastbishchakh murmanskoi olenevodcheskoi opytnoi stantsii. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. Komi households dominated the Tundra collective farm. and A. repeated this association. 97-103. 1972). At the time of collectivization. positioned the village as a traditional center of Sami culture and reindeer herding. the influx of 435 Sami from resettled villages to Lovozero in the 1960s more than doubled the Sami population of the village and played into a new romantic framing of indigenous ethnicity. Sovetskie saamy. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. Lovozero. Samorukova argue. Vinogradova. P.. The case of the village of Lovozero can illustrate this point. 88 Gutsol. and Samorukova.”86 A film on the Kola Sami from 1983. 100. 90 Gutsol. Our bread is father-reindeer. 6. Gavrilova. Representation and Legitimacy” (PhD diss. Lovozero had only become a center of reindeer herding with the Komi migration of the nineteenth century. S. We are Reindeer People. Ivanova.90 The construction of the Museum of the History of Kola Sami in Lovozero in 1962. and Samorukova. 91 Indra Nobl Overland.”88 An old yet averagesized settlement of the Sami dating back to the sixteenth century. and A. 54-156 and Kiselev and Kiseleva. As Natalia Gutsol. Kiselev and Kiseleva. Mashistova. V.89 Yet. 1999). 172. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. 2 (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo.91 Finally. Vinogradova. 92 G. older Sami herding methods such as the use of fences and the free release of animals in the summer again became standard practice on the Kola Peninsula. 108 and Budovnits.87 Soviet policies aimed at productivism and rural consolidation also contributed to the rise of traditionalism. 45. 157-184. 89 Ushakov and Dashchinskii. 19-34. 48. for instance. Sovetskie saamy. Vinogradova. Increased contacts with the Sami in Scandinavia and the newfound acceptance of oppositional national and ethnic Charnoluskii. and socio-economic processes and events that occurred in the Murmansk region during the twentieth century.. “the contemporary role of Lovozero as an ethnic and reindeer-herding center on the Kola Peninsula came about as the result of historical. as the productivist transformation of the reindeer economy stabilized in the 1970s. G. and Luk´ianchenko. 16-21. University of Cambridge. N. V.

“Politics and Culture among the Russian Sami”. natural economy (khoziaistvo) and market relations. and Coping Practices in Murmansk Region Reindeer Herding. and interpretation of the following works: Vladimirova. criticizing ethnic activism as promoting a move back to primitivism while also seeing it as corrupt in part because of its newness and foreignness. Sami activists have often been best able to take advantage of the opportunities of post-Soviet modernity and. for their part. 185-194. and promoting Sami culture. on the other. with reliance on state help.” in Aleksander Pika. 1999). 317-358. “Politics and Culture among the Russian Sami”. The divergent social statuses and rhetoric embraced by participants in this conflict reveal the confused political purposes of the notions of modernity and tradition. Vladislava Vladimirova. and Kiselev and Kiseleva. ed. “Ambiguous Transition: Agrarian Reforms. 94 Aleksander Pika. Management. 35 of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale: Max Planck Institute. “Changes in Property Regimes and Reindeer Herding Management in Post-Soviet Herding Collectives: The Case of the Muncipality of Lovozero (Murmansk 93 149 .93 Ethnographer Alexander Pika described it as: “a rejection of the state ‘modernizing drive (modernizatorstvo)’ in favor of demands for legal protection for northern peoples. “Preface to Russian Edition. often maintain allegiance to Soviet modernity. 6674. The herders. Reindeer-herders: Field-notes from the Kola Peninsula (1994-95) (Uppsala: Uppsala University Press. Ethnic activists of the Kola Sami at the Social Organization of the Sami of the Murmansk Region in Lovozero and the Association of Kola Sami in Murmansk promoted a development model that has been characterized as neo-traditionalism. Sovetskie saamy. and Yulian Konstantinov and Vladislava Vladimirova. Just Labor.”94 The attempts to enact neo-traditional reforms in the Kola reindeer economy have led to tensions between the ethnic Sami activists and the multiethnic reindeer herders in the post-Soviet period. on the one hand. and self-government. have employed similar assumptions about herders as currently behind the times.” Working Paper No. xxiii-xxiv. 2006). while they advocate traditionalist politics. 2002). forest and other natural resources in the north. freedom for independent economic and cultural development. 2005). Overland. protecting.95 As one reindeer herder expressed his resistance Overland. 95 I have depended here on the analysis. sea. Just Labor: Labor Ethic in a Post-Soviet Reindeer Herding Community (Uppsala: Uppsala University Press. Yulian Konstantinov.” He continued that “a ‘neo-traditionalist’ economy for northern native communities presents the possibility for combining traditional native land use.. Neotraditionalism in the Russian North: Indigenous Peoples and the Legacy of Perestroika (Seattle: University of Washington Press. mineral. information. and compensation from the processing of oil.politics in the late 1980s influenced the expansion of a social movement focused on preserving. Yulian Konstantinov and Vladislava Vladimirova.

Just Labor.97 The incorporation of a putative focus on local knowledge and historic land use into reform programs supported by outside organizations has effectively created a traditionalizing form of modernization that has exhibited a similar propensity for institutionalized abstraction. 150 . Reindeer Management in Northernmost Europe (Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. Just Labor. 25. and privatized reindeer herding. “They (i.. Ideologically justified as promoting traditional. 100 Vladimirova. 405. Region. C. et al.100 Together these projects of bringing ethnic traditionalism to the Kola reindeer economy demonstrate the intimate connections between modernist and avowedly non-modernist forms of knowledge. Kedd´k initially strove. however. 317-390. 317-407.” 157-259 and Vladimirova. 1998). to create a private reindeer-herding commune (obshchina) called Kedd´k with the financial and organizational backing of the Danish non-governmental organization Infonor. “Politics and Culture among the Russian Sami. Just Labor. a Sami man from Lovozero. Robinson and Karim-Aly S. 2006). 59-102. 117-133. Just Labor. The most blatant examples of employing a legible tradition have been the calls to develop a system of reindeer husbandry akin to the ranching practices of the Scandinavian Sami. neo-traditionalism. the multiethnic composition of the actual herding brigades has given the avowedly Sami political promotion less legitimacy among some of the herders. foreign activists) shall not drive us back to the Stone Age!”96 Lastly. Co-management intended to democratize nature use by “combining indigenous and cultural environmental wisdom about wildlife…with scientific knowledge.”99 The results of the project never extended beyond the initial work with a few Sami communities.e.. as Vladislava Vladimirova has shown. Sami Potatoes: Living with Reindeer and Perestroika (Calgary: Bayeux Arts. 96 Quoted in Vladimirova. 99 Michael P. Forbes. to embrace economic modernity and social and institutional forms that resembled the state farm model of organization. Kassam. 97 Vladimirova.” in B. eds. A somewhat more successful effort began in 2003 with attempts by Aleksei Lapin. 98 Overland.98 An internationally funded project in the 1990s sought to employ Canadian-style comanagement as a reform model for the Sami economy. but that have no precedent on the Kola Peninsula. Northwest Russia).

the haphazard solutions applied by state agents to natural obstacles. including of activities that seemed as outside of industrial modernity as reindeer herding. Despite policy that was cavalier toward local nuance. Most fundamentally. understanding. indeed. At the same time the modernization of the reindeer economy also relied on ecological knowledge that could not be subsumed into this systematizing and simplifying logic. and the attitudes of herders toward different episodes of reform. which largely meant 151 . its implementation was forced to grapple with environmental conditions beyond state control or.Reindeer Productivity in a Communist State The Soviet project of bringing socialism to Russia entailed the complete economic transformation of the country. Representatives of the Soviet state applied abstract frameworks designed to reform agriculture to the reindeer economy. Collectivization of Kola Reindeer Herding The formation of new agricultural institutions known as collective farms (kolkhozy) in the late 1920s and 1930s permanently transformed the Kola reindeer economy. and constricted the space available for reindeer and herders. The collectivization of Kola reindeer gradually allowed indigenous communities in the region to become more legible for socialist modernity. The campaigns to turn the complex and somewhat incomprehensible occupational activities of Kola tundra dwellers into a systematic branch of animal husbandry that could be monitored and controlled involved many classic techniques of modern statecraft. reindeer pastoralism only became comprehensible and manageable to Soviet authorities as an agricultural activity. sought to maximize the productivity of the industry by increasing herd sizes. The state utilized scientific research and institutions and established new forms of monitoring the mobility and the size of herds. This knowledge was reflected in experiential interactions with reindeer and practical understandings of the capacities of grazing lands. insisted on surveillance over the animals. The application of certain techniques of acquiring knowledge about and control over the reindeer economy crucially served these reforms. It focused on expanding the productivity of the newly industrialized reindeer economy. The process of attempting to make reindeer herding a productive industry. therefore. incorporated practical ways of knowing the land and animals that remained below the surface of regulations from the center.

“Olenevodstvo Murmanskogo kraia. “Olenevodstvo Murmanskogo kraia. feeding techniques. 1928). 4. Kratkii putevoditel´ po Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. 93-100. E. Kirova (Leningrad: Seriia izdatel´stva po khibinskoi apatitovoi probleme.” Zhivaia Arktika. S. Osinovskii. 38. even during the violent episodes of collectivization. Since draft reindeer could reach otherwise inaccessible places. but also the potential for them to serve regional industrialization as a whole. 1 (Leningrad: Izdanie Gostresta “Apatit”. Morev. Fersman. which included the commencement of exporting venison from the Kola Peninsula in 1927 and a more than doubling of the domestic reindeer population between 1923 and 1929. 102 V. the interactive relations between people and reindeer influenced the local social and environmental outcomes of the policy. Their operation accompanied a marked growth in the Kola reindeer economy. He also encouraged the government to arrange wolf hunts by supplying participants with guns and offering prizes to assist in predator eradication. 206. M.” in Zolotarev. In order to promote a recovery of the herding economy from the devastation of World War I and the Russian Civil War.increasing the number of domestic animals kept by herders and de-emphasizing the importance of fishing and hunting.. V.102 Efforts were also made to use the transportation services of reindeer to help develop the north. construction workers. Bunakov. ed. 101 152 . Kol´skii sbornik. 1928). Ushakov and Dashchinskii.101 During this decade. Lovozero. S. vol. Poliarnaia pravda (January 24. no. I. 1930). 100. and Poliarnaia pravda (February 4. Soviet reformers of the 1920s acclaimed not only the usefulness of reindeer for the Sami and other groups.” in Voprosy istorii Evropeiskogo Severa. E.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. V..” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. V. 26. 103 Beliavskii. Apatitovyi rudnik im. Vladimirov and N.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 125. ed. reform primarily occurred through the aid of credit cooperatives that provided subsidized loans to individual herders.103 Kertselli. 72. I. His model relied on individual initiative and state assistance in the form of establishing a reindeer herding station on the Kola Peninsula to study animal diseases. 3. 97. Kertselli offered a vision for industrializing reindeer herding that sought to build on extant practices instead of radically reorganizing them. and methods of processing reindeer products. 1936). geological surveyors. 1 (October 2001): 27. 103-117. Kiseleva. Yet. “Opyt kreditovaniia olenevodcheskikh khoziaistv. Khibinskie Apatity: Sbornik. and P. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. and miners employed the animals in the Khibiny Mountains to haul loads of ore and other materials. Osinovskii. Kertselli. “Rol´ khibinskikh apatitov v kolonizatsii Kol´skogo poluostrova. “Letopis´ sobytii goroda Khibinogorska.” in A. 100. “Vliianie sotsial´no-ekonomicheskikh faktorov na razvitie olenevodstva Kol´skogo poluostrova v 1900-1980 gody.

improving state capacity to acquire grain to feed urban areas. 220. Originally from Anatolii Skachko. Collectivization also carried with it a conviction about the need to surmount the country’s backwardness once and for all. 104 153 . milk. Russian Peasants and Soviet Power: A Study of Collectivization (New York: W. In most instances collectivization concerned restructuring farms involved in crop cultivation or livestock breeding. and putting a socialist veneer over the peasantry.104 Reindeer collectivization posed special problems because of the migratory character of the animal and the long regeneration period of the lichen pastures. during the same ten years. In 1929 Kertselli predicted that the country could eventually support 15-20 million domestic reindeer and other reformers boasted that the lichen supplies in the Moshe Lewin. Arctic Mirrors. While in theory poor and middle class peasants would volunteer to create or join collective farms. This overall mentality directed Soviet reindeer herding toward using meat. 1989). property. a war against wealthier rural inhabitants laid a foundation for collectivization by providing expropriated land.” Sovetskii sever.W. as Skachko put it. and animals that would be redistributed among members of the new collective farms and state farms. cover the road of development that took the Russian people one thousand years to cover. “the small peoples of the north. must. “Ocherednye zadachi sovetskoi raboty sredi malykh narodov Severa. no. in practice many entered them through coercion employed by party activists. and fur production to accumulate capital instead of simply providing food and clothing for indigenous communities. This ideological imperative doubly affected the indigenous groups involved in the Kola reindeer economy because. 2 (1931): 20. for even one thousand years ago the cultural level of Kievan Rus´ was higher than that of the present-day small peoples of the north. in order to catch up with the advanced nations of the USSR. 1975) and Lynne Viola. The Best Sons of the Fatherland: Workers in the Vanguard of Soviet Collectivization (Oxford: Oxford University Press. As we have seen in the case of the special settlers in the Khibiny Mountains. These features meant that reindeer could not be kept like cattle or other farm animals but instead required considerable mobility for foraging.”105 Scholars often relate Soviet gigantism to large industry. 105 Quoted in Slezkine. but this impulse also became influential in the Stalinist transformation of the reindeer economy. Norton.The collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union was above all a modernization program designed to establish central state control over output and force increased production of food.

cease venison exports. herding communities should reduce slaughter numbers. scientists contributed to collectivization through the application of information about the natural environment.111 The Murmansk Committee of the North further drafted a scaled back plan for the state farm that would require importing fewer reindeer from other parts of the country and thus reduce the likelihood of disease among the animals. 206. A. Insisting that “the observations of the Lapps about weather and other geographical phenomena in the tundra” and “about the life and habits of wild and domestic reindeer” could aid Soviet science. 107 GAMO. op. 23. Kol´skii sbornik.000 reindeer. which was close to the entire population of this species on the peninsula at the time. 27. f. op. the initial collectivization plans anticipated getting 91% of households to join the fourteen new collective farms and a state farm by 1933. Sovetskii Sever: pervyi sbornik statei (Moscow: Komitet sodeistviia narodnostiam severnykh okrain pri prezidiume VTsIK. l.109 Alymov attempted to utilize these insights and argued that “Every reindeer-herding settlement. To achieve an intended tenfold improvement in the productivity of Kola reindeer herding. 133. 1. f. 56. ed. The government created the Murmansk Experimental Reindeer-Herding S. 108 GAMO. d. op. G. 11.” in P. 109 Charnoluskii. op. op. d. d.107 The earliest proposals mentioned that this state farm (sovkhoz) would include 50. eds.000 animals.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 14. op.. 1.112 Beyond helping establish the class composition of native northerners. 71. and rely more on subsidiary activities like fishing and hunting during the first years of collectivization. “Olenevodstvo RSFSR. 1929). Smidovich. f. 1. 169. Bunakov. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. 11. and Zorich. 11. 44-48. S. every pogost requires its own particular approach when organizing collective farms. d. Buturlina. f. 169. 70-78 and GAMO. 112 GAMO. I. d. 11. 13. 1. 110 GAMO. Kertselli. 1.. and N. f. f. 24-27. 111 GAMO. 169. d. mollified this productionist focus. Sovetskaia Kanada.”110 He also suggested that in order to build up the domestic reindeer population. V. l. 106 154 . 106 Neither figure ever came close to materializing. 169. 169. 7.” in Zolotarev.108 Local ecological knowledge. l. 169.Murmansk region could supply food for up to 300. 1. “Zametki o past´be i organizatsii stada u loparei. Charnoluskii sought to detail this “indigenous knowledge” (znatkikh) in a published overview of the complex and diverse herding methods employed in the eastern half of the Kola Peninsula. nevertheless. Leonova. ll. l. 11. l.

113 155 . Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. 116 Budovnits. 2 (2000): 49-64. “Olenevodstvo RSFSR. He proposed that the utilization of forested territories for summer pastures instead of the exclusive dependence on mountain tundra areas would raise herd capacity. and Leonova. including a classification system of the different types of reindeer. Authorities instituted a notoriously inaccurate system of counting reindeer bi-annually to estimate the number of animals after the birthing period in the spring and after the annual slaughter of reindeer in the winter.114 Collectivization activist Budovits adopted some of the biological aspects of Charnoluskii’s research. eds. 1967). Buturlina. techniques like “Predislovie. 32. predator protection. 1 (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo.” in Zolotarev. ed. “the exploitation of a herd would produce much better results if part of it was specially suited for the goal of cultivating venison. 117 Anderson. feeding techniques. Kertselli. 7. 169. no. Accepting the necessity of migration as a requirement of the animals and the natural conditions of the north. 106-120. 111-117 and Charnoluskii. 53-57. breed difference among animals.” in Murmanskaia olenevodcheskaia opytnaia stantsiia (Sbornik nauchnykh rabot).” Acta Borealia: A Nordic Journal of Circumpolar Societies 17. Budovnits. “Estestvennye kormovye ugodiia Murmanskogo okruga. 115 Budovnits. 51-52. Sovetskii Sever. and GAMO. “Reinterpreting the Sovkhoz.” Sibirica 6.. op. The entire program of industrializing reindeer herding also involved heightened regulation over space and mobility in the tundra. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. l. to suggest a model of diversified herding. 1.” in Smidovich.115 He claimed. Kol´skii sbornik.Point near Krasnoshchel´e in the mid-1920s to research pasture use. no. 125. 111. reformers during the collectivization campaign emphasized clearly delineated pasturelands. Identity and Ecology in Arctic Siberia.”116 Another major tactic for exerting more control over the reindeer economy during collectivization was the innovation of new forms of surveillance.” in Sovetskoe olenevodstvo. a third would be selected to produce milk. and Yulian Konstantinov. another part of it for hides. 13. 3-5. “Pre-Soviet Pasts and Reindeer-Herding Collectives: Ethnographies of Transition in Murmansk Region. Yulian Konstantinov. 2 (Autumn 2007): 1-25. a fourth would be used for transit. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. Less successful efforts were also made to provide veterinary services to herding regions and develop a means of restricting the spread of reindeer diseases. “Zametki o past´be i organizatsii stada u loparei. f..117 This pretense of knowing reindeer numbers enabled the promulgation of economic plans and the development of scientific methods for increasing productivity. vol. 114 Salazkin. d. and herding methods. etc.113 In 1934 Salazkin conducted a botanical assessment of the territory used by the Sami.

N. 111. including the families of herders. 118 156 . traveled with the animals to the tundra. 169. 28-29 and Wheelersburg and Gutsol. 26. Though the pogosty often became the territorial basis for the new collective farms. collectivized communities became confined to one primary settlement with temporary tundra bases serving herding activities. up to 62. no. d. 1. 1994). ll. 99-100.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 159-160. often the wives of senior herders. Skachko wrote in 1930: “In known geographic conditions nomadism is absolutely unavoidable since it is a rational use of land.118 During collectivization. 119 N. Chelovek v sotsiokul´turnom prostranstve: Evropeiskii Sever Rossii (Apatity: Kol´skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. as opposed to way of life. 120 Gutsol. N. A. Samorukova. Gutsol. and Samorukova.5% of the Kola reindeer economy was temporarily collectivized during the winter of 1930 before many of the new farms broke apart in the spring. required some seasonal movement. 63 and Gutsol.”121 The evasiveness of the social and natural environment to legible categories shaped the chaotic implementation of the state’s collectivization policies. S. many residents. who were men.120 One specialist on Kola reindeer economy. Roughly following national trends. Vinogradova. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. 2005).122 The activities of Ivan Pen´kov. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. G. eds.” Quoted in Gutsol. “Istoricheskie usloviia i sotsial´noekonomicheskie posledstviia pereselenii Kol´skikh saamov v sovetskii period (na primere trekh saamskikh pogostov). V. and a few camp workers. 27. given an increased herd size and the organization of steady corralling. P.” in V. 60-64. Only the herders. 122 Sheila Fitzpatrick. 6. 9-10. f. and a replacement of the previous pogost system of spatial organization. In 1934 he wrote. “Babinski and Ekostrovski. op. 6. and Samorukova. 67-83. Razumova.” Arctic Anthropology 45. Bunakov. Vinogradova. E. a government operative in some of the most On the need for some migration in the reindeer economy.territorial formation to maximize effective use. the constriction of migration routes. 21-23. 1 (2008): 79-96. 72-74 and Kiselev and Kiseleva. “we believe that a more progressive reindeer economy that is suitable for the interests of socialist reconstruction is a system of year-round stationary pasturage. Vinogradova. and A. Vinogradova. 121 Bunakov. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. expressed the common desire to transform nomadic peoples into sedentary animal breeders whose occupation. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. and Samorukova. Sovetskie saamy. 29-50. GAMO. stayed in the village yearround. Petrov and I.. Stalin’s Peasants: Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village After Collectivization (Oxford: Oxford University Press.119 These spatial politics began a gradual process of the resettlement and concentration of herding communities that would accelerate in the 1950s and 1960s. the government sought to restrict reindeer herders’ mobility.

62-69 and Viola. help reveal in part why this occurred. Viola. the domestic reindeer population after this point declined to below its pre-collectivization level.127 While the 1932-1933 famine also caused people to turn to this tactic out of desperation. Peasant Rebels under Stalin. The Best Sons of the Fatherland.125 Indeed. 127 For instance. Throughout the country. and bargains with provisioning agencies. Thus. rural residents slaughtered and feasted on animals slated for state expropriation and sometimes let carcasses rot to prevent authorities from profiting from a policy they denounced as a second serfdom. Pen´kov found few obliging organizations in the regional center of Murmansk when he tried to procure supplies for herders’ tents and faced an almost farcical series of pleas.124 Furthermore. 53% of pigs. 128 Bunakov estimated that the “frantic resistance” of kulak herders on the Kola Peninsula helped lead to the loss of approximately 7500 reindeer during Pen´kov was a participant in the 25. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. negotiations. and 40% of chickens in the Central Black Earth region during the winter of 1930. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. Stalin’s Peasants. which recruited urban Communist workers to bring collectivization forcefully to the village. 62-71 and Kiselev and Kiseleva. 69-79. 66. the warnings of the Committee of the North members about the risks of importing reindeer from other parts of the country proved prescient. Sovetskie saamy. 123 As the head of the Krasnaia Tundra collective farm in Ivanovka.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 132 and Kiselev and Kiseleva. Sovetskie saamy.remote areas of the Kola Peninsula. Lynne Viola and Sheila Fitzpatrick have appropriately seen such episodes of killing animals as forms of resistance. 123 157 . After purchasing a large number of animals. 70-71. while approximately 40% of households and 75% of reindeer on the Kola Peninsula belonged to collectivized or state institutions in 1932. the difficulties that reindeer had in surviving collectivization undermined the productivist rationale of the policy. the new state farm suffered an outbreak of hoof disease (kopytka) and many reindeer perished. 125 Bunakov. 128 Fitzpatrick. 126 Bunakov. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 125. 124 Budovnits. Fitzpatrick cites that peasants slaughtered an astounding 25% of cattle. 55% of sheep.000er movement.126 The resistance of herding communities to collectivization contributed to its lack of economic success. Stalin’s Peasants. Fitzpatrick. Pen´kov sought to apply a wage and investment system used at agricultural communes elsewhere in the country to the occupationally distinct conditions of an Arctic reindeer economy. 73-74.

130 Budovnits. deliberately disseminating hoof disease among the animals. The details of his apprehension and trial point instead to community cohesion and his paternal authority in Sami society. indeed. which would frequently herd with other pastoralists’ animals. including to nine Sami who had been classified as kulaks. Kol´skie lopari. a Sami man in the Pulozero region. 1.1932.133 The herders’ understanding of how to interact with these animals facilitated this act of resistance to collectivization.” the government transferred approximately 2000 reindeer directly to non-collectivized herders. Though authorities wanted to frame such actions as kulak exploitation. 73. 37-38 and Zolotarev. only helped find him when pressured by the state. the defendants had supposedly attempted to cut new earmarks into stolen reindeer to make them resemble those of their own animals. 132 Budovnits. P-152. who likely knew his approximate location the whole time. Sovetskie saamy. The relationship of herders and some of the sympathetic reformers to reindeer and the land also became a source of criminal allegations during the terror. As part of a national policy of correcting “excesses. leaving the reindeer without Bunakov. six individuals from Tundra were convicted of killing at least 144 reindeer from other herders. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. The police accused individuals of committing arson on lichen pastures.129 Specific cases of reindeer slaughter on the Kola Peninsula expose how the classificatory frameworks of state policy elided much more nuanced social relations.131 The treatment of nature by herders also affected the outcomes of the efforts to reform the reindeer economy in the 1930s. 133 Budovnits. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. and Z. 94-95.” GAMO. Kondrat Arkhipov. op. Sovetskie saamy.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 126-127 and Kiselev and Kiseleva. 91-100. Arkhipov evaded the state for months and villagers. Local party cells at the Apatit trust approved these “corrections. 37-41. 1. For instance. f. two of them had begun to forge Communist Party affiliations. The Sami had developed a system of carving personalized earmarks to distinguish their reindeer. Zolotarev. Ocherki etnografii saamov (Rovaniemi: University of Lapland. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. 1998). Kol´skie lopari. l.132 During the case of the six Tundra herders. 91-100. 131 Budovnits. all of the herders had been deemed lower class and. E. faced accusations of being a kulak and a sorcerer who stole and burned other herders’ reindeer. 184. Cherniakov.130 In another case. d. 184. Kiselev and Kiseleva. 32. Part of the initial complaint against Arkhipov had been that he refused to let others search the herd for reindeer with their earmarks. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova. 129 158 .

herders split into several brigades that tended large herds composed of collective and private reindeer. from March 1938 that no more than 45% of households in the Lovozero district were collectivized. which were roughly equivalent to the private plots that peasants were allowed to use for personal gardens. “Po stranitsam sledstvennogo dela No.137 In the collective farms. no. according to Soviet-era sources. Sorokazherd´ev.138 This arrangement of pastures entailed year-round surveillance Sorokazherd´ev. Sovetskie saamy. 2 (April 2004): 58. no. reportedly reaching 76. the herders were almost entirely collectivized only by the end of the decade.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16.134 This line of inquiry by the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) reveals the state's unease with its inability to manage the Kola reindeer economy. “Po stranitsam sledstvennogo dela No. A. Conceding that natural conditions outdid the Soviet attempt to control the tundra was less acceptable than placing the lack of human omnipotence in a framework of intentional counter-revolutionary wreckage.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane 16. Collectivization resulted in a reindeer economy that both conformed to state power and embraced modified customary practices.136 By shifting away from fishing and hunting. 135 Luk´ianchenko.918 animals.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. 2 (April 2004): 55-64. The spread of hoof disease was a predictable outcome of pursuing the relentless increase in herd numbers without adequate veterinary facilities. 134 159 . In the second half of the 1930s a new land use system that designated specific seasonal pastures for each collective farm brigade was instituted. and slaughtering calves. collectivization created an industrialized reindeer economy in which the number of animals and amount of venison were the ultimate criteria of success. 139-140. 138 Vladimirova. Fires were a natural occurrence in such regions and the efforts to systematize and regulate the pastures of the collective farms before adequate fire prevention services existed likely impeded the ability of herders to adapt. 46197. albeit made under considerable duress. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIXXX v. 20-24 and Kiselev and Kiseleva. 137 O. Just Labor. It proceeded gradually after the initial drives. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov.135 A safer estimate of full collectivization would be after the post-World War II reconstruction. 46197. By 1937 the domestic reindeer population in the Murmansk region had more than recovered from the disruptions of collectivization. no. 136 I base this assertion on the vague ways that published Soviet-era sources refer to full collectivization by the end of the 1930s and Alymov’s claim. Makarova..supervision. 80-83. 4 (August 2003): 43.

While lacking the violence that accompanied collectivization. “Reinterpreting the Sovkhoz. 32-33. the amalgamation of numerous reindeer-herding collective farms into a few large state farms from the late 1950s to the early 1970s isolated herding communities from historically important forms of nature. Instead. Sovetskie saamy. 2 (Autumn 2007): 1-25.300 Luk´ianchenko. no. and other supplies. and military installations over continued land use patterns of herding communities and that embraced a quasi-urban confinement of pastoralism as a strategy for increased production. Reindeer also assisted the army on the Finnish front as an unsustainable means of transport. “Pre-Soviet Pasts and Reindeer-Herding Collectives: Ethnographies of Transition in Murmansk Region. anthropologist Yulian Konstantinov argues that the keeping of private reindeer was not a simple vestige of the pre-collectivized economy. As with collectivization.over the animals and abandoned the Sami technique of free summer grazing. 108-120. no.141 The reindeer population almost completely disappeared from Karelia and fell from 70. The conditions in the region during the Second World War led to a notable decline in the Kola reindeer economy.. Many herders served in the Red Army during the war and left their animals unattended.” Acta Borealia 17. industrial. sustenance.139 Based on extensive research on Kola reindeer herding. the efforts to bring Soviet modernity to the Kola herding economy continued through processes of increased concentration of people and animals and the simplification of indigenous livelihoods. 139 160 . Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIXXX v.140 Postwar Amalgamation From the Second World War to the heart of the Brezhnev-era in the 1970s. collectivization paradoxically functioned as a form of privatization of reindeer by establishing more formal relations of ownership. the local sites in which the state’s amalgamation policy was implemented also reveal the influence of sentient ecological knowledge. 2 (2000): 49-64 and Konstantinov. 141 Kiselev and Kiseleva. He further notes how herders. chose to play along with the rationalizing state practices when social circumstances required it. who were well aware of divergences between official statistics and reality. 140 Konstantinov. The logic of the program involved a spatial re-organization of the rural taiga and tundra that prioritized energy.” Sibirica 6.

Soviet Power and the Countryside: Policy Innovation and Institutional Decay (New York: Palgrave Macmillan. David Joravsky. the policy makers turned to a re-invigorated trust in Trofim Lysenko’s vernalization techniques to establish more stable agricultural surpluses.143 The gradual recovery of the reindeer industry during the postwar reconstruction occurred. The idea was to leave only two concentrated agrocities in each region.. 148 Luk´ianchenko. ll. central party and economic organizations sought to remedy the exhaustion of the local food supply in the north by again increasing the development of the Kola reindeer economy and attempting to expand polar agriculture.animals in 1940 to 42. op.” Cambridge Journal of Economics 24. 1970). 1 (Spring 2009): 116-138.146 As these agglomeration policies continued into the 1960s.000 “non-viable” villages slated for liquidation. 119.144 In the 1950s Nikita Khrushchev eagerly sought to revive Soviet agriculture by devising a series of policies such as the Virgin Lands program. 4 (October 2010): 670-700. no. Stephen Brain. 122. RGASPI. 1976).145 A key element of Khrushchev’s agricultural policy was the consolidation of collective farms into larger state farms: between 1953 and 1958 the total number of collective farms in the USSR fell by over a quarter. 64. 1997). A-358. no. 143 142 161 . 162-168. “From Partinost´ to Nauchnost´ and Not Quite Back Again: Revisiting the Lessons of the Lysenko Affair. ed. Sovetskie saamy. 174203. Khrushchev and the Development of Soviet Agriculture: The Virgin Lands Program 1953-1964 (New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers. 145 Martin McCauley. 147 Neil J.” in Gregory L. 366 and Fitzpatrick. 144 Michael Ellman.. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIXXX v. 1640. op.” Slavic Review 68. Melvin. 25-27. The Lysenko Affair (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. “The Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature.147 On the Kola Peninsula this policy of amalgamation led to a remarkable reduction in reindeer herding enterprises from over a dozen before World War II to two state farms by the end of the Soviet era. however. Freeze.142 As the war wound down.” Environmental History 15. 104.148 GARF. Reindeer-Herders. 1953-1985. 2003). 146 Gregory L. f. 23 and Konstantinov. “The 1947 Soviet Famine and the Entitlement Approach to Famines. l. 25 and Kiselev and Kiseleva. f. Freeze. more because of the activities of pastoralists and ecological factors related to reindeer population dynamics than as a result of new policy interventions. d. “From Stalinism to Stagnation. central agencies used 1959 census data to draw up a list of 580. In the late 1940s and 1950s the government gradually began to pay more attention to agriculture. Stalin’s Peasants. d. and Ethan Pollock. 4. 17. After another drought and famine took over one million lives in 1947. no. 5 (September 2000): 603-630. Russia: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press.900 in 1945 on the Kola Peninsula.

52 and Gutsol. Thus. Its herders and reindeer joined Tundra.151 Economic motivations related to desired models of land use besides reindeer herding also played an important role in determining the geography of resettlement. and Samorukova. The collective farm combined with one in Gutsol. it began a period of decline after this point. which was forced to move to Lovozero in 1959 after many years in the red. which had been fulfilling its production plans consistently in the 1950s and 1960s. and Samorukova.149 By the end of amalgamation a decade later the performance of collective farms mattered less in determining their fate. Vinogradova.150 The productivist economic logic of creating larger and larger herding organizations to grow the reindeer economy led to the domestic population on the Kola Peninsula reaching its twentieth-century peak in 1971 as the resettlement process was completed. Sovetskie saamy. “Istoricheskie usloviia i sotsial´no-ekonomicheskie posledstviia pereselenii Kol´skikh saamov v sovetskii period. 151 Kiselev and Kiseleva. However. 152 Gutsol. the collective farm Bol´shevik in Varzino. 4 (August 2003): 43. 150 149 162 . also joined Tundra in 1969. and Samorukova. The first reindeer-herding collective farm to be liquidated was the mostly Sami Vpered in Chudz´iavr. Vinogradova. Residents moved to nearby Krasnoshchel´e in the 1960s when the village became slated for flooding to serve a planned electric station on the Ponoi River. 33-37. Vinogradova.” in Petrov and Razumova.Amalgamation aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the herding economy by enlarging the scale of operations in concentrated locations. The economically successful Dobrovolets collective farm moved from Voron´e to Lovozero and its members joined Tundra in the early 1960s so that their village. 137-144 and Makarova. no. the policy brought about mixed results. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov.152 A similar development occurred at the Krasnaia Tundra collective farm in Chal´mny-Varre (Ivanovka). ed. Vinogradova. 37-43. Gutsol.. In terms of this goal. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. Several small reindeer-herding villages were forced to move because of new hydroelectric power stations. 104-108. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov. mirroring the general economic difficulties of the Soviet Union in the 1970s.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. 27-33. Chelovek v sotsiokul´turnom prostranstve. could be transformed into a reservoir for the Serebriansk Hydroelectric Station. and Samorukova. including an old Sami cemetery.

155 Amalgamation remade the tundra.htm.”154 Tundra ultimately agreed to accept Bol´shevik on the condition that they receive pastureland back from the Imeni V. http://qwercus. the consolidation of collective farms and the resettlement of villages left the Kola Peninsula with only two reindeer-herding state farms. Vinogradova. and V.narod. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. 153 163 .153 The formalized process of local decision-making during amalgamation suggests that Kola reindeer herders managed to impart their insights about tundra ecology and express their interests to at least a limited extent. “the most complicated question concerns pastures for reindeer. I. I. Collective farm members in favor cited the lack of supplies and electricity in the village. 51-67. and the fact that young people were already abandoning Varzino.” 1978). I. T. 155 Gutsol.” in Polevye issledovaniia instituta etnografii (Moscow: “Nauka. for resettlement.. 51-54 and Gutsol.” in Petrov and Razumova. Severiane. this time housing planners botched this construction project and many former members of Bol´shevik remained without the promised accommodations for years. they expressed concern about limited pastureland for reindeer herds. collective farm members secured moving expenses and two new apartment buildings in Lovozero from the new hydroelectric plant. in the agrocities of Lovozero and Krasnoshchel´e. eds. A. During the earlier resettlement of Dobrovolets. and Samorukova.” in Petrov and V. 42. Khartanovich. and Samorukova. Like many places that dotted state-socialist landscapes. Lovozero became a community of a few thousand living in large concrete apartment blocks. Lenina (In the Name of Lenin). 154 Gutsol.. Amalgamation continued decades of confining reindeer Simanovskaia.the new location and eventually became the state farm Imeni V. When the members of Tundra took up the issue. Luk´ianchenko. I. Vinogradova. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. Chelovek v sotsiokul´turnom prostranstve. 70-82 and I. Tundra member V. Members of the collective farm Bol´shevik voted convincingly. 2009. and Samorukova. the distance from amenities. However. As an apogee of the Soviet modernization of reindeer herding. 104-108. Lenina. Tundra and Imeni V. Gokhman. Lenina collective farm and that current members of Tundra get to move into any new building first instead of the migrants. “Istoricheskie usloviia i sotsial´no-ekonomicheskie posledstviia pereselenii Kol´skikh saamov v sovetskii period. “O pogrebal´nom obriade i kraniologii loparei. but not unanimously. ed. 33-37. I. Vinogradova. Podoliak declared. accessed October 8. 41-43. “Chal´mny-Varre. We have so few winter pastures and will need to accommodate another three-thousand animal herd.

For the inhabitants of Varzino in particular. Vinogradova. Throughout the 1930s to the 1950s. Chelovek v sotsiokul´turnom prostranstve. the environmental and social relations of the reindeer economy never fit within the formal structures of the communist system and did not quickly integrate into markets. 60. and Samorukova.” in Petrov and Razumova. The politics of ecological knowledge played a partially familiar and partially distinct role in the local manifestation of capitalist reforms. Vinogradova. the concentration of people and reindeer modified tundra livelihoods. 157 156 164 . The Sovkhoz Tradition and Post-Soviet Reforms The attempts to modernize indigenous communities on the Kola Peninsula had so modified the patterns and practices of the reindeer industry by the Soviet collapse in 1991 that new forms of the state-socialist economy became valorized as traditions by herders in the post-Soviet era. The legibility of the market depended on the explicit incorporation of international actors and changing land-use according to the whims of abstract buyers instead of an abstract state.157 Combined with isolation from fishing grounds and hunting territories. During the late Soviet era.and herders into reduced territories. the government took more responsibility for keeping state farms financially afloat by providing investments Gutsol. if not the dominant components of. salmon (semga) fishing at numerous points on the rivers of the Semiostrov region was more significant than reindeer herding. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov and Gutsol. a singular focus on reindeer herding helped further make this economic activity be seen as the main traditional indigenous occupation on the Kola Peninsula. Dobrovolets. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov. and Samorukova. “Istoricheskie usloviia i sotsial´no-ekonomicheskie posledstviia pereselenii Kol´skikh saamov v sovetskii period.000 hectares as they were combined with Tundra.156 More than the total reduction of territory. However. 97-114. the state farm system of reindeer herding that emerged from amalgamation and its corresponding environmental relationships became deeply entrenched on the Kola Peninsula. herding communities’ economies. fishing and hunting remained key to. and Bol´shevik lost 120. ed. The state farm system brought a modicum of stability to the people and animals involved in the Kola reindeer economy. and Samorukova. Vpered. Vinogradova. which became a source of retrospective legitimacy when renewed reforms based on attempts to implement market mechanisms again brought disruptions to the tundra.. In contrast to collective farms. Gutsol.

the impact of World War II. Reindeer People.158 Konstantinov. ed. In a return to earlier practices on the Kola Peninsula. Readings in Saami History. Vladimirova. Reindeer populations have a tendency to grow until an exhaustion of foraging resources and then decline rapidly. “Reindeer Herding on the Kola Peninsula. the population dynamics of domestic Hugh Beach.Report of a Visit with Saami Herders of Sovkhoz Tundra. and Yulian Konstantinov. the reverberations of the 1932-1933 famine.159 For all of the energy devoted to making reindeer herding a productive industry. “Memory of Lenin Ltd. and perhaps the disorder of the late 1990s. Yulian Konstantinov. and all-terrain vehicles.” in Roger Kvist. “Reindeer Herding on the Kola Peninsula . several brigades of each state farm were responsible for tending huge herds of reindeer.: Reindeer-Herding Brigades on the Kola Peninsula. 2 (Autumn 2007): 1-25. ed.160 Excepting the obvious episodic social influences such as the arrival of the Komi. Operating out of concentrated agrocities. 2002). the Kola state farms focused on producing and delivering venison to a steady purchaser. helicopters. “Soviet and Post-Soviet Reindeer-Herding Collectives: Transitional Slogans in Murmansk Region. and the mixing of personal and state farm animals further impeded any direct contact with one’s own reindeer. 158 165 . With the use of new technologies such as snowmobiles.” in Kvist. personal animals became an even greater priority for many pastoralists. Culture and Language III. In the context of state ownership of the previously collective reindeer. the general behavior of these nomadic herbivores. Only during the winter corral would personal reindeer. no. Soviet policy interventions seem to have had less of an impact on the population of domestic reindeer than the ecological relationship of this herding species to its environment.. no. 21. 126-128. Yulian Konstantinov and Vladislava Vladimirova. the Murmansk Meat Combine. 171-188. Konstantinov. ed. Culture and Language III (Umeå: University of Umeå 1992).” Nomadic Peoples 10. the devastation of World War I and the Russian Civil War. and Hugh Beach describe how the ecological associations that herders had with reindeer changed after amalgamation.and loans and detaching salaries from direct dependence on economic productivity. 2 (2006): 166-186. At the same time the increased sizes of the herding enterprises.” Anthropology Today 13. “Reinterpreting the Sovkhoz.” in Erich Kastern. which were distinguished by earmarks and slated for slaughter. People and the Land: Pathways to Reform in Post-Soviet Siberia (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag. “The Performative Machine: Transfer of Ownership in a Northwest Russian Reindeer Herding Community (Kola Peninsula). 113-141. come to the attention of their owner.” Sibirica 6.. no. the brigades left their herds for free grazing in the summer.. 159 Beach. 3 (July 1997): 14-19. Readings in Saami History. 160 Vitebsky.

While these population estimates have obviously limited accuracy and reflect a prominent practice of establishing legibility.000 48.000 23.832 63.” Arctic Anthropology 30. Kiseleva.918 70. and increased openness to foreign trade—and a political overhaul that gave the country institutions of representative democracy. was far greater than the results of any deliberate efforts to increase herd sizes in the Soviet era. no.300 Year 1929 1932 1934 1937 1940 1947 1950 1959 Domestic reindeer population 56.000 67. Konakov. For instance. 72.” in Voprosy istorii Evropeiskogo Severa. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. 161 166 . the contours of the fluctuations seem large enough to trust in assessing general changes.045 53. preceded efforts to implement a vision of neo-traditionalism in indigenous communities. Olenevodcheskie kolkhozy kol'skogo poluostrova.000 71.100 54.117 82.000 / 74. the massive expansion of the reindeer population in the earlier twentieth century. which have often accompanied top-down modernization campaigns.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 125. agglomeration. “Vliianie sotsial´noekonomicheskikh faktorov na razvitie olenevodstva Kol´skogo poluostrova v 1900-1980 gody.000 45.356 72. Sovetskie saamy. An episode of impoverishment and disempowerment. withdrawal of state subsidies. but ended up allowing important elements of the Soviet state farm system to abide.000 59.883 74. 10-11. no.500 63.000 The post-Soviet reforms of Kola reindeer herding aimed at making it part of a capitalist market economy.000 18. and attempted marketization (see Table 5). Reported Population of Domestic Reindeer in the Murmansk Region161 Year 1886 1887 1896 1905 1910 1914 1923 1927 Domestic reindeer population 13.000 76. Bunakov. “Ecological Adaptation of Komi Resettled Groups. the de-regulation of price controls. when no official policy of industrializing reindeer herding existed. Table 5. The fate Makarova. Konakov and Kiseleva report different figures for 1914.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane.800 Year 1963 1968 1971 1981 1985 1991 1998 2002 Domestic reindeer population 78. Russian neoliberalism was ushered in by shock-therapy policies—hasty privatization.200 81.152 79.300 42. and Kiselev and Kiseleva. 119. 4 (August 2003): 43. Budovnits. 2 (1993): 98-99.438 57.reindeer in the twentieth century appear fairly unresponsive to collectivization. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov.449 73.

2002).” Anthropology Today 13. this relationship allowed the reindeer cooperatives to play a sustaining role in Lovozero and Krasnoshchel´e. Overland. the post-Soviet administration and management of Tundra and Olenevod resemble the state farm system more than overt entrepreneurship. no. meaning that managers and employees received the majority of the shares of the firm. Konstantinov and Vladimirova. “Economic View from the Tundra Camp”. and Overland. “Memory of Lenin Ltd. 165 Konstantinov. The Post-Soviet Potemkin Village: Politics and Property Rights in the Black Earth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.” 77.”164 The new market orientation of herding institutions has also transformed environmental relations in similar directions as Soviet-era reforms. 2 (2006): 183. than anything that dates before. and Dessislav Sabev.thearctic.: Reindeer-Herding Brigades on the Kola Peninsula. no. 2009. ed. the Kola herding cooperatives benefited from their close proximity to the venison market in Scandinavia and were able to secure a monopolistic buyer. 2008). eds. 2003).of agricultural property in these reforms involved legal and practical complexities in the distribution of rights and the moral anxieties in society over the reorganization of ownership. no. Markets and Moralities: Ethnographies of Postsocialism (Oxford: Berg.” Nomadic Peoples 10. Reindeer Nomads Meet the Market.: Reindeer-Herding Brigades on the Kola Peninsula. Postsocialism: Ideals.. and Jessica Allina-Pisano. “Politics and Culture among the Russian Sami. Stammler. In part because the basic structures of mixed collective/private ownership of reindeer has remained in place through these cooperatives. Hann. 163 Konstantinov. 162 167 . 3 (July 1997): 14-19.” 75-81. Ruth Mandel and Caroline Humphrey. “Economic View from the Tundra Camp: Field Experience with Reindeer Herders in the Kola Peninsula.163 Konstantinov and Vladimirova call the continuation of many of the everyday economic practices and structures associated with the state farm “sovkhoism” and argue that it has been “a much more stable tradition. “The Performative Machine.165 The Katherine Verdery. Ideologies and Practices in Eurasia (London: Routledge.” accessed November 10. 2002). M. Unlike reindeer husbandry in much of Siberia. 3 (July 1997): 16. the Kola state farms Tundra and Olenevod later became Agricultural Production Cooperatives (SKhPK). C.” Nomadic Peoples “The Performative Machine. The Vanishing Hectare: Property and Value in Postsocialist Transylvania (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. “Politics and Culture among the Russian Sami. the Swedish firm Norfrys-Polarica. no. 164 Konstantinov and Vladimirova. Ethnographic research has probed effectively the on-the-ground contradictions in many realms of the post-socialist world that complicate understandings about how capitalist property regimes function. http://www.162 Initially privatized as Limited Liability Partnerships. Konstantinov and Vladimirova. “Memory of Lenin Ltd. “Ambiguous Transition”. 2 (2006): 169-172.” Anthropology Today 13.. Combined with herders’ ability to access natural resources from the tundra during crisis moments. Sabev.

ed. “Politics and Culture among the Russian Sami. Efforts to Protect Wild Reindeer Institutionalized conservation on the Kola Peninsula was a modern innovation. personal and affectionate involvement. 1995).166 Such developments have continued the elevation of reindeer as a means of material well being for indigenous communities. 168 Ingold. Especially in the 1950s and 1960s.” 69-73.actions of international companies also contributed to the further isolation of indigenous communities from fishing areas in the region. 67-69.”168 I intend to show here that while conservation scientists pursued the protection of wild reindeer on the Kola Peninsula with a strong conviction in the superiority of their rationalist knowledge. The Perception of the Environment. William Cronon. the world of humanity” and asserts that. an involvement not just of mind or body but of one’s entire. W. which aimed at preserving aspects of the ecosystems seen as traditional. on the contrary. Uncommon Ground: Toward Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (New York: W. These companies advertised their salmon fishing expeditions by overtly referring to the fact that locals are not allowed to fish in the rivers. this commitment to controlling a landscape led to conflicts between conservationists and reindeer herders.. Norton. To a large extent this protected area concentrated on restoring the wild reindeer population in the western part of the peninsula. they were also influenced by personal.167 Tim Ingold contends that the doctrines of scientific conservation hold that “the world of nature is separate from. See. “caring for the environment is like caring for people: it requires a deep. The scientists working there combined a desire to use their expertise to rationalize an ecosystem with a romantic attachment to supposedly pristine environments. It began in the 1930s during the first fit of Stalinist industrialization with the creation of the Lapland nature reserve. many continued to catch salmon in rivers and streams when the opportunity arose. Many scholars have criticized scientific conservation as disconnected from local communities. 167 166 168 . In the 1990s foreign tourism companies attained the exclusive right to use certain rivers in the eastern part of the Kola Peninsula. and subordinate to. participatory. While amalgamation had separated communities from fishing grounds. undivided being. For them. and affectionate Overland. for example. for hunter/gatherer societies “conservation and participation” are compatible.

Harper (Edinburgh: Russian Nature Press. were informed by sentient ecological knowledge. Models of Nature: Ecology. the state acquired vast lands that had previously belonged to nobles or the Orthodox Church. H. trans. All humans not involved in the scientific management or security functions. but conservation scientists as well. while relying on indigenous insights and assistance to do the work of protecting wild reindeer. This strategy succeeded in convincing state authorities to allocate land for the creation of the Lapland nature reserve in 1930. Conservation scientists embraced a model of the reserves based on the principle of the inviolability of specific natural systems. Their conservation efforts involved making public arguments about the economic value of creating a nature reserve.169 As Douglas Weiner has emphasized. 2003). even by global standards at the time. the zapovednik system underwent a remarkable expansion of the size and number of reserves throughout the 1920s. including tourists. formed conservation groups that convinced several large landowners to set aside significant tracts for nature reserves called zapovedniki. 10-43. During the Russian Revolution. 1988). they endorsed the establishment of a protected space for species study and restoration. 7-39 and Feliks Shtilmark. In late imperial Russia representatives of educated society. Conservation. History of the Russian Zapovedniks. and Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. the initial conception of nature protection in the Soviet Union was quite radical. With top-level government support. They planned to establish an entire system of protected areas that would represent diverse ecological models of untouched wilderness. Organized nature protection in Russia predated the revolutions of 1917. but the nationalization of land after the Bolshevik takeover presented a unique opportunity to expand the system of nature reserves in the country. who were concerned about the transformation of landscapes and the disappearance of species.involvement with the environment. 169 169 . G. The scientific justification for this approach came from the concept of biocenosis. Not just reindeer communities. 1895-1995. The Rise of Reindeer Conservation on the Kola Peninsula In the 1920s and 1930s a small group of marginalized scientists initiated a campaign to protect the population of wild reindeer on the Kola Peninsula. would be completely excluded from the territories. Early Douglas Weiner. Motivated in part by their own intimate connections to the natural world and desires to put their expertise into practice.

”174 Kreps outlined justifications for this reserve that highlighted its value for science. no. 1928).170 Serious scientific concern about preserving the population of wild reindeer on the Kola Peninsula. 10-11 (October-November 1928): 40. 1928).172 In the local Communist Party newspaper Polar Pravda in the spring of 1928. 1. an existing population of wild reindeer. op. Grazhdanin laplandii: Odisseia Germana Krepsa (Moscow: “Mysl´.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai 6. 10-11 (October-November 1928): 38-40. 4.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai 6. since this territory had sufficient forest and lichen cover. no. Kreps publicly announced the idea of setting aside a territory of approximately 200. the future hunting economy. see V.175 He proposed using the lands surrounding the Chuna tundra to the west as the site for the future nature reserve. “Dikii severnyi olen´ na Kol´skom poluostrove i proekt organizatsii laplandskogo zapovednika. 64-70. a diverse range of other plant and animal species. 171 170 170 . 1 and Poliarnaia pravda (April 24. A specific argument about the advantage of crossing-breeding wild and domestic reindeer convinced members of the Murmansk Committee of the North. which had been in decline since even before the Komi migration of the 1880s.173 He elsewhere noted the inadequacy of the current hunting prohibitions because of the impossibility of enforcement and insisted. no.” This zapovednik would have the “goal not only of protecting a single animal. a mountain tundra area. 169. and distance from centers of human activity.176 Weiner. 172 On Kreps’s background. 108-109. “the only effective measure for the protection of wild reindeer is the organization of a nature reserve (zapovednik) on the Kola Peninsula.000 hectares in which all forms of economic activity would be prohibited in order to save the region’s wild reindeer from extinction.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai 6. “Dikii severnyi olen´ na Kol´skom poluostrove i proekt organizatsii laplandskogo zapovednika. 10-11 (October-November 1928): 37. 173 Poliarnaia pravda (March 24. “Dikii severnyi olen´ na Kol´skom poluostrove i proekt organizatsii laplandskogo zapovednika.Soviet conservation biologists believed that all of living nature could be divided into subsystems called biocenoses that exhibited the properties of species interdependence and long-term equilibrium. emerged in the late 1920s.” 1985). Models of Nature. d. 176 Kreps. Berlin. f. 174 German Kreps. 6. but also of preserving the entire geographical landscape in natural inviolability. GAMO. and the domestic reindeer industry. Russkie lopari. ll. 175 Kreps. E.171 A single botanist named German Kreps led the campaign and elaborated a strong case for conservation. Kharuzin. 9-9ob. In their view both of these ecological properties required strict and enduring protection of representative samples of these unaltered environments.

according to Kreps. op. 28 and O. 6.180 In the fall he hired three security guards and a botanist named Oleg Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.” Zhivaia Arktika. E.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai 6. who would come to play a decisive role in the history of the reserve. who at the time worked at a meteorological base along the Murmansk railroad. see Valerii Berlin. the expansion of reindeer herding and the establishment of the Murmansk railroad had caused a precipitous drop in the wild reindeer population beyond these normal fluctuations. 1521.181 The desire to commune with nature enticed Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. helping count the existing wild reindeer population. Kreps relied crucially on the ecological knowledge of the Sami living to the west of Lake Imandra. d. This change. he wrote in his diary. 179 GARF. f.177 These individuals participated in the work of the reserve by offering their recollections of previous environmental conditions. 10-11 (October-November 1928): 39-40. V. and later serving as security guards.” in Tretie Ushakovskie chteniia: Sbornik nauchnykh statei (Murmansk: MGPU. Kreps ascertained that the population of Kola wild reindeer underwent periodic booms and busts as the animals over-consumed the available lichen pastures. ll. Berlin. E. “Khraniteli prirodnogo naslediia. no. necessitated an intervention. Based on memories of older Sami hunters. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky – naturalist. 2. 7 (2005-2006). A-358. “work observing and studying nature is more to my liking and I would very Kreps.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik: Year-book of the Laplandsky State Nature Biosphere Zapovednik.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai 6. 17-18.In addition to the formal rationalist elements of the plan. “Dikii severnyi olen´ na Kol´skom poluostrove i proekt organizatsii laplandskogo zapovednika. op. After receiving the offer to join the Lapland nature reserve. During the previous three or four decades. 3-8. “Dikii severnyi olen´ na Kol´skom poluostrove i proekt organizatsii laplandskogo zapovednika. Berlin. citizen. “O. 2006). Semenov-Tian-Shanskii— ekolog i kraeved (k 100-letiiu dnia rozhdeniia). The proposed territory for the reserve was uninhabited except for two or three Sami families who fished there during the summer.178 Kreps also depended on the ability of Sami hunter Fedor Arkhipov to distinguish between wild and domestic reindeer from a distance during his first attempt to estimate the population in April 1929. and V. d. 1 (2004): 3-7. I. no. 1960). 10-11 (October-November 1928): 37. 1930 and soon after named Kreps as its director. no. I. “”O. no. 177 171 . f. 4. 231. researcher. 178 Kreps. however. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. 283-289. 181 For biographical information on Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. A-358. 180 GARF. Laplandskii gosudarstvennyi zapovednik (nauchno-populiarnyi ocherk) (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. l.179 Government agencies officially established the Lapland nature reserve on January 17.

The economy-centered logic of state policy at the time clashed with the multivalent motivations and practices of the employees of the Lapland reserve.” Zhivaia Arktika. he escaped the ordeal with his life but not his job. Kreps seemed attracted to the idea of maintaining natural systems with minimal economic influence.” Zhivaia Arktika: istoriko-kraevedcheskii al´manakh. His pursuit of these methods of nature protection ultimately placed him in a vulnerable position for denunciation during the 1937-1938 terror. 182 172 .”182 Just before the reserve staff moved out to the Chuna Tundra for their first winter on the reserve in 1930-1931. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. Unlike many leaders of the regional economy. 7 (2005-2006). no. “Khibinskii dnevnik. the result of several years of his labor. “”O. I. but challenges to maintaining a lack of industrial influence on the territory would continue.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik. The successful recovery of the wild reindeer population from near extinction and the ability to campaign for an expansion in the protected territory marked accomplishments for Soviet conservation. This notion not only contradicted the priorities of a rapidly industrializing O. will be ruined since the exploitation of one of these basic parts of the territory of the nature reserve will soon bring about the disappearance of the wild animal.184 Difficulties and Successes of the 1930s Over the first decade of its existence the Lapland nature reserve made considerable gains in its mission to restore wild reindeer. Semenov-TianShanskii recorded Kreps’s despair at the prospect that industrial activities would commence on the territory of the zapovednik: “The whole nature reserve. however. “Khibinskii dnevnik. Despite his public appeals to utilitarian rationales for conservation. I. For one thing reindeer simply did not stay within the confines of the protected territory. 183 Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. they learned of the discovery of valuable metal deposits by geologists in the nearby Monche region.much like to take up his offer. Though Kreps used the concept of inviolability in his initial plan for the reserve. Inviolability implied permanence in space and time. 184 Berlin. 1 (2004): 148. Parcels of untouched nature would be kept with minimal human interference. but both state pressure and ecological factors forced an abandonment of the ideal of it as an inviolable model of a natural system.”183 The scientists avoided this result by adjusting the reserve’s borders. 1 (2004): 139. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky. no. it was already under attack by the time of its creation. 4. no.

In 1936 Kreps also published an article in Soviet Regional Studies lauding socialist nature use as harmonious and planned. he asserted. “Domashnii i dikii olen´ v Laplandii. in September 1933. Kreps. his scientific research on herd interaction led him in the opposite direction.” Poliarnaia pravda (October 30. Berlin. Socialist economic development. Though he maintained an emphasis on the potential to hunt wild reindeer in the future. 3 (1934): 68-74.185 The vexed issue of acclimatizating exotic species served as the practical embodiment of this debate at the Lapland nature reserve. Since the early 1920s biologists working in the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture had been advocating for the introduction of North American muskrats to the northern realms of the country as means of expanding the hunting economies there. “wild reindeer are a good thing. 189 German Kreps. Based on his own observations and information from local Sami. maintained a rational place for wild nature. he moved toward seeing little economic benefit in keeping wild and domestic herds in proximity to each other. 4. Vasilii Kondrikov. Grazhdanin laplandii. In contrast to his initial claims about the benefit of preserving wild reindeer for the domestic reindeer economy.” Kirovskii rabochii (November 12. Weiner. 1935). op. 1935).” Leningradskaia pravda (April 27.188 Both projects represented departures from the original concept of inviolable protection. 1935). and GARF. which had lived in the region until some point in the nineteenth century. 97-100. 189 Kondrikov commented. 187 Berlin.186 Though they almost certainly opposed such species introduction to non-native ecosystems. l. but it also seemed inadequate to some zapovednik scientists who pointed out that the territories they were protecting were not in fact “untouched” but had also suffered anthropogenic influences that could be remedied. 31. Kreps and Semenov-Tian-Shanskii cooperated and released imported muskrats onto the Lapland reserve in 1931.” Sovetskii Sever.187 The acclimatization of beavers. “U bobrov poiavilsia priplod. received considerably more enthusiasm from zapovednik workers. 171-173. “Bobry v Laplandii. G. 186 185 173 . Kreps’s supposed reluctance to promote the economy evoked criticism from the head of the Apatit trust. Models of Nature.state. d. 1935). 164-193. 1521. Kreps. 109. Kreps’s understanding of reindeer ecology and proper restoration efforts became fodder for a campaign against him.” Poliarnaia pravda (September 11. Mikhailov. f. A. Grazhdanin laplandii. A-358. Models of Nature. Grazhdanin laplandii. but I should say that comrade Kreps with his wild reindeer should still be more Weiner. “Na Laplandskom zapovednike. G. 95-97 and “Amerikanskaia ondatra na Kol´skom poluostrove. no. 188 Berlin. unlike predatory capitalist development.

6 (Leningrad: NIS-NKTP Lenoblispolkom. E. “‘Arkhipelag Svobody’ na Murmane (vtoraia polovina 1920-kh—1930-e g. and T.” in P. 195 GARF. eds. This move allowed the reserve to hire more researchers. 2. f. A-358. 231.. I. Kondrikov. 19. conservation scientists employed a method to estimate populations that involved ascertaining the herds’ locations at different times of the year.concerned with practical issues. P. 32.193 During the 1930s. 3. op. 193 S.191 The author assailed the Lapland nature reserve’s research program for not prioritizing the study of lichen restoration in an area where there had been a forest fire in 1936 and accused Kreps of issuing “a call to exterminate wild reindeer. d. “Sostoianie i zadachi issledovatel´skikh rabot (Vstupitel´noe slovo). A-358. d. Vladimirskaia. 190 174 .. 25-26. V.” He based this attack on Kreps’s observations that wild reindeer contribute “to domestic reindeer going wild. 1937). reaching over 900 by the end of the decade. l. Grazhdanin laplandii. 2. Kreps was forced to leave the Kola Peninsula after being fired. vol. f. ll. 192 D.” and are not genetically unique from domestic reindeer. 10. finding the animals in tundra and forest zones. M. op. During the Second World War he worked making air deliveries to the front and got injured. Khibinskie Apatity: Itogi nauchno-issledovatel´skikh i poiskovykh rabot. op.” Kirovskii rabochii (February 9.”190 An exposé in the newspaper Kirovsk Worker about the Lapland nature reserve shortly after Kreps was fired in early 1937 emphasized the divergent understandings about the purpose of wild reindeer conservation. Kreps wrote to Charnoluskii in 1931 that it had already increased one and a half times. Shortly after being appointed as the director of the Central Forest Nature Reserve in 1944.194 Their results pointed to a steady rise in the number of wild reindeer.g. A-358. 194 GARF. Berlin. including three female scientists (M. V. Davydov.” “can disturb the work of rescuing domestic reindeer from gadflies and therefore are harmful in reindeer-herding regions. 95. Zhivushchie na Severe: Obrazy i real´nosti (Murmansk: MGPU.” in A.192 These troubles did not prevent the staff of the Lapland nature reserve from pursuing their agenda effectively. 2.195 The Lapland nature reserve also became part of the state system of zapovedniki of the Russian Republic in February 1935 and had its budget considerably increased. He was later buried on the territory of the Lapland Nature Reserve. f. I. Fersman. Pushkina. A. Kreps passed away. “Na beregu Chunozera. 110-121. 2006). Diuzhilov. Fedorov.). surveying track marks. 111. N. d. 30. et al. 32. ed. 1933).. The wild reindeer population on the western half of the Kola Peninsula quickly recovered. and distinguishing domestic reindeer that had mixed with a wild herd. but found another position at the Altai zapovednik. l. 191 GARF.

20-24. however. 19. d. f. 170. 32. d. op.”200 Postwar Troubles for Soviet Nature Protection Located near the Soviet border and sites of military activity during World War II. 52. 2. 2-7. op. 19. f. and to expand its research and cultural enlightenment programs to better meet state demands. op. 1940). stating “in connection with the increased numbers of wild reindeer and elk in the Lapland nature reserve. op. GARF. op. d. A-358. 2. op. 1. 28. 19. “V laplandskom zapovednike. 34. 28-36. 170. ll. Semenov-TianShanskii was the functional if not nominal leader of the reserve from Kreps’s departure in GARF. 2. f. 18-28. A-358. 200 GARF. A-358. Nasimovich. l. A-358. ll. 4. 2. 231. 1521. op. f. f. l. which sought to contract with the Leningrad Geological Administration to survey the Chuna tundra on the Lapland reserve for new nickel deposits. the behavior of wild reindeer themselves helped reserve scientists to expand the borders of the zapovednik in 1941. d. and GARF. 4 and GARF. A-358. 197 GARF. 1-18. l. 4. In 1951 the reserve faced liquidation as part of a nation-wide attack on zapovednik conservation. 9-11 and GARF. d. 199 A.000 hectares. 3ob-4. 231. d. the insufficiency of foraging resources led to the displacement of these animals beyond the border of the nature reserve into the regions of the Monche tundra. op. ll. f. 1521. 2. l. 19. 231. In 1939 the staff claimed to have discovered that the territory of the Lapland reserve was only 138. GARF. l. op. f. op. 45. the Lapland nature reserve lost a significant portion of its wildlife during the conflict.198 Semenov-Tian-Shanskii and other reserve staff used this information to campaign for an enlargement away from the new industrial center of Monchegorsk throughout 1940. l. A-358. the wild reindeer of the reserve began to roam in areas outside of the reserve’s borders. d.” Poliarnaia pravda (January 8. KF GAMO. 196 175 . 37. A-358. The operations of the reserve changed after it re-opened in 1957 to rely less heavily on the first-hand observations of Sami hunters. 2. and GARF. A-358. 2. d. where they are deprived of effective protection from poaching” and that the new boundaries are necessary for “promoting the propagation and preservation of wild animals that are valuable in economic and scientific terms. d. f. 198 GARF.197 On top of this miscalculation. This very year the reserve faced a threat from the Severonikel´ combine. d. as the population of the species again recovered from wartime devastation. f. A-358. 111.199 The official decisions to expand the zapovednik mentioned these reasons. f. ll.000 hectares instead of the officially sanctioned 200. A-358. 2. The effect of closing the Lapland zapovednik for most of the 1950s on wild reindeer remained minimal. d. op. 32. ll. 4.Nekrasova). f.196 Additionally.

f. state-sanctioned hunting of reindeer occurred on the territory of the Lapland reserve.”204 In the final years before liquidation. A-358. then they go in pursuit of them and scare away the herd. op. 203 GARF. 788. “Babinski and Ekostrovski. A-358.202 The shift from protection to aggressive hunting apparently also affected the psychology of the animals.”203 Years later Semenov-Tian-Shanskii remained upset with how this wartime hunting was conducted: “In the first year of the war the shooting began under the flag of supplying the Soviet army. During the Second World War. op.1937 until his death in 1991. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov. Wheelersburg and Gutsol. no. If one or two reindeer stay on the path. no. several conflicts arose that pitted the reserve scientists against other staff members and local reindeer herders. Semen Illarionovich. In February 1942 he wrote. “Wild reindeer now began to move very quickly. His father. l. f. d. owned approximately 100 reindeer and also suffered arrest and execution in 1937-1938. Pastoralists at the nearby Krasnoe Pulozero collective farm seem to have resented their exclusion from the land and resources of the zapovednik. d. 1 (2004): 6-7. they will go thirty kilometers and not eat but go straight. op. d. 1 (2008): 90-91. A Sami security guard named Artamon Sergin. 202 201 176 . f. 4.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. “Khraniteli prirodnogo naslediia.” Zhivaia Arktika. to plunder that which the nature reserve should have protected. 2. 1521. 4 (August 2003): 43 and GARF. 1 (2004): 7. A-358. 4. ll. 25. 21. d. l. Born in 1905. 1521. 4. 1521. op. who had worked at the reserve since its formation.” Arctic Anthropology 45.” Zhivaia Arktika. Makarova. 204 GARF.201 These attempts to supply venison to the front led to sharp declines in both domestic and wild reindeer in the western part of the Kola Peninsula. 7 and Berlin. no. “Khraniteli prirodnogo naslediia. Sergin came from a reindeer-herding family of the Babin pogost. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii accused the members of the Krasnoe Pulozero collective farm of poaching approximately 50 wild reindeer the previous year. 205 GARF. only the urge ‘to warm one’s hands’ did not disappear. described “the extremely alarmed behavior of wild reindeer” in his diary during the war. l. f. including Semenov- Berlin. With time this initial goal was forgotten. Returning to the Lapland reserve in 1949. 20-21. no. while scientists saw them as the main perpetrators against the area’s protected character. A-358. His thoughts and concerns during these tumultuous events of the postwar era reveal some of the moral motivations for this scientific conservation. If you frighten them away.205 Then in June 1951 one worker at the reserve wrote a denunciation about the scientific staff.

op. and mowing. fishing. A Little Corner of Freedom. A-358. op. 467. 1999). ll. 1 (2004): 153. 5. 208 Weiner. Weiner interprets this event as reflecting a “class antagonism” toward the scientists.49 rubles. 88-93.600. f. d.209 The revived Lapland nature reserve kept wild reindeer preservation as a key component of its mission. 128-129. 853. 32. They sent a panicked telegram to the head of the system. in 1951 Semenov-Tian-Shanskii and zapovednik director Ivan Chernenko earned more than double what security guards made (though Vladimirskaia’s salary was only 1835. 210 GARF. 2. f. In 1954 Malinovskii had joined a petition of reserve scientists to restore the Lapland zapovednik. 209 Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.207 The closing of the Lapland nature reserve was part of a new law that reduced the amount of territory under zapovednik protection in the Soviet Union from 12. setting up campfires. such as hunting. GARF. mushroom and berry collecting. op. A government decree from November 1957 included the Lapland nature reserve the first round of zapovedniki to be re-established. 3-4.000 hectares and eliminated 88 of 128 reserves. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii accounted for all of the wildlife they consumed and justified the ecological sensibility of such predation. A Little Corner of Freedom. Only a few weeks later. Indeed. 232.” Zhivaia Arktika. 206 177 . 125 and Valerii Berlin. to satisfy the needs of the reserve staff. less than two of the guards). A 1940 resolution defining the protection regime of the reserve specifically sanctioned otherwise prohibited activities. “Suprugi-uchenye. f. 1-3. Laplandskii gosudarstvennyi zapovednik. The official response sided with the scientists and pointed out that all reserve workers were entitled to fish for subsistence. 2. Weiner recounts how the leaders of the Lapland reserve heard rumors that their zapovednik was going to be liquidated while on a trip to Murmansk in August 1951. d. the reserve was shut down. GARF. d. A Little Corner of Freedom: Russian Nature Protection from Stalin to Gorbachev (Berkeley: University of California Press. A-358. 36. 7-8 and Weiner. This new policy broadly reflected a renewed ascendance of overtly instrumentalist methods of Soviet nature use that characterized the heightened influence of Lysenko. l. 125-126.206 The disgruntled employee complained that the scientists exploited the wildlife of the reserve to feed themselves and refused to share the fish they caught.000 hectares to 1.Tian-Shanskii and Vladimirskaia (who were now married). 207 Weiner.384.210 Douglas Weiner. the Lapland reserve became one of the first former zapovedniki to benefit from a surge in scientific activism in the immediate post-Stalin years. Aleksandr Malinovskii. 36. no. 258. A Little Corner of Freedom. ll.208 In part because of this seemingly deliberate deception. A-358. about the issue and received assurances that the Lapland reserve was not threatened.

which destroyed significant portions of lichen pastures. f. GARF. 1375. “Wild Reindeer of Kola Peninsula. Laplandskii gosudarstvennyi zapovednik . 3. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov.. A-358. 212 GARF. 3. and SemenovTian-Shanskii. Syroechkovskii. Weiner. Furthermore. [1975] 1984). ll. A-358. During this decade the wild reindeer population in the area boomed dramatically. or Protecting In the 1960s the staff at the rehabilitated Lapland nature reserve more assertively advocated policies that matched their interests.640 in 1967. I. 214 Makarova.Liquidation had an ambiguous influence on the environment of the Lapland nature reserve. 1011. ed. 55 and Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.212 This technique replaced the earlier practice of relying on the practical skills and knowledge of reindeer herders to count the animals after the Lapland reserve re-opened. op. 60. 62. d.214 The ways that emotion entered SemenovTian-Shanskii’s reactions to conflicts with herders and hunters suggest that his own sentient knowledge of wild reindeer was replacing a previous reliance on the insights of indigenous groups. no. 165. f. E. op. and O. A Little Corner of Freedom. op.” in E. ll. 224. 62-77. 1-3. Laplandskii gosudarstvennyi zapovednik. 4. Wild Reindeer of the Soviet Union (Proceedings of the First Interdepartmental Conference on the Preservation and Rational Utilization of Wild Reindeer Resources) (New Delhi: Oxonian Press. reaching an unsustainable 12. the population of the animal actually doubled or quadrupled during the period of liquidation. 211 178 . 1-29. 1521. d. Conservation scientists led a vocal campaign to reform hunting regulations on the Kola Peninsula and contributed to the closing down of the Krasnoe Pulozero collective farm during the agglomeration process. 4 (August 2003): 43. 213 GARF.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. A-358. Timber collection began in the region and supposedly an additional third of the forests in the area burned down.213 Hunting. f.211 The State Hunting Inspection also used a new method for counting reindeer that involved taking photographs of herds from helicopters. Laplandskii gosudarstvennyi zapovednik. d. Without the help of herders and the ability to get close to the herds it was nearly impossible to distinguish between wild reindeer and the domestic ones that had joined the group. in this analysis I emphasize that the dynamics of reindeer interaction belong in our explanation of the dispute between herders and conservation scientists. Semenov-Tyan-Shanskii. Herding. The conflict was not just an instance of elite abstraction and Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. l. Despite these ecological degradations and the claims of conservation scientists that wild reindeer now faced new threats.

219 GARF. op. the use of air counts to adjust the amount of hunting permitted each year. He argued for the need to shoot from one hundred meters away in order to not disturb the herd. op. f. ll. d. ll. op. “the most dreadful enemy of reindeer. op. ed. At a conference in Moscow in November 1960. 853. such as propagandizing a campaign to “exterminate ravines” in regions where these birds posed no threat and using helicopters to pursue large animals that could not be transported back from where they were shot. 59. op. d. 4. 1521. 5. but had a basis in incompatible environmental prerogatives. A-358. 3081.218 He claimed that up to 1000 animals of a population of 5400 could be killed a year. The willingness of reserve scientists to engage in political and economic debates manifested itself in a critique of hunting regulations. 3. 1521. GARF. insisted Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. 4. GARF. d. l. A-358. A-358. “is a useful predator up to a certain extent: exterminating sick animals and being an instrument of natural selection. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii lambasted an array of practices he found antithetical to a “rational” hunting economy. 250.216 The wolverine. d. l. the inclusion of domestic reindeer that joined wild herds within hunting quotas.. Many of his proposed regulations reflected a defensive disposition toward this species. ll. GARF. f. d. 71-72. it would be “barbarism” to shoot calves during their third trimester of pregnancy.” did not require eradication because they only occasionally preyed on the western population of wild reindeer and had mostly disappeared from the region in the postwar years. d. op. and Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.” in Syroechkovskii. f. Wild Reindeer of the Soviet Union. 8-12. 2. 12. 101. A-358. 216 215 179 . Semenov-Tian-Shanskii proposed a set of “rational” and “planned” hunting guidelines for them.219 The Lapland nature reserve also became embroiled in a quarrel with reindeer herders. A-358. GARF. f. 165. 83-89. 231. GARF. As he passionately explained this final point. 217 GARF. op. 1521. Wolves. A-358. op. “Wild Reindeer of Kola Peninsula. 32. 218 Semenov-Tyan-Shanskii. d. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii reported an incident in 1960 during which a group of GARF.”217 Since overall “only man controls the number of wild reindeer” and their population had grown considerably. 2. it is conducive to the maintenance of a viable population. A-358. 1-4. f. d. A-358. l.215 His approach to reindeer predators seemed intent on limiting human interference in fauna ecosystems. f. f. 4. and a prohibition on hunting during certain times of the year. Laplandskii gosudarstvennyi zapovednik. 71-72. 39. ll. 2. f.debasement of an indigenous group’s methods of nature use. ll.

the Krasnoe Pulozero was officially liquidated in 1964 and their reindeer were transferred to the Murmansk Experimental Reindeer-Herding Station. 5. 221 220 180 . 24. but instead of checking their earmarks to verify that they had belonged to Krasnoe Pulozero herders. A-358. f. 1. 1521. Between 1960 and 1962 zapovednik workers had discovered eight reindeer with earmarks indicating that they belonged to Krasnoe Pulozero. and GAMO.” At this point he already saw the Sami “reindeer herders of the Pulozero collective farm” as “the main poachers on the territory of the nature reserve in the postwar years. d. 57-58. f. 72-73. 23. R-955. Luk´ianchenko. 1521. 3.227 Episodes like this one often get interpreted as conflicts between elitist conservationists who hold romantic views of untouched wilderness devoid of human influence and native communities who long had depended on that local ecosystem for their livelihoods. A358. 226 GAMO. 224 GAMO. 2. 21-24.”226 These desperate measures of the herders came to naught. ll. d. d. 73. 1. 81 and GAMO. f. f. 2. op. 4. A-358. 5. f.225 After losing more reindeer during 1961. R-955.221 A group of herders entered the zapovednik with a reserve security guard and shot fourteen reindeer. f. 4. 2-3. d. 227 Murmanskaia olenevodcheskaia opytnaia stantsiia. GARF. 1521. 223 GARF.. ll. 1. op. 225 GARF. 4. l. GARF. f. l. “this entire incident must be regarded as poaching with the connivance of the very workers of the nature reserve. ll. op. 23. its members continued to insist that their animals had escaped to the zapovednik. A-358. 2. d. 1521.reindeer herders from the Krasnoe Pulozero collective farm received permission to check the zapovednik for some of their animals from the reserve’s acting leadership while he and the director were away on a business trip. the security guard covered up the matter. R-955. 75-76. ll. op. d. f. 1. op. R-955. 2. 1. op. After several years of planning. vol. op. op. d. d. f.”223 The Krasnoe Pulozero collective farm had recently lost a large portion of its reindeer in the late 1950s and did not seem to take these accusations very seriously. l. 75-76. The frequent dislocation of native groups from protected territories reveals the hierarchical power relations embedded in certain strands of GARF. op.220 The collective farm claimed that 400 of their domestic reindeer had escaped to the reserve. d. the Pulozero village council sought “to take all measures to retrieve the reindeer that had broken away and to fire in the regions of the Lapland nature reserve. A-358. d. Material´naia kul´tura saamov (loparei) Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XIX-XX v. 101. A-358. ll. op.224 On the contrary. 101. 2-3. f.222 An outraged Semenov-Tian-Shanskii declared. 4. ll. 222 GARF. l.

229 GARF. A-358. He outlined four divergent hypotheses about wild reindeer: they were going extinct and required special preservation measures.environmentalism. 4. 4. op. Environmentalism: A Global History (New York: Longman. d. and they did not exist but instead were domestic animals that went wild and have no particular value. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii attributed the ballooning of the wild reindeer population after World War II to the decline in reindeer herding in the western part of the Kola Peninsula. 2000) and Karl Jacoby.229 In a large report on the interaction of wild and domestic reindeer from 1963. who became complicit in supporting the Soviet state’s forced relocations. ll.228 This dynamic was certainly at play in the conflict between the Sami herders from Pulozero and the scientists of the Lapland nature reserve. for example. Crimes against Nature: Squatters. But there was validity to the concerns of zapovednik scientists about the potential for separate herds of wild and domestic reindeer to thrive in close proximity to each other. f. Scientists at the Lapland nature reserve first took advantage of newfound space in the Soviet public sphere to insist on the significance of See. 1521. they were a valuable resource that should be reasonably exploited.230 By setting up a contradiction between the potential harm that wild reindeer could have on reindeer herding and positions valuing their preservation. 230 GARF. 4. limiting the possibility for a large-scale herding economy and a vibrant wild reindeer population to exist in the same area. d. 75-80. l. The placement of the domestic reindeer under the auspices of another scientific organization that was more inclined to keep these animals separate from the wild population of the zapovednik appeared to satisfy the conservationists at the Lapland reserve. 1521. competition for lichen supplies became more intense and the animals grew dependent on pastures outside the Lapland nature reserve. A-358. Reindeer Conservation through the Soviet Collapse The efforts to protect wild reindeer on the Kola Peninsula in the final decades of the Soviet Union and the post-Soviet era overlapped with the rise of environmentalism as a global political movement. op. they threatened reindeer herding and should be exterminated along with wolves. 2001). Semenov-Tian-Shanskii expressed his views on the issue. he argued for favoring the needs of wild reindeer over the herding economy. Ramachandra Guha. During this period. Thieves. 228 181 . f. Wild reindeer and domestic reindeer do indeed compete for foraging resources. and the Hidden History of American Conservation (Berkeley: University of California Press. Poachers.

op.. 231.environmental issues in the late 1970s and 1980s. 32. Diuzhilov. Zhivushchie na Severe. 4 (August 2003): 43. GARF. f. Semenov-TianShanskii and his colleagues combined scientific and aesthetic appeals. “‘Arkhipelag Svobody’ na Murmane. l. and GARF. l.. 2. 111. d. In pushing a conservationist agenda in opposition to the nearby Severonikel´ combine during the late Soviet era. d. A-358. The price for this industry support was a diminished role in political activism. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov. including the wild reindeer population. In this new situation the Lapland nature reserve sought to reform its conservation strategies and ended up moving closer to industries it had opposed in the late Soviet era. no. Table 6. et al. op. A-358.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. 2. eds. cooperation with a multinational corporation enabled conservation scientists to more effectively protect and restore the ecosystem near the zapovednik. Reported Population of Wild Reindeer in the Western Part of the Murmansk Region231 Year 1929 1931 1937 1940 1948 1957 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 Wild reindeer population 99 150 415 935 380 1964 563 2168 4397 3688 3974 5793 5880 6117 12640 Year 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 Wild reindeer population 2280 9692 5506 6447 9756 7250 5400 3420 482 1234 545 101 288 100 180 Year 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Wild reindeer population 180 250 270 300 320 520 426 600 824 1000 1100-1150 1270 1370 500 200-300 The boom in the wild reindeer population lasted until the middle of the 1970s and then the number of animals in the territory in and around the Lapland nature reserve fell Makarova. The increased involvement of international organizations and the turn toward a new form of political economy began in the mid-1980s and took over in the 1990s. f. 95. Beginning in the 1990s. 231 182 .” in Fedorov. 25.

35-37. a nickel smelter to the northwest of the Lapland zapovednik. “Wild Reindeer of Murmansk Region. Reserve scientists used the decline in reindeer to launch a public attack on the Severonikel´ combine in Monchegorsk. 1980).” in Syroechkovskii. d. A-358. Wild Reindeer of the Soviet Union. without the protection efforts of the zapovednik it is quite possible that wild reindeer would have ceased to exist in this area. almost exactly the same as it had been when Kreps first made his desperate pleas for creating the zapovednik.232 The situation reached its nadir in 1981 when the wild reindeer count came up with a population estimate of 100 animals.precipitously. A Little Corner of Freedom. op. Syroechkovskii.” Pravda (October 10.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. the sulfur dioxide released from Severonikel´ had challenged the territorial integrity of the nature reserve by damaging trees on a fourth of the territory of the Lapland nature reserve by 1980. 2666. GARF. Severonikel´ released massive amounts of sulfuric dioxide emissions and other pollutants that visibly destroyed sections of local flora. 3. Wild Reindeer (Washington. 4. f. 235 GARF. A-358. 164. d. ed. op. 1-70. f. 170 and E. ll. 3096. The temporary downgrading of the Lapland reserve that made it a section of the Kandalaksha zapovednik in the 1960s did not seem to have affected its conservation efforts. op. Reserve scientists had long monitored the influence of this atmospheric pollution on the forest cover in the zapovednik and in the 1970s demonstrated that emissions from Severonikel´ were destroying lichen and mosses. However. ll. E.. The primary causes of this decline were that the quantity of lichen pastures degraded down to a quarter or a fifth of what they had been in the 1930s and 1940s and the increased hunting of wild reindeer. f. Wild Reindeer. 14-15. GARF. “Visit dym nad zapovednikom. In reserve documentation from 1966 Semenov-Tian-Shanskii gave a detailed description of the damage caused by sulfur dioxide emissions. no. 295-307. See 232 183 . DC: Smithsonian Institution Libraries.233 In response reserve staff helped re-ban wild reindeer hunting in the area. A-358. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov. Though Semenov-Tian-Shanskii had hoped to turn human predation into a technique of reindeer conservation. Kriuchkov. “Wild Reindeer of Kola Peninsula” and Zakharov. 14.234 Much of the population fluctuations after the 1950s that appear in Table 6 can be attributed to non-human factors of Kola political ecology. 3.235 Semenov-Tian-Shanskii and Vasilii Semenov-Tyan-Shanskii. In addition. 1995). the population bust required at least a decade of lichen restoration before a recovery of reindeer. and Weiner. which depended on an eventual restoration of overgrazed lichen pastures. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii and V. They feared that this environmental disturbance might threaten the recovery of wild reindeer. 4 (August 2003): 43. 234 Syroechkovskii. d. 1640. ll. 1-86 and O. 233 Makarova.

7 (2005-2006). “O. 8. accessed September 25. upwind from the Severonikel´ combine. They wrote. 7 (2005-2006). “a healthy natural environment remains a necessary condition for the normal development of human society. 237 A. 1980. no. I. 184 . Connected to the growth in production in the 1970s the forest withered at such a tempo that the nature reserve is just at the point that it might turn into the same sort of wasteland (pustynia) as the outskirts of Monchegorsk. Bragin. “a sword of smoke from the Severonikel´ combine already hung over the coniferous forests of the eastern part of the nature reserve in the 1950s. while removing already degraded lands near Monchegorsk from protection. the director of the laboratory of nature protection of the Kola section of the Academy of Science.”237 This conservationist advocacy achieved some notable success. insisted in a follow-up article in Polar Pravda. Indeed.”236 As another reserve scientist. transferring territory with destroyed vegetation out of protection speaks of an abiding desire to separate and isolate geographical spaces of conservation and economic activity. I. the wild reindeer population in the western part of the Lapland zapovednik gradually recovered and protests against the Berlin. citizen. 239 From the website of the Lapland Nature Reserve.238 In February 1985. researcher. “Visit dym nad zapovednikom. 238 Berlin.” Poliarnaia pravda (November 2.” Given that the “natural complex of the nature reserve has been ruined. citizen. 3. 1980). researcher. 2009.lapland. In the harsh conditions of the Far North this truth (istina) is especially apparent.” “it is necessary to increase its territory so that its landscape will fully serve as a model (etalon) of the primitive nature of the region. no. “O. “Sledy na snegu. 236 Semenov-Tian-Shanskii and Kriuchkov. A. 8. outlined their concerns in an article in the nationwide newspaper Pravda on October 10.Kriuchkov. http://www. the United Nations Educational. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky – naturalist. In 1983 the government nearly doubled the total territory of the reserve by adding regions to the northwest.” Pravda (October 10.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik. 239 Neither of these developments did much to shift the direction of increasing environmental destruction on the Kola Peninsula from industrial pollution during the 1980s.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik. Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the Lapland zapovednik as a biosphere reserve. However. 1980). Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky – naturalist.

Lithuania. and V. As an environmental institution the Lapland nature reserve has used its relationship with the Kola Mining and Metallurgy Company (Kola GMK). Red to Green: Environmental Activism in Post-Soviet Russia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1996). “The Formation of Tunka National Park: Revitalization and Autonomy in Late Socialism. 1993). 243 Katrina Z. this cooperation has led to it being less engaged in environmentalist politics than earlier periods.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik. However.241 A vocal oppositional stance of environmentalists in the perestroika years dissipated in the 1990s. researcher. 240 185 . Murman. Schwartz. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky – naturalist. Russian Environmentalism: Leading Figures. Opinions (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnyje Otnoshenija Publishing House. 244 Laura A.240 Since the Soviet collapse. 84-87. “Dlia zhizni net al´ternativy. reserve leaders reMakarova. Pozniakov. the passing of Semenov-Tian-Shanskii in 1990 affected local efforts as well. professional. Nature and National Identity after Communism: Globalizing the Ethnoscape (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. but they have been directed toward a multinational corporation.242 Yet. Also see Oleg Yanitsky. 241 Berlin. Following the Seville Strategy for Biosphere Reserves that UNESCO adopted in 1995. I. ed. S. 351-352.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. “O.” in G. to address the effects of industrial pollution on the protected territory.243 Laura Henry’s recent examination of post-Soviet environmental activism distinguishes among three types of organizations: grassroots. Ia. Bodrova. the maintenance of cultural and natural heritage through protected spaces became an officially sanctioned imperative with governmental and international support in many places throughout the former Soviet Union.244 The Lapland nature reserve could probably be classified as a corporate-affiliated organization in which similar hierarchical structures and dependencies as government-affiliated organizations exist. no. and government-affiliated. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov. Eco-nationalism: Anti-Nuclear Activism and National Identity in Russia. 7 (2005-2006). the tactics of conservation practiced by the Lapland nature reserve have changed dramatically. citizen. 2002).” Slavic Review 68.increasing industrial pollution became a focus in the anti-government social action that appeared during the final years of communism. It also has been able to embrace a more international disposition than some of the government affiliates Henry describes. 1 (Spring 2009): 50-69. 2010). Khibiny do i posle… (Apatity: Sever. Henry. and Ukraine (Durham: Duke University Press. Valerii Berlin. a subsidiary of Noril´sk Nikel´ and operator of the Severonikel´ smelter. no. 2006) and Katherine Metzo. 4 (August 2003): 43. 1999). Facts. 8. Beyond the multifarious factors that transformed Russia in this era.. Severonikel´ (stranitsy istorii kombinata “Severonikel´”) (Moscow: Rud i metall. 242 Jane Dawson. no.

4 (August 2003): 43 and “Nature Calendar.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik. The narrative moves to an explanation of the Severonikel´ combine’s production process and its history of pollution. During a conversation. “Biosphere Reserves: A Challenge for Biodiversity Conservation and Regional Development. 3-4. no. 245 186 . no. This source of funding has been especially important for the zapovednik because government allocations largely evaporated during the 1990s. Salatovyi affirms the historic and contemporary primacy Michel Batisse. 5 (June 1997): 6-15. winning Salatovyi’s approbation.envisioned the purpose of conservation by largely abandoning the principles of territorial isolation and seeking instead to find areas of common interest with societal. In apologizing for this unfortunate side effect. “Dikii severnyi olen´ Kol´skogo poluostrova v kontse XX—nachale XXI vekov. 31-33 and S. 5 (2003). a children’s book published in 2006 by Kola GMK depicts two children who search for Grandfather Frost’s missing reindeer on the Lapland reserve. 247 Makarova.” Environment 39. Under this system industrial enterprises have considerably reduced pollution of sulfur dioxide from their late Soviet peak and have committed to supporting ecosystem restoration. 5 (2003). “Benefits Beyond Boundaries. 246 Shestakov.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik: Year-book of the Laplandsky State Nature Biosphere Zapovednik. At one point they encounter Salatovyi.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik. while accepting funds from the companies responsible for continued pollution. no.” Nauka i biznes na Murmane. 5 (2003). The reserve also cooperates with the company’s campaigns to present nature protection as aligned with the interests of industry. Shestakov.247 In taking corporate money the Lapland nature reserve has also participated in a public relations effort of Noril´sk Nikel´ to depict itself as a green company.245 In practice this strategy has meant that the Lapland reserve has broadened in its focus on tourism and assisting regional development. the children apply the appellation “the main Guardian of Nature” to Kola GMK. 11. an environmental monitor working for Severonikel´. no. 3-4. no. “Benefits Beyond Boundaries” and “Our Partners. For example. 50-63. and industrial actors. Noril´sk Nikel´ has transformed the reserve by supporting tourist attractions like Grandfather Frost’s workshop and other efforts at educational outreach.246 It has allowed the reserve to continue its annual monitoring of the wild reindeer population and adopt new scientific approaches to wildlife management. governmental.

2004). classifications. while ethnic ordering.” as Bruce Grant has called it. And did they need copper? Very much so. expanded production. indigenous groups throughout the Arctic. have faced “common experiences” with “how various capitalist and socialist states claimed control over their lands and animals.249 Divergent desires and capacities for outside control and distinct political-economic ideologies led the organizational instruments of this modernization to vary.of industrial interests over environmental ones: “But what could have been done? Did people need nickel? They needed it. 2006).” in David G. reindeer. In the Soviet House of Cultures. Tainy Laplandskogo zapovednika: istoriia odnogo prikliucheniia (Monchegorsk/Moscow: Kol´skaia GMK. policy makers and outside commentators shared an abiding conviction that the Kola reindeer economy needed to be brought into the present. The advent of large-scale pastoralism. and conservation clearly operationalized high-modernist tactics of using abstractions. and environments during this transformative period. the participation of marginal social actors and non-human natural elements in knowledge production also helped define modern environmental politics on the Kola Peninsula. Cultivating Arctic Landscapes: Knowing and Managing Animals in the Circumpolar North (New York: Berghahn Books.250 The emergence of a traditionalist discourse through these modern reforms was one significant similarity uniting the Soviet Union and other states. the conservation efforts of scientists. 248 187 .”248 Conclusion Over the past century modernization has deeply influenced Kola reindeer and the people who interacted with them. 249 Grant. However. Variegated forms of knowledge affected power relations among people. Thus. and simplifications to enable elite rule. “Epilogue: Cultivating Arctic Landscapes. the resettlement of communities and animals to a few urbanized villages. 250 Mark Nuttall. 31-35. the establishment of an industrialized and collectivized reindeer economy. 200. During this “century of perestroikas.” especially reindeer. eds. Augmenting legibility with sentience points to the ways that modernization did not allow Gennadii Leibenzon. Both legible and sentient ecologies shaped the contours of the modernization of the reindeer economy. in Mark Nuttall’s words.. Anderson and Mark Nuttall. and the market reforms that shifted production toward international buyers all significantly transformed the economic relations between Rangifer tarandas and Homo sapiens.

188 .people to ascend over nature but instead radically reconfigured their relationships with the environment.

“Emissions from the Copper-Nickel Industry on the Kola Peninsula and at Noril´sk. Environmental Pollution and the Nickel Industry Monche is a Lapp word. shores. Scientists have observed that the high concentrations of nickel.” Ambio 23. Kashulina.. copper. 1935). streams. and other chemicals from the Severonikel´ combine in Monchegorsk and the Pechenganikel´ combine in Nikel´ and Zapoliarnyi increased the acidity of nearby freshwater lakes and streams and altered the chemistry of proximate soils. 2000 How and why did this happen? Why did a town serving the nickel industry in the far north turn into an environmental tragedy despite the efforts of urban planners and city managers to maintain its beautiful nature? Setting aside the propagandistic intent of Vorontsov and the ironic exoticism of Lonely Planet.”2 Lonely Planet: Russia. Russia. and damaged human health. C.1 Nikolai Vorontsov. Here there is a splendid mild climate. no. Our task is to preserve this exceptional nature of the region. “Acidification and Critical Loads in Surface Waters: Kola. and to create the conditions for people to relax. Lonely Planet: Russia. remarkable conditions for winter skiing and skating and for sailing and rowing in the summer. In Russian translation it means beautiful. Monchegorsk is pretty close. and valleys that are covered with splendid forestland of pines. Regardless of the specific process of environmental alteration. the mining and smelting of non-ferrous metals on the Kola Peninsula in the twentieth century heavily polluted local water bodies and soil. to create good conditions of life and work. 6 (December 2002): 451-456. et al. scientific studies concur that pollution from the combines has had a major impact. NW Russia. “Nikel´ na krainem severe. no. Tatjana Moiseenko. Ukraine and Belarus (Melbourne: Lonely Planet Publications. This truly is a beautiful region with rugged mountain ranges and an array of beautiful lakes. no. and D. decimated vegetation over large territories. 4. Reimann. Polar Pravda. Banks. 1935 “If you’ve ever had the notion to visit Hell. One study emphasizes that previous papers overstated the role of sulfur dioxide and another one notes a significant under-estimation of the amount of highly toxic nickel and copper emitted from the Kola smelters. 3-4 (August 2005): 216-226.” Atmospheric Environment 43. To an even greater extent than the apatite industry. and Valery Barcan. 2000).” Environmental Pollution 124. G. “Sulfur in the Arctic Environment (3): Environmental Impact. “Nature and Origin of Multicomponent Aerial Emissions of the Copper-Nickel Smelter Complex. 425. Ukraine and Belarus. “Changes in Soil Organic Matter Composition and Quantity with Distance to a Nickel Smelter: A Case Study on the Kola Peninsula.3 These processes caused 39. 1 (July 2003): 151-171 and Rognvald Boyd. Some recent studies point to alternative processes besides the acidification from sulfur emissions as exerting a greater impact on the Kola environment. no. 3 189 .” Environmental International 28. and birches. these sentiments reflect a genuine contrast between the hopes for the project and its long-term results. et al. Vorontsov.” Geoderma 127.Chapter 4. Ekaterina Viventsova. 7 (March 2009): 1474-1480. no. Northern Russia. sulfur dioxide. spruces.000 km2 1 2 N.” Poliarnaia pravda (May 9. 7 (November 1994): 418-424..

Another explanation turns to politics instead of economics. it was because their economic systems actually functioned under a similar logic as capitalist ones. Andreev. 2004). Northern Russia Due to Smelting Industry. 4 190 . 2000).. 1998). In direct opposition to this interpretation stand thinkers on the left and environmental historians who instead attribute contemporary environmental problems to the capitalist mode of production. L. Innes and J. including a claim by a Pechenga regional official. et al. Ivanov.” Ecological Applications 3. 5 V.of visible forest damage and 600-1000 km2 of full forest death in the areas surrounding the enterprises by the end of the century. Rautio and Andreev cite evidence for the increased incidence of health ailments in Nikel´. Russian Federation. V.” The Science of the Total Environment 229. In this analysis the predatory instincts of the authoritarian Russian state shaped a long legacy of reckless resource exploitation. Environment and Living Conditions on the Kola Peninsula (Oslo: Fafo Institute for Applied Social Science.4 In the 1990s a large number of children in Monchegorsk and almost half of the population in Nikel´ suffered from respiratory problems. While incorporating some insights from these three lines of thought. The efficiencies of capitalist economic systems would have avoided or at least would have been more apt to correct the environmental problems that appeared in communist countries. they also mention clearer results for Monchegorsk. Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti (Murmansk: Murmanskii gumanitarnyi institut / Barents tsentr issledovanii. Rigina and M. 56 and Erik Hansen and Arnfinn Tønnessen.” in J. The environmental consequences of the development of heavy industry emerged primarily from the pursuit of a form of economic modernization that united various political and O. no. this examination of the Kola nickel industry advances a different argument.. eds. An influential group sees the decision to industrialize regions such as the Kola Peninsula and the high levels of environmental pollution as pathologies of communist central planning. Though Hansen and Tønnessen discuss a study that could not establish a correlation between pollution and these health effects. A. 4 (November 1993): 622-630 and Olga Rigina. If people in putatively communist countries spoiled places like the Kola Peninsula. no. “Monitoring of Forest Damage in the Kola Peninsula. 37-65. that life expectancy in 1998 for workers within the smelting sections was less than 50 years. Also see Vasiliy Kryuchkov. Oleksyn. “The Impact of Air Pollution on the Northern Taiga Forests of the Kola Peninsula. Kozlov. Forest Dynamics in Heavily Polluted Regions (Wallingford: CABI Publishing. A. Rautio and O.5 But what then explains the trajectory to these inauspicious environmental and social results? Scholars have responded to this question in variety of ways. “Extreme Anthropogenic Loads and the Northern Ecosystem Condition. 3 (May 1999): 147-163. 121-123.

7 Jonathan D. the drainage of the Aral Sea. Soros.7 In one of the best-known and most evocative renderings of the consensus. Explaining the Soviet Environmental Legacy Research on environmental policy and performance in the Soviet Union has come to an overall consensus that results were bleak. and Philip R. Oldfield. See Marshall I.6 Modernization here refers both to an impulse to update contemporary conditions in order to overcome or avoid an imagined state of “backwardness” and a politically-chosen embrace of continual economic growth as the desired status quo.” The Journal of Environmental Development 4. MA: The MIT Press. Pollution became a particularly acute problem in the Soviet Union and human attempts to manage the natural world led to noteworthy disasters such as the Chernobyl catastrophe. 6 191 . I will first survey the alternative explanations in greater depth and elaborate the conceptual apparatus of this modernization thesis in the next section. 1972). Even recent re-assessments of the environmental legacy of communism that seek to temper somewhat this broad assessment acknowledge that destructive environmental practices existed in places like the Soviet Union. 2007). no. Pryde.” Russian Review 69. Zsuzsa Gille. In order to demonstrate my case. Goldman. Stephen Brain. Environmental Pollution in the Soviet Union: The Spoils of Progress (Cambridge. Murray Feshbach and Some of the earliest work on environmental issues in the Soviet Union discusses a similar interpretation. 1972). no. Within the context of twentieth-century modernization. and demonstrate the specific conjuncture of global processes and contexts in heightening environmental destruction in the late Soviet era. autarkic development. highlight how different facets of the alternative interpretations fail to account for the decisive developments in this industry. 1991). Russian Nature: Exploring the Environmental Consequences of Societal Change (Burlington: Ashgate. militarization. fluctuations in the global economy. Conservation in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. and Natalia Mirovitskaya and Marvin S. 1 (Winter 1995): 77-110. The remainder of the chapter will then investigate the development of nickel mining and processing from its beginnings in the 1930s to the end of the twentieth century. Pryde. Environmental Management in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1 (January 2010): 93-118. and the disruption of Lake Baikal. “Socialism and the Tragedy of the Commons: Reflections on Environmental Practice in the Soviet Union. “Stalin’s Environmentalism. From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. In these discussions I will argue for the significance of the continual effort to modernize as an overarching explanation for Soviet pollution.economic systems. 2005). Philip R. and the material influence of the natural world also affected the trajectory of the Kola nickel industry.

My understanding of Kornai’s theories has been facilitated by Katherine Verdery’s essay.”8 This historian disagrees with these scholars’ conclusion about the collapse. such as a focus on production over profits.Alfred Friendly Jr. which respectively stress the influence of communism. capitalism. and hiding capacities from higher authorities in order to assure that production quotas were met. 8 192 . I will explore the persuasive and unpersuasive features of three alternative interpretations. One line of analysis follows János Kornai’s theories of the shortage economy. Because resources got tied up in enterprises hedging their production capacities. The Environment and Marxism-Leninism: The Soviet and East German Experience (Boulder: Westview Press. but not with the image of the Soviet Union as environmentally ruinous. Kornai argued that socialist central economic planning suffered from several endemic problems. 1.10 Applying Kornai’s theories to environmental management. and What Comes Next (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1992). 1992). 1985). Environmental Policy in the USSR (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 19-38. environmental regulations pertaining to pollution or natural Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly. 10 János Kornai. “When historians finally conduct an autopsy on the Soviet Union and Soviet Communism. Ann-Mari Sätre Åhlander offers an explanation for the ineffectiveness of Soviet environmental protection measures. Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature Under Siege (New York: Basic Books. One of the most influential interpretations of the Soviet environmental legacy points to inherent deficiencies of the communist system. The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism (Princeton: Princeton University Press. “What Was Socialism. and inattention to market signals. Peterson. Ecocide in the USSR. 9 See Charles E. Troubled Lands: The Legacy of Soviet Environmental Destruction (Boulder: Westview Press. 1996). a lack of efficiency. shortages of needed goods and services brought about long-term instability in communist economies. Ziegler. Since they were a low priority in a context of hard budget constraints.9 Two more specific and synthetic schools of thought warrant further attention here. but on the whole highlights tendencies in communist economies to imperil environmental stewardship. and Why Did It Fall?. J. D. 1993). they may reach the verdict of death by ecocide. These authors offer a powerful critique of the functioning of the economy under state-socialism. This assessment encompasses an array of considerably diverse interpretations. Feshbach and Friendly. 1987). write. and Joan DeBardeleben. Before outlining what I consider to be the most convincing explanation for this outcome.” in her book What Was Socialism. It created an incentive for enterprise managers to engage in hording. substituting inputs. and authoritarianism.

the actual industrialization of the north occurred because communist planners ignored market signals that would have made its lack of economic viability apparent. By ignoring the costs of operating large-scale industries in the cold north and being willing to employ unfree labor.resource use affected smaller enterprises more than the larger ones that exerted a greater environmental impact. in a work informed by The Siberian Curse. Furthermore.11 Such impediments to environmental protection by economic actors do seem to be part of the puzzle that helps account for why enterprises like Severonikel´ and Pechenganikel´ continued to increase their sulfur dioxide emissions through the 1970s and 1980s despite their professed campaigns at pollution abatement. The Siberian Curse: How Communist Economic Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold (Washington. DC: Brookings Institution Press. 13 Hill and Gaddy.12 Hill and Gaddy extend their analysis to the Soviet environmental legacy by noting the striking overlap between the improperly developed regions they highlight and the most polluted cities in the country. Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy argue that the skewed economic geography that Russia inherited from communist mistakes presents severe and potentially intractable obstacles for the country’s future development. The Siberian Curse. 151-157. 11 193 . many smaller enterprises did not have technology upgrades available to them and larger ones were likely to use them inefficiently. Additionally. 12 Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy. to populate it as a means of exerting control over the territory.13 The proximity of the Murmansk region to European markets and the mollifying effects of the Gulf Stream current made it a more competitive location than other peripheries. 2003). In The Siberian Curse. 194-195. John Round and Vesa Ann-Mari Sätre Åhlander. and to meet long-standing military prerogatives as a Great Power nation that went back to the tsarist era. 1994). However. Another perspective on this issue takes a more geographic and historical approach to pointing out problems of the communist economic system. but the dynamic discussed by Hill and Gaddy is still seen in this region’s status as the most urbanized and industrialized Arctic territory. 58-79. Part of the motivation for this type of development came from deep-seated desires to use Siberia as a treasure chest. Environmental Problems in the Shortage Economy: The Legacy of Soviet Environmental Policy (Brookfield: Edward Elgar Publishing Company. Soviet leaders built huge cities in precisely the wrong places from an economic point of view.

Instead of highlighting communist ecocide. W. the apparently extreme levels of Soviet pollution were actually quite marginal in the longer term.Rautio note that the lack of concern about energy consumption and pollution levels from the Soviet era still influences Kola enterprises today.R. Many Soviet commentators on the environment shared this conviction in capitalism’s culpability for environmental problems. Industries and Populations from Murmansk to Magadan (Aleksanteri Institute. they point to the hegemony of the capitalist system in the modern world as the root cause of environmental calamities. 2008). and other worsening environmental issues—contradicts that view. 50-108. Moreover. However. A bird’s eye view of twentieth-century atmospheric pollution by sulfur dioxide. Vesa Rautio and John Round. they severely underestimate the effect that Cold War geopolitics had in straining communist economies and inhibiting their ability to adapt to environmental concerns. twentieth-century communist governments are usually taken to be too fundamentally similar to capitalism to constitute genuine socialism or are ignored in broad condemnations of contemporary political economy. eds.14 These analyses about the workings of communist command economies uncover much about the instabilities of the systems and the mechanisms through which their efforts at pollution abatement failed to achieve their stated aims. “The Challenges of Going Global: Industrial Development in Remote Regions. This interpretation of Soviet environmental degradation also rests on the untenable assumption that capitalist economies have somehow responded more effectively to environmental concerns. for instance. reveals a general pattern of deterioration until approximately the mid-1980s and then a trend of gradual improvement.15 From this perspective. regardless of the economic system of the country in question. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the TwentiethCentury World (New York: W. The ineffectiveness of efforts to mitigate climate change during the past two decades—not to mention the current bout of anthropogenically induced mass species extinctions. large-scale disasters like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 2000). Simplifying a nuanced field of interpretations. McNeill. Other scholars take the opposite approach.” in Vesa Rautio and Markku Tykkyläinen. but unsurprisingly were reluctant to equate their country’s economy with it. 14 194 . 15 J. the specific condemnation of communist systems implies that contemporary capitalism has solved or is on the path to solving environmental problems.. Russia’s Northern Regions on the Edge: Communities. Norton. 117.

Global Political Ecology (London: Routledge. Greenberg. and a group of green Marxist thinkers indict capitalism for environmental problems. Finally. and Immanuel Wallerstein. the transformation of nature into marketable commodities—create predictable paths for their exploitation. dependency theory. David Harvey. 1996). Immanuel Wallerstein. Social Movements (London: Routledge.” in Aletta Biersack and James B. Drawing on the eclectic influences of the Annales school. eds. Geopolitics and Geoculture: Essays on the Changing World-system (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reimagining Politcal Ecology (Durham. a number of prominent political ecologists.17 These scholars tend to have little to say on the experience of twentieth-century state-socialism. 2004). though temporally limited. “Reimagining Political Ecology: Culture/Power/History/Nature. 1991). The Urbanization of Capital: Studies in the History and Theory of Capitalist Urbanization (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Richard Peet and Michael Watts. a group of philosophers have struggled to gain Immanuel Wallerstein. World-systems Analysis: An Introduction (Durham: Duke University Press. scholars like Immanuel Wallerstein propose the existence of historically-situated and hegemonic world-systems that structure the political and economic order through class relations and geographic hierarchies. 1985).According to these scholars. 1996). 17 Eric R. Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Europe and the People without History (Berkeley: University of California Press. 2004). Justice. and Richard Peet. eds. 84-97. Additionally.. 2011).. 2006). 1982). Paul Robbins. The Capitalist World-Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. NC: Duke University Press. and the Geography of Difference (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. World-systems theorists.. Liberation Ecologies: Environment. 8-22. 45-52. Wolf. Nature. and Michael J. capitalism engenders environmental degradation because the logic of continual wealth accumulation by the elite classes requires that all limits on natural resource use must be overcome or circumvented through value producing inputs of labor and technology. 16 195 . 1979). Paul Robbins. A wide spectrum of neo-Marxist thinkers and environmental historians has embraced a form of this view. Aletta Biersack. the assignment of property values to elements of nature and their subsequent privatization—that is. 2005). eds.16 Neo-Marxist political ecology from the classic scholarship of Eric Wolf to the recently prolific works of David Harvey points to the variability of the capitalist mode of production and the contradictions that emerged as “nature” becomes a resource in the process of accumulation. Following this logic. Development. David Harvey. Watts. capitalist world-system. David Harvey. In his later writings he specifically attributes global environmental deterioration to this system. including those that plagued communist countries. Wallerstein places the Soviet Union as part of an omnipresent. and traditional Marxist political economy. A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press.

21 Worster. into thousands of ecosystems. Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature (New York: Monthly Review Press. Mary Tyler (London: Heretic Books. Natural Causes: Essays in Ecological Marxism (New York: The Guilford Press. The American “willingness to take risks for increased production has set a pace that other nations. 7. Rudolf Bahro.18 A number of environmental historians without avowed ties to Marxism echo the conviction that capitalism led to ecosystem degradation. Dust Bowl. 19 Donald Worster. 14-15. 5. who initially proposed that a culture of capitalism in the Great Plains of the United States during the 1930s caused the natural disaster known as the Dust Bowl.”20 Claiming that capitalism was the “decisive factor” in the United States’ “use of nature. a pioneer of the field. 1998). 1999). 1986). The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment (New York: Monthly Review Press. The Ends of the Earth: Perspectives on Modern Environmental History (New York: Cambridge University Press. The Greening of Marxism (New York: The Guilford Press. but more readily acknowledge the challenge that the Soviet experience poses for the viability of orthodox strands of Marxism in the contemporary world and urge new socialist movements to learn from the past. ed. 2000).” he extends the impact of this factor on agricultural development further. ed. trans. and Ted Benton. James O’Connor. 255-265. 18 196 . 96-101. Building the Green Movement. green Marxist philosopher James O’Conner insists. [1979] 2004). John Bellamy Foster.19 Elsewhere he speaks more broadly that since the mid-nineteenth century “the combined forces of human population increase and industrial capitalism have spread that vulnerability into the remotest corners.. Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (Oxford: Oxford University Press.”21 Though Worster takes caution not to efface local nuance.” in Donald Worster. In an attempt to address the unimpressive environmental record of state-socialism. The explicit treatments of Soviet environmental history by scholars who attribute environmental degradation primarily to capitalism bring us to the unsatisfactory elements of this explanation. “The Vulnerable Earth: Toward a Planetary History. 20 Donald Worster. 1996). “really existing socialism and capitalism were formed in interaction—often violent interaction—within John Bellamy Foster. such as the Soviet Union. he sees capitalism’s influence as worldwide. Foremost among them is Donald Worster. They share the conviction that capitalism has brought about recent environmental insights from the critiques of environmentalists and to revise and adapt Marxism to respond to ecological crises.. feel constrained to follow––just as less aggressive plains farmers have been led to emulate their more affluent entrepreneurial neighbors. 1988).

Natural Causes. his logic here applies equally to capitalism. no.” The Journal of Environmental Development 4. poisoned air and poisoned water we encounter today. points to deep continuities in Russian history relating to a pattern of authoritarian rule to account for the “treacherous patchwork quilt of poisoned lands. see Mirovitskaya and Soros. 257. For the sake of historical analysis we only have “really existing” capitalism and socialism and not their ideal types. Arran Gare more specifically contends that the Soviet “command economy continues the domineering orientation to people and to nature of capitalism in a more extreme form. Values and Concepts (Aleksanteri Papers 4/2005). In his comparative work.” Capitalism Nature Socialism 13. 99. For a comparison of the Soviet economy to monopoly capitalism. eds.”24 Weiner. 23 22 197 .. In this case the presence of authoritarian rule in Russian and Soviet history accounts for the lack of awareness of environmental issues in society and the ineffectiveness of constituencies concerned about environmental protection in exerting an influence on the central government. “The Environmental Record of the Soviet Union.”23 Though similarities between the central command economy and capitalist industry explain a good deal about the Soviet environmental record. 25 Douglas R. 1 (Winter 1995): 85. “The Genealogy of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Landscape of Risk. Weiner. communist China. Nazi Germany. for his part. state-socialist economies functioned in significantly different ways than market-based ones. 24 Paul Josephson. Capitalism Nature Socialism is a prominent green Marxist journal. “Socialism and the Tragedy of the Commons. Another series of explanations eschew a focus on economic systems and instead turn to politics. though they both also see Soviet environmental degradation as ultimately a multi-causal phenomenon. 209. 3 (September 2002): 52. Resources under Regimes. Douglas Weiner and Paul Josephson. Environment. 2004). no.”25 He posits that the country’s relationship to its natural resources has long suffered from the predatory O’Connor. and the State (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Understanding Russian Nature: Representations. Two of the most prominent environmental historians of Russia. Really existing communism cannot be reduced to an aberrant manifestation of global capitalism.”22 Yet. Arran Gare. Josephson turns to the predilection of authoritarian regimes such as the Soviet Union. Founded by O’Connor. Resources under Regimes: Technology. embrace a form of this thesis.and between each other during the 20th century.” in Arja Rosenholm and Sari Autio-Sarasmo. and military-led Brazil for “large-scale geo-engineering projects to alter the face of the earth and its rivers” as means of explaining their “great impact on the environment.

OH: Ohio University Press.. 1998). 209-236. States with ostensibly democratic political systems have had at best only marginally better success with addressing environmental problems. For an earlier discussion of Nazi conservation.. an increasing control over nature (including human nature) commensurate with scientific understanding of natural laws. Josephson’s comparisons help draw out some of the distinct environmental practices of authoritarian regimes. and Thomas Zeller. large-scale projects only constitute one sphere. As I use it in this dissertation. 27 See Franz-Josef Brüggemeier. not least. social. 2005). communists. see Douglas Weiner. “The Genealogy of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Landscape of Risk. 89-90. modernization means both a process of economic. Marc Cioc. However. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven: Yale University Press. the development of scientific and technical knowledge.” Journal of the History of Biology 25. How Green Were the Nazis? Nature. Instead of narrowing in on the putative uniqueness of Russia (like the communism and authoritarianism explanations do) or eliding the distinctions of the Soviet economy (like the capitalism one does).practices of a militarized tribute-taking state that first appeared with the Muscovite tsar declaring all land his patrimony and continued into the Soviet and post-Soviet eras. we should turn to another basic process—modernization— to understand pollution in the Soviet Union.”28 Many powerful capitalists. Understanding Russian Nature. and. 3 (Fall 1992): 385-411. albeit a prominent one. Environment. the growing satisfaction of human needs. Indeed. But seeking the answers in notions of patrimony and exploitative tribute-taking of natural resources diminishes the significance of the fact that the “poisoned” landscape was a product of twentieth-century economic transformation and not simply the result of a centuries-long process of environmental degradation. and Nation in the Third Reich (Athens. Weiner. 28 James Scott. “Demythologizing Environmentalism. eds.” in Rosenholm and Autio-Sarasmo. no. and technological changes that first emerged with nineteenth-century industrialization and a broad ideology of progress that motivated such transformations and appealed to actors of varying political stripes.27 Weiner appropriately highlights continuities that extend from tsarist Russia to the Soviet and post-Soviet periods.26 These political approaches only account for part of the problem. James Scott sums up the high-modernist ideology as “a supreme self-confidence about continued linear progress. eds. 26 198 . the Nazis may have possessed a better environmental record than nonauthoritarian polities. the expansion of production. of environmental disruption. the rational design of social order.

Techno-Politics. the non-human. Modernization entailed industrialization and a transition from gradual and intermittent economic development to rapid and continual growth. and democrats shared this ideology and struggled to remake the world according to its precepts. Timothy Mitchell touches on a tendency in scholarship that interrogates the relationship between knowledge and power to bracket off materially relevant subjects: “Demonstrating that everything social is cultural left aside the existence of other spheres. Mitchell proceeds to attempt a further theoretical dislodging of the real. It reassembled human relations with nature in ways that could be neutral or even positive for the environment. But we also need to be attuned to the material changes brought about by the pursuit of it if we want to understand how it affected human-environment relationships. I argue that we need to begin our understanding of modernization in a quite traditional way. economic growth. Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press. I depart from him here in that I see the problem with constructed knowledge of the sciences and social sciences to rest solely on the unacknowledged ways they affect power dynamics in a given society. This cultural element rests at the base of modernization and in an important way renders the entire process illusionary. It benefited many humans by raising levels of consumption and enabling previously unimaginable lifestyles. This global process produced variegated results. the remainder or excess that the work of social construction works upon—the real.authoritarians. However. technological change. 29 199 . but very often had a destructive impact. It is also the case that on a geologic timescale of millions of years anthropogenic influence on the earth may seem less significant. Rule of Experts: Egypt. and the more than quadrupling of the human population since 1900. A major lesson from environmental history scholarship is that humans have only imagined nature to be pristine and untouched. the natural. but in actuality we have modified the environment extensively throughout our existence as a species. none of these facts should obscure the unprecedented changes to the land brought about by twentieth-century industrialization. 2002). These developments occurred in various political and economic systems in many countries. 2. urbanization. I remain convinced that the forms of analysis that Mitchell dismisses as “hypothetico-deductive logic” still are some of our best tools for understanding the realm of the real. while creating the conditions for a greater number of people to live in abject poverty than at points in the past.”29 Sharing Mitchell’s concern but not accepting all of his solutions in this case. The case of Timothy Mitchell.

however.” Depoliticization. The word “modernization” also indicates the political side of the process better than other terms such as development. the term “modernization” operates as lexical shorthand for the diverse and numerous projects outsiders have imported into northern Russia’s local contexts. communists in the Soviet Union. animals. As Niobe Thompson put this aspect of the definition of “modernization” in his ethnography of post-Soviet reform efforts in Chukotka: Unexamined. See James Ferguson.30 The social. By turning to modernization to explain Soviet pollution. economic. The need for updating repeats itself continually. created as means of achieving Soviet modernity. and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. “development” in particular came to have allegedly apolitical connotations while always being tied to inherently political projects. I put these terms in quotations here to underscore that they depended on cultural perceptions and historically produced forms of knowledge that were infused with power. 30 200 . belongs to a much larger story of economic modernization. Under scrutiny. “modernization” pulls us toward its origins in an evolutionary paradigm. Settlers on the Edge: Identity and Modernization on Russia’s Arctic Frontier (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. also fall prey to the evolutionist logic and become part of a “backward” terrain requiring postsocialist modernization. one that attaches to the imported manager a modern status and situates the local way of life further down on a single continuum of progress. and landscapes that might occupy a territory. industrialization. therefore. 31 Niobe Thompson.31 The evolutionary thinking of groups promoting modernization marginalizes local human ways of life by positing progress as the transformation of these livelihoods. and environmental changes that occurred under the rubric of modernization consciously aimed at creating an avowedly “modern” world that would escape the “backwardness” of the past. even the industrialized landscapes of Monchegorsk and Nikel´. The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development. The classic declensionist narrative In the second half of the twentieth century. but seek to bring together elements of these paradigms less typically interwoven. for instance. 21. So. I therefore embrace quite conventional interpretations of environmental deterioration. and reformers in the 1990s who saw the contemporary conditions of the country as somehow behind the times. it doubly does so with the plants. Modernization was a political project that united technocrats in late tsarist Russia.environmental degradation on the Kola Peninsula. and economic transformation. 2008). whether in the Soviet era or more recently. 1990).

See Robbins.of industrialization harming the environment still has analytic salience and the nuances of the process should not distract us from recognizing this trend. Many scholars who follow the cultural critique of modernization as ideology resist accepting this appraisal of the material consequences for the natural world. finally. In particular. I will frame the discussions of various developments around how they fit or do not fit into the different explanatory paradigms just reviewed. these thinkers occasionally distrust the scientific discourse behind claims that industrial economies cause environmental disturbance. Nor should the promises of sustainable development mask the contradictions between economic growth and ecosystem health. the decisive role of military prerogatives in industrialization. Political Ecology. This paragraph refers to more scholarship than I can cite in a comprehensive footnote. and the variegated effectiveness of communist and capitalist pollution abatement strategies all speak to the centrality of modernization in the environmental consequences of the Kola nickel sector. 32 201 . but am equally convinced that we must turn to critical theory about modernization and the environment to understand power dynamics and thus the causal forces behind anthropogenic change. Paul Robbins’ synthesis of debates about these issues in the field of political ecology helped me think through my agreements and disagreements with other scholars who have addressed similar problems. This approach.32 I rely on science as the best means we have for comprehending the natural world. I will show that this modernization thesis best accounts for the environmental results of industrialization in the far north and leaves adequate room for both the uniqueness and commonalities of the Soviet developmental trajectory. the attempt to combine autarkic development and use of the region as an extraction periphery during the 1930s. Furthermore. helps us appreciate the ways that the natural world itself can be involved in the generation of pollution. the futile attempts to continue economic growth through expanded production in the 1970s and 1980s. since they tend to question the existence of universal knowledge and seek to dislodge the nature-society dualism. The remainder of this chapter examines the Soviet environmental record through a case study of the metal industry on the Kola Peninsula. In part they are reacting against the neo-Malthusianism of some of the original advocates of such a stance and the quasi-authoritarian political solutions sometimes proposed.

I examine the particular manifestations of familiar elements of the industrial experience already elaborated in this dissertation: the environmental ideologies and motivations for development behind the project. and fish—and not as a region for the development of productive forces. while itself rooted in a deep history of technocratic statist thinking and planning in the pre-Soviet era.Soviet Autarky and Nickel in the 1930s Stalinist political economy. An impulse to combine regional modernization with the extraction of natural resources was at the heart of industrialization of the 1930s. as I argued earlier in this dissertation. The development model. put it under their control. 1938). The mutual pursuit of these contradictory goals continued to shape the establishment of the nickel industry on the Kola Peninsula during the 1930s. furs. Economic planners and enterprise leaders sought to subdue the natural world. As one newspaper article in the midst of the construction of Monchegorsk and the Severonikel´ plant put it: “On par with other so-called backward regions of the eastern part of Russia. the multifaceted ways that interactions with the real environment did not occur entirely on Soviet planners’ terms. Responsibility for post-Stalinist pollution cannot be exclusively attributed to regionally and nationally constituted modes of autarkic development. the Kola Peninsula existed for autocracy only as an object of predatory exploitation of natural resources—forests.”33 This modernist imperative to overcome backwardness lies at the foundation of the introduction of non-ferrous metallurgy into 33 “Zemlia Kol´skaia. and the exacerbation of human-produced vulnerability to natural calamities for the forced laborers sent to build the nickel works. combined a hasty and militaristic approach to development with an unrealized desire to create harmonious natural habitats for humans. 2-3. 202 . This discussion of the rise of non-ferrous metallurgy on the Kola Peninsula highlights the contours of this autarkic modernization from the discovery of nickel deposits in the Monche tundra in 1929 to the commencement of production in 1939. afforded the state political legitimacy as ostensibly distinct from the tsarist era. and extract value from it. but they also viewed the entire project of large-scale regional development as part of a holistic venture that would produce environmental harmony.” Poliarnaia pravda (May 12. I also demonstrate that the effects of pollution on the physical landscape remained moderate compared to what came later.

this region. Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti. Nickel exists in comparative abundance among elements in the earth. 36 Karl Polanyi. the Soviet state was responding to an altered global economy: “Socialism in one country was brought about by the incapacity of market economy to provide a link between all countries. 2009). Hill and Gaddy mistakenly attribute this strategy of attempting to develop industrial self-sufficiency to Marxist ideology and the government’s hostility to markets. The expansion of Canadian mining activities in the Subarctic paralleled Soviet development and an international consortium of firms sought to begin working the nickel in the Pechenga region (Petsamo) while it was under Finnish control in the 1930s. 12-13. 256. However. As in all mining and processing activities. The tsarist government first established Hill and Gaddy.”36 The Soviet Union did not acquire a nickel industry until the 1930s. These deposits come in two types: silicates that appear at central latitudes near the surface and sulfides mixed with copper and cobalt that primarily occur deeper underground in northern regions. The focus on productive forces instead of marketable commodities speaks to the limit of the capitalist process of the commodification of nature in explaining Soviet economic development. the first step in the creation of a national industry was the discovery of deposits. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston: Beacon Press. The Siberian Curse. this longing for the harvesting of local productive forces also reflected one of the major insights noted by Gaddy and Hill: Soviet economic development attempted to create the equal geographic distribution of industry irrespective of costs and markets. what appeared as Russian autarchy was merely the passing of capitalist internationalism.34 The motivation for Soviet autarky and a modicum of evenness in the geography of development explains a good deal about the scale of industrialization on the Kola Peninsula. The desire to convert nature not into exploited resources but transformative production indicates a significant feature of environmental thinking in the Stalinist era.35 Furthermore. 83-87 and Rautio and Andreev. 35 34 203 . the urge to extract metals from the ground was common among countries with far northern regions. [1944] 2001). however areas with high enough concentrations of the substance for efficient extraction are relatively rare. But as Karl Polanyi noted in the 1940s. The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. In a sense. Liza Piper.

and Arthur W. Soviet geologists only discovered the sulfide nickel deposits on the Kola Peninsula as Stalinist industrialization of the region commenced. I. 1980). Semenov-Tian-Shanskii. but ceased this venture and relied exclusively on importation after French colonialists began marketing nickel from New Caledonia. 1983). which was partially intended to establish the borders of the new Lapland nature reserve.” 1999). Adams. no. beginning production in the fall of 1934.” [1940] 1969).” Monchegorskii rabochii (April 7.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai. 223. d.39 By this point the enormity of the sulfide nickel deposits in the considerably more remote Noril´sk region became clear.41 The confident chief of the Leningrad Communist Party. Rikhter. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.. Markova. and A. Wright. Brusilovskii and N. in contrast.” Monchegorskii rabochii (October 30.” in Robert G. Severonikel´ (Stranitsy istorii kombinata “Severonikel´”) (Moscow: GUP Izdatel´skii dom “Ruda i metally. Theodore Shabad. Sergei Kirov. 1-2 (1933): 55-58. Pozniakov. 1. 41 GAMO. 1983). Ia. Fersman. 39 G. “Pamiati Rikhtera. He Russell B. 1. 1977). E. 773. 40 Andrew Roy Bond.nickel mining and processing in the 1870s at silicate deposits near Ufal in the Urals. 6. “Chest´ otkrytiia: vospominaniia pervoprokhodtsev. and intensified the search for new deposits within the country. 54-61. 38 V.38 Nickel possessed a variety of economic uses predominately as a substance in the metallic alloys needed for heavy industry and defensive armor. 2. 536-541. D. Vospominaniia o kamne (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo “Nauka.40 The surveying of the Monche tundra over the next few years. 165-172. raised doubts about the levels of nickel and copper there and delayed any development project.37 With the industrialization push of the first fiveyear plan. “Magnetity Kol´skogo poluostrova. 171. d. I. l. eds. On a small expedition with German Kreps to the Monche tundra to the west of Lake Imandra in the summer of 1929. Chemical analysis showed that this magnetic ore indicated the presence of nickel in the area and inspired further systematic study of the territory. 4. 37 204 . remained interested in the substantial iron deposits also being discovered in the Monche region and ordered additional research. 98-118. Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2 and O.. The move to establish a nickel sector within the country fit with some of the main prerogatives of Stalinist industrialization: the reduction of imports and creation of economic self-sufficiency. “Noril´sk: Profile of a Soviet Arctic Development Project” (PhD diss. op. 773. “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union. ll. f. geographer Gavriil Rikhter took a sample of rock that caught his attention by making the arrow on his compass move. op. f. GAMO. 19. Jensen. the Soviet Union returned to processing the nickel in Ufal. These goals also promoted a favorable atmosphere for the exploration of new nickel sources within the country.

state economic planners sought to coordinate the extraction and processing of different regional resources to serve the centrally planned economy.. “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´” (period do nachala velikoi otechestvennoi voiny) v g. Razumova. In the case of the Kola Peninsula. A.000 tons during that year. f. 1. These spheres of interest within the industrializing state shaped debates over natural resources and the geography of economic development. which had relatively low concentrations of nickel.” in V. 1999). 130-135 and GAMO. 84-88. surveying work sponsored by the Apatit trust and central agencies helped lead to a drastic increase in confirmed quantities in three of the deposits (Niuduaivench. 44. Though regional representatives consistently requested greater allocations and attention to their territories. “there is no land under Soviet power that cannot be changed by skillful hands for the benefit of humankind. 773. P. who focused on shifting the trade balance to minimize imports and maximize exports and growing the economy aggregately. with the hubristic words. 773. who supervised much of the geological exploration in the region. 33. The move to build a nickel smelter and a new socialist city in the Monche tundra reflected the approach to autarkic development taken by the industrializing Stalininst state.000 tons to 50. d. Noril´sk. Petrov and I.43 Changes in the global economy and the expansion of confirmed nickel reserves in the Soviet Union affected the decision to invest in the industry. ll. An arena of compromise and conflict existed between central planners. Monchegorske Murmanskoi oblasti.”42 This impulse to use all elements of the mineral ores influenced industrial projects in the 1930s quite considerably with contradictory environmental consequences. f. into an intermediary matte that required additional processing. and regional leaders. 45 A. op. d. 44 GAMO. Vospominaniia o kamne. The total amount of confirmed metallurgic nickel there rose from 10. Sopchuaivench. eds. technicians in Leningrad figured out a method for enriching the ore from Niuduaivench and Sopchuaivench. 11-17. and Kumuzh´ia) of the Monche region during 1934.reportedly attempted to encourage an uncertain Aleksandr Fersman. op. 59. Eremeeva.45 The simultaneous decision to manufacture nickel at three new plants in Orsk. ll. Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe (Apatity: Kol´skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. James Harris highlights this dynamic in The Great Urals: Regionalism and the Evolution of the Soviet System (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 43 42 205 . and Monche in the spring of 1935 indicated that central authorities came to view the industrial development Fersman. A. 1. 2004).44 Shortly after. who desired local development.

1963). Bond. Severonikel´. Regional input still informed the process significantly. 773.50 This directive stipulated that the enterprise should produce 3000 tons of nickel and 3000 tons of copper by the end of Simon Ertz. f. Sergo Ordzhonikidze. 41-60. d. 773. Nickel: An Historical Review (Princeton: D. Pozniakov. l. 1. GAMO. Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy.47 The creation of new Soviet nickel plants also connoted an intended. eds. op. 1. ll. Gregory and Valery Lazarev. 33. 1. 46 206 . d. 19-25. Howard-White. op. 201-206. 157-174. d. A. f. The Economics of Forced Labor: The Soviet Gulag (Stanford: Hoover Institute Press. 1935 that proposed the initial timetable and budget for the project. 51. 773. to expand its international operations. d. F. 1. “Building Norilsk. 32. d. though poorly implemented. ll. 157-196. For instance. Vasilii Kondrikov. 1. “Noril´sk. Nikolai Vorontsov. l. 773. Iazykov to the boss of the NKTP. 540 and “Nickel: Industry Prospering in Peace-Time but Would Sell More Metal during a War.46 They also responded to the move of the International Nickel Company (INCO) of Canada. Shabad. 128-137. wrote a letter with V. 50 GAMO. 70-79. to head the construction of the plant. 49 GAMO. at least on the Kola Peninsula. 34. 523. 34. This extension abroad by INCO included beginning to set up nickel mining and smelting operations on a comparable scale in the Petsamo region of northern Finland in 1934. op. 1935 closely resembled this proposal with only a slight budget cut and the appointment of another administrator from Apatit. GAMO. op.” 117118. 773. d. ll. B. Van Nostrand Company.49 Ordzhonikidze’s order to commence the nickel works on April 29.48 Far from being a manifestation of the obliviousness of communist economies to market forces. op. f. a territory that became Soviet Pechenga after World War II. f. ll. 2003). the lower transportation costs of a smelter on the Kola Peninsula compared to Noril´sk influenced the decision to build a large one there despite less significant nickel deposits in the region. 48 GAMO..” in Jensen. 194. which owned 90% of the known nickel reserves worldwide in the early 1930s and held monopoly power.. on March 26. the enlargement of the Soviet nickel industry at this stage responded to developments in the capitalist world. effort to coordinate the industry so that it could benefit from the cost advantages of economies of scale. 59.” The Wall Street Journal (September 23. which was growing rapidly after a steep decline in the 1920s. 5.” in Paul R. f.of this sector to be a national priority irrespective of regional lobbying. 47 Adams. 195. Soviet officials chose this time for development partially in response to an upsurge in the global nickel market. 51. 1. the head of Apatit and Severonikel´ at the time. op. 773. f. eds. 1935). “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union. and GAMO. and Wright.

” Poliarnaia pravda (May 9. this technocratic holism also fit into a broader trend surrounding large-scale modernization projects. For centuries no one came here. Poliarnaia pravda (March 14. 54. Vorontsov. 1936). Though such thinking was routinely posited as having communist credentials. Quoted in Mitchell.1937 and 10. “Nikel´ na krainem severe. 53 N. Severonikel´. human activity. 2. And now the Monche tundra is unrecognizable. While there was less fanfare surrounding the construction of Monchegorsk as a socialist city than there had been for Khibinogorsk (a reflection of national trends and the Ordzhonikidze’s order is reprinted in Pozniakov. and the Making of Modern Germany (New York: W.000 tons of each by the end of 1938. the individuals involved in planning once again espoused the idealistic visions of a new socialist city in which workers would live in harmony with their natural surroundings and attempted to implement this scheme. 1936). 4. 1938). High mountains surrounded the tundra and no one knew what resources they stored. 1936). Poliarnaia pravda (May 12. Also see Josephson. engendered a beautiful landscape. 22. 2. 23.”52 These environmentally colonialist ways of thinking envisioned nature as serving humans peacefully and passively.51 In this instance the center listened to the regional representatives’ assessment of their capacities to modify nature into economic products. Rule of Experts. and not untouched nature. Resources under Regimes and David Blackbourn. Poliarnaia pravda (November 18. Severonikel´. It became actually beautiful. German author Emil Ludwig described the function of the Aswan Dam on the Nile River around this time: “A mighty element had been tamed by human ingenuity so that the desert should bring forth fruit. But the Bolsheviks came and figured out the secrets of the mountains. So far this beauty consists not in constructed factory buildings and not even in avenues and squares. 1935). 52 51 207 . an achievement which the centenarian Faust had attempted as the highest attainable to man in the service of his fellow-men. Poliarnaia pravda (November 7.54 In this rendering. The Conquest of Nature: Water. 35. Vospominaniia o kamne. but often eschewed outright antagonism. 2. 2.53 One newspaper article in November 1936 evoked the notion of humans completing imperfect nature: It was wild uninhabited tundra. 1936). As the project proceeded. and Fersman. For instance. Pozniakov. 54 Poliarnaia pravda (November 18. 2006). This beauty is in the great creative work that the Bolsheviks began and persistently undertake. W. 2. Landscape. Norton. project leaders decided to call the new city Monchegorsk and frequently pointed out that “Monche” meant “beautiful” in the Sami language. In the case of the Kola nickel industry.

Severonikel´.”57 Urban planners also took into account an additional element when choosing the location for the city besides the typical considerations of the optimal arrangement for industrial and municipal structures. 55. 53. op. A.” in Petrov and Razumova. 275-276. the means of supplying water and sewer service. Kiselev. f. dust. 1961). though noteworthy. achievements in generating harmony with the local environment during industrialization contrast with the situation at the worksite. A. Claiming to have learned a lesson from his experience in the Khibiny. ll. eds. 34. 44. l.. 56 Pozniakov. 126-127. d. In the Fight for Nickel. 229. op. Pozniakov. 1. Severonikel´. d. “In the summer the city will be engrossed in the greenery of forests. d. 31-32.” Monchegorskii rabochii (September 11. sought to design the city in this direction by including green belts along the main boulevard and maximizing the views of the mountain relief. Monchegorsk (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo. P.” in V. “Boi za nikel´: Vospominaniia I. Pozniakov. 87-95. A. 1. 58 GAMO. and transportation issues. It will be a garden-city. 65-66. Razumova. “Formirovanie gorodskoi sredy i prostranstvennogo obraza Monchegorska. f. GAMO. 35-37. 34. 59 GAMO. 44-46 and A. 2006). Severiane: Problemy sotsiokul´turnoi adaptatsii zhitelei Kol´skogo poluostrova (Apatity: Kol’skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. project leaders took more practical measures to implement this holistic vision of nature in an urban environment. Petrov and I. “Formirovanie gorodskoi sredy i prostranstvennogo obraza Monchegorska. 157-174. d. V.59 This move succeeded in helping preserve the green spaces within Monchegorsk in later years even as pollution decimated vegetation to the south of the factory. ll. d. op. 1. 167-169. 18-19. 35. Eremeeva. the local Monchegorsk newspaper. Kondrikov ordered that the old growth forest within the city itself be preserved and turned into a park. 1. 3-4. Local Murmansk historian Aleksei Kiselev A. GAMO. 62. The massive reliance on forced labor.56 Applauding these efforts. op. eds.. f. ll. 773. 55 208 . op. 1. 1. and sulfur dioxide emissions would blow away from the residential areas. f. 87-95. Severonikel´. 1986). and GAMO. 57 V boi za nikel´ (May 1.58 They decided to place the city upwind from the smelter facility so that the smoke.55 The main architect of Monchegorsk. Sergei Brovtsev. l. Monchegorsk (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo. Kondrikovoi-Tartakovskoi. Gladkov. 34. 773. exclaimed. A. d. and Eremeeva. f. 186. and GAMO. chaotic planning. 773. 1937). Even the freely recruited laborers first moved into crowded and unsanitary tent settlements. 773.move away from the cultural revolution of 1928-1931). op. and the intractability of nature once again produced abysmal conditions for those unfortunate enough to live near the site of the new socialist city. l. Severiane. 1986). f. These relatively minor. L. 773. 23. 773.

36-37. Also see “Boi za nikel´: Vospominaniia I. 696-700. op. ll. paled in comparison to nature’s influence on the humans living there. however.65 From the very beginning of the project.60 In part due to the destructive influence of blizzards.recalled how an epidemic struck his family upon their arrival in Monchegorsk in 1935. 64 GAMO. 63. 773. KondrikovoiTartakovskoi.” in Petrov and Razumova. 61 GAMO. 228-248 and GAMO. 773. f. 207-213. Monchegorsk. f. and “GULAG na Kol´skom severe. f. op. d. d. 65 Eremeeva.”62 The failure of state and enterprise planners to create the harmonious habitat they envisioned led to a quick exodus of recruited workers and resulted in reports of widespread drunkenness. l. In rare cases workers sleep in the forest under trees because there is no place in the tents. snowdrifts. ll. f. 5. d. d. d. Spetspereselentsy v istorii Murmanskoi oblasti (Murmansk: “Maksimum.” Monchegorskii rabochii (September 23.63 Memos cited illegal de-forestation and arson as a common offence.. op. eds. 369. op. The recruited laborers and their families only made up a portion of the new inhabitants of the Monche tundra in the mid-1930s. 1. f. Shashkov. Murman. 64. and impending epidemics at the new worksites. Bodrova. GAMO. Many more came there as prisoners through various branches of the Gulag system. op. 238-239. 1.64 The anthropogenic impact of such arson and felling in this moment. ll. ll. f. Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe. 21. 3-4. op. d. One also claimed that approximately 900 hectares of forest in the area had been burned during the previous month because of the lack of a fire-fighting service. Ia. L. and flooding during spring thaws. disorder. 2002). 1. the eighth department of the White-Sea Baltic Combine at Monchegorsk. 64. 773. which built the railroad line connecting the new town to the Murmansk railroad. 773. 244. plans to use temporary prison colonies to build the settlement coincided with intentions for a Kiselev. ll. op.61 During the following summer a party inspector grimly detailed the situation: “It is clear from this that in the barracks and tents 75% of all workers live cluttered in filth with children. d. V. including special settlers transferred from Kirovsk and other locations. 121-125. 1. 64. 238-239. The inflow of workers and their distribution increases on account of the consolidation of the barracks and tents. “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´. 1. f. 200.. 773. f. 15-16. 62 GAMO. GAMO. and GAMO. 1. 773. and its fourteenth department. 63 GAMO. 1986). housing construction for Monchegorsk and the mining settlements at Sopcha and Niud languished behind schedule.” in G. 53. 55. ed. d. 60 209 . Khibiny do i posle… (Apatity: Sever. 64.” 2004). 1. op. 1. 773. 244-245. 90-92. l. 62. 773. 17. ll.

Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe. op. 228-248. 29. 1986). d. approximately 6. 55. 385-389. 68. 773.. Given the closer correspondence of these features with eras of industrialization than with the totality of communist rule. L. A. f. f. 1. “Boi za nikel´: Vospominaniia I. 191-194. d. 1. 773. 69 Pozniakov. 64. 773. 53. 207213. 138-143. eds. 3-4.70 A major issue here was that the mountains of the Monche tundra did not contain as much nickel and copper GAMO. d. ll. ll. d. f.” Monchegorskii rabochii (September 20. 15-16 and GAMO. 163-165. 773.68 Afterward I. 67 66 210 . 1. 773. GAMO. 59. op. 3. 70 GAMO. 330-331. and the surveying work to find new deposits all encountered significant setbacks throughout 1936.67 The inadequate provisioning of basic services and the use of the Gulag in Monchegorsk followed a deeply entrenched pattern of hasty and coercive modernization. 55. 68 GAMO. 1. The dreadful political reverberations of these delays represent a unique feature of the Stalinist state. M. 1. 29. 1. and Eremeeva. f. the building of industrial objects for the mines and smelter. 1986). 86-94. and “Boi za nikel´: Vospominaniia I. 223. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. 212-216. 1. 223-224. 62. f. kolonii. 64. ll.000 workers at Severonikel´ were in the Gulag system and the livelihoods of these prisoners in northern nature fared no better than those of the recruited laborers. d. f. 773. 24-25. Soviet efforts to create self-sufficiency in nickel production with rapid industrialization in the second half of the 1930s staggered because of infrastructural and environmental limitations. 296 and Pozniakov. op. op.” Sovetskii Murman (October 22. 1992). Kondrikovoi-Tartakovskoi. 1. ll. op. Severonikel´. Vorontsov. lagerei. 176-188. 339. as failures in economic performance became a pretext for arresting and shooting enterprise leaders. 773. GAMO. “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´. 344. 366-369. 23-25. research on the extraction process. 186-193. 68. 55.” Monchegorskii rabochii (September 9.” in Petrov and Razumova. d. 160.69 Construction of the railroad line between Monchegorsk and Olen´ia. KondrikovoiTartakovskoi. it makes more sense to understand them as by-products of a particularly brutal strategy of militaristic modernization than as the logical outcome of communist economic practice. op. The chaos that gripped the Severonikel´ project accelerated in the autumn of 1935 and culminated with the arrest of Kondrikov and other enterprise leaders in March 1937. GAMO.000 of 10. 132. 711 and A. f. ll. GAMO. suffered from a heart attack and was fortuitously transferred to Leningrad in November 1935.holistic socialist city. while Kondrikov maintained much of the authority over it and Apatit. ll. op. L. Epshtein became the nominal head of the enterprise. 261. The original head of Severonikel´. f. 773. d. d. ll. Severonikel´. op. which extended back to the construction of the Murmansk railroad during World War I and became part of the modus operandi of the Stalinist system during the first five-year plan. Kiselev. l. 3-4.66 By the end of 1935.

Kondrikovoi-Tartakovskoi. ll. 1. 301. op. ll. f. 548. and 29. Severonikel´. GAMO. the enterprise would have needed 3. 3-4. f. 773.000 of rich ore from Kumuzh´ia with a 2. RGAE. 1. d. 7793. Sudeb sgorevshikh ochertan´e (Murmansk: “Sever. ll. 1.77 Within a maelstrom of terror and forced labor. KF GAMO. 35-43. 79. 1.” in Petrov and Razumova. RGAE. ll. d.30. 773. ll. op. 33. 212-213.73 The discovery of new reserves of sulfide ore with over 5% nickel concentration on Nittis-Kumuzhia in 1937 resulted in a hasty shift in the production plan toward extracting and processing material from this deposit. Severonikel´. op.600. d. and Pozniakov. 7793. RGAE. d. 7793. 72 For instance.” Poliarnaia pravda (February 27. 1. 3-6. and killed a number of leaders of the Severonikel´ project in 1937. The discovery of the rich ore in Nittis allowed the plant to mine sufficient GAMO. 3. 63-72.000 tons of ore from Niuduaivench with a 0. 3. 28-31. 54-70. op. f. 6.” Monchegorskii rabochii (September 27. 1937). 75 Pozniakov. 186-193. ll. op. 1-3. d. op. 187-188. 773. 343. 76 Sergei Tararaksin. op. 252. f. 7793. f.4% nickel concentration. 1-7.” 2006). Sergei Tararaksin. 1. ll. 383. 59. f. 212-213.500. 7793. d. d.72 This inability to manipulate nature under a dictated timeframe elicited a variety of responses. eds. ll. “Nenakazannye prestupleniia. 2-3. ll. 4-41.” Khibinskii vestnik (September 2. 66. 52-53. 256-258. 1. f. op. 1. 74 RGAE.41% nickel concentration. 3. f. L. and Poliarnaia pravda (March 30. f.15% nickel concentration. a tense atmosphere and increased militarization of the production process pervaded the Monche tundra. 81-117. op. 1937). Severonikel´. ll. f. 773. ll. d. f. Pozniakov. 71 211 . 34-35. op. 773. 544. ll.75 As the secret police arrested.76 Fear of violent reprisal infiltrated the decision-making process and the Gulag administration sent more prisoners to aid construction. op. “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´. GAMO. d. including accusations against economic managers by the local Communist Party and the further allocation of resources by the enterprise to research the problem instead of prioritizing the delivery of provisions and payment of wages. f. 52. and Eremeeva. d. d. 2004). 235-236. geologists and economic planners had hoped. imprisoned. 64. GAMO. 64. 93-95. 72-82. 1. 223-224. 39. 1986). 65. 1. d. 52. 1. Stalinist industrialization was transitioning from revolutionary projects to create socialist modernity to an outright war economy. 186. Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe. d. an assessment of the verified reserves estimated that to meet the initial plan of 3000 tons of nickel by the end of 1937. 212-216. 3. 73 GAMO. 62.71 This fact posed considerable difficulties because the poorly impregnated ore required greater quantities of materials to be mined and expensive and energy intensive processing and smelting to produce the matte. and “Boi za nikel´: Vospominaniia I. 2.. 4. “Oshibka krasnogo direktora. KF GAMO.74 It also played into the dynamics of the Stalinist terror as the failure to foresee the existence of this geological formation offered further grounds for denunciations against Kondrikov and others. ll. and ARAN. 200. op. op. 301. 77 RGAE. f. 10-22. 72-82. 228-248. 10-27.000 tons of ore from Sopchuaivench with a 0.

80 Even with inefficiencies in the smelting and mining operations and chaos in the construction of the new plant and city. f. 1939). 1939). op. op.032 tons of ore. 3. 1.” Ambio 29. f. lies in the fact that of all the ills that can rightly be pinned on the Stalinist strategy of autarkic modernization. l. 78 212 . 1. ll. disproportional environmental disturbance is not one of them. 52. “Severnyi nikel´ poluchen. 81 Mikhail V. 1-5. KF GAMO. Something New Under the Sun. Its significance for this analysis. 31-35. 1. In its first year of production. no. 9 and RGAE. 63-72. KF GAMO. Kozlov and Valery Barcan. Documentation. 79 V. f. Severonikel´ manufactured 1597 tons of nickel and 571 tons of copper and extracted 94.material throughout 1937 and 1938 and to devise a less complex smelting scheme to begin producing nickel-copper matte in February 1939. industrial pollution remained low. 80 RGAE. 41. “Environmental Contamination in the Central Part of the Kola Peninsula: History. et al. 1939). and Pozniakov. 1.78 Though some of this material was used to manufacture statues of Lenin and Stalin and an engraved piece of it was displayed in a local museum. no. Instead.79 Decreased public visibility of strategic industries like nickel became standard during World War II and the rise of the Cold War. Taking stock of the influence of the development of the nickel industry on the Kola environment in the 1930s. and Perception. yet minor in comparison to what occurred in later decades. 69.81 This snapshot result does not speak of an environmentalist accomplishment of the Stalinist state. nevertheless. 69. op. op. l.” Severnyi metallurg (February 27. 1939. “So II-i Murmanskoi oblastnoi partiinoi konferentsii.” prefaced The Wall Street Journal in 1935. 8 (December 2000): 513 and Rigina. and Pozniakov. 2. 1. they were marginal in terms of the production rates of the Kola nickel industry in the Brezhnev era. 9037. the scale and pace of the transformation of the Monche tundra was unprecedented at the time. Not only did these amounts fail to meet the plan. 386. f.” Severnyi metallurg (March 3. the press at the time celebrated this achievement with much less gusto than earlier Soviet propaganda.. 82 On the environmental costs of nickel production in New Caledonia. but rather points to the inability of planners to introduce industrial operations at the desired pace.” The Science of the Total Environment 229. d. Severonikel´. “Monitoring of Forest Damage in the Kola Peninsula. 64. d. ll. Sergeev. 1. d. 52. see McNeill. 5148. the anthropogenic impact on the Kola Peninsula in these years was typical of this level of industrialization.82 Nickel as a Military Metal “Although interests identified with nickel production object to the classification of their industry as one of the munitions group. d. Poliarnaia pravda (February 27. 3 (May 1999): 148. Severonikel´. 3.

127-128 and P. 1935). nor as wealth accruing commodities to be produced and sold. 85 Richard P. However. explains much about the developments of the nickel industry in the years surrounding World War II. 84 83 213 .”83 This prescient assessment. 5. f. Instead.” The Wall Street Journal (September 23. but also somewhat more effective in producing materials. 59. During the war. The environmental impact of war globally has vacillated between an extreme exacerbation of the devastating destruction of landscapes and much more rare reprieves for ecosystems from anthropogenic manipulation. Natural Enemy. including even greater reliance on forced labor than during the 1930s.“there is little question that war would greatly increase the demand for the metal. and the use of industrialization for primarily martial purposes. this development strategy for the Kola nickel industry during World War II also entailed a distinct approach to natural resource use. copper. eds. Tsvenaia metallurgiia v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (Moscow: Metallurgiia. Natural Ally: Toward an Environmental History of War (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. The geopolitical and military prerogatives that shaped the Kola nickel industry from 1939 and into the postwar world took non-ferrous metals as a material means of promoting state power. Soviet leaders approached Kola resources in terms outside of communist or capitalist economic logics and instead “Nickel. On the whole. 1.84 Beginning in 1939 the Soviet war economy on the Kola Peninsula grew even more forceful. the impact of pollution in the region during World War II remained minor. 1985). increased surveillance. Lomako. the utility of this transformed nature resided primarily in its defensive significance. and gain control over nickel production on their territory. These disputes reflected some essential features of militaristic modernization during the construction of the Murmansk railroad during World War I. renew. 773. Tucker and Edmund Russell. GAMO. ll. 2004). The objects of production in this model—nickel. Threats of invasion at the start of the Second World War led to a halt in industrial activities in Monchegorsk. each side of the polar front made steadfast attempts to maintain. unlike the unprecedented changes to the Kola environment that occurred during the First World War. F. Throughout the war.85 Both forms of influence appeared on the Kola Peninsula during the Second World War—bombing and invasions wrecked the land but the aggregate interruption of industrial activities stalled the effects of atmospheric emissions on local flora. shared by some Soviet planners as well. d. and cobalt—functioned neither as unleashed productive forces that could facilitate autarkic development.. op.

on growth and mobilization whenever possible and thus represented a manifestation of not only power politics but modernization as well. and the Soviet Union. William R. but chose not to acquire the Petsamo region and its nickel deposits. of course. A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 (Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. invading Poland with Germany in September 1939 and demanding considerable territorial concessions from Finland in October. 1. 1920-1939 (London: Routledge. 86 214 . Robert Edwards. 52. f. the Soviet-Finnish Winter War broke out at the end of November 1939 and lasted until mid-March 1940. Trotter. 1. In 1938 the Soviet government started using the prospect of a war with Germany to attempt to coax the Finnish authorities into military agreements and warned about the possibility of a preemptive strike in the case of a conflict. 1939-1940 (New York: Pegasus Books. The Soviet Union gained considerable territory near Lake Ladoga and the Salla region of Karelia from Finland. along with the Baltics and parts of Poland and Romania. d. under Soviet spheres of influence. After the refusal of the Finnish government to comply.86 These military developments clearly affected heavy industry on the Kola Peninsula. 2007). Monchelag. 1968). see H. the year Severonikel´ commenced production. The Soviet government wasted little time in exerting its newly secured power. op.87 With this switch the enterprise gained control over a greatly expanded Gulag camp. 11-114 and KF GAMO. but failed to conquer the entire country during the conflict. 223-225. Stalin and Molotov authorized the transfer of the Severonikel´ combine from the NKTP to the NKVD. which grew from 3120 On rising international tensions and the Winter War. 1991). 1940-1941: The Petsamo Dispute (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Though the pact temporarily removed the pretext of a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Germany. and Nick Baron. Soviet Karelia: Politics. 87 RGAE. The Winter War: Russia’s Invasion of Finland. op. 11.focused on building military strength. 9037. The rise of the Nazi party to power in 1933 had kept tensions high between the Soviet Union and Germany in the intervening years. d. it also included secret provisions that placed Finland. It also received the remaining portion of the Rybachi Peninsula on the Kola Peninsula. Peter Krosby. f. During the Winter War. 2008). 41. ll. The geopolitical calculus changed significantly after the signing of the SovietGerman non-aggression pact in late August 1939 and the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe a few weeks later. Planning and Terror in Stalin’s Russia. Finland. The era of war began in 1939. This wartime economic strategy relied. l. 8-12.

managed to satisfy their bosses sufficiently by the June 1941 evacuation of the worksite to escape these fates. d. KF GAMO. d. Severonikel´..91 Then that autumn central authorities.88 The nickel works in Noril´sk had been under NKVD authority since their creation in 1935 and thus. and Pozniakov. l0l. op. Severonikel´ continued to under-fulfill its plans and Gulag prisoners. 63. 2-4. 1. 1. Beresnev. 12. l. Mikhail Tsarevskii and I. The Economics of Forced Labor. 92 KF GAMO. 90 KF GAMO. 52. M. “Building Norilsk. 77. and Pozniakov. op. 131133. 1. 4. f. 94 KF GAMO. 8-9. f. the heads of Severonikel´. op. security concerns on a borderland near a war zone and economic considerations stemming from a decision of British companies in South Africa to cease supplying the Soviet Union with cobalt after the MolotovRibbentrop Pact played a role here. and Poliarnaia pravda (March 4. op. but chaos at the worksite remained. 1940). Smirov. including NKVD head Lavrentii Beriia. 89 Ertz. S. ll.735 during 1940. op. l. 20-31. 327. B. 11. Severonikel´. eds. 9.92 Under the written warning of five to eight years in prison for not following new quality standards and the personal threat of execution from Beriia for delaying cobalt production. f. 52. 52.90 The commensurate boost in available resources and implementation of an even more hierarchical administrative structure allowed the plant to raise production under Gulag purview. the NKVD increased its production quotas for nickel and copper and added electrolytic metals manufactured from expected supplies of nickel-copper mattes from Noril´sk to the plan for 1940. 88 215 . 52. 52.11-13. 44. ed. f. demanded another shift in operations to prioritize supplying the military with cobalt. f. Upon acquiring Severonikel´. 1. 52.93 In line with Tsarevskii's declaration that the industrial activities of the combine constituted part of “crucial state tasks for the defense of the country. 1. 78-79. d. 52. Severonikel´. KF GAMO.” public information about production at Severonikel´ stopped appearing in this period. op. 1-2. 1. in a sense.. KF GAMO. 11. 1. ll. 1. 1.” in Gregory and Lazarev. much of the situation on the ground in the Monche tundra remained disorganized under NKVD auspices. ll.prisoners to 14.94 Nevertheless. 1. 1923-1960 (Moscow: Zven´ia. f. d. Sistema ispravitel´no-trudovykh lagerei v SSSR. making it difficult to evaluate the extent of the increased output. 52. 27-32. this move with Severonikel´ mirrored a Soviet strategy of placing industrial objects in difficult natural environments under secret police authority. op. op. f. 91 KF GAMO. l. 12.89 However. 1998). 78-79. d. d. 1. d. ll. f. 93 KF GAMO. Pozniakov. d. l.

despite geological discoveries.95 In addition to martial tactics being introduced into the industrial regulation of the Monche tundra. 1940-1941.unsurprisingly. ll. cockroach-infested. 2-15. and the Soviet Union. 1. d. but failed to stop the German acquisition and the initial shipments of ore through KF GAMO. 101. f. d. f. 13-14 and Vesa Rautio and Markku Tykkyläinen. Germany. ll. no. and demand from European countries. d. 1. 52. put in minimal effort—causing numerous work stoppages—and made escape attempts. d. ll. Additionally. 59. 1. The Soviet government belatedly attempted to counter this move by demanding the nickel from the Pechenga deposits in late June 1940. INCO’s subsidiary. ll. significant industrial construction. KF GAMO. 12. in a more literal sense. and disease-producing. f. “Uneven Development of Economic Interaction across the Finnish-Russian Border. Germany. which desired more nickel for munitions. The Russian empire had possessed this land before the revolution.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics 42. the Mond Nickel Company. f. also occurred over the nickel deposits in Pechenga (Petsamo in Finnish) in the era of the Winter War. The NKVD bureaucracy. 3-4. op. 41. 5-9. The Red Army’s invasion of Pechenga during the Winter War opened the door for reconfiguring the ownership structure over the mines. 97 Rautio and Andreev. proved no more apt at controlling the environmental conditions that affected prisoner livelihoods. op. Large vacillations in the fulfillment of food and housing norms and the neglect of sanitary issues resulted in prisoners’ dwellings being filthy. 1-4. 52. 1.96 The contract the Finnish government made with INCO required the company to work the deposits if they were deemed profitable and to return the mine and industrial objects to Finland in the event of a war in the region. 5-81. had not yet commenced mining the Pechenga deposits. 52. Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti. militarization. Pechenga comprised a strategic asset for Finland because it gave the state access to an ice-free port on the Arctic Ocean. 23-26. op. 1 (2001): 39. Finland. 95 216 . and KF GAMO. the Bolshevik government agreed to grant it to the newly independent Finland in 1920 in return for land in Karelia. 42-44. The Soviet Union returned most of Pechenga to Finland in March 1940 to avoid conflict with British and Canadian stakeholders.97 Military strategy influenced the behavior of the various actors toward Pechenga. 96 Krosby. 4. furthermore. 52. KF GAMO. sat out the Winter War and then quietly arranged trade agreements with Finland to take control of the nickel deposits from the Allies. op.

l. d. Ufal. Despite these contingencies of the war on the Kola Peninsula that led to reduced environmental interference. Shabad. and minimal landscape destruction from war. Monchegorsk. op. 100 Chris Mann and Christer Jörgensen. A-358. 101 GARF. 1.99 During operation “Silver Fox” in the summer of 1941. and the USSR. “Noril´sk. The government evacuated approximately 28. mostly army troops. The Soviet government ordered an early reconstruction of Severonikel´ in May 1942 and a Finno-German outfit accelerated nickel mining and smelting in the Pechenga region.000. ll. Finland.Kirkenes at the end of the year. which could have happened on a significantly greater scale had the conflict in the region been more protracted or intense. Many men were enlisted into the Red Army. f. but a significant portion of workers and technical specialists and industrial equipment were transferred to other mining and metallurgical enterprises. 4. resorted to the desperate and rapacious hunting of wildlife for sustenance. 538-543 and Bond.” in Jensen.98 These developments allowed nickel from Pechenga to serve the Nazi war economy for the next several years of fighting. With large numbers of women and children working the mines and factory under the threat of Nazi bombings.438 Gulag prisoners who were sent to Noril´sk. 84-85. 1940-1945 (New York: Thomas Dunne Books. Severonikel´. “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union. including 13.102 The desire for nickel for armor and other military uses shaped decisions on both sides of the polar front.100 The stoppage in the mining and smelting of metals and the relatively quick stabilization of the front resulted in a decrease in industrial environmental transformation. 25. and Wright. d. 2003). 101. 99 98 217 . op. and KF GAMO. spillover effects certainly occurred as places like Orsk. eds. and Noril´sk increased their productive capacity to compensate for the loss of Severonikel´.000 individuals of Monchegorsk’s prewar population of 33. which likely would have occurred without the attempted invasion..101 Furthermore. f. Severonikel´ managed to Krosby. German and Finnish troops attempted to take Murmansk and bombed several cities on the Kola Peninsula before being halted at the Zapadnaia Lista River in autumn. Pozniakov. 11-13. Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy.” 127-128. 102 Adams. Hitler’s Arctic War: The German Campaign in Norway. Germany. 52. German troops invaded the Soviet Union on June 22. 1940-1941. Kiselev. individuals remaining in the region. 55-59. Finland. 1941 and by late July much of the machinery and the vast majority of the population had been moved out of the Monche region and other parts of the Kola Peninsula. 1521. and the Soviet Union.

As the tide of the conflict turned against Germany. Pechenga: Opyt kraevedcheskoi entsiklopedii (Murmansk: Prosvetitel´skii tsentr “Dobrokhot.” Poliarnaia pravda (October 17. above all. 397-409. 9037. 62-69. hauled off some of the equipment from the mines and factories. A.manufacture moderate amounts of nickel for the Red Army during the remaining years of the war. 1944). and destroyed whatever remained. 1944). “V osvobozhdennoi Pechenge. 106 “Pechengskim diviziiam—slava.615 tons of nickel-copper ore.105 The Soviet press unsurprisingly narrated these events in a different fashion. 1940-1941. and shipped the vast majority. and the Soviet Union. “Razgrom nemtsev na Krainem Severe. 1944). “Nikel´ voiuet.661 tons. 204-210. which cooperated with the German company I. and RGAE. With ample warning of an impending agreement. op. 1. Matsak. 1.103 With the outbreak of World War II the Finnish government officially broke its contract with the Mond Nickel Company and took over Petsamo Nickel. 1. 1. but also included the Pechenga region. Finland.” 2005). Finnish authorities started longing for a separate peace agreement with the Soviet Union. Germany. 1944). 149. and Rautio and Andreev. ed. Monchegorsk.104 There it served. 3.. f. smelted 289.” Poliarnaia pravda (October 18. 13-14. 86-94.520 tons of ore at the settlement of Kolosioki in Pechenga. “Bol´she metalla Rodine!” Poliarnaia pravda (November 5. 142-148. 15. as a government-controlled material for manufacturing munitions instead of as a marketed commodity. 105 V. Severonikel´.” Poliarnaia pravda (October 18. Farbenindustrie to supply the Nazi Army with nickel until the Soviet invasion in autumn of 1944. 104 Krosby. 1. d. 1944). Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti. The nickel works in Pechenga played a central role in the conclusion of World War II in the far north. Newspapers celebrated the occupation of Pechenga by Red Army troops in October as the “liberation” of an ancient Russian territory. 2. M. The armistice they signed in September 1944 returned much of the territory that the Soviet Union had won during the Winter War. During this period industrial operators removed 387. 103 218 . Ternovskii. “V osvobozhdennoi Pechenge. F.” Poliarnaia pravda (November 7.” Poliarnaia pravda (November 3. 1944). noting “the Germans also needed Petsamo nickel” and “polar nickel is also fighting the war by being transformed into powerful weapons for the Red Army. the German army evacuated the territory.”106 The heroic significance of this metal in the wartime context Pozniakov. ll. Kiselev. G. of the processed nickel-copper matte to Germany. They also highlighted its strategic significance. Specialists abroad believed that these actions would cost the Soviet Union at least ten years of reconstruction work. 186-202.

industrial activity and urbanized settlement on the Kola “Bogatstva nedr Kol´skogo poluostrova na sluzhbu chetvertoi Stalinskoi piatiletki. 1947).109 This estimate indicates substantial changes to the industrialized local environment. The rebuilding of the nickel plants quickly took on different military significance with the emergence of the Cold War. Haukioja. 28. 3. 1939-1956 (New Haven: Yale University Press. 4-5. V. R-459.manifested itself in the renaming of the town of Kolosioki as Nikel´. The war experience fortified strategic thinking about natural resources as potential sources of state power. “Istoriia pechengi i ee bogatstva. and V. 2-3. mining activities overall fell into the realm of military significance as the government ordered the comprehensive evaluation of radioactivity in the ore at places like Pechenga with the goal of finding nuclear fuel. 110 GAMO. The Postwar Growth Economy and Environmental Pollution Over the half century between the conclusion of the Second World War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. 2005). Potemkin.” in M. Kozlov. d. 1993). 1. 397.. 2. E. 1946). “Analysis of Ambient Air at Weather Station ‘Chunozero’ in Lapland Biosphere Reserve. 22-23. eds. T.107 The State Committee for the Defense of the USSR also ordered the nickel works rebuilt in December and workers at one of the mines managed to extract enough ore to produce nickel before the end of the war in May 1945. op. 107 Matsak. Yarmishko.110 The militarization and modernization of the Kola Peninsula mutually reinforced each other.” Poliarnaia pravda (January 9. 99. “Na pechengskom zemle. 6. 1-3. 108 Kombinat Pechenganikel´ OAO “Kol´skaia GMK” (Zapoliarnyi: Kol´skaia GMK. 1995).” Poliarnaia pravda (April 27. Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy. 12. Also see David Holloway. The resultant transformation of the Soviet economy—increased isolation from capitalist countries but new trade opportunities in Eastern Europe—shaped the postwar geography of industrialization and contributed to the perceived value of the nickel deposits in the north. Though fewer data on pollution and environmental change existed during these years than later eras. Pechenga. Additionally. Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula (Apatity: Kola Scientific Center. 1946). but nothing on the scale of the 1970s and 1980s. f.. and L. 19. ll. 109 Valery Berlin. This legacy and the subsequent postwar prioritization of the nickel sector caused significantly more impact on the Kola environment than the activities of the non-ferrous metal industry in the 1930s and early 1940s. one analysis cites that vegetation within a six-kilometer radius of Severonikel´ had been damaged by 1946. 219 .108 The view of nickel as a vital military material continued into peacetime and informed the decisions to reconstruct and further develop the operations in Monchegorsk and Pechenga. ed.” Poliarnaia pravda (January 15.

First World economies adapted to reduced growth rates through an embrace of different means of economic modernization.Peninsula grew consistently and. nor inherent problems in the specifically communist approach to nature. can be blamed for the rapid environmental deterioration in these years. The region simultaneously became the most industrialized and populated Arctic region in the world and one of the most militarized places on the globe as well. Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (New York: The Modern Library. 2001). Neither Stalinism. 112 111 220 . stably. “Economy. and Stephen Kotkin and Jan T. See Harvey. As Kornai insisted. 95-145. ed. The turn to new technologies. The Socialist System. compared with the preceding decades. Gross. 2009).. It was precisely the continuation of this strategy of economic modernization in circumstances that rendered it less effective that led to levels of pollution by the Kola nickel industry in the 1970s and 1980s considered excessive. state-socialist centralized planning ultimately proved effective in directing economies toward this end. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Europe since 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press.” in Mary Fulbrook.111 The broad trajectory of communist economies from World War II to the 1970s roughly mirrored industrial capitalist ones with increasing production and social welfare benefits bolstering continued growth. This industrial transformation rested on a method of economic expansion that had been commonplace since the early nineteenth century: increasing production outputs to stimulate economic growth. Kornai.112 The effect of this reorientation on the Soviet Union was the phenomenon known as stagnation. despite growing environmental awareness and the exhaustion of much of the local nickel reserves. 33-379. Barry Eichengreen. Accordingly. The poor environmental record of the plants reveals that processes beyond the commodification of natural resources and profit motive—staples of industrial capitalism—contributed decisively to economically generated pollution. and neoliberal policies starkly changed the global political economy and ecology. The logic of continual industrial development inspired policies that kept increased production as a top priority. The country responded to a staggering economy by attempting to accelerate a previously successful means of spawning growth: the expansion of production. Scholars of varying perspectives have stressed the significance of this transition. the broad impulse to modernize belongs at the center of our explanation. an orientation toward the service industry.

ll. 36-37.114 Soviet work in Pechenga did not begin until late 1944. Matsak. 114 Pozniakov.117 Nevertheless. 205-214. 4. combined with the less significant Kammikivi deposit. 1. U severnoi granitsy. Pechenga. but they emerged much more gradually without the revolutionary haste of many of the projects of the 1930s. While the Kola Peninsula compared favorably to the areas most ravaged by wartime destruction. 1946). op. GAMO. 185-197. and economy.115 It also proceeded much more quickly than initial construction: Pechenganikel´ began mining the Kaula deposit in March 1945 and smelting some of its own ore in November 1946. 1965). and GAMO. R-459. 18-28.113 Repair work on Severonikel´ benefited from wartime alliances with the United States and Britain and the supporting technology transfers. Everyday Life and the “Reconstruction” of Soviet Russia during and after the Great Patriotic War. A. Kiselev. f. ll. 1. Hygiene. ed. 9-12. They already knew that the Kaula deposit contained drastically more metals than the ones in the Monche tundra and estimated in 1946 that.116 The grandiose designs for the Pechenganikel´ combine included a number of familiar features of previous socialist industrialization. ll. 1943-1948 (Bloomington: Slavica. 29-30. and E. R-459. f. 117 GAMO. op. 115 GAMO. 175. 1. 20-21. See Jeffrey W. RGAE. d. “K istorii razvitiia 113 221 . 1946). 90-108 and A. Enterprise leaders paid considerable attention to geological surveying in the first few years. 2. successful exploration in the nearby Pil´guiavr valley the following year revealed that the capacity of the deposit was 100 times greater than previous research had indicated. op. f. 1967). Sovetskaia Pechenga (November 21. U severnoi granitsy: Pechenga sovetskaia (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. A. the regional nickel industry had to repeat much of the construction of the 1930s. but the initial reconstruction of the plant and mines there likewise incorporated foreign assistance in the immediate aftermath of the war. 118 GAMO. R-459. A. op. d. d. 1. op. d. 1. Trest “Kol´stroi” 30 let (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 1943-1953 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 8-14. 1. Recently historians have argued that we should treat 1943 as the beginning of the reconstruction period. and Living Standards. its people. P-359. 2010). f. op. the factory could produce 11. 17. 4. Jones. P-359. Grigor´eva.650 tons of nickel a year for the next 200-255 years.118 The steady moves to mine this deposit in the 1950s Jeffrey Jones makes this argument explicitly and Donald Filtzer follows this periodization. Severonikel´. 38-40. The Hazards of Urban Life in Late Stalinist Russia: Health. and this certainly makes sense in the case of Monchegorsk. f. 2008) and Donald Filtzer. Sovetskaia Pechenga (November 21. Potemkin.World War II devastated the Soviet Union. 419. 116 L. d.. By 1946 the combine mined and smelted metals at levels comparable to before the war. ll. ll. f. ll. 1. d. 9037. 17. 4. Potemkin.

no. 3. f. P-359. 1-9. for instance. d. vol. 119 GAMO. d. GAMO. d. Ia. 404. f. GAMO. “From Partinost´ to Nauchnost´ and Not Quite Back Again: Revisiting the Lessons of the Lysenko Affair. 6. 3. 120 F. Regional party leaders during reconstruction also invested substantial energy into propaganda work in part designed to promote a holistic vision of industrial assimilation as improving nature. 122 RGAE. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa. Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´” (Moscow: Gosplan. R-459.” Poliarnaia pravda (January 12. f. no. and Pollock. “The Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature.. A Little Corner of Freedom: Russian Nature Protection from Stalin to Gorbachev (Berkeley: University of California Press.. d. 16. Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars (Princeton: Princeton University Press. but radicalized an afforestation program into the Promethean Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature. R-459. P-359. ll. 38. d. R-459. and GAMO.119 Newspaper articles spoke of “the treasure chest of the beautiful tundra” and lauded how “the natural resources of Pechenga and the enormous scale of the planned socialist economy will provide for the quick economic development of the region. 1999). R-459. part 2 (Apatity: Akademiia Nauk SSSR. f. 8. 121 GAMO.122 At this time the country was undergoing what historian Ethan Pollock has deemed the “Soviet Science Wars. 1. and GAMO.” Severnyi metallurg (May 22. ll. l. Severonikel´ encountered natural limitations on the growth of its mining sections. l. 1958). 6 and V. 3-5. 4 (October 2010): 670-700.”123 During this period ideological fervor affected professional knowledge production and government policy at heightened levels. l. f. op. ll. P-359. l. Zamotkin and N. GAMO. d. Ia. 6. P-359. ll. 2006).124 The field of nikelevoi promyshlennosti Murmanskoi oblsati. op. GAMO. 1971). 2 and L.” in E. 123 Ethan Pollock. 88. Ia. and not only succeeded in suppressing genetics further. 17. 6. op. eds. 6. Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars. The Lysenko Affair (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. d. Egorova. 130-131. ed. 1970). 55. 124-125. conditions on the ground were often much more difficult than these portrayals suggested. op. f. 3. Pozniakov. 63-103. 124 Stephen Brain. f.and 1960s played an essential role in decisions to expand and maintain the Kola nickel industry. 222 . ll. 9037. 1947). 6. op. Agronomist Trofim Lysenko came to the apex of his influence in 1948. op. f. Potemkin. op. op. 16. R-459. d.” in V. 2.” Environmental History 15. 103-111.121 As Pechenganikel´ drastically increased its confirmed reserves in the late 1940s and early 1950s. 68-69. 1 (Spring 2009): 116-138. 6. Ethan Pollock. 1947). f. 7. On the basis of the natural resources the full-blooded life of the Soviet population will flourish all around. David Joravsky. op.” Slavic Review 68. 1. op. 38-40. M. “Istoriia pechengi i ee bogatstva. 1. Ternovskii. 6. f. By 1950 geologists had failed to find new sources of nickel and copper in the surrounding mountains and the concentration of metals in the ore being processed was dropping precipitously.”120 Unsurprisingly. 1. ll. d. 313. 10. 142-146. “Razvitie tekhnologicheskoi smekhy pererabotki sul´fidnykh medno-nikelevykh rud na kombinate “Severonikel´” (1938-1958). Pozniakov. 13. d. GAMO. Douglas Weiner. “Sokrovishcha krasivoi tundry. 1.

ll. no. after much discussion and planning in the 1930s. 127 RGAE.127 Though the rise of plate tectonics would soon transform the theoretical foundation of the geological sciences.” Arctic 47. “The Kola Peninsula: Geography. d. an aluminum factory was built in Kandalaksha.” in A. 129 Broad overviews of these developments appear in “Vvodnyi ocherk. Kalinina. op. two iron mining and processing plants went into operation in Olenegorsk and Kovdor. and.130 For their part. Vasiliev. Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy. ed. 9037. V. 2-130 RGAE. Michael Pretes. op. Severonikel´ transitioned to concentrating on smelting and began processing more and more ore from the Pechenga deposits. “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union. a rare metals facility opened in Revda near Lovozero.. 404. Tsibul´chik’s opponents were correct on the matter of the Monche tundra: no new major discoveries occurred after this point. 1. ll. d. 1.129 The Apatit combine in the Khibiny began a period of sustained enlargement in these years as well.” in Jensen. 1. f. op. “Apatit”: vek iz veka (Apatity: Laplandia Minerals. Mikhail Tsibul´chik presented an iconoclastic report replete with quotations from Stalin and references to dialectical science..geology also experienced a comparable period of internal ideological radicalism. 404. 9037. Luzin. and Wright. Shabad. Between the nominal end of reconstruction in 1948 and the early 1960s. This natural limitation shaped subsequent industrial development on the Kola Peninsula. 130 A. much of the regional mining economy diversified to other materials besides nickel and copper sulfides. 6. f. eds. 1 (Saint Petersburg/Apatity: IS/ KNTs RAN.”126 The other scientists at the meeting dismissed the ideas of this brazen newcomer to the region—with one attendee angrily exclaiming “This is a hooliganistic report!”—and highlighted the importance of empirical results above any theoretical approach in finding new economical deposits. 128 Adams. A. He suggested that the stagnation in discovering new nickel reserves in the Monche tundra resulted from an incorrect theoretical approach to geological formation and proposed a new model. 406. Kol´skii entsiklopediia. 1 (March 1994): 1-15. At a meeting of the Kola section of the Academy of Sciences in July 1950. 9037. Kiselev. History and Resources. d. Barabanov and T. A. 538-543. 2008). 1-29 [13].125 He specifically criticized “views about the geological structure and genesis of ores (genezis orudeneniia) rooted in existing interpretations that conclude that the Monche tundra lacks any prospects. the deposits of the RGAE. 2004). 126 125 223 .128 Furthermore. l. 118 and Gennady P. vol. and Vladimir V. 95-128. f.

132 On benefits for inhabitants of northern regions. Kostiukevich. “Murmanskaia oblast´ v 60-80 gody XX veka. 2005).132 This influx of military and voluntary residents resulted in dramatic population growth as the Kola Peninsula increased from 314. early retirement. From the early 1950s to 1965 the annual production of nickel worldwide was nearly doubling every seven years. 131 224 . and urbanization on the Kola Peninsula reached their peak between 1950 and 1970. access to scarce goods—to attract settlers to proliferating polar cities. This era of modernization also resembled general trends throughout the global north most closely. Bardileva. Smirnova. Integration vs. see Thompson. Gintsburg and N. F Kostiukevich. A. eds. M.. Istoricheskaia spravka.” in Jensen.133 Economic modernization served as the other main attraction of people to the region and created a fully industrialized landscape along many sections of the Lake Imandra corridor. Bardileva. Epshtein.. Zhivushchie na Severe: Vyvoz ekstremal´noi srede (Murmansk: MGPU. and E.700 inhabitants in 1950 to 799. P.” in P. The Cold War and the rising prominence of submarines in national security strategy provided impetuses for the marked growth of the Northern Fleet of the Soviet Navy on the Murman coast and the accompanying infrastructure to support this military unit. Gody zastoinye…Gody dostoinye! (Murmansk: NITs “Pazori. L´goty dlia rabotnikov Krainego Severa (Moscow: “Iuridicheskaia literatura. Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy. I. as countries across the Iron Curtain used unprecedented increases in industrial production to foster record levels of economic growth. Settlers on the Edge. P. 133 Iu. The reinforcing processes of modernization. L´goty rabotaiushchim na Krainem Severe (Moscow: “Iuridicheskaia literatura. longer holidays.131 Having finally abandoned the use of Gulag labor in the middle of the 1950s. and Wright. notably. Autonomy: Civil-Military Relations on the Kola Peninsula (Aldershot: Ashgate. 37-87. 246.” 1968).134 The Soviet government achieved parity in growth rates by shifting away from the breakneck tactics of the Stalinist 1930s and toward more cautious Geir Hønneland and Anne-Kristin Jørgensen. I. 119-128. Mikhailov. L.500 in 1970..Pechenga region ensured supplies of raw material that would enable the Kola nickel industry to be included in the postwar boom of extensive economic growth. 27-35 and V. V.” in V. and. Shabad. averaging an enlargement of over 24. 541. Fedorov.” 1975). “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union. eds. inspiring the Soviet Union to invest more in this industry and to begin marketing its nickel to foreign customers. “Demograficheskie i sotsial´nye protsessy v Kol´skom zapoliar´e na rubezhe XX-XXI vekov. 1999). and L.” 2000). militarization. northern regions increasingly relied on appealing incentive packages—including higher wages. eds. Goriachkin and B. Ia. Iu.000 people a year. 134 Adams.

R-459. f. 139 GAMO. op. R-459. Eichengreen. 314.140 The massive enlargement of the nickel industry in the 1950s and 1960s produced mixed environmental results. ed. op. despite believing by 1952 that it “is by size and prospects the largest of the copper-nickel deposits of the Pechenga region. and Eremeeva. 137 RGAE. “Economy.”139 At the end of the 1960s the desire to centrally coordinate regional nickel production led to an episode of agglomeration: the Zhdanovsk mining and enrichment combine returned to Pechenganikel´ and the Kola enterprises were grouped into the Nikel´ Association. op. 141 Matsak. Pechenga.. l. f. 123. ll.7% for the period of 1950 to 1973. 1-4. Monchegorsk. Kiselev.. 140 GAMO. d.”136 Concern about the dwindling reserves in the Monche region ultimately contributed to the decision to build the new mine and accompanying city of Zapoliarnyi. ed. 98. f. op. 8 and Ob˝edinenie “Nikel´” (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 1976). 2-3. d. R-1032.137 By 1965 the amount of shipped material going to Severonikel´ had increased to 80% of Pechenganikel´’s output. by a mining and enrichment enterprise. 136 GAMO. d. U severnoi granitsy.” in Fulbrook. enterprise leaders waited until 1956 to start setting up a mine at the deposit at Pil´guiavr (now called Zhdanovsk). the government concluded that “the supply of raw materials for the Severonikel´ combine and the sharp increase in nickel production in the next several years from Kola raw materials should be resolved by forcing the construction and beginning the exploitation of the largest deposit in the USSR. 85. 508a. which resulted in an unrealized proposal to locate Zapoliarnyi in an attractive valley ten kilometers from the mines and in the actual erection of a statue of a moose in the center of Monchegorsk. 1.and effective methods of steady industrial expansion. 9293. 1. Europe since 1945. Severiane. “Formirovanie gorodskoi sredy i prostranstvennogo obraza Monchegorska. 9037. ll. In the early 1950s Pechenganikel´ was sending about 20% of its mined ore and all of its smelted matte to Severonikel´. 138 Potemkin. 289. Urban planners maintained a putative emphasis on creating natural harmony in industrial cities.138 Anticipating this trajectory in the mid-1950s..141 A more genuine achievement of the more gradual approach to industrial development was the reduction of Barry Eichengreen cites the average annual compound growth rate of gross domestic product for Western and Eastern Europe to each be 4. 508. 5. 6.” in Petrov and Razumova.135 Thus. 3. 135 225 . f. d. 1. 79. l. eds. 139-140. the Zhdanovsk deposit.

Haukioja. ed. Brezhnev’s Folly: The Building of BAM and Late Soviet Socialism (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 21-41.the vulnerability of the migrants to these worksites to the natural hazards of the region. “Air Pollution Impact on Forest Ecosystems of Kola Peninsula: History of Investigations. 145 Kiselev. Haukioja.” Ambio 29. 20 and L. Ward. Galakhov. Ya. Danilova. As environmental issues became a greater concern in the Soviet Union in the 1960s.143 Furthermore. and plants.148 Two main catalysts for rapid The concerns expressed by enterprise leaders about social issues reflect how the situation was nowhere near as bad as the Stalinist years. V. 146 V.142 Nevertheless. 147 For information about the heavy metals industry and atmospheric pollution in the twentiethcentury world. soils. see McNeill.145 These efforts managed to stabilize and even reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from Severonikel´ and Pechenganikel´ for a brief period in the late 1960s as production continued to rise. “The “Severonikel” Smelter Complex: History of Development” and V. 17. 148 For a nuanced assessment of the Soviet environmental legacy that distinguishes the problems of the late Soviet era from earlier periods. 95-103. despite a good deal of official public concern about nature protection.147 This situation changed in the 1970s when pollution in industrialized sections of the Soviet Union rose at a greater rate than many capitalist countries. Bindiukov. see DeBardeleben. and Christopher J. Gamberg and V.” in Kozlov.. P. eds. 1965). To get a sense of environmental debates in the 1970s and 1980s. pollution directly correlated with production levels and. “Analysis of Ambient Air at Weather Station ‘Chunozero’ in Lapland Biosphere Reserve. The Environment and MarxismLeninism. forest damage from sulfur emissions extended 17 to 20 kilometers from the Severonikel´ plant by 1969. Pozniakov.. 99.. Perspektivy razvitiia i osvoeniia syr´evoi bazy apatitovoi promyshlennosti na Kol´skom poluostrove (Moscow: Ministerstvo Geologii SSSR. this industrial development led to more ecosystem disruption from sulfur emissions and toxic substances containing metals. 193. and Yarmishko. “Environmental Contamination in the Central Part of the Kola Peninsula..” in Kozlov. A Little Corner of Freedom. no. 143 Kozlov and Barcan. Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula. 2009). eds. up until 1970 pollution from the Kola nickel industry occurred on a comparable scale to metal firms worldwide that operated at similar levels of production.144 While their pollution levels continued to increase in the early parts of the decade. accordingly. 1969) and V. Progress and Shortcomings.146 On the whole. M. see Oldfield. 142 226 . 312-439. A. R. evidence emerged that mining and processing operations had unleashed dust that increased concentrations of heavy metals in surface waters. Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula. Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´” po povysheniiu kul´tury proizvodstva (Moscow: Ministerstvo tsvetnoi metallurgii SSSR. Pozniakov. A. 144 Berlin.” in A. Ia. 1971). Something New Under the Sun. and Yarmishko. Nauchnaia organizatsiia truda i upravleniia proizvodstvom na Zhdanovskom gorno-obogatitel´nom kombinate (Moscow. “Perspektivy razvitiia syr´evoi bazy sernokislotnogo proizvodstva dlia mineral´nykh udobrenii na Kol´skom poluostrove. Monchegorsk. 84-108. ed. Severonikel´ embraced some nature protection measures in the mid-1960s. 8 (December 2000): 514. Russian Nature. Alexeyev. Weiner.

193. Severonikel´ closed the Nittis-Kuzhumia mine in 1969 and finished working a small deposit at Niuduaivench in 1974.” Sever i rynok. eds.. 227 . The Severonikel´ smelters.” in Jensen. “Ekonomicheskie predposylka osvoeniia novykh mestorozhdenii i sozdaniia pererabatyvaiushchikh proizvodstv na Kol´skom poluostrove. and Adams.” Environmental International 28. Shabad. Pozniakov. V. which were Table 7. Osvoenie mineral´nykh bogatstv Kol´skogo poluostrova (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 6 (December 2002): 452. and Wright. ed. ed. Perspektivy razvitiia i osvoeniia syr´evoi bazy apatitovoi promyshlennosti na Kol´skom poluostrove. 541. Turchaninov. A. Reported Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Emissions from the Severonikel´ Combine149 Year 1966 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 SO2 Emissions (1000 tons) 99 86 94 101 111 118 215 259 274 268 246 244 Year 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 SO2 Emissions (1000 tons) 189 206 187 239 278 257 236 251 224 212 212 233 Year 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 SO2 Emissions (1000 tons) 196 182 137 98 129 110 140 88 45 45 44 already receiving large quantities of material from Pechenga.. no.. Between 1972 and 1973 alone the amount of ore from Noril´sk processed at Severonikel´ and the sulfur dioxide emissions of the plant both nearly 149 The figures for 1966 and 1968 come from Danilova. “Nature and Origin of Multicomponent Aerial Emissions of the Copper-Nickel Smelter Complex. 204-276. Severonikel´. Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy. “Perspektivy razvitiia syr´evoi bazy sernokislotnogo proizvodstva dlia mineral´nykh udobrenii na Kol´skom poluostrove. Fedoseev and A. Istomin. 2 (2000): 39. began to import and process ore from Noril´sk. 150 “Osnovnye vekhi funktsionirovaniia kombinata “Severonikel´. which was in the midst of a massive expansion of its mining operations that outpaced the capacity of its smelters. 1974). A.” in I. “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union. no. The remaining emissions figures appear in Barcan. In the Monchegorsk region.environmental deterioration by the Kola nickel industry existed at this time: the exhaustion of local ore with significant nickel concentrations and continual yet failed attempts to use further increases in production to create economic growth. V. 224-256.” in Galakhov. 150 The Noril´sk ore contained three times the sulfur concentration and resulted in dramatic increases in sulfur dioxide emissions at Severonikel´.

. 2 (2000): 10-21. 5149. 386. 261-276. 1. and Vasiliev. 1. ll. “Noril´sk Nickel and Russian Platinum-Group Metals Production. 1640. 44-49. 1984). Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy. Pozniakov. and Wright. eds.000 tons a year for most of the 1970s and 1980s (Table 7).155 Under these conditions. 64-80. ll. but did not lead to economic growth rates at the same levels as earlier decades. “Nature and Origin of Multicomponent Aerial Emissions of the Copper-Nickel Smelter Complex. et al.153 This upswing occurred as part of a sustained strategy to use the expansion of heavy industry to continue a process of economic modernization. f. 154 Adams. no. 1. 386. d. Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula. Shabad. 386. ll. Monchegorskii rabochii (July 8.” Environmental International 28. 10-11. 536-546 and Gennadii Miroevskii. 1 (March 1994): 13. 1980).154 One of the most obvious local manifestations of stagnation was the failure of the nickel enterprises to fulfill their annual production plans in the late 1970s. f. These increases in output contributed to the Soviet Union acquiring the title of the world’s largest nickel manufacturer. they rose to averaging over 200. the production boom of the Soviet nickel industry in the 1970s overlapped with a period of significantly rising prices and increased attention to minimizing operating costs. tasks such as environmental protection measures and Pozniakov. no. op. 542-544 and Luzin.doubled without comparable growth in sulfuric acid production (Table 7). and Andrew R. op.” in Jensen. ll. I. 155 S. Barcan.” Arctic 47.” in Kozlov.151 A similar phenomenon occurred in the Pechenga region as the processing units in Nikel´ and Zapoliarnyi increasingly worked ore from the Zhdanovsk deposit with low nickel concentrations and correspondingly higher levels of pollution per unit of nickel manufactured. which dropped considerably.” Sever i rynok. Adams. Though sulfur dioxide emissions had been below 100. “Severonikel´”: uroki rekonstruktsii (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 5147. 152 RGAE. “The Kola Peninsula. Soviet Natural Resources in the World Economy. However. Pretes. 1. RGAE. Bond and Richard M. op. “The “Severonikel” Smelter Complex. A-358. Levine. 153 I do not mean to suggest that the Soviet economy was equally sensitive to price signals as capitalist economies. 1-86.” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics 42.152 In addition to the important role of the ore content. op..” in Jensen. f. In contrast to arguments that communist economies performed without regard for market fluctuations. f. the decisions to continue industrial development also bear responsibility for heightened levels of pollution. “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union.000 tons a year through the 1960s. d. 2 (March 2001): 8082. it still serves as a mild riposte to analyses that build on the assumption of communist economic dysfunction that Soviet nickel production in this period appeared more responsive to prices than Canadian output. “Metallurgicheskii kompleks Rossii v mirnom proizvodstve medno-nikelevoi produktsii. op. 6 (December 2002): 451. 16-19. 1. RGAE. ll. Osipov. “Nickel and Platinum in the Soviet Union. d. It was not.. and Yarmishko. no. ed.. and Wright. Haukioja. 151 228 . d. 5148. d. f. RGAE. and GARF. 5149. no. 4. 386. 23-44. eds.. Severonikel´. Shabad. eds.

1. ll. The global economy struggled in the 1970s. 1. 657. Expectations of Modernity: Myth and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt (Berkeley: University of California Press. op. 64-65. see James Ferguson. does not explain why the Soviet Union and other state-socialist countries chose environmentally destructive economic policies. d. The Soviet Union pursued strategies of modernization akin to the Keynesian models of the capitalist welfare state. such as post-colonial Zambia. 157 Eichengreen. Poliarnaia pravda (November 12. like many but not all state-socialist countries. ll. The decision of the Soviet Union to remain focused on increasing industrial production. 1980). to take the results of intensive growth policies as evidence of an inherent advantage of capitalism over communism in environmental stewardship. 386.” Monchegorskii rabochii (July 28. Bragin. The Soviet Union. 95-145.158 Monchegorskii rabochii (September 23. 3. 229 . 51. 1980). Europe since 1945.. continued to use the capitalization of industrial development as its primary means of attempting to spawn economic growth. 1980). It would also be disingenuous. and Poliarnaia pravda (November 22. and increased trade. they ceased to work and an episode of economic and environmental crisis resulted. 52. 1999). As elsewhere in the world. but countries that responded to the slump by shifting from extensive to intensive growth strategies tended to fare better. and A.” in Fulbrook. on the other hand. 1. 156 RGAE. 158 On Zambia.156 Thus. which enacted policies of extensive industrial development of the copper sector in these years that failed to remedy the country’s poverty. 3. a shift to the service and financial sectors. 1980). despite public pressure on the combines and their nominal efforts to curb pollution in the 1970s and 1980s. on the one hand. 4. ed. KF GAMO. f. Evoking Cold War economic competition. “Nash vozdukh. though the environmental impact of a similar reliance on continual modernization seems very likely to be less fortuitous in the long run. “Economy. Only in this period.157 In the middle term the comparative success of these countries helped fund certain forms of pollution abatement. demonstrates a comparative weakness of communist systems in addressing environmental issues. 5145. 31-41.technological upgrades fell even further down on the list of priorities. the privileging of production as the main ingredient in modernization caused the most environmental destruction in the industry’s history thus far. Many first-world capitalist countries instead now generated wealth through new innovations. the Soviet “expectations of modernity” ceased to come to fruition. and thus the specter of the capitalist world-system. d. f. op.

” Ambio 29. and Kozlov and Barcan. Environment and Living Conditions on the Kola Peninsula. Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti. One measure in these reforms was the Soviet state’s decision to unite officially the Kola enterprises—Pechenganikel´. and A.159 Taken together. Sulfur emissions. Nickel and copper entered human food pathways through accumulating in high concentrations in locally grown vegetables. the state’s attempt to shift the country’s economy gradually toward a greater market orientation with perestroika reforms failed to save the ruling elite or the state-socialist system. rapid inflation. Ekologiia Severa: Distantsionnye metody izucheniia narushennykh ekosistem (na primere Kol´skogo poluostrova) (Moscow: Nauchnyi mir. eds. “Environmental Contamination in the Central Part of the Kola Peninsula.. The large zones of decimated vegetation in the vicinity of Severonikel´ and Pechenganikel´ elicited protests from Soviet conservationists and. 8 (December 2000): 512-517. 2003). The political collapse of the Soviet Union opened the floodgates for the implementation of neoliberal economic reform in the guise of shock-therapy privatization policies. In the early 1990s the economic decline in Russia. the public in Nordic countries. Severonikel´. and Zapoliarnyi. 121-123. especially in the aftermath of Chernobyl.” Pravda (October 10.160 In these decades the levels of environmental damage on the Kola Peninsula accelerated to such extremes that the region became considered one of the most polluted places in the Soviet Union. “Nature and Origin of Multicomponent Aerial Emissions of the Copper-Nickel Smelter Complex. Darst. 56 and Hansen and Tønnessen. and the Olenegorsk Mechanical Factory –with the larger Noril´sk combine into a new entity. in 1989. no. 4 (November 1993): 622-630. and killed aquatic fauna. altered the chemistry of soil and waterways. Kryuchkov. 159 230 . Barcan. and industrial wastewater containing an assortment of toxic substances from metallurgical processing harmed or destroyed large areas of vegetation. Noril´sk Nikel´. 1980) and Robert G. Kapitsa and W. 91-134. 160 Rautio and Andreev. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii and V. P.161 During this moment of heightened international attention to environmental issues in the Soviet Union.Industrial pollution on the Kola Peninsula during the culmination of the Soviet experiment and into the 1990s vastly transformed the local ecosystem and brought about significant social ramifications. MA: The MIT Press. Rees. Nikel´. this air and water pollution also caused negative health effects among the populations of Monchegorsk. no. Smokestack Diplomacy: Cooperation and Conflict in East-West Environmental Politics (Cambridge. “Visit dym nad zapovednikom. 6 (December 2002): 451-456. 2001). 161 O.” Environmental International 28.” Ecological Applications 3. “Extreme Anthropogenic Loads and the Northern Ecosystem Condition. metallic dust from mining. no. Kriuchkov.

remained above the levels of the 1960s until 1998.164 As the world’s largest nickel producer. no. “Metallurgicheskii kompleks Rossii v mirnom proizvodstve medno-nikelevoi produktsii. 162 231 . and Yarmishko.165 Furthermore. “The “Severonikel” Smelter Complex. 120. first through steep declines in its industrial output in the early 1990s and then with technological upgrades to better control pollution levels. 112-142. for instance. 1-11. 164 Bond and Levine. Though these reductions in pollution are often taken as evidence of the superiority of capitalism in environmental stewardship.” Sever i rynok.. Russia’s Northern Regions on the Edge. eds. Hansen and Tønnessen.plummeting global nickel prices created much more significant social hardships on the Kola Peninsula than Soviet-era pollution had. Goldman. Environment and Living Conditions on the Kola Peninsula. 2 (2001): 77-104.. Noril´sk Nikel´ managed to reduce its anthropogenic loads on the environment in the post-Soviet period. eds. Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti. “Nature and Origin of Multicomponent Aerial Emissions of the Copper-Nickel Smelter Complex. “The Challenges of Going Global. et al. 2003). Sulfur dioxide emissions from the Severonikel´ plant. which reflects the comparative uniqueness of the late Soviet era (Table 7). Haukioja. 165 Barcan.” in Kozlov. Aerial Pollution in Kola Peninsula. The Piratization of Russia. Severonikel´ maintained the largest nickel refinery in Russia and Pechenganikel´ continued to work its mines in the 2000s. the two decades of post-Soviet operation of the Kola plants has most certainly generated more pollution than the Stalinist era did. 12-32. to gain a controlling stake of Noril´sk Nikel´ with a bid representing a fraction of the actual value of the company. The Kola nickel industry has benefited from decisions of Noril´sk Nikel´ to globalize its assets and become a multinational corporation. Interros. though the impending exhaustion of deposits in Pechenga leaves its future up in the air. a longer-term chronological perspective brings us to a different conclusion. 17-18. “Noril´sk Nickel and Russian Platinum-Group Metals Production. 6 (December 2002): 452 and Pozniakov.” in Rautio and Tykkyläinen. Rautio and Round. The subsequent auction organized by Potanin’s bank allowed that very bank.. which highlights the obvious Marshall I. no. The Piratization of Russia: Russian Reform Goes Awry (London: Routledge. 163 Goldman. no. 2 (2000): 21.163 Noril´sk Nikel´ established the subsidiary Kola GMK to control Severonikel´ and Pechenganikel´ in 1998 and became extremely profitable in the 2000s. and Miroevskii. Rautio and Andreev.” PostSoviet Geography and Economics 42.162 In 1995 wealthy banker Vladimir Potanin convinced the Russian government to implement the infamous “Loans for Shares” program of privatization as an emergency measure to generate needed state revenue.” Environmental International 28.

However. global concern about sulfur dioxide emissions was minimal in the 1930s and perhaps at its peak in the 1980s—or account for major differences related to economic sectors and natural surroundings—the distinct issues faced by agriculturalists in temperate climates and nickel smelters in the Arctic.166 A modified version of this periodization schema can be adapted to this evaluation of the politics of pollution abatement in the Kola nickel industry.but frequently downplayed point that the scale of industrial activities most closely correlates with environmental disturbance. And. Scholarship on waste in state-socialism addresses the different means of attempting to manage industrial pollution. In a work that elaborates a sociological theory of waste as a hybrid entity. The “efficiency regime” focused. In it the combination of 166 Gille. Zsuzsa Gille proposes three waste regimes for socialist and post-socialist Hungary. while the issue of waste generation and distribution remained taboo. which needed to be disposed of and contained. on minimizing the levels of waste per unit of production through technological upgrades and reducing aggregate costs through the introduction of new economic models from 1975 to 1984. The state allocated authority to private enterprises for managing their wastes and relinquished much of its role in regulating their production. 232 . The imperative of extracting all possible economic value out of industrial materials influenced public discourse and planning. they can illustrate some of the basic contours of the efforts to solve environmental problems in different political-economic systems. These longitudinal comparisons of a single industry and region cannot control for considerable chronological variation—the fact that. In the “metallic regime” from 1948 to 1974. for instance. state and society emphasized the need to maximally reuse and recycle produced wastes in order to obtain value from them. policy during the “chemical regime” from 1985 to 2004 began to treat wastes as useless and toxic by-products. I would add a “deferral regime” to describe Stalinist waste politics until the postwar era. instead. From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History. Communist and Capitalist Environmental Solutions An assessment of the nature protection measures pursued by the Kola nickel industry in communist and capitalist systems reveals common and contrasting features of conservation policies during an overarching process of modernization. finally.

but accepted a low prioritization of this task because of a conviction that it could be solved in the future. while waste distribution remained de-politicized. During this “multinational corporate waste regime. Kagan. 3-4 (1932): 19 and “Pirotin est´—budet sernaia kislota. 3. Perestroika saw a major change in views about industrial wastes toward them being seen as harmful substances to be controlled instead of reused and the ascent of international involvement in environmental politics on the Kola Peninsula. Kossov and B. However. As Fersman elaborated this idea.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai. “Severnyi gorno-khimicheskii trest ‘Apatit’ vo 2-m piatiletii.holistic thinking and extreme urgency led to a disposition that putatively favored the ultimate elimination of all waste. it would have entailed the reuse of industrial by-products to the extent that the enterprises would eliminate all emissions. M.168 During the period of NKVD management of Severonikel´ just before the Soviet Union’s entrance into World War II. 1932). I. Kompleksnoe ispol´zovanie iskopaemogo syr´ia (Leningrad: Izdatel´stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR. Fersman. 1932). a waste management scheme known as the complex utilization of natural resources continued to shape pollution control by the nickel industry in the 1930s. 168 M. World War II served as a bridge from hastiness to a period of stressing the more gradual reuse of industrial by-products.” Khibinogorskii rabochii (October 5. The incorporation of overt conservation measures into enterprise plans and an increased focus on cost reduction beginning in the 1970s failed in the stated goals of reducing pollution because it contradicted the greater imperative of increasing production. 167 233 .167 As one manifestation of this thinking. no. Initially inspiring the project leaders of the apatite works in the Khibiny Mountains. which has the avowed agenda of acting only in its economic and political interest. the combine initiated efforts to convert sulfur dioxide emissions from the smelter into sulfuric acid and considered the A.” environmental decisionmaking has been largely allocated to a powerful private enterprise. E. we should separate the protracted and minimally effective period of market reforms lasting until the late 1990s from the more successful era of the recent past during which Noril´sk Nikel´ has been able to reduce certain forms of pollution. newspapers and journals in the early 1930s expressed excitement about the idea of using sulfur from the nickel ore in the Monche tundra to produce sulfuric acid for the apatite industry.

51. 169 234 . 1957). Severnyi metallurg (May 22. 36. eds. f. 1-2. op. Etnokul´turnye protsessy na Kol´skom Severe. copper. In a discussion of “wastes and refuse of Monche. Fersman repeated his insistence about the need to recycle industrial wastes. 1951).” Poliarnaia pravda (August 3. l..” Poliarnaia pravda (March 17.”Poliarnaia pravda (August 3. 1946). Eremeeva. 2. 511.” he acknowledged. “Metallolom—martenam: pervyi den´ dekadnik. and GAMO. “Sernaia kislota iz otkhodov metallurgicheskogo proizvodstva.issue of increasing the amount of metals recovered from ore during processing. op. d. l. f.” He defined the issue as above all “a struggle with the loss of useful materials—nickel in lateral rock. f. The enterprises of the postwar Kola nickel industry made consistent and gradual efforts to transform all metals and sulfur removed from the earth into economic products. Kel´manzon. 1964). This Soviet manifestation of the “metallic waste regime” entailed a similar relation to the recycling of industrial by-products and the generation of pollution. On the one hand. op.169 After a chaotic and bloody decade of rapid Stalinist industrialization.” Poliarnaia pravda (February 3.” in Petrov and Razumova.” Poliarnaia pravda (January 5. The Kola smelters improved their processing technologies and the reprocessing of slag to the point where they reduced the concentrations of nickel. “Stroitel´stvo kombinata “Severonikel´.171 Numerous specific campaigns emerged in response to this desire for the maximal extraction of value from natural materials.” in Pozniakov. 2. 3. 1. ll. d. “S ekonomicheskoi konferentsii na kombinate “Severonikel´”. R-1032. 24-27. “Razvitie tekhnologicheskoi smekhy pererabotki sul´fidnykh medno-nikelevykh rud na kombinate “Severonikel´” (1938-1958). 3. f. 1947).Reservy snizheniia serebstoimosti produktsii. 544. Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´”. ll. 1964).” Poliarnaia pravda (March 21. “Proizvodstvo sernoi kisloty na Kol´skom poluostrove. 172 Pozniakov. 9037. d. d. ed. 52. 3. 171 C. 1940).. “Metallolom—martenam. 97. 1.”170 In addition to touching on the abiding optimism of Stalinist pollution controls. and KF GAMO. 36-46 and RGAE. and cobalt in the solid wastes they produced by half. Afanas´ev. K. cobalt in slag.172 Throughout these decades specialists additionally developed systems for collecting and V. selenium in silt and slag—but the utmost attention should be paid to the neutralization and utilization of emitted sulfur gases and the conversion of them into sulfuric acid. Fersman’s report also exposed a more pervasive truth: the low prioritization of such issues during this conflict-ridden episode of industrial development meant that little action was taken to implement such ambitious ideas. 170 ARAN. op. repeated exhortations that all available natural resources should be made to serve the socialist state infused party and enterprise discourse from the end of World War II into the 1970s. 244-245. 1. 4. 131. 207. 1. “Metallolom—martenam.” and “Ves´ metall—v delo!. 59. 1. “the problem of protecting the mineral substances and nature of the surrounding area of the Monche region is especially acute.

77-78.174 Finally. ed. ll. “Metallolom—martenam. 1.” Poliarnaia pravda (March 17. 177 Gladkov. 1964). the production processes that generated these agents of pollution were not subject to official scrutiny in these years. Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´”. 1961). 9037. Ia. as the proceeding example demonstrates.. 145-166..173 Repeated crusades to collect scrap metal also occurred during these decades along with portrayals of this type of recycling as a moral and patriotic duty. S. and environmental dimensions of these efforts.” and “Ves´ metall—v delo!. This impulse represented a clear continuation of the “colonization of nature” described in the first chapter of this dissertation and as such characterized an impetus of economic modernization that has been common to communism and capitalism. ed. P. Osvoenie mineral´nykh bogatstv Kol´skogo poluostrova. all while the Severonikel´ combine increased its output of metals. 95-103. discussion about the conversion of sulfur dioxide into sulfuric acid consistently appeared until the actual opening of a unit for it at Severonikel´ in 1967. op. a substantial lowering of costs of production. Mentions of these projects also appear throughout Pozniakov. 508. Monchegorsk. 173 235 . Also inherent in the idea of extracting all possible value from natural resources.” in Turchaninov. 1951). 45.177 On the other hand. d.” revealing that enterprise leaders were not entirely oblivious to the connections among the economic. Pozniakov. and simultaneously the elimination of dustiness from the sections. 174 RGAE. ed. 1-2. 3-5.” Poliarnaia pravda (March 21..175 At the end of the 1950s the main engineer of Severonikel´ wrote that “the reduction of wastes to their minimum allows for an increased output of metals. ed. which was a task explicitly connected to the installation of better ventilation systems in the mines. ed.extracting metals from mining dust. 129-134.176 The author of a popular book about Monchegorsk predicted in 1961 that in a matter of years technologies of industrial reuse would manage to eradicate air pollution and improve air quality. Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´” po povysheniiu kul´tury proizvodstva. Monchegorsk. V. 24-30 and Kiselev. was the inclination toward the rapacious transformation of the entire material world into a means of serving human interests. 1964).. and “Metallolom—martenam: pervyi den´ dekadnik.” in Pozniakov.. “Metallolom—martenam.. Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´” po povysheniiu kul´tury proizvodstva. Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´” po mobilizatsii vnutrennykh reservov (Moscow: Gosudarstvennyi nauchno-tekhnicheskii komitet Soveta ministrov SSSR. 1. “Reshenie problemy ventiliatsii rudnikov. social. 4. and Pozniakov. “Razvitie tekhnologicheskoi smekhy pererabotki sul´fidnykh medno-nikelevykh rud na kombinate “Severonikel´” (1938-1958). Opyt raboty kombinata “Severonikel´”. 175 Pozniakov.”Poliarnaia pravda (August 3. ed. 176 Pozniakov. which inspired certain forms of conservation. f. Alekhichev.

1973). 2. F. “Zabota o prirode—eto zabota o nashem zdorov´e: pis´mo pervoe. I. Fedor Terziev. 3.” Monchegorskii rabochii (November 12. “Zabota o prirode—eto zabota o nashem zdorov´e: pis´mo vtoroe. 1973). A.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 20. “My i priroda—dolg pered sovest´iu. the reduction of waste and pollution became fully integrated into the repertoire of tasks that society and the Soviet state were to accomplish together. the nickel smelters also invested more resources in these tasks. perhaps.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 20. More importantly. “Kombinat sokhranit ozero. 1961). Terziev. 2.” Monchegorskii rabochii (August 23. warned.178 Though the 1970s inaugurated a period of extreme pollution by the Kola smelters.180 Pechenganikel´ opened its own sulfuric acid section in 1979 and almost all Kola enterprises involved in mining attempted to improve their processing and reuse of “Vtoraia sessiia oblastnogo soveta deputatov trudiashchikhsia: Okhrana prirody—delo gosudarstvennogo znacheniia. state enterprises on the Kola Peninsula ultimately maintained the prerogative of disposing industrial wastes as they saw fit. 1982). but entailed a comparable—though often unimplemented—focus on technological modernization and increased cost reduction. They could come under public criticism and face sanctions for violating sanitary and environmental laws. and “Zavtra—Vsemirnyi den´ okhrany okruzhaiushchei sredi. 2. 3. Severonikel´ continued to dump large quantities of untreated waste into local waterways in the early 1960s. the head of the Murmansk Hydrometric Service.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 23. 1980). “Zabota o prirode—eto zabota o nashem zdorov´e: pis´mo pervoe. despite major fines and public censure.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 4.”179 The Soviet equivalent to the Hungarian “efficiency regime” did not embrace the same limited use of market mechanisms as environmental solutions. 1973). Gladarevskii.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 18. “Polezno znat´: chistota vozdukha—zabota obshchaia. Terziev. 179 F. 3.” Monchegorskii rabochii (July 3. In an article in Polar Pravda in 1973 that held specific industrial enterprises responsible for improving the air quality of the Murmansk region. A. Beliaev. 1973). but authorities would not force these disposals to stop. 1973). 2. The goal of environmental protection measures expanded to explicitly include the creation of superior air and water quality under state-socialism. “environmental pollution has become one of the most complicated and urgent problems of our time—the problem of the century. While the primary materialization of this new approach to pollution was increased public attention and press coverage.” Poliarnaia pravda (August 8. it also witnessed considerable concern about environmental protection in the Soviet Union. 180 Terziev. 2. 1977). 2. For instance. 178 236 . “Chelovek—khoziain prirody.Reflecting the attachment to ever-increasing nature use. Khokhlov.

2006). 251-292. S. Between 1975 and 1980 the Ministry of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy invested 36. 21-23. MA: Harvard University Press.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 23. RGAE.”183 Perestroika marked a transition to a different period of pollution politics in which the state gradually retreated from claiming responsibility and international actors came to play a defining role. 1 (2009): 139-152. 1973).181 The enterprises defined these upgrades as part of a process of modernization and rationalization and returned to highlighting the “complex utilization of nature” as an overtly environmental solution. 215-224. overlaid and. f. “The Last Soviet Dreamer: Encounters with Leonid Potemkin. 619. and Kiselev. 1995).” Cahiers du monde russe 50. 104128. 181 237 . On Potemkin’s diary and particular view of himself as a Soviet individual. ll. 183 Potemkin. and Thomas Lahusen. 2.” Journal of Industrial Ecology 11. Monchegorsk. 1973). See Vadim Dubrovskii. Gody zastoinye…Gody dostoinye!. 52. 1. 2 (2000): 124. 5145. environmental measures taken by the nickel enterprises often received praise for demonstrating the superiority of communist political economy over capitalism. Leonid Potemkin. d.wastewater in the 1970s and 1980s. eds. 182 Ob˝edinenie “Nikel´”. 223-284. 2. put it with particular conviction. Terziev. Terziev. no. Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries in the 1930s (New York: The New Press.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 20. 1977). 8. An increasing orientation toward global markets. d. op. F. 63-68. in many ways. f. 18-23. “Zabota o prirode—eto zabota o nashem zdorov´e: pis´mo vtoroe.182 Despite the overall ineffectiveness of this approach in curbing pollution. no. Okhrana nedr i okruzhaiushchei prirody.7 million rubles in environmental protection measures at Severonikel´. Veronique Garros. In a 1977 book on environmental protection and mining in the Soviet Union. op.. Revolution on My Mind: Writing a Diary under Stalin (Cambridge. drove this process. and Kiselev. In the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and the growth in knowledge about the extent of Soviet environmental pollution. “Embedding Science in Politics: “Complex Utilization” and Industrial Ecology as Models of Natural Resource Use. 2. Okhrana nedr i okruzhaiushchei prirody (Moscow: Nedra. two major changes occurred beyond the introduction of a new round of environmental KF GAMO. L. which began during Gorbachev’s rule but became dominant with privatization of the 1990s. he repeatedly contrasted the exploitative and destructive treatment of nature in capitalism with “communist society. Potemkin. l. Also see Olli Salmi and Aino Toppinen. 85-87.” in Goriachkin and Kostiukevich.” which “will be able to ensure the genuine harmony of technical progress and nature and the optimal combination of the development of the mining industry with the tasks of improving the environment. a geologist who had helped open the Zhdanovsk deposit in the aftermath of World War II and went on to have a successful career as an official in the Ministry of Geology. “Ekologicheskie problemy i ikh reshenie na kombinate “Severonikel´”. see Jochen Hellbeck. “Zabota o prirode—eto zabota o nashem zdorov´e: pis´mo pervoe. “Zapoliarnye gidrometeorlogi na sluzhbe narodnomu khoziaistvu. 112. Ob˝edinenie “Nikel´”. 100-147. A.” Sever i rynok. 386. and Jochen Hellbeck. Natalia Korenevskaya. Terziev. no. eds. 44.. 3 (2007): 93-111. Monchegorsk.

2002). 2000). foreign countries turned pollution from the Soviet Union into a major diplomatic issue. for harming the ecosystem. Khibiny do i posle… (Apatity: Sever. but just as with the Finnish offer.187 In the early 1990s the de-population and de-industrialization of the region.164. contributed most notably to pollution reductions. including those on the Kola Peninsula. Finland first offered to help fund and manage a drastic technological upgrade. commonly referred to as “modernization. Lithuania.. the plan languished. (Helsinki: Kikimora Publications. 84-87. “Dlia zhizni net al´ternativy. ed. Facts. and the particular strength of environmentalism in the Nordic countries. Smokestack Diplomacy. 185 Weiner.technologies. ed. 429-439. 188 The population of the Murmansk region declined from its peak of 1. Jane Dawson. Shishkova.” Sever i rynok.. Eco-nationalism: Anti-Nuclear Activism and National Identity in Russia. A Little Corner of Freedom. Russian Environmentalism: Leading Figures. on the other hand. This latter development was especially important in the case of the Kola Peninsula because of its large environmental loads. In the 1990s Norway made a similar proposal to invest in this environmental solution.” of the Pechenganikel´ plant in the late 1980s that would improve the smelter’s performance and reduce its emissions. and Ukraine (Durham: Duke University Press. Russian Greens in a Risk Society: A Structural Analysis. 1996).000 in 2007. Noril´sk Nikel´. Pozniakov.” in G. 1. Murman. 69-75. proximity to Finland and Norway.. The Russian government possessed limited resources to contribute its portion of the funds in the early 1990s and environmental policy makers in Moscow increasingly saw the eventual closing of the plants as a more viable option.188 Under Noril´sk Nikel´’s auspices. ed. Oleg Yanitsky. and Valerii Berlin. Ekologiia i kompleksnoe ispol´zovanie syr´ia v nikel´—kobal´tovoi podostrasli: Sbornik nauchnykh statei (Leningrad: Gipronikel´. A.184 Members of Soviet society began to join with professional conservation scientists and official environmental groups to lodge active protests against industrial enterprises. As political scientist Robert Darst describes.” in Kiselev. 184 238 . 119-127. 1990) and Dubrovskii. neither of which were conscious policies. The tough new environmental protection laws initially enacted by the Russian Federation have subsequently been weakened and lax enforcement of them has remained. has become the ultimate arbiter of whether E. 186 Darst. vol. 187 Oldfield. “Ekologicheskie problemy i ikh reshenie na kombinate “Severonikel´”. instead of the growth in production. 2 (2000): 123-127.185 Additionally. See “Vvodnyi ocherk. 65-91. no.600 in 1989 to 857. the profitability of certain measures to the company. Oleg Yanitsky. Kol´skii entsiklopediia. 1993). Severonikel´. Russian Nature. Bodrova. 351-352. Opinions (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnyje Otnoshenija Publishing House.186 Since the late 1990s the management of pollution by the Kola nickel industry has primarily been the prerogative of a successful multinational corporation.

Sotsial´naia restrukturizatsiia gornodobyvaiushchei promyshlennosti Pechengskogo raiona Murmanskoi oblasti. Shestakov.”191 Such a notion of forging harmony with nature in the midst of industrial development could have been written by Leonid Potemkin several decades earlier. the privatized company initially rejected the Norwegian offer to upgrade Pechenganikel´ and instead diverted some of its smelting operations to regions farther from an international border. For most of its existence in the Soviet-era the Kola Kombinat Pechenganikel´ OAO “Kol´skaia GMK”. and Nauka i biznes na Murmane. 189 239 . 5 (2003). 2006). the power to pollute remains in the hands of sovereign actors dedicated to continuing economic modernization. 50-63.” in Laplandsky Zapovednik: Year-book of the Laplandsky State Nature Biosphere Zapovednik. and Rautio and Round. Global capitalism in autocratic Russia has still required the company to be attentive to state desires and consider international politics as well. “The Challenges of Going Global.190 In 2005 the company summarized its goals.” in Rautio and Tykkyläinen. Rautio and Andreev.. 190 S. it went ahead with investments in environmental technologies that had economic rationales and accepted Norwegian contributions to the project. After opting for an expansion of mining operations in Pechenga in the early 2000s. “Benefits Beyond Boundaries. 191 Kombinat Pechenganikel´ OAO “Kol´skaia GMK”. Tainy Laplandskogo zapovednika: istoriia odnogo prikliucheniia (Monchegorsk/Moscow: Kol´skaia GMK.” and “Our Partners. 112-142. no. eds. “The adoption of nature conservation technologies is one of the most important directions of the ecological strategy of Kola GMK on the path toward the creation of clean production that exists in harmony with the natural environment. In a way this criticism was fair when it first emerged in the 1980s during a moment when strains on the command economy did lead to especially poor environmental performance.189 Noril´sk Nikel´ has also sought to garner the favor of local environmentalists by providing finances to nature reserves near the smelters. 3-4. no. 15. but Noril´sk Nikel´’s corporate self-interest overwhelmingly determines decisions about industrial pollution.or not an environmental measure is implemented. Russia’s Northern Regions on the Edge. But it makes little sense to generalize from this particular historical context to overarching claims about the superiority of market economies in dealing with environmental issues. 4 (August 2007). While the transition to capitalism has shifted authority from state enterprises to private corporations. For instance. Conclusion The Soviet system has often been targeted as being particularly harmful to the natural environment. Gennadii Leibenzon.

” Certain contingencies of the Soviet experience. exerted indiscriminate effects on ecosystems and societies. Focus on the uniqueness of Soviet ecocide furthermore obscures the influence of a broader undertaking in leading to much of the environmental destruction. on the contrary. nevertheless. also help account for this transformation. This chapter has offered the suggestive case of the Kola nickel industry to illuminate these other processes. Yet. rest at the foundation of the explanation of how Monchegorsk went from “exceptional” and “beautiful” to “hell. The continued pursuit of expansions in production during a global economic shift produced especially poor environmental results for the country in the 1970s and 1980s. And. Despite considerable degrees of popular support for these policies in various places and times. which can more easily transfer pollution generation 240 . Predictable environmental outcomes from this political project of modernization.nickel industry generated comparable levels of pollution to enterprises under capitalist management. In the twentieth century states and corporations throughout the world and operating under different political and economic systems chose to pursue processes of industrial and post-industrial development. The strategic significance of the metal helped ensure that the military would attempt to secure the deposits during World War II and that the state would prioritize investing in the industry during the Cold War. in both capitalist and communist systems a group of elite actors possessed the power to transform humannature relations radically for the remainder of society and the environment. The level and form of input from society did vary widely in different places and times and the Soviet Union clearly stood on the less democratic and inclusive side of the scale. Pollution. rarely were the basic decisions behind such projects of economic modernization arrived at through democratic processes outside the internal structures of states and corporation. which cut production and thus pollution considerably. the combination of the economic collapse during the 1990s. therefore. finally. The isolation faced by the country during its first major industrialization push and the desire to attain maximal economic selfsufficiency undermined the utopian holism espoused by planners. and the flexibility of a powerful multinational corporation. which have burdened populations alienated from the choices to modernize.

to different locations and use technology to reduce emissions per unit of production. have made the post-Soviet era seem better for the environment. 241 .

and electricity to provide enterprises. “Just fifty years ago the entire energy supply consisted of several low capacity generators. Broido. This discussion begins with a theoretical consideration of the relationship between changes to the physical world and connections of nature to society. and military installations with increasing amounts of energy. 1967). But the rapidly growing industry of the Murmansk region requires further development of energy capacity. 1967. It then proceeds to assess the history of different energy sources on the Kola Peninsula in rough chronological order of when they came to prominence. Energizing the Landscape Introducing the plans for the Kola Nuclear Power Plant (Kola AES) to the public on November 12. municipalities.” Poliarnaia pravda (November 12. As a necessary component in all forms of industrial activity. This dissertation began with another such facilitator—railroads. “Zdes´ budet Kol´skaia atomnaia. This chapter turns to a key facilitator of economic transformation to explore the environmental changes caused by modernization and the abiding interconnectedness between humans and the rest of nature in modern conditions. the energy sector allows us to see connections to the other economic branches evaluated in earlier chapters. a means of transportation—to establish some of the persistent strategies and ideologies informing the modernization of the Kola Peninsula.Chapter 5.”1 The entire project of economic transformation of the Kola Peninsula depended on finding sources of heat. processes of continual re-entanglement prevented the transcendence of society over nature. And now twelve hydroelectric power stations and the Kirovsk thermal-electric power station operate here. 242 . the need to devise ways to maximally utilize Murmansk’s limited energy sources was a pressing concern for industrialists of the twentieth century. Polar Pravda wrote. fuel. The discussion of organic materials focuses on the shifting canopy of vegetation in the region and the connections 1 E. I argue that despite the occurrence of radical environmental transformations that seemingly disconnected people from the natural world. Here I take stock of the influences and illusions of modern development by examining the Kola energy sector. not counting local thermal power plants. While today the Arctic seems poised to become a new center of oceanic oil exploration. 1. The regional history of energy reveals a recurring process in which increased use and newly harvested sources altered human/nature relations in ways seen and unseen.

water. for instance. See Anthony Giddens. They have altered physical landscapes in sweeping and permanent ways.between local and distant landscapes. Modernization has led to the dissociation of certain connections between nature and society. City of Flows: Modernity. dualism. 2 243 . The Consequences of Modernity (Stanford: Stanford University Press. These treatments illuminate the general phenomenon of combined detachment and embeddedness by highlighting the simultaneous development of these presumably contradictory trends. and the City (New York: Routledge. Modernization has created new human dependencies on industrially used nature and has embedded human experience in unacknowledged natural processes. and the Geography of Difference (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. and electrical service. The consideration of hydraulic energy from an elaborate network of hydroelectric plants concentrates on surface alterations to the Kola Peninsula. The evaluation of nuclear power stresses its relationship with the militarization of the region and the rise of new forms of modern secrecy and risk. Municipal heat.2 Political power has appeared in both dissociation and entanglement through the production of knowledge and impacts on the material world. Nature. David Harvey. and the integration of natural processes in human bodies into energy production. modifications in aquatic ecosystems. it is helpful to incorporate some theoretical considerations about the character of modernity. People have depended on less direct interaction with other species and water for sustenance and have been able to more readily cope with intemperate climatic phenomena. Dissociation has involved an apparent separation from the natural environment. Nature. 1990). Justice. Dissociation and Entanglement in Russian and Soviet Modernity To assess the scale and character of the changes accompanying the harvesting of energy from the natural world. and Maria Kaika. 1996). all rely on the integration of unseen natural elements into human lives. Their livelihoods have relied increasingly on manipulated natural systems and the reproduction of elaborate social-natural networks. certainty and human mastery” as opposed to This discussion is partially inspired by dialectical approaches to human-nature relations. Anthropologist Gíslí Pálsson summarizes the relationship between nature and society in modernist thinking as centering on “disembeddedness. albeit in modified and often masked arrangements. 2005). On the other hand. while simultaneously reconfiguring an entanglement of them. entanglement has entailed the maintenance of the same fundamental interconnections between humans and the environment.

and the absence of certainty and human mastery.4 In Marx and Engels’ original use.the postmodern emphasis on “embeddedness. 3 244 . Marshall Berman explores an evocative phrase from the Communist Manifesto. Reimagining Political Ecology (Durham: Duke University Press. shaped by the alliance of science and technology. monism.”6 Extending this feature of modernization to the natural world. an environment of action which is.” In Berman’s reading this phrase points to the paradoxical creative destruction and dialectical ambiguity of modernity.5 In The Consequences of Modernity. People have aspired to overcome nature’s limits and felt enmeshed in their environments and seemingly inherent natural proclivities. “all that is solid melts into air. of course. Greenberg. All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (New York: Penguin Books. accessed July 21. while the creation of intricate networks and new pervasive risks foster enmeshment. the phrase also conjures up a potential break of humankind from previous constraints through the subjugation of nature. 1982). A good deal of economic and environmental politics has happened on this plane from the Promethean longings of the industrialists to the romantic desires of conservationists for untouched wilderness. 2010. Environmental change and human displacements contributed to detachment. 74. elsewhere—human beings live in a created environment. 6 Giddens. Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848).”3 For historical actors and later analysts. The Consequences of Modernity. Giddens juxtaposes pre-modern lives that “were tied up with nature’s moods and vagaries” and modern ones: Modern industry. physical but Gíslí Pálsson.. 4 Marshall Berman. “By disembedding I mean the ‘lifting out’ of social relations from local contexts of interaction and their restructuring across indefinite spans of timespace. 2006). eds.marxists. social theorist Anthony Giddens elaborates this point by discussing a process of “disembedding” during modernization. increasingly. the nature/society relationship occurred to a significant degree on the level of perception. 5 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. In his philosophical meditations on modernism and modernization. 16. He writes. In industrialised sectors of the globe—and.” in Aletta Biersack and James B. The materiality of the phenomena more readily reveals the transformative scope of modernization on the natural world and human society. “Nature and Society in the Age of Postmodernism. http://www. transforms the world of nature in ways unimaginable to earlier generations.

8 A single specific aggregate assessment of twentieth-century energy consumption for the Russian Empire. Soviet longer just natural. Supplies of fuel and electricity from transformed landscapes allowed for increased distances between sources of energy and human settlements. and 10. the rhetoric that accompanied the regionally based projects of the Kola energy economy reinforced the notion that they separated nature through its subordination. enabling urban and industrial life on the Kola Peninsula. physical forces. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the TwentiethCentury World (New York: W. J. such theories of modernity help us see the material manipulation of physical landscapes and social experience. 8 7 245 .7 Though I have been arguing that this supposed escape from the natural and placement of landscapes under human control is fundamentally illusionary. The physical transformation of these substances and forces into work that created and maintained an industrialized and urbanized world modified human relations with the rest of the local nature. 800 in 1900. The Consequences of Modernity. humans performed a type of control and dominance over the environment and allowed for socially experienced separation. By one metric world energy use consisted of 250 million tons of oil equivalent in 1800. The acceleration of energy consumption in the twentieth century led to an episode of unprecedented environmental change. In the twentieth century states throughout the world harvested increasing quantities of energy from organic materials. global energy use rose with extraordinary rapidity. McNeill. by deforestation and reservoir creation for energy production. 2000). 60. Norton. and atomic bonds to enable modernization. John McNeill estimates that humans have used more energy in the twentieth century than the entirety of the species’ previous existence. and cultural techniques. Along with human population and gross domestic product.000 in 2000.R. W. social. Not just the built environment of urban areas but most other landscapes as well become subject to human coordination and control. but the Giddens. Through these intentional landscape changes. Modern industry and city dwelling helped produce experiences of isolation from nature by facilitating lifestyles less obviously in the natural world. 15. and Russian Republic is difficult to obtain. It most basically involved alterations of landscapes. Finally. This dissociation operated through several material.

Demitri B. M. Shimkin. Russian Nature: Exploring the Environmental Consequences of Societal Change (Burlington: Ashgate. As numerous works of environmental studies and history show. see Jonathan D.5 in 1928 to 517 in 1955. R. Stepanov.9 The energy economy of Kola Peninsula followed this pattern.gks.S. Red Atom: Russia’s Nuclear Power Program from Stalin to Today (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 1 (Saint Petersburg/Apatity: IS/ KNTs RAN. the production of electricity in the region grew consistently since the first five-year plan. Wood supplied the earliest industrial endeavors in the region. Kol´skii entsiklopediia. Domestic energy consumption in the USSR in million metric tons of conventional fuel equivalent (7. ed. Dmitriev. Beginning in the 1930s the region developed an expansive network of hydroelectric power stations that supplied the vast majority of industrial and municipal electricity until the 1970s.6 billion kilowatt-hours in 1940 to 1. vol. 2000). Philip R. DC: U. 1928-1958: A Statistical Survey (Washington. Goldman.” in A. relying on the utilization of a variety of sources—wood.14. Coal-burning thermal power plants grew alongside the hydroelectric network and began to augment the coal with low-grade oil known as mazut in the 1960s.0 (no unit given) in 1990 to 840. Overall.8 in 1995 and then gradually grew back to 1.7 million kilowatts in 1960 to 315 million kilowatts in 1985.” Federal´naia sluzhba gosudarstvennoi statistiki.722 billion kilowatt-hours in 1989. A. 9 246 .073. Finally. 57. imported coal and oil. and nuclear power—to fuel industrial development. 118. accessed June 2. 1991). 4. Bureau of the Census.8 in 2007.htm.534. “Potreblenie elektroenergii po sub˝ektam Rossiiskoi Federatsii. http://www.000 C/kg) went from 98.500 million kilowatts hours in 1990. Oldfield. Soviet electrical production grew from 48. Petrostate: Putin. D. 1996).10 The tremendous transformation of environments that resulted from this incredible scale of the energy economy does not mean that humans achieved transcendence over nature in the process.. 15-24. 2008). the Kola Peninsula commenced the use of nuclear power in the 1960s and 1970s. Rossiiskaia Federatsiia. A similar trend is outlined for the main energy company “Kolenergo” by V. peat..broad trend mirrored the global rise with the exception of a relative decrease during the economic collapse of the 1990s. Likewise. On post-Soviet trends in the energy industry. 61. Excavated peat and imported coal supplemented forest materials in this period as well.” in I. ed. such as the Murmansk railroad and initial construction in the Khibiny Mountains.839. Palumbo and G. Environmental Management in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. “Sostoianie. Kiselev. 2005) and Marshall I. 10 “Vvodnyi ocherk. 1936-1996 (Murmashi. The Soviet Mineral-Fuels Industries. 2010. This assessment comes from several incompatible data. 1962). The Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation reports the “consumption of electro-energy per subject of the Russian Federation” dropped from 1. problemy i perspektivy gidroenergetiki Kol´skogo poluostrova. Problemy energetiki zapada evropeiskogo Severa Rossii (Apatity: KNTs AN. Paul R. 298. 18. and Kolenergo. 90. the capacity of all electrical power stations rose from 66. Josephson. 1999).421. Power.002. 2008). going from 290 million kilowatt hours in 1939 to 16. Pryde. and the New Russia (Oxford: Oxford University Press.

While the mechanisms for re-establishing such bonds are numerous and multifaceted. in fact. Catherine Porter (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. 2009). Bruno Latour insists the distinction between nature and society is a cultural conceit. 13 Bruno Latour. trans. which. the use of bodies. the things we call nature and society are constantly being separated and re-assembled into new and pervasive hybrid entities. Modernization. involved “establishing intricate networks and flows of natural elements. hydraulic. 12 11 247 . Maria Kaika describes such entanglement in her study of the role of water in the modern city. Wood from forests and peat from marshes supplied Kaika. and unacknowledged risk shaped several areas of the Kola energy sector. she insists. City of Flows. Latour claims that in fact “we have never been modern. Entanglement created intricate but inherently vulnerable webs of human-nature interaction.”11 Historian Liza Piper similarly points to how twentiethcentury industrialization in subarctic Canada “changed the cognitive and material links between our work and nature’s work but did not separate one from the other. not only did not separate nature from the city.”12 Finally. Liza Piper. We Have Never Been Modern. During a process known as modernization. 5. and masked connections to the natural world through secrecy and elusive uncertainty. Organic Substances Trees and various forms of flora residue provided substantial amounts of heat and energy to the Kola Peninsula. The exploitation of organic. and nuclear energy sources on the Kola Peninsula brought about new forms of human dependency on the natural world. Following the logic of this theory. For example. imported. and occurs regardless of the political-economic system in a given country. 1993). social power relations and capital investment cycles. therefore. is as ubiquitous of a facet of economic modernization as dissociation. I highlight three particular processes in the energy economy. but instead wove them together more closely into a socio-spatial continuum. Entanglement. 4. In the following discussion I explain how importation. fostered reliance on muscle power in construction and operation.nature and society remain intimately intertwined in the modern world.”13 Humans remain as entwined in their modified environments in ‘modernity’ as they ever have been. The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

by reducing the areas that could potentially be imagined as unaltered. These environmental changes detached humans from nature by demonstrating people’s capacity to manipulate it. L. suffice it to say that we should assume that this human activity shaped the ecosystem in significant ways and not. “Ot Arkhangel´ska do Kandalaksha i obratno. 3-4 (March-April 1919): 94-95. l1 (November 15. 1997). F. of course. Several timber companies began operating on the southern coast of the peninsula in the early twentieth century. Ushakov.15 The significant deforestation along the Murmansk Railroad occurred as part of an attempt to make this means of transportation serve the imperatives of militaristic modernization during World War I and the Russian Civil War. no. 232.industrial expansion throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Zhilinskii. and by making ecosystem restoration dependent on human decisions and actions. V. Residents of the Kola Peninsula used firewood for centuries before 1900. intermittently but sometimes intensively. 14 248 . Clear-cutting for the track A. the vast majority of whom worked inside the sawmills instead of outside collecting timber. Krainii sever: evropeiskoi Rossii (Petrograd: Tipo-litografiia Severozapadnogo okruga putei soobshcheniia. At the same time the incorporation of human bodies into the system of energy inputs and the formation of elaborate networks of extraction and exploitation of some of these organic materials reveals an abiding environmental entrenchment. A. Coal and oil imported from other areas of the country and the world have provided a significant proportion of the region’s heat and electricity since the mid-1930s. The use of these organic energy sources substantially changed the physical environment of the Kola Peninsula. 15 I. Izbrannye proizvedeniia. 1916): 456. 1919). no. “‘Terskii bereg´ (Kratkoe fiziko-geograficheskoe i estestvenno-istoricheskoe opisanie). which simultaneously became home to an increasing number of people.14 Though employees took free wood for heating needs. D. Regel´. 415-418. that some sort of pristine pre-industrial environment existed. 503-531. the small scale and intermittent operation of these timber companies limited their impact on local vegetation.. and K. Tom 1: Kol´skaia zemlia (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 8.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9. The discussion here focuses on how the exploitation of local bio-fuels transformed the regional landscape and how the spillover effects of air pollution from imported fossil fuels influenced human habitats. Their activities primarily involved the harvesting of wood for construction and operated by hiring seasonal laborers. While the contours of the resultant environmental change lie outside the scope of this study.

000 of forest cover circa 1921. Bentley Historical Library. 1. 30.21 An A. 19 Brian Bonhomme. no. 1923). 1983). Their labor depended on metabolic conversions within their bodies to extract muscle power capable of fulfilling state directives. The Culture of Time and Space. A. 1880-1918 (Cambridge. I-72. ll. 21 Reinhard Nachtigal. 706.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. 17-21. op. and Bentley Historical Library. GAMO. 17 According to a 1905 estimate the Aleksandrovsk district had 3. 1910): 34 and N. 25. op. R-483. M. 36-39. 147-156. R-483. Copy No. The Consequences of Modernity. 14 (July 15. ll.942. 1918). In the context of wartime chaos insufficient supplies of fuel for the trains became one of several weak links in the potential for the road to fulfill its modernist function of compressing space and time.and the frantic use of wood for locomotive fuel and warming workers and soldiers during war massively depleted this resource. DC: Government Printing Office. Polar Bear Collection. Die Murmanbahn 1915 bis 1919: Kriegsnotwendigkeit und Wirtschaftinteressen (Remshalden: BAG-Verlag. 10. and Revolutionaries: Forest Conservation and Organization in Soviet Russia.16 A rough estimate indicates that the region lost over a quarter of its forest cover between 1905 and 1921.18 The impact of this fuel crisis was felt in forests throughout the country. 4-6.000 desiatin of forest. “Severnyi gorno-khimicheskii trest ‘Apatit’ vo 2-m piatiletii. A later publication claims that this area had approximately 2.17 Soviet documents from 1920 described “the catastrophic situation with fuel on the northern part of the Murmansk railroad” and urged “applying all strength and energy to the complete elimination (nedopushcheniiu) of the fuel crisis” by intensive collection of forest materials.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi: Sbornik (Petrozavodsk: Pravlenie Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. Kagan. Ia. 1b. 104-105. Ovchinnikov. d. I. f. 21-24. 2005). 18 GAMO. and Wolfgang Schivelbusch. 64-66.900. and GAMO. Forests. 26. “Lesa Olonetsko-Murmanskogo kraia. [1977] 1986). 2007). 3-4 (1932): 20. Kiselev. Kossov and B. See “Protokol. 20 On the space-time compression in modernity and the relevance of the railroad. 2. Harry Duink Papers. ll.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai. 16 249 . see Giddens. The Railway Journey: The Industrialization of Time and Space in the 19th Century (Berkeley: University of California Press. f. 1917-1929 (Boulder: East European Monographs. As discussed earlier in this dissertation. f.” 2003). op. MA: Harvard University Press. the pattern of sending unfree laborers to help economically modernize the north began during the construction of the Murmansk railroad.20 Officials in charge of the railroad during the wars often relied on the energy produced by groups of coerced humans to gather local organic fuel. 1. 1. 100. Stephen Kern. Kol´skoi atomnoi—30: Stranitsy istorii (Murmansk: Izdatel´stvo “Reklamnaia poligrafiia. Russia Route Zone A: Murman Railway and Kola Peninsula. This involvement of human biology in landscape transformation occurred with the collection forest materials by POWs to help fuel locomotive engines. M. (Washington. d.19 The whole purpose of the railroad was to allow for quick access to an unfrozen port in the north. no. d. Peasants.

ll. 94. 29-32. Severonikel´. Basic Industrial Resources of the USSR (New York: Columbia University Press. GAMO. d. R-483. f. 32-32ob. ll. the difficult natural conditions of the region necessitated that a large portion of railroad workers participate in wood collection simply to keep themselves from freezing. d. ll. 22. 1925). 65-66. f. this bout of industrialization aimed at ascending socialist civilization over environmental constraints. ll. R-483. 1.e. using hired workers and again POWs. ll. In the NEP era the Murmansk railroad employed a slightly more sustainable approach to timber harvesting. both rhetorically Bentley Historical Library. 1. 2. 30. 121. Polar Bear Collection. op. 1. 287. l. 6. 13-16. 24 Nick Baron. GAMO. f. and GAMO. d.”22 After the Bolsheviks gained control of parts of the railroad during the Russian Civil War. 138. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. 21-25. R-483. GAMO. 115-120. the road still caused considerable depletion of Kola forests. 141-142. 260-262. Arnol´dov. f. f. 11-12.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 114. op. 7-9.24 Soviet industrialization of the 1930s and the reconstruction after World War II again relied on the rapid utilization of available forest material. Soviet Karelia: Politics. R-483. R-483. 75-78. f. not including hydroelectricity). f. 61-62.25 During the preceding decade the Murmansk railroad. d. 1. 53-54. 17. 36. 1920-1939 (London: Routledge. 3. 6. 1969). op. 94. the Office of Forest and Peat Development of the Murmansk railroad intensified these efforts to harvest as much wood and peat as possible. GAMO.3% of the materials used as fuels in the Soviet Union (i. 42. Harry Duink Papers. op. R-990. 773. d. 23 22 250 . 2-6. op. 55. 26 GAMO. ll. op. the Apatit combine. 100-104 and A. Zheleznodorozhnaia kolonizatsiia v Karel´sko-Murmanskom krae: Po materialam razrabotannym kolonizatsionnym otdelom pravleniia dorogi (Leningrad: Pravlenie Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. The loading is done by boys and girls. In 1940 firewood made up approximately 14. 36-39. 25-28.26 As we have seen. op. d. f. 16-20. 773. d. d. 156. ll. 169-171. f. a special department of the Kola Production Association of Energy and Electrification (Kolenergo).23 The use of forest materials as a fuel source further transformed the Kola environment to accommodate a major influx of Homo sapiens in the first decades of the Soviet period. and small-scale forest collection enterprises in Umba and near Kandalaksha collected and bought wood for regional use as an industrial fuel. Planning and Terror in Stalin’s Russia. 1. GAMO. op. 25 Theodore Shabad. 18ob. f. d. GAMO. ll. 1.American soldier involved in the Allied intervention described another instance of exploitative use of muscle power: “The fuel for the engines is all wood and is brought in to the wood stations by special wood trains. ll. 3-5. 26. Some not more than twelve years of age. Bunakov. GAMO. op. 1. 100. 1-4. 1. 36-38. R-621. According to official reports. 53. 1. V. and E. 2007). 31-38. 1. op. RGASPI. but since its entire business model depended on substituting natural resources on the land for state subsidies. d.

l. in 1943. f. d.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 2. f.33 Though the uncertainty Bunakov.427. Ia. 1998). lagerei. ll.32 This reduction in timber use led to a significant increase in forest cover. which included the more heavily forested land to the southwest of Kandalaksha. but some were involved in gathering firewood and peat. ll.” Sovetskoe olenevodstvo 4 (1934): 113-114 and RGASPI.” Sovetskii Murman (October 16. ll. 121. According to recent statistics. 17.754 of 1. 287.5% of the Murmansk okrug in 1934 to 22. 28 Lynne Viola cites a figure that 565.. several Gulag camps operating in the region in the early 1950s engaged in wood collection. f. 432-433. 386.. 1992). even as sulfur dioxide pollution in the proximity of urban-industrial centers caused visible forest destruction. 1923-1960 (Moscow: Zven´ia.31 As the use of hydroelectricity and then nuclear power grew in the second half of the twentieth century. The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kiselev. 264. 14 (July 15. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. 121. far more than any other industry. 198. the expansion of forest cover reached 67. 136-137 and RGASPI. the wood harvesting on the Kola Peninsula decreased substantially. 1910): 34.and through state plans. part 2 (Apatity: Akademii Nauk SSSR. 2. 3. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa. Zamotkin and N. Kobzikov. 29 RGASPI. the forcefully extracted muscle power of dekulakized peasants greatly contributed to the country’s timber industry. kolonii. Erogova. Sistema ispravitel´no-trudovykh lagerei v SSSR. ed. I. 26. 17.1% forest cover—suggests that the twentieth century was actually an era of considerable forest growth in the region.29 Additionally. 2007).28 Most of the special settlers on the Kola Peninsula worked in other economic branches. d. d. A. d. op. 287. vol. M. “Toplivnyi balans Murmanskoi oblasti i voprosy ego ratsionalizatsii. The resultant de-forestation notably reduced the region’s forest cover from about 26. 17. a figure that likely decreased even further after the Kola AES went online. 17. 151 and A. op. 7-9. Smirov. “Ekonomicheskoe obosnovanie razvitiia olenevodstva Murmanskogo okruga. no. 32 I. 120. 1971).5% of the territory of the Murmansk region in 2008. op.539 special settlers (40%) worked in forestry. the lack of reliability of the 1905 estimate 27 251 .7% of the Murmansk oblast´. Factors limiting the accuracy of this estimate include the following: a considerable area around Kandalaksha and down into northern Karelia that had a comparatively high concentration of forestland was not part of the administrative unit used in 1905. 30 M. op.30 Decimation of the Kola forests to fuel industrial activity peaked during the Second World War and the postwar reconstruction and this trend then reversed course. 33 “Protokol. Lynne Viola. 121. By 1971 forest materials only made up about 5% of the fuel sources used in the region. eds. f. 31 RGASPI. B.” in E. 7-8. 7-9. A comparison of this figure to what was almost certainly a considerably low estimate from 1905—the Aleksandrovsk district (uezd) of the Arkhangel´sk province had 29.27 During this time. 244.

Kolenergo determined that peat collection and processing made little economic sense at given restricted surveying abilities at the time. Reprinted in S. kolonii. after which it declined sharply. 2. op. and the initial plans for the Severonikel´ combine ordered the extraction of up to 200. 17. 37 RGASPI. op. 773. op. op. 1. Istoriia industrializatsii SSSR. 1 (January 1917): 9. d. enterprises in the region had excavated considerable supplies of peat. In contrast to the assessments of Voshchinin. f.g. 6. l. no. f. University of California. l. For an example of the enthusiasm for peat from the imperial era. op.D. Peat played a prominent role in the energy economy of the country in the early twentieth century and successfully served other regions with more organic material. 36 GAMO. 1-225. For instance. an old colleague of Gennadii Chirkin in the imperial Resettlement Administration. however. 120. and GAMO.34 Regional boosters in the late imperial and early Soviet era praised the possibilities of peat. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. f. claiming that the Kola Peninsula was rich enough in peat that up to 40 million airdried tons of it could be collected near the railroad.. 1969).” Sovetskii Murman (October 16. 151. the expansion of other energy resources diminished the use of this organic material.000 tons of the fuel. wrote to Polar Pravda in 1939. This overall conclusion. f. 1. and the exclusion of forest health from this metric (land considered forested in 2008 might have included territory with little or no trees because of industrial pollution). 26. 151.38 As with wood. Berkeley. 65-66. op. 55.. It made up 5. 6. and burning of peat. 1. Bubnovskii.around such data demands suspicion in such a conclusion. “Transforming Nature: The Russian Forest and the Soviet State. 252 . the comparative proximity of peat sources figured prominently in evaluations of the various proposed locations for an alumina factory in the region. Another endeavor that modified the surface of the region to enable industrial activity was the collection. op. Industrializatsiia Severo-zapadnogo raiona v gody vtoroi i tret´ei piatiletok (1933-1941 g. 3. 1939). 38 GAMO. 3. ll. 1 (January 2010): 93-118 and Stephen Christopher Brain. d. 17.” Izvestiia Arkhangel´skogo obshchestva izucheniia Russkogo Severa 9. 1. and GAMO.” Russian Review 69. GAMO. 65-66. ll. f. “Stalin’s Environmentalism. d. see M. ll. 34 Shabad. R-483.7 % of fuel used in the Soviet Union in 1940. d. 2007). processing. it points to how changes in types of fuels supplying the energy economy altered landscapes in less obvious ways. d. 117-118. ll. 26.36 In the 1930s Apatit employed special settlers to gather peat. I. 773. l. 1-226. diss. Kiselev.): Dokumenty i materialy (Leningrad: Isdatel´stvo LGU. d. f. aligns with some of Stephen Brain’s recent reassessment of Soviet forest policy. 773. 35 Originally from Poliarnaia pravda (February 11. See Stephen Brain. Peat is decayed vegetation matter often built up in marshes that can be turned into a moderately efficient fuel through drying and compression. 6. d. 1. Tiul´panova. Basic Industrial Resources of the USSR. no. R-483.37 Furthermore. RGASPI. 1900-1953” (Ph.35 Beginning with the Murmansk railroad during the Russian Civil War. 55. “Po novomu puti (Iz dnevnika narodnogo uchitelia). f. 1992). lagerei. Vladimir Voshchinin. ed. 120.

Modern economies have frequently depended on shipments of materials across long distances. 125-128. Kobzikov. With decreasing transportation costs and increasing international trade in the late twentieth century. part 2. “Znachenie Grumanta (Shpitsbergena) dlia russkogo severa. 244. op. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa. 108-112. L. 41 Murmanskaia zheleznaia doroga: Kratkii ocherk postroiki zheleznoi dorogi na Murman s opisaniem eia raiona (Petrograd. Portsel´. 2.” in Ushakovskie chteniia: Materialy pervoi nauchno-prakticheskoi mezhregional´noi kraevedcheskoi konferentsii pamiati professora I. vol. the increasing reliance on the network for economic modernization maintained or strengthened this form of entwined relations between people and the environment. The supplies of peat on the Kola Peninsula existed in small and isolated marshes. the importation of fossil fuels to produce electricity and heat municipalities connected the Kola Peninsula to distant landscapes and eventually led to pollution that deteriorated remote and local environments. f. Despite the autarkic and quasi-colonial development models that characterized the regional economy of the Kola Peninsula for most of the Soviet era. d. and could only be accessed during the short summer season. In one sense. However. the complex geographies of production and consumption have given rise to ever more intricate webs connecting people with economically used and disturbed nature. but with rapid industrialization of the 1930s GAMO. at least until the advent of nuclear power in the Murmansk region. 40 39 253 .. K. From the beginning.39 By the 1970s the use of peat as a fuel in the Murmansk region had become negligible. 1. Regional boosters in the early twentieth century envisioned shipping coal mined on the Arctic island Spitsbergen of the Svalbard archipelago and in the Pechora basin to the Kola Peninsula. R-990.40 Finally. eds.41 During parts of World War I and the Russian Civil War. 214224. 1916). Ushakova (Murmansk: MGPU. 2004). “Toplivnyi balans Murmanskoi oblasti i voprosy ego ratsionalizatsii. the territory required the importation of coal and oil to meet the energy needs of modernization.” in Zamotkin and Erogova. “Pervaia russkaia geologorazvedochnaia ekspeditsii na Shpitsbergen.the end of the 1930s. Samoilovich. and A.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. ll. modernization schemes for this section of the far north entailed plans to bring in energy sources from elsewhere. which prevented mechanized extraction and required large amounts of labor. some of the northern sections of the Murmansk railroad ran on coal imported from Britain. F. 4. the shipment of these fossil fuels to the region removed people residing on the Kola Peninsula from the natural contexts of their energy sources. 2-3. R.

773. ed. The Soviet Mineral-Fuels Industries. f. “Analiz teplosnabzheniia severnykh gorodov. ed. Problemy energetiki zapada evropeiskogo Severa Rossii. op. 26 and Shimkin. University of Chicago. 46 Jordan A. 12... “Toplivnyi balans Murmanskoi oblasti i voprosy ego ratsionalizatsii. 1961). ARAN. ll. 2002). almost all of whom were first or second generation migrants. 2007). The Coal Industry of the Former USSR: Coal Supply System and Industry Development (New York: Taylor and Francis. “Toplivnyi balans Murmanskoi oblasti i voprosy ego ratsionalizatsii. 46-52.. 49 Iu. Kovalchuk. 34. Portsel´. 244. N.600. 16-17. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa.47 The reliance on these fuels by residents of the Kola Peninsula. 3-5.. d. 170-174.43 A portion of this coal fueled Kola industries. 1928-1958. 47 Kobzikov. Kol’skii promyshlennyi uzel (Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe ekonomicheskoe izdatel´stvo. 544. op.46 The Kola Peninsula imported coal from the Pechora basin throughout the second half of the twentieth century and mazut (unprocessed diesel) from refineries near Kirishi and Iaroslavl´ beginning in the 1960s. 44 and A. Production. 2.000 tons of mazut and 700 tons of coal were used annually to heat homes and municipal buildings in the region in the mid1990s. 1.49 In the post-Soviet era residents also began to use gasoline to fuel automobiles at Bentley Historical Library. 244. 1932). K. 44 GAMO. vol. As energy became less expensive within the Soviet economy in the Brezhnev era. 378. and G. 2006).” in Zamotkin and Erogova. 2. 96. The author anticipated both trends continuing in this direction. 45 Kiselev. increased dramatically as the region became highly urbanized in the 1960s and 1970s.” in Stepanov. 1938-1965” (PhD diss. B.44 Between 1930 and 1934 alone the regional demand for coal increased tenfold and this trend of rapidly rising fossil fuel consumption continued for decades. Kol´skoi atomnoi—30. 98-105. 65.the country became an exporter of this fossil fuel. ll. F.48 Excluding industrial enterprises. Hodgkins.5 times and the heat demand doubled over this period. part 2. 31. 1. eds. Priroda i khoziaistvo Severa.42 During this period the government operated coalmines on Norwegian Spitsbergen and developed the Pechora basin. d. 454 and A. eds. Russia Route Zone A. Dunin and S. f. 43 Alan Barenberg. 48 Kobzikov. and Potential (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.45 Domestic coal production in the Soviet Union as a whole more than doubled during the 1950s and then gradually began to be augmented with oil and gas. 42 254 . Soviet Power: Energy Resources. 1. part 2.” in Zamotkin and Erogova. “Kak ‘vragi naroda’ ‘sryvali’ snabzhenie gorniakov na Shpitsbergene. Solov´ianov. vol. One source reported in 1971 that the amount of energy used per person in the Murmansk region between 1965 and 1970 increased almost 1.. “From Prison Camp to Mining Town: The Gulag and its Legacy in Vorkuta. Salina. rising demand for it outstripped regional population growth.” in Tretie Ushakovskie chteniia: Sbornik nauchnykh statei (Murmansk: MGPU. G.

record levels. ed. The emissions of smoke. over one hundred boiler stations to heat the numerous concentrated urbanized settlements on the Kola Peninsula appeared during the twentieth century. Something New Under the Sun. 1973). During the final three months of 1973. and acid rain. ed. 1-7 and Kaibysheva. 50-117. climate change. 1988). vol. ll. 95-97. 1. 2003). and expanded to heat generation at the end of the decade. Severonikel´. DC: Brookings Institution Press. ll.” in Kiselev.. “Analiz teplosnabzheniia severnykh gorodov. Pechenganikel´. Terziev. 51 For an analysis of the longer-term impact of Soviet planning in the north and the particular cost of doing business in cold environments.. 130. 31-32. d. 53 L. carbon dioxide. “Zabota o prirode—eto zabota o nashem zdorov´e: pis´mo pervoe.50 In the late Soviet period and partially into the 1990s. and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere from the thermal-electric power stations in Murmansk and the Kirovsk region caused standard ailments of air pollution: smog.52 The coal-powered Murmansk thermal electric station first went into operation in 1934.” in Stepanov. 52 McNeill. 55-56 and “Vvodnyi ocherk. see Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy. 2. Russian Nature. R-990. Elektricheskoe siianie severa (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo.53 The construction of a similar station that produced both electrical and thermal energy occurred near Kirovsk beginning in the late 1950s in connection with expansion of the Apatit combine and development of the city of Apatity. cheaper energy prices and the support of state subsidies allowed northern regions to avoid the costs of operating large industrial centers in cold environments. and GAMO. Dunin and Salina.51 The consumption of imported fossil fuels had a significant environmental impact on the Kola Peninsula and at the sites of extraction. Kaibysheva. 175-176. 617. 50 255 . these features of state-socialist economic policy helped exacerbate the apparent distance between the urbanized north and the environment while keeping them deeply entrenched. Though the Gulf Stream and its European location left the Murmansk region less affected by the unacknowledged expenses of the Soviet development strategy. S. The Siberian Curse: How Communist Economic Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold (Washington. Problemy energetiki zapada evropeiskogo Severa Rossii. F. Elektricheskoe siianie severa. Kol´skii entsiklopediia. Problemy energetiki zapada evropeiskogo Severa Rossii. 1633.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 20. op. 1. 57-68.54 In addition. op. R-990. f. 30-38. 54 GAMO. ed. 1934-2004 (Murmansk: Sever.55 In the 1970s specific Kola enterprises also consumed considerable amounts of imported fossil fuels. “Analiz teplosnabzheniia severnykh gorodov. producing 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 1936..” in Stepanov. 2004). 55 Dunin and Salina. f. and the Lovozero Mining and Enrichment Combine (Lovozero GOK) Oldfield. 27-30 and Fabrika tepla i sveta. d. 1.

1. One newspaper article from 1973 warned about deteriorating air quality in the region and noted that Murmansk now had sulfur dioxide levels comparable to the much larger city of Leningrad. 34. 59 Kaibysheva. l.600 tons of harmful material. Kovalchuk. f. The Coal Industry of the Former USSR. the Pechora basin. 1. and dumped some 33 million cubic meters of contaminated water into surface streams. 1633.400 tons of coal from 1975 to 1984 and considerably reduced forms of air pollution in Murmansk. d. 34..000 tons discharged into the atmosphere. Renewable Resources From the 1930s through the 1960s. 58 Terziev. 5145. 386. which emitted 19. 61 Kaibysheva. In response. Elektricheskoe siianie severa. continued to operate as a coal-based plant. regional officials undertook certain mitigation efforts by switching to other energy sources.4 tons of ash and 110.57 Industrial production and everyday urban life on the modernized Kola Peninsula contributed to this pollution. including 28. 1973). the Kirovsk (and now Apatite) Thermal Electric Station. R-990. Elektricheskoe siianie severa.56 In 1990 mining operations at the main supplier of Kola coal. l. the Murmansk Thermal Electric Station converted to primarily using low-grade oil called mazut. op. 43. generated approximately 90. R-990. f. op. In the 1970s heightened environmental concern emerged about industrial pollution from the coal-burning power plants in the Murmansk region. 94. 1. 31. l.59 The station also built a new smokestack and environmental monitoring lab in the late 1970s. Electricity production allowed for extraordinary 56 57 RGAE. ed. 1633. 176. “Zabota o prirode. the utilization of the hydroelectric resources on the Kola Peninsula was a catalyst for its shift from an Arctic periphery to a highly urbanized and industrialized zone.61 However. 2.62 Though the influence of organic energy sources on the physical environment through pollution and de-forestation was quite stark.60 The switch to mazut saved 62. 60 GAMO.were projected to dwindle their combined reserves of coal and mazut by about half. f. op. d. 62 GAMO.” Poliarnaia pravda (June 20. 256 .3 tons of sulfur dioxide a day in the mid-1970s. d. It included some of the coal-based power plants in a list of enterprises that “emit a considerable amount of toxic and harmful substances into the air everyday.”58 Soon afterwards. the efforts to manipulate flowing water might have transformed the surface of the region more visibly.

“Vodnye sily Murmanskogo kraia i vozmozhnost´ ispol´zovaniia ikh v tseliakh razvitiia ekonomicheskoi zhizni. 207-208. Something New Under the Sun.420 to 521. but was used internationally.”63 A 1923 evaluation proposed that the Niva and Tuloma rivers. 63 257 .” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. The transformative scope of hydroelectric modernity was entrenched in the natural processes of a mammalian species. On the Kola Peninsula investigators found few potential fuels that could adequately supply economic development. “communism equals Soviet power plus electrification of the whole country.” in Proizvoditel´nye sily raiona Murmanskoi zheleznoi dorogi. including renewable sources such as rivers that could be used to produce hydroelectricity. The construction of hydroelectric power stations relocated people away from natural places both through forced migration and by enabling urbanization. When Lenin famously remarked. Hydroelectricity allowed Soviet citizens in the north to become separated from environmental contexts seen as natural and integrated into ones understood as modern. furthermore. “Vodnye sily Murmanskogo kraia i vozmozhnost´ ispol´zovaniia ikh v tseliakh razvitiia ekonomicheskoi zhizni. It only achieved this status. 208-209. However. altered the region’s hydrology by creating massive reservoirs and regulating the flow of rivers. which fostered an apparent detachment of human life from nature. This term “white coal” was not confined to Russia.990 kilowatts) of electricity. they did find plenty of electrical potential in “the powerful currents of rivers and waterfalls” or what they called “white coal. through an even more exhaustive application of the energy from the bodies of forced laborers in the construction of the dams. S. required highenergy inputs to enable economic development and fulfill its promise of material abundance. McNeill. The following State Electrification Plan of 1920 prompted initial research of energy resources throughout the country.000 horsepower (approximately 447. 64 Pashentsev. Pashentsev. could provide between 600. This source of electrical energy more thoroughly fulfilled the expectations of modernization than the organic substances had.expansion of economic activities. 175. The production of hydroelectricity. which in turn necessitated using a large amount of energy. Communism. like capitalism. combined with a few less powerful waterways. For the Bolsheviks the project of building Soviet socialism required industrial development. however.” he highlighted the dependency of the revolutionary project on the modernization of the energy economy. both of which affected wildlife populations.000 and 700.64 In the late 1920s the Soviet state began several gigantic damming projects that carried major D.

Industrialized Nature. Something New Under the Sun. As a renewable energy source that does not require the combustion of fossil fuels or fission of atomic bonds. 131-150 and Palumbo and Dmitriev. Deep Water: The Epic Struggle of Dams. H. 66 Leslie Dienes and Theodore Shabad. and the Environment (New York: Farrar. problemy i perspektivy gidroenergetiki Kol´skogo poluostrova. The Soviet Energy System: Resource Use and Policies (Washington. Hydroelectric power increased dramatically during the Stalinist era. DC: Island Press. Displaced People. millions of people were displaced for the sake of hydroelectric dams in the twentieth century. 149-191. “Sostoianie. and transfers it to consumers. 2005).65 It played an even more dominant role in the Kola electricity sector until the 1970s. captures and stores energy from descending water. turbines and generators convert passing water into electricity. DC: V. 1979). 67 McNeil. 34. despite the region’s low levels of biomass and historically sparse human population. the fragmentation of river ecosystems.symbolic significance for the modernizing country such as the Dnepr Hydroelectric Station. the development of the Kola energy economy through the first half of the twentieth century employed an important form of this embroilment by relying en masse on the muscle power of coerced laborers. the use of hydroelectricity depends primarily on construction and maintenance of infrastructure that controls river flow.66 The production of hydroelectricity worldwide has had a number of common features.2% by 1950. The formation of this infrastructure alters environments in several general ways. Problemy energetiki zapada evropeiskogo Severa Rossii. Often dams hold high reserves of water and regulate flow. Josephson. Josephson. climbing from generating 4% of Soviet electricity in 1928 to 8% by 1937 and 15. the depletion of certain aquatic species. It leads to the flooding of large areas of land. 2002). 32. 16-18. Winston and Sons. and the disruption of riverbanks. It involves the conversion of the kinetic energy of flowing water and potential energy of dammed upstream reservoirs into electricity. As we have already seen. People foraged on plants and animals and stored a percentage of the Paul R. Straus and Giroux. 20. and Jacques Leslie. 65 258 .” in Stepanov. ed. which had one of the largest dams in the world at the time. In addition.67 The Soviet development of a network of hydroelectric power stations on the Kola Peninsula fits within this common pattern of economic modernization.. Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World (Washington. Metabolic energy conversions within the body have contributed to the survival and expansion of human societies for millions of years. 15-68.

mechanical processes. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon Books. and thus human muscle power. ed. vol. 1. These biological energy systems in humans epitomized the deeply entrenched connections with nature in earlier historical periods. see Michel Foucault. ll. has been the massive human labor. 10-16. 1. The first major hydroelectric project on the Niva River of the Kola Peninsula greatly facilitated the industrial transformation of the environment and coercively utilized humans as energy sources. the social and political tactics of regulating people into energy producers was a quite literal form of Foucauldian biopower. 1. 257-289.biological and chemical energy of these species in their muscles. functioned in a similar vein with powerful groups oppressing huge populations and using them as an energy source. Industrialization. project leaders and initial laborers managed to get a McNeil. obtain. op. Economic planners hoped to turn the Niva River into a motor powering urban and industrial growth of the apatite works in the Khibiny Mountains. camels. of course. necessary to build. This new type of dependency kept humans and nature entwined. On a comparative scale. Something New Under the Sun. thereby employing oppression that maintained intimate connections with nature. Draft animals such as horses. 69 68 259 . On Foucault’s theories of bio-power. It forcefully exploited humans for their muscle power. Human slavery.68 The other side of energy modernization. f. far more efficiently than humans ever could in the past. has largely been a story of finding fossil fuels. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage Books. in particular. d. 70 GAMO. The Foucault Reader. and reindeer undertook similar processes that resulted in greater capacities of muscle power. The river initially descended about 127 meters over approximately 34 kilometers as it flowed from Lake Imandra to the Kandalaksha Bay. the state chose to continue the use of slave labor to build hydroelectric dams during Stalinist modernization. trans. 773. and operate these industrial technologies. and atomic bonds to do far more work. 1984).70 Despite the disorder that characterized the first years of construction of Apatit. More people did more work in the twentieth century to get more energy and the continual process of modernization engendered a greater reliance on this muscle power. [1978] 1990) and Michel Foucault. in which the internalization of personal discipline contributed to the bodily manifestation of energy to make more energy. however.69 In the case of the Soviet Union. 66-68.

773.71 This first installation on the Niva River met the expected local energy needs for the next few years as work on a larger hydroelectric station commenced.” Karelo-Murmanskii krai. 225. 195-197.) (Murmansk: Izdatel´stvo MGPU. R-990. d. 15. 120. op. 5-6 (1931): 10. l. 1993). “Sostoianie i perspektivy stroitel´stva v raione Khibinskikh razrabotok. Barabanov and T.74 In the mid-1930s. industrial planners also hoped the station would serve the projected chemical combine in Kandalaksha. Shashkov. 26. almost ten times the amount of electricity as the first units. f.76 The free laborers who worked on the project frequently violated their contracts and left the region early. relied on energy produced in the muscles of forced laborers.75 Approximately 7200 special settlers. 52. f. f. 1. F. Kandalaksha (Murmansk: Murmanskoe knizhnoe izdatel´stvo. 71 260 . and E. A. d. Elektricheskoe siianie severa. 74 GAMO. 17. and Kaibysheva. The Niva-2 GES. V. op. 1. Spetspereselentsy na Murmane: Rol´ spetspereselentsev v razvitii proizvoditel´nykh sil na Kol´skom poluostrove (1930-1936 gg. 72 V. d. Engineers reduced seasonal variation in river flow and used underground turbines to assure a GAMO. coming mostly from the middle and lower Volga regions. 26. Overall. 1991). d. this electrical energy supported the economic modernization of the Lake Imandra corridor for decades to come. op. “Apatit”: vek iz veka (Apatity: Laplandia Minerals. 75-77. 120. helping increase Apatit’s productive capacities and Kirovsk’s population. op. 150-178. I. op.000 kilowatts. l. 773. The head of the dam’s construction seriously pushed for hiring Finnish laborers whom he presumed would not be deterred by the climatic conditions of the Kola Peninsula. 17. 73 GAMO. like others built on the Kola Peninsula during the Stalinist era. 25. significantly more calories needed to be expended on just maintaining body temperature in this cold region and this energy was then unusable for labor. 6. 76 V. Razin. op. 26. 773. f. 15. 115-119. l. 195-197. 225. 1. no. 1. were forced to work on the installations of the Niva GES in the early 1930s. f. d. 15. d. 773. 3.77 The harsh northern environment taxed these hired and forced laborers’ bodies. l. Ia. 1. 77 GAMO. ll.low capacity generator into operation in the summer of 1930. 53 and GAMO. 1. f. ll. Soviet Karelia. 90-92. A. 17. ll. d. op.73 This unit enabled the partial electrification of the Murmansk railroad on the Kola Peninsula. op. RGASPI. These hydroelectric stations transformed the surrounding ecosystem. 225 and RGASPI. Kondrikov. ll. Kalinina. 168-169 and GAMO. f.72 The Niva-2 Hydroelectric Station (GES) came online in June 1934 and eventually reached a capacity of 60. d. 773. 2004). 75 Important information about these hydroelectric projects involving forced labor appears in Baron. f.

he claimed. which they traded and consumed themselves. 6 (Leningrad: NIS-NKTP Lenoblispolkom.79 In the 1920s small communities nearby caught a decent amount of fish from the river. “K voprosu ob ispol´zovanie energii vetra v Khibinskom raione. 82 Kolenergo. 1936-1996. op. 78 261 ..g. 1. no. 773. ed. All this greatly hindered the salmon from freely ascending the river… The installation of a hydroelectric station on the Niva will totally shut off the passage up the river for salmon to their main spawning grounds and evidently will completely terminate their population here. Istoriia industrializatsii SSSR. Gudlevskii noted that the Niva station was not going to provide enough energy to meet Apatit’s growing needs and proposed an alternative.81 In the 1990s the Niva cascade had a 12. 79 Kaibysheva. f. 1936-1996. 119-120. 17. 55.84 In later years Fersman continued to promote the possibility of capturing both wind and tidal energy on the Murman coast. 81 GAMO. 17.).”83 This option excited Vasilii Kondrikov and Aleksandr Fersman—with the former calling it “the energy of the future”—and led to some preliminary planning work for a wind-powered electrical station. We need a new source of energy. 80 “Semga reki Niva.” Zhivaia Arktika. “it has been found” in “the possibility of maximally using wind power. 6.comparatively stable year-round supply of energy.80 Unlike some other rivers. “Sostoianie i zadachi issledovatel´skikh rabot (Vstupitel´noe slovo)” and “Preniia i vyvody po dokladam.” in Fersman. it is said. vol. F. strewn with logs that up until then clogged up the river at the spots of several small rapids and rose the level of the water. 1 (September 2002): 15. ed. In 1930 one observer described anthropogenic influences of the timber and electricity industries and foresaw the impending collapse of the salmon stock: Below Lake Plesozero the whole river was. d. Industrializatsiia Severo-zapadnogo raiona v gody vtoroi i tret´ei piatiletok (1933-1941 g. A.. He Tiul´panova. I. 235. Khibinskie Apatity: Itogi nauchno-issledovatel´skikh i poiskovykh rabot. ed. In an enthusiastic report in September 1933. 83 A. 1933).82 Stalinist-era modernization also inspired different renewable energy projects on the Kola Peninsula. 237. This project did not come to fruition. Kondrikov. the Niva had Lake Imandra and its surrounding water bodies as a natural reservoir. a large population of salmon (semga) existed in the Niva River but then disappeared because of this group of hydroelectric stations.” in A.78 Until the 1930s. 14. 104. Fersman. Gudlevskii. F. E. Elektricheskoe siianie severa. vol. Khibinskie Apatity.. 351-356 and Kolenergo. ll. the gradual establishment of a cascade of the three hydroelectric stations on the river between 1930 and the early 1950s inundated more territory around the reservoirs at Lake Pirenga and Lake Plesozero. 84 V.800 square kilometer catchment basin (vodosbor). Nevertheless.

86 85 262 .88 Official documents evoked the conquest of nature rhetoric and celebrated the Tuloma construction as prevailing over natural constraints.” in G. Murman. d. l. f.included these two sources as examples of “a negative side of polar nature” that could be transformed into “productive forces. Khibiny do i posle… (Apatity: Sever. Bodrova. Before construction began in the mid1930s the Tuloma River traveled approximately 76 kilometers from Lake Notozero and then exited into the Kola Bay at the town of Kola. R-959. 1972). One source noted that it was “the northernmost hydro-station of regional significance in the world and was accomplished in a short period (1934-1936) in the difficult natural conditions of a Polar territory. 544. 5. 89 GAMO. op. 4-5. ll. ed. 1a. 1. 87 S. Conservation in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. f. 88 GAMO.87 Planners placed the Lower Tuloma GES near Kola at the new settlement of Murmashi. d. no. “Dlia zhizni net al´ternativy. d. op. 1. “Reka-Tulom—istochnik energosnabzheniia Kol´skogo poluostrova. l. 207 l.. 1. state planners looked for additional options to supply electricity to Apatit. which consisted of “a strong building with chutes and tail-races and connecting the left and right bank dams” and a “fish-pass. and the growing city of Murmansk. The initial designs included a stationary unit.”85 In the late 1960s a small-scale tidal power station in the Kislaia Bay was installed and in the 1990s the option of wind energy found renewed interest. For ARAN. like much of the industrial construction on the Kola Peninsula. 84-87. environmental factors created unanticipated difficulties and delayed completion of the Lower Tuloma GES. The river ranged from 400 to 900 meters in width and declined about 50 meters over its length. R-959. 18. V. f. op.86 As the Kola Peninsula industrialized further during the 1930s. 2002). op. d. 1. The main plan entailed turning the Tuloma River into a hydroelectric source and integrating it with the stations on the Niva. R-959. 1a. the planned chemical combine in Kandalaksha. Pryde. 1a. Grigor´ev. f. the new nickel works in the Monche tundra.” KareloMurmanskii Krai. 3-4 (1934): 37-38 and GAMO.” The dam unit consisted of a “mixed-type non-overflow dam” that was 29 meters high.”89 However. 131 and Valerii Berlin. Philip R. 4.

d. 8 and GAMO. l. R-959. 4. f. R-959. 1992).” Sovetskii Murman (October 16. d. But the people are transformed even more than nature. 12 (1934): 50. R-959. of course. d. op. It specified. It continued. state agencies evaluated these disruptions primarily in economic terms: “The submersion and impounding from the head of the Lower Tuloma GES did not bring any sort of noticeable damage to the national economy because of the extremely insignificant population and the complete absence of industry in the high water area. l. 92 GAMO. the White Sea – Baltic Combine built the Lower Tuloma GES with Gulag prisoners. Like the Olen´iaMonchegorsk railroad line. 10. 90 263 .92 Though the Soviet state increasingly censored information about forced labor. f. Numerous prisoners perished because of accidental explosions that occurred while constructing the dam. d. the Tuloma project still received public praise as an instance of socialist reforging. 93 S. l.example. op. op. GAMO.90 Nonetheless. on which 1691 hectares fall in the forested area and 712 in the marshes with undergrowth. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem. 1. but it was not specified in the archival document. ll. d. Unsurprisingly. Such problems with the construction of the dam continued after World War II. I am fairly confident that this unit was one thousand kilowatt-hours. op. 18. f. “the overall area of the flooding of the shores is a region of 2735 hectares.” according to a government commission charged with overseeing the construction. 3. by 1940 it contributed 67. Kiselev. 1. The rocks are moved aside and the shape of the shores of the mountainous Tuloma changes. and A. Kiselev. op.” Karelo-Murmanskii Krai. 1. 3-96. A. The public discussions of prisoner labor touched on the new relationship between people and the environment. ll. kolonii. “Gidrostantsiia na Tulome. 1a.91 Again the energy of forced laborers facilitated the project. f. 1992). 1. l. “GULAG na Murmane: Istoriia tiurem.400 kilowatt-hours to the Kola energy economy. In connection with these submersions three GAMO. in line with propaganda about the White Sea – Baltic Canal. f.” Sovetskii Murman (October 21. kolonii. R-959. lagerei. no. 1.” claimed one article. lagerei. see GAMO. the thawing of solidly frozen land led to structural problems for the dam. 1.”93 The flooding for the Lower Tuloma station physically altered the landscape and displaced people from their homes. “The people sent to solve complex technical tasks and at the same time rehabilitate an army of former criminals will grow at Tuloma in this way. 3. Germaize. R-959. “Murmashi became unrecognizable. 3. pervaded here. Poor sanitation and difficult work conditions. 1a. which indicated both the ascendance of humans and the dependence of this change on interaction with nature. 91 GAMO. 4. Al´terman and Em. 38-58 . d. R-990. f. op. 5. 3.

d. R990. op. d.”94 The construction of the Upper Tuloma GES. 1-130. 1-3. f. 1. f. 92. 9037. R-990. which include 30 households. R-990. 65-70.95 Both of these stations impacted the aquatic fauna in the river ecosystem negatively. R-959. 1. 1633.98 By 1970 the entire electrical energy system. ll. op.9 billion kilowatt-hours GAMO. 1242. d.97 The high levels of electricity needed for nickel smelting provided an early impetus for the growth of this network. 27-28. 70 and GAMO. It seems plausible that this individual was the same Chirkin involved with the imperial Resettlement Administration and the Murmansk railroad. ll. GAMO. ll. d. 1936-1996. R-990. R-990. such as whitefish and perch. R-990. 1-112. In later decades Kolenergo oversaw the expansion and integration of the regional energy network to include seventeen hydroelectric stations on six rivers. f. Kolenergo's total capacity shot up from 70.000 kilowatts in 1939. d. 1. f. op. ll. 1. d. f. GAMO. R-990. 1-94. f. f. 1936-1996. f. GAMO. f. ll. 1-18. op. l. d. R-990. 37. op. As in the case of the Niva. 104-106. 1-155. 1-200. despite efforts to build fish passes. ll. Elektricheskoe siianie severa. R-990. op. GAMO. 1-53. 23-25. 457. GAMO. but the adjustments in the water levels to assure supplies of hydroelectricity caused the eggs of the fish to freeze. 1. raising the level of Lake Notozero by 32 meters for the reservoir. op. the electricity needs fell short of these expectations. f. Some fish species. d. f. 1. f. 2. 1-199. d. op. ll. 1. 19-20. 38-58. R-990. 3. op. op. 840. Kolenergo. 1. 1. f. ll.96 The continual effort to harvest more energy in the region to fuel industrial and urban expansion—punctuated significantly by the evacuation of industry during the Second World War—included a move to coordinate the hydroelectric and thermal power plants. 1. op. contributed 7. Given the delays in the smelting operations at Severonikel´. 1. f. 617. d. 98 GAMO. op. 62. Kolenergo. 773. R-990. 706. d. R-959. op. 4. 1-146. 96 Kaibysheva. f. 95 94 264 . The person in charge of planning the Upper Tuloma station in the 1930s was someone named G. ll. 3. GAMO. flooded a much more significant area. ll. d. op. and Kolenergo. op. 1. d. 4. 1. d. GAMO. GAMO. 1. was set up in 1936 during the construction of the Lower Tuloma GES. d. 1. GAMO.000 kilowatts in 1937 to 129.collective farms. The managing firm. 1a. op. d. 1246. d. 1. 290. R-990. 75-77. ll. 97 GAMO. 1. l. 1. f. ll. R-990. and GAMO. It immediately commenced connecting the Niva and Tuloma stations with high voltage transfer lines and substations. ll. 32-47. op. 1. ll. f. the Tuloma hydroelectric stations harmed the salmon population. op. RGAE. GAMO. GAMO. 1. l. GAMO. d. 38-54. 840. R-990. including thermal plants. GAMO. R-990. first planned in the 1930s but actually built in the 1960s by the Finnish company Imatran Voima. used the new water bodies in reproduction. ll. op. 1. Chirkin who worked for the White Sea–Baltic Combine of the Gulag system. 1242. f. were transferred to locations that had not been flooded. 41. 1. ll. 1. d. primarily to meet the Severonikel´ combine’s anticipated needs. 19-19ob. f.

to the region. exploded on to the public scene with the American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. 2006). V. eds.6 billion kilowatt-hours.101 Nuclear Power The capture of the energy released during nuclear fission and the conversion of it into electrical power made the final period of Soviet modernization of the Kola Peninsula possible. Petrov and I. The growth in energy production allowed for a tremendous increase in the population of the Murmansk region. 2005). Petrov and I. 1242.99 This large expansion of Kolenergo's network isolated humans from natural contexts in several ways. A. G.. and A. l. 51-67. Simanovskaia. 1. P. N. 16. Nearly all of these new residents lived in urbanized settlements considerable distances from the hydroelectric dams. op. N. N. Samorukova. “Chal´mny-Varre: Likvidirovanniia derevnia kak mesto pamiati. 8 and Palumbo and Dmitriev. and A. Pereselenie gruppy kol´skikh saamov (Apatity: Kol´skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. Vinogradova. eds. Razumova.” in Stepanov. Vinogradova. 100 “Vvodnyi ocherk. The displacement eliminated the community’s access to fishing grounds and separated them from a landscape with deep historical significance. Gutsol. Reindeer herding villages on the Vorona and Ponoi rives faced relocation in the 1960s. A. vol. 57. Severiane: Problemy sotsiokul´turnoi adaptatsii zhitelei Kol´skogo poluostrova (Apatity: Kol’skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. d. The flooding of ancestral homelands of the Sami community for the Serebriansk hydroelectric stations forced residents to move to the urbanized agro-center of Lovozero.” in Kiselev. S. Razumova. 1. 101 N. Human campaigns to use the energy from atomic bonds have been clouded in suspicions since nuclear power. G. literally. Kol´skii entsiklopediia. The proliferation of hydroelectric stations also led to new displacements of rural communities. The energy production of the hydroelectric stations peaked in the 1990s at 6. 2007). “Sostoianie.” in V. f. ed. N. while of course retaining interconnectedness through electrical networks.” in V. ed. 104-108.. harnessing and transferring the ability of local rivers to do work through the Kolenergo network reduced the reliance of heavy industries on immediately proximate energy inputs. Gutsol. 33-37. R-990. 70. Both the fact GAMO.. Samorukova. Furthermore. N.100 The spatial isolation of modern Soviet citizens in the north from the sources of energy upon which they depended contributed to their detachment from the environment.. Chelovek v sotsiokul´turnom prostranstve: Evropeiskii Sever Rossii (Apatity: Kol´skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. S. and A. problemy i perspektivy gidroenergetiki Kol´skogo poluostrova. “Istoricheskie usloviia i sotsial´noekonomicheskie posledstviia pereselenii Kol´skikh saamov v sovetskii period (na primere trekh saamskikh pogostov). P. Problemy energetiki zapada evropeiskogo Severa Rossii. 99 265 .

that destructive military uses of atomic energy occurred before economic ones and the continued prominence of nuclear arms in global security politics have shaped this sector of the energy economy since its inception. 104 Palumbo and Dmitriev. problemy i perspektivy gidroenergetiki Kol´skogo poluostrova” and I. “Problema zameshcheniia moshchnostei rossiiskikh AES posle sniatiia ikh s ekspluatatsii. 103 102 266 . the secrecy and uncertain risks around it embroiled humans with nature in new ways. which altered the environment in some of the ways discussed in the previous chapter. The first VVER-230 block of the Kola AES immediately contributed an additional 440 megawatts to the region’s energy capacity.” in Stepanov.104 This facility solved the civilian energy deficit in the region and fueled a renewed episode of expanding industrial production. Red Atom. 18. Nuclear energy has possessed key economic functions in the post-Stalinist Soviet Union and post-communist Russian Federation. Environmental. and Development Co-operation in the North of Europe: Proceedings from the Conference in Apatity. 1981 and 1984. The government responded to this new energy dearth by establishing the Kola Nuclear Power Plant on the southern shores of Lake Imandra in the new town of Poliarnye Zori in 1973. 11. “Preface.103 By the Brezhnev era few waterways in the region that could be converted into high capacity electric motors remained unused. ed. 20-21. It is therefore unsurprising that the development of nuclear energy in the Soviet Union occurred under military auspices and with the great secrecy surrounding it. Nuclear Risks. Thus. The Soviet atomic energy program started with the experimental Obninsk reactor in 1954—the first plant in the world to use nuclear fission for energy production—and proliferated dramatically throughout the Cold War.” in Peder Axensten and Gösta Weissglas. R. 2000). Problemy energetiki zapada evropeiskogo Severa Rossii. respectively. which wound up producing significantly more than the entire network of hydroelectric stations.. The scientific and popular elusiveness of the knowledge about the impact of radiation on human health additionally contributed to a widespread wariness about nuclear power. Gösta Weissglas. while nuclear power satisfied energy needs for continued industrialization and the maintenance and spread of urbanized forms of Soviet life. Stepanov. the Kola Peninsula came to have the highest concentration of nuclear reactors of anywhere in the world. eds. 56-70.102 Beginning with development of a fleet of nuclear powered submarines in the 1950s and 1960s. The plant added three more blocks (one VVER-230 and two updated VVER-213s) of equal capacity in 1974.. Fully meeting the Josephson. “Sostoianie. 1999 (Umeå: Cerum.

“after all. Rosatom. Berlin. Bellona Report. no. 108 V. this huge station arose from scratch in about five years. Fedotov and B. An article in Polar Pravda celebrating the opening of the first block of the Kola plant in 1973 referenced the significance of the energy economy as an enabler of production by calling it the “bread of industry.” Kandalakshskii kommunist (August 20.” Poliarnaia pravda (July 5. “Kol´skaia AES i okruzhaiushchaia sreda.” It also evoked routinized tropes about the modern ascendance of people over nature. atomic stations. It billed the Kola plant as part of the further transcendence over environmental limitations and a means of improving nature. 1973): 1. which has not increased environmental pollution.” another pair of journalists assured readers. Reporters posited nuclear power as “a ‘clean’ source of energy. through the conquest of the harsh northern nature of the place.106 The desire to increase energy production has abided in communist and capitalist political systems. particularly in the 1990s. 5 (2006): 14. 1973): 4. V. Though the Northern Fleet of the Soviet Navy had been based out of the Murman coast since the mid-1930s. the Kola AES also exported electricity to northern Finland.. 3 (Oslo: Bellona.” Sever promyshlennoi. 40. referring to the event as “a triumph of people over nature. the massive Cold War era expansion of their activities was tied to the replacement of diesel engine submarines with nuclear ones that could travel faster and go up to a year without re-fueling.demand of local industry. “Bezvrednoe sosedstvo. vol. Given the similar technology involved in powering naval submarines 105 Nils Bøhmer.” They explained that the Kola station would increase the temperature of Lake Imandra and improve the fishing stock in this body of water. Press representations of the Kola AES in the 1970s highlighted the theme of modern control over the natural environment.”108 “On the contrary. 107 106 267 .105 In the last decade the state nuclear energy corporation.” Poliarnaia pravda (July 5. Torzhestvennoe otkrytie Kol´skoi AES. 1976): 3. Belousov. The development of nuclear-powered ships overlapped with the large-scale militarization of the Kola Peninsula. “stimulate nature. “Vtoraia ochered´ Kol´skoi AES. 2001).”107 The press also stressed nuclear energy as a technological solution to the environmental maladies of fossil fuels such as coal.109 The secrecy around nuclear power resulted largely because of its attachment to the security concerns of the Soviet military. 109 V. et al. has planned an additional expansion of the plant’s capacity. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. “Prazdnik na Imandre.” It explained. Aleksandrov.

Boyne. 112 Kiselev.110 Many of the leading scientists. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. also see Erik Hansen and Arnfinn Tønnessen. The Murmansk region housed more closed cities than any other region in the country. 2 and Josephson. the fleet grew to include 228 military vessels.. 113 Geir Hønneland and Anne-Kristin Jørgensen. Red Atom. their total population exceeded 150. Integration vs. a fact that further contributed to the often classified activities of this industry.and civilian icebreakers. 1987). On nuclear development on the Kola Peninsula. 119-128 and Tomas Ries and Johnny Skorve. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge.. in 1959 and the end of the century. Investigating Kola: A Study of Military Bases using Satellite Photography (London: Brassey’s Defence Publishers. Leninskii Komsomol. They include the headquarters of the Northern Fleet at Severomorsk. Autonomy: Civil-Military Relations on the Kola Peninsula (Aldershot: Ashgate. et. Red Atom. participated in all facets of nuclear energy from atomic weapons to electrical power stations and civilian vessels. 1999). al.112 The growth of the atomic powered fleets of sea-faring vessels highly influenced the direction of development on the Kola Peninsula since that time. 114 Bøhmer.113 In the forty-one years between the launch of the first nuclear submarine. Polaryni in the former Josephson. These closed cites are concentrated along the western part of the Murman coast from the Zapadnaia Lista base (just east of the Rybachi Peninsula) to the Kola Bay. 2003). Weir and Walter J. and Bøhmer. al.111 The initial plans for the Kola AES in the 1960s reflected the atmosphere of high security by referring to the project vaguely as the Kola State Regional Electrical Station. vi. two thirds of these operated out of bases on the Kola Peninsula. Kol´skoi atomnoi—30.114 An entire economic and municipal infrastructure developed around the military sector of the region. et. such as Igor Kurchatov and Anatolii Aleksandrov. The advent of nuclear power directly led to the Northern Fleet growing from the smallest sections of the Soviet Navy to the largest and most significant. 144-145. many specifically designed for the harboring and maintenance of nuclear submarines. 125-148. The military operations proliferated to include numerous air bases and naval facilities in the region. 109-145. Rising Tide: The Untold Story of the Russian Submarines That Fought the Cold War (New York: Basic Books. 21. 1998). 110 268 . Red Atom. Environment and Living Conditions on the Kola Peninsula (Oslo: Fafo Institute for Applied Social Science. all these early uses of nuclear energy on the Kola Peninsula in the late 1950s and early 1960s fell under the restricted confines of military security.000 inhabitants near the end of the twentieth century. including an array of closed cities connected to the naval bases. 111 Josephson. Gary E.

Podzemnaia razrabotka apatitovykh mestorozhdenii ot minnykh do iadernykh vzryvov (Apatity: Kol´skii nauchnyi tsentr Rossiisskoi Akademii nauk. Josephson. 91-98. 120-127 and Bøhmer.117 At Apatit engineering specialists arranged for underground nuclear explosions to pulverize huge chunks of ore in the Khibiny Mountains in 1974 and 1984 and in the process released harmful levels of radiation. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. Red Atom. and individuals employed in industries that directly served the Navy’s needs. Many of these ships experienced repeated accidents. al. and Ostovnoi (where the Iokanga naval base was built by the Murmansk railroad during World War I).116 The lack of public oversight and knowledge about this industry exacerbated safety issues. 118 V. Red Atom. Confidentiality also affected purely civilian uses of nuclear energy. 137-153. 109-166. Closed cities emerged out of the Soviet military-industrial complex and often were connected to the nuclear sphere. 2007).118 Finally. but the residents of closed cities in the Soviet era also had limited connections with the outside world. including the much celebrated Lenin nuclear icebreaker that had a reactor meltdown in 1966. It hid and isolated the new uses of the Kola landscape from the rest of the people living there. 247. Most closely connected to the military sector. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. They housed military personnel. 54. 27-31. 116 115 269 . 117 Josephson. comparable in terms of population growth to Stalinist industrialization of the 1930s. Not only could outsiders not enter these highly urbanized spaces. the reactors at the Kola AES suffered from technical design flaws that rendered them below international safety standards. Bøhmer. Gushchin. but have continued to exist in this secretive status into the post-Soviet era. al. and Josephson. et.Ekaterina Harbor (where the port town of Aleksandrovsk was established at the end of the nineteenth century).. For inhabitants of the closed nuclear cities this development also increased the extent to which their lives relied on forces beyond their control. fell outside the purview of the public. the Murmansk Shipping Company operated a small fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers and service ships from their Atomflot base just north of Murmansk. including restricted access to telephones and newspapers and prohibitions on travel. Integration vs.115 This shadow modernization. their families. Autonomy.. As Paul Josephson has demonstrated. was enabled by the proliferation of nuclear energy in the region. V. applications of nuclear power ranging from irradiating meat as a preservative to portable atomic energy stations. et. Red Atom. Although the VVER reactors at the Kola plant were superior to the graphite Hønneland and Jørgensen.

accessed April 26.bellona. Smokestack Diplomacy. Axensten and Weissglas. exacerbated these technical flaws. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge.moderated RBKM model used at Chernobyl and other facilities. 120 Bøhmer. this dumping included sixteen retired nuclear reactors. eds. A lax safety culture at this reactor. totaling about 38.119 The clandestine administration of the use of nuclear energy on the Kola Peninsula contributed most starkly to the re-entanglement of humans and nature through the handling of radioactive waste. et. Kiselev. Martin’s Press. Chernobyl and Nuclear Power in the USSR (New York: St. Young. and Per Strand. al. Marples. One estimate cited Bøhmer. Darst. the Northern Fleet and the Murmansk Shipping Company dumped massive amounts of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel into the Arctic Ocean (and the Barents Sea in particular). The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. 121 Darst. Josephson. 67-73. and Andrey V. it shipped some to the Mayak reprocessing facility in the South Urals.120 In addition to liquid waste. Red Atom.. and Development Co-operation in the North of Europe. Malgorzata K. Nuclear Energy and Security in the Former Soviet Union (Boulder: Westview Press. authorities stored much of it in leaky facilities in the Murmansk region itself. 135-197. such as the refueling vessel Lepse that had about 30% of the amount of long-living isotopes released during Chernobyl on board. Robert G. Kol´skoi atomnoi—30. especially the older VVER-230 models. Environmental. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. 48. 122 Bøhmer. et. Smokestack Diplomacy: Cooperation and Conflict in East-West Environmental Politics (Cambridge. These storage sites included a number of retired ships that remained docked in the Kola Bay. as within the Soviet nuclear industry generally. MA: The MIT Press. Until the mid-1980s none of these deficiencies were acknowledged publicly.122 Finally. al. et. 2006). such as the dilapidated Andreeva Bay storage unit that had a radioactivity of over 27 million curies (close to one billion terabecquerel) in the early 2000s. Radiation and Environmental Safety in North-West Russia (Dordrecht: Springer.. 1986).. the Kola Nuclear Power Station kept much of its low and intermediate level wastes on site. 119 270 . Pechkurov. lacked adequate safety containment around the reactor core and had insufficient cooling systems.. Marples and Marylin J. 184-194. 95-114. several with spent nuclear fuel still in eds. 2001). Beginning in the late 1950s. Darst. Smokestack Diplomacy. This practice remained hidden from the public until the early 1990s and even increased in the immediate post-Chernobyl years. these units. 2010..” The Bellona Foundation. al. 184. Nuclear Risks.. eds.450 terabecquerel (38. David R. 1997). and land containers near the closed military cities. 39-43. “Andreyeva Bay. David R.121 Of the waste not poured into the ocean. Sneve. http://www.450 trillion nuclei decaying per second).

“Reindeer Herding on the Kola Peninsula . Readings in Saami History. residents of the Kola Peninsula. The Arctic Nuclear Challenge. 149-159. The author excoriated the previous public silence about the plant’s operations and tried to reassure readers of its safety. 149. Environment and Living Conditions on the Kola Peninsula. Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl (Princeton: Princeton University Press. “AES: prezhde vsego-nadezhnost´. the scale became known internationally. After the state unsuccessfully tried to keep the Chernobyl disaster quiet for a few weeks. seized the opportunity presented by Chernobyl to try to end the arms race. 1988): 2.124 Nevertheless. Hansen and Tønnessen.that the plant would have on-site waste totaling 47. al. 125. Marples. Anxiety about fallout entering the food chain through lichen absorption. 1988). Copenhagen/Malmö. like people living elsewhere in the country. which gave the clean up effort diplomatic legitimacy and fit with the character of the Soviet leader’s glasnost´ policy. Culture and Language III (Umeå: University of Umeå 1992). Lithuania. 9-14. Martin’s Press.Report of a Visit with Saami Herders of Sovkhoz Tundra. ed.” Poliarnaia pravda (April 19. reindeer forging. 125 On anti-nuclear activism in the aftermath of Chernobyl.125 An article in the local press that appeared about two full years after the accident reported that people thought of the Kola AES as a dangerous neighbor. et. and Jenny Leigh Smith. and human venison consumption in those countries had political ramifications for the Sami. 2002). for his part. and David R.126 This concern about radioactive pollution from Chernobyl apparently did not affect the reindeer herders in the region in the same way as it did in Scandinavia. 127 Hugh Beach.” in Roger Kvist. The reformist government of Mikhail Gorbachev invited cooperation of external agencies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency. 126 V. Speaking in Murmansk in October 1987. see Jane Dawson. Darst. August 2009). According to anthropologist Hugh Beach. The Social Impact of the Chernobyl Disaster (New York: St. but not permanently. both the authorities and herders on the Kola Peninsula seemed unconcerned with this issue. he outlined an idea for a demilitarized Arctic free of nuclear weapons and united in international cooperation on Bøhmer. 1996). Eco-nationalism: Anti-Nuclear Activism and National Identity in Russia. Smokestack Diplomacy. Vishniakov. “Radioactive Reindeer in Sweden and Russia” (paper presented at the World Congress of Environmental History.700 terabecquerel of radioactivity in 2010..127 Gorbachev. and Ukraine (Durham: Duke University Press. reacted with heightened suspicion toward nuclear power. Adriana Petryna.. 124 123 271 .123 The Chernobyl accident in April 1986 and the Soviet collapse shifted the practice of nuclear secrecy significantly. 43-45.

development. Smokestack Diplomacy. Young. 128 272 . 117. His explanation stresses the role of deep-seated and atavistic tendencies toward apocalyptic thinking instead of the complex configuration of geopolitics and social change in the second half of the twentieth century.130 In an exploration of the lives of individuals affected by the Chernobyl accident. Nuclear Fear: A History of Images (Cambridge. takes the alleged irrationality of nuclear fear as a point of departure in an examination of how popular imagination has produced such anxieties. reason. The policy shift toward greater international cooperation on economic and environmental issues in northwest Russia. Facts and Problems Related to the Dumping of Radioactive Waste in the Seas Surrounding the Territory of the Russian Federation (Moscow: Office of the President of the Russian Federation. See Marilyn J.” in Marples and Young. V. continued into the post-Soviet era.128 Many of these military initiatives failed to materialize. Spencer Weart. especially with Nordic countries. Life Exposed. and environmental protection. science. “Mikhail Gorbachev. and suffering. and the way they are mediated and shaped by local histories and political economies. 3 (September 2008): 289-311. A final straw in Soviet-era nuclear secrecy on the Kola Peninsula broke in the early 1990s when presidential advisor and leading Russian environmentalist Aleksei Iablokov released a report detailing dumping and unsafe storage of radioactive wastes in the Arctic. He maintains that in a world of accelerating economic modernization and technologies the risks associated with the nuclear industry deserve no special attention. 131 Petryna. 129 A. “Introduction: Non-Rational Assessment of Risk and the Development of Civilian Nuclear Power. however.” Cooperation and Conflict 43. though the end of the Cold War altered the situation so radically that it is difficult to analyze any perestroika-era proposal concerning security for its long-term impact. medical anthropologist Adriana Petryna embraces an agnostic stance about physical impact of radiation and instead analyzes “the concrete understandings of particular worlds of knowledge. Nuclear Energy and Security in the Former Soviet Union. 184-190. 1988).. In the social scientific literature on science and technology there are two main approaches for making sense of nuclear risk.129 Entwined connections of humans and nature have also existed because of the uncertainty and risk surrounding nuclear radiation. no. 33. 130 Spencer R. Weart.”131 An Kristian Åtland. 1993) and Darst. Young extends a similar type of analysis to the former Soviet Union in particular. and the Desecuritization of Interstate Relations in the Arctic. eds. the Murmansk Initiative. Marilyn J. MA: Harvard University Press. a historian of science. Iablokov.

Beyond the history of particularly dangerous storage practices on the Kola Peninsula. Thus. 2007). radioactive waste itself has already influenced society. An unsolved issue for the use of nuclear energy remains the intractability of undertaking waste storage plans that require multi-century and even multi-millennia time scales. while the total radioactivity of the Kola Peninsula at the end of the twentieth century did not exceed what would have been expected from the long-term Petryna. Statistics and the use of medical diagnostics become contested. 13. Petryna. atomic energy production everywhere creates highly radioactive wastes. From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. As these governments grapple with creating zones of predictability and intelligibility where they can operate and increase welfare. 134 Zsuzsa Gille. Especially in the aftermath of a Chernobyl-scale nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant in Japan in March 2011.” but also “impacts what those intentions may be. old measures of suffering lose their meaning and validity. 212-213. Life Exposed. Life Exposed. Some individuals with certain symptoms are said to be sick. 133 132 273 . while others.ethnography of radiation risk in a context of actual exposure helps reveal the social impact of uncertainty. others by design. Through helping create “spaces of nonknowledge” about health and environmental risks.133 Another way to put it is that radioactive waste reveals its status as a hybrid entity with particular potency. some by chance. are said not to be sick. biomedical categories. with different symptoms. some with significantly long half-lives. Zsuzsa Gille defines this hybridity of waste as a combination of its social features and “relatively independent material aspect. 13. Petryna explains: Given the array of scientific and medical uncertainties. Petryna’s approach to examining nuclear risk seems more appropriate than Weart’s.132 The social and cultural effects of radiation changed how people understood the relationship between their bodies and the natural world after Chernobyl. and compensation criteria. Into that void come new biological definitions. By influencing the experience of exposed individuals. uncertainty made many feel more embedded in contaminated environments.” which not only “resist[s] purely human or social intention.”134 Soviet modernization produced materials that not only changed the natural but also shaped the social. citizens are faced with what seem like random instantiations of scientific measures.

effects of atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s and the release during Chernobyl, radiation still affected the connection of humans to their environment.135 Leaks from the storage facilities at the Andreeva Bay increased the levels of the highly toxic cesium-137 and long lasting plutonium-239 in the surrounding land.136 However, human-nature entanglement has occurred more through uncertainty than a direct impact of the environment on people. This uncertainty has two forms: the risk of a radiological emergency occurring and the untraceable character of most of the health effects of radiation exposure. The emergency risk was heightened by the sheer number of operating reactors in the region (one fifth of the world total in the 1990s), structural vulnerabilities produced by the Arctic conditions, and the economic ruin of the 1990s. In one instance in 1995, Kolenergo cut off electricity to naval bases with nuclear submarines because of unpaid bills and only turned it back on in response to armed soldiers being sent to the power plant. The cooling systems for the reactors on these decommissioned submarines could not be powered without this electricity. The possibility that a disaster may occur was something that Kola residents had to live with and about which they claimed to worry.137 In the case of a radiological emergency on the Kola Peninsula the health effects would be elusive. Only those in extremely close proximity to the nuclear installation may experience deterministic effects in which a causal linear relationship exists between doses of radiation and impact on one’s health. Many more people may experience stochastic effects, which can only be assessed in terms of aggregate probabilities of harmful outcomes. Stochastic effects would be neither directly proportional nor clearly assignable in individual cases. After a nuclear accident, radioactive materials would migrate into food chains and water and enter human bodies through these means. Medical experts in the 1990s did not agree on the question of whether or not a lower threshold existed, beneath which this form of radiation exposure was harmless, or even on the precise character of the relationship between greater doses and increased probability. In such
Bøhmer, et. al., The Arctic Nuclear Challenge, 56. Thomas Nilsen, “Naval Nuclear Waste Management in Northwest Russia: Nuclear Safety, Environmental Challenges and Economic Impact,” in Axensten and Weissglas, eds., Nuclear Risks, Environmental, and Development Co-operation in the North of Europe, 37. 137 Hansen and Tønnessen, Environment and Living Conditions on the Kola Peninsula, 125-148, 207-226.
136 135


circumstances no single individual would be able to clearly determine that radiation exposure caused a particular ailment such as thyroid cancer.138 Human bodies would become enmeshed with natural processes that on a certain level would be not just unknown but unknowable. Even in absence of a disaster the omnipresent potential for one to occur and the possibility that any such event would be hidden connected people with their surroundings in intricate ways. A situation where this type of risk and uncertainty could exist was a product of twentieth-century economic modernization that emerged under communist auspices but continued during capitalism. During the 1990s, the Kola energy sector suffered like the rest of the country’s economy as the government imposed rapid privatization and the release of price controls on the citizens of the new Russian Federation. The Murmansk Shipping Company, Kolenergo, and the Kola AES all became part of open joint stock companies. The Russian navy, of course, remained in charge of its nuclear vessels. Privatization overlapped with an era of unprecedented openness about the operations of the nuclear facilities, but the diminished capacity of these installations to function with stability exacerbated the risks. In February 1993, for instance, the Kola AES had a near meltdown and in August 2000 one of the Navy’s nuclear submarines, the Kursk, tragically sank after an explosion during a practice exercise, killing the entire crew.139 In the meantime the Russian government attempted to use the need to improve nuclear safety as a bargaining chip for more international aid. Despite the mixed record of these efforts and considerable tensions, this process has led to the decommissioning of a large portion of the Northern Fleet’s nuclear submarines and a number of safety upgrades at the Kola AES.140 Nevertheless, by the mid-1990s the government began again to ramp up nuclear secrecy over the military’s waste storage sites on the Kola Peninsula.141 The trumped up, and eventually dismissed, prosecution of environmental activist Aleksandr

Petryna, Life Exposed, 10 and Hansen and Tønnessen, Environment and Living Conditions on the Kola Peninsula, 149-173. 139 Kiselev, Kol´skoi atomnoi—30, 171-174; Darst, Smokestack Diplomacy, 165; and Weir and Boyne, Rising Tide, 217-252. 140 Darst, Smokestack Diplomacy, 135-197 and Bøhmer, et. al., The Arctic Nuclear Challenge, 5766. More recent information on international campaigns to improve nuclear safety on the Kola Peninsula can be found at The Bellona Foundation, accessed July 24, 2010, 141 Darst, Smokestack Diplomacy.



Nikitin was one noteworthy episode in this return to secrecy.142 The gradual expansion of the closed status of towns in the region despite the end of the Cold War also reflected this shift.143 Finally, in contrast to promises throughout the 1990s that the Kola AES would be shut down by 2004, its oldest and least safe reactors received fifteen-year operating extensions.144 Conclusion Modernization on the Kola Peninsula drastically transformed people’s lives and the physical environment, but maintained wide-ranging interconnections between society and nature. If part of the promise of modernity is an escape from traditional bonds to the natural world, this supposed transcendence has proven fictive in tsarism, Soviet communism, and Russian capitalism. Throughout the twentieth century, the state and enterprises searched for new sources of power and energy to fuel the creation and expansion of an industrialized, urbanized, and militarized world north of the polar circle. The repetitive harvesting of various organic, hydraulic, and atomic sources reshaped the physical world and human connections to it. In all of these instances, however, new assemblages of the natural and the social remained, whether in the form of incorporated human bodies, networked ties to distant environments, the social life of uncertainty about the natural world, or some other mechanism of entanglement. This final chapter of my dissertation has treated a pervasive component of various forms of economic transformation (energy) in order to offer an overview of the influential and imaginary facets that emerge in an environmental history of Soviet modernization. Through an examination of both modernist knowledge production and the economic practices that go under the heading of modernization, I have argued that both disembeddedness and embeddedness arose simultaneously. I, therefore, have emphasized modernization’s materiality as a key facet for understanding its effect on power relations.

Aleksandr Nikitin and Nina Katerli, Delo Nikitina: Strategiia pobedy (Saint Petersburg: Izdatel´stvo zhurnala “Zvezda,” 2001). 143 Hønneland and Jørgensen, Integration vs. Autonomy, 150-152, 181-183. These authors emphasize the importance of interregional economic politics instead of military concerns in shaping this expansion. Whether or not increased secrecy was the intention of this change, it has been an effect. 144 “Kola NPP,” The Bellona Foundation, accessed April 26, 2010, Also see Paul R. Josephson, Would Trotsky Wear a Bluetooth?: Technological Utopianism under Socialism, 1917-1989 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), 163-192.



The efforts to develop the Kola energy sector transformed actual trees, rivers, and human organisms; it is important to try to understand these changes in material and not just discursive terms. As a political project that united communist and capitalist systems, modernization gained much of its environmental and social impact from the manipulation of physical entities. Illusions of a world with fewer constraints on the human species, nevertheless, helped inspire a consensus about the desirability of modernization among the powerful actors in many societies.


Conclusion: Communism and the Environment The economic remaking of the natural world during the twentieth century created profound changes in human livelihoods across the globe. This study has asked what characterized the relationship of Soviet communism with the environment during this rapidly unfolding process of economic modernization. Speaking to a reporter in 1967, the aging Nikolai Vorontsov, a former captain of industry in the Khibiny Mountains and the Monche tundra, expressed an abiding conservationist sentiment that he had first articulated at the beginning of Kola industrialization in the 1930s. “Monchegorsk is beautiful,” he told the journalist and later continued, “I am very happy that the tradition of our construction pioneers—to preserve the green resources of Monchegorsk—lives on.”1 Around this time Vorontsov’s son, also Nikolai, was furthering his own career in the environmental sciences. His advancement eventually led him to become the Minister of the Environment for the collapsing Soviet state and, indeed, one of the earliest writers of Russian environmental history.2 The elder Vorontsov’s desire to leave sections of the local environment without manipulation and his praise of the ostensible success of the Soviet Union in this area contrast sharply with later analyses of the ecocidal legacy of communism. At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, what strikes me most about the father’s combined dedication to industrialization and conservation is not how out of touch this old Soviet dreamer was. It is instead how similar his desires and sentiments were to mainstream environmental policy today. This study investigated several industries in a region in the far north. There are five main conclusions that have hitherto weaved in and out of the various discussions of railroads, apatite, reindeer, nickel, and energy. First and foremost, I have shown that a general and deeply political process of economic modernization accounts for much of the trajectory of changing human/environment relations. This campaign to industrially transform the natural world in order to accrue greater economic value began with technocratic schemes devised in late imperial Russia, continued to define essential elements of the Soviet project of building socialism, and later shaped the sweeping

L. Doronina, “I tundra pokorilas´,” Monchegorskii rabochii (September 23, 1967), 3. Nikolai Nikolaevich Vorontsov, “Nature Protection and Government in the USSR,” Journal of the History of Biology 25, no. 3 (Fall 1992): 369-383.



market reforms of the 1990s. The basic dynamics of ecosystem change, human life in shifting environments, and cultural representations of nature followed global patterns, including the rise of heavy industry and the forms of pollution it engendered, a shift from agrarian livelihoods to urban ones, and the coexistence of ideas of dominating nature and preserving it. The nuances of tsarist state capitalism, Soviet communism, and post-Soviet neoliberalism did not cause major deviations from these general patterns in the environmental history of economic modernization. Additionally, more chronologically bounded continuities united the different forms of capitalism with Soviet communism. The reliance on forced labor in brutal conditions as a means of industrialization, for instance, was innovated in the tsarist war economy and picked up with unfortunate vigor by the Stalinist state. Furthermore, environmental ideologies that emphasized maximally unleashing the productive forces harbored in natural resources for the benefit of the state became fully articulated in the late imperial era; attempts to enact them on the Kola Peninsula matured during Soviet industrialization. The drastic economic decline of the 1990s might risk obscuring connections between the late Soviet era and neoliberalism, since the first decade of postsocialism was one of economic reform but not growth. However, as we have seen, a similar preference for technical fixes for environmental problems, a celebration of the alleged traditionalism of certain forms of nature use, and a continued orientation toward the natural world as primarily a potential economic asset united these two eras. Finally, throughout the entire century, the power to make decisions that affected the treatment of the environment belonged primarily to parties that desired its economic transformation. This political ecology was not inevitable or neutral. It is just that powerful actors in different political-economic systems shared common views about the desired arrangement of human relations with the environment. Second, during this process of economic modernization the physical world responded to manipulation and contributed to ideas and policies that shaped the treatment of it. The natural environment was not simply an abiding or immutable structure, a stage upon which human action occurred. Instead, it operated as an active and responsive participant in this history. As we saw, it functioned this way in a number of places in this dissertation. The recalcitrance of the environment to the hasty construction of the


and scientists working for the Apatit trust sought to construct a city and plant in which socialist citizens would live peacefully in. Crucially. For the industrialists inspired by this model. Not only did the Lapland nature reserve open at the same time as the industrialization of the Khibiny Mountains began. but it did not embrace willful environmental destruction or curtail the pursuit of conservation. In contrast to scholarship that has emphasized a deepseated antagonism toward nature in Soviet ideology. but urban planners. enterprise leaders. and indeed enjoy. of pollution. The abject failures of this holism were manifested in the reckless and hasty patterns of nature use during the 280 . This interest in harmony with nature abided throughout the Soviet era. The interactions between nature and society during Soviet modernization occurred as a negotiated process of reciprocal influence. I discovered that economic planners were concerned with creating harmony with nature even in the throes of Stalinism.Murmansk railroad helped inspire the rhetoric of conquering nature. One does not need to accept all of the claims advanced in theories that insist on the agency of nature in hybrid networks in order to see that the role of the environment in this history was more than just an object upon which people acted and less than a determinant structure that decisively shaped human experience. Perhaps the most elaborate expression of this disposition toward the environment can be seen in Fersman’s concept of the complex utilization of natural resources. The high levels of sulfur present in the nickel-copper ore that was shipped from Noril´sk to the smelters on the Kola Peninsula beginning in the 1970s increased the amount of atmospheric pollution emitted by these plants. the most exhaustive transformation of nature into items for human use would also lead to the minimization. in the Stalinist period these aspirations for a stable and happy life in previously ominous natural conditions did not materialize. This holistic inclination was invariably anthropocentric. The next main conclusion involves the attitudes of the leaders of the Soviet state toward the natural environment. but always remained subordinate to the prerogatives of production. The conscious behavior of domestic and wild reindeer led a variety of people interacting with these animals to rely on forms of knowledge outside of rationalist frameworks. northern nature. The nepheline tailings from apatite production in the Khibiny Mountains failed to behave according to the schemes experts had devised for it and instead degraded the local ecosystem. if not the elimination.

The presence of the navy on the Kola Peninsula not only contributed to increasing energy demands in the region. modernization did not lead to a genuine transcendence of people from the environment. which kept people embedded in natural contexts and attached environmental understandings to social experience. as radical as the transformation of human relations with nature was during this period. The thirst for nickel to produce munitions oriented the battles of the Second World War in the region toward acquiring the deposits and factories of the Pechenga territory. the aggregate environmental legacy of Stalinism needs to be separated from the comparatively high levels of pollution that occurred in the late Soviet era. We saw this lack of 281 . the objectives of the military decisively shaped nature use on the Kola Peninsula throughout the twentieth century. Finally. whereas the later was indeed acute for the time. This militarization of the Kola Peninsula clearly affected the trajectory and scale of modernization and patterns of regional nature use in ways outside of the specific logics of communist or capitalist economic systems. Fourth. The rapid industrialization of the 1930s coincided with the creation of the Northern Fleet of the Soviet Navy and the beginning of the expansion of military installations along the Murman coast and in the interior of the Kola Peninsula. but also facilitated the proliferation of nuclear reactors to power atomic submarines and the resultant nuclear wastes. Instead. These connections obviously grew tighter during the wartime construction of the Murmansk railroad in 1915 and 1916.Stalinist revolution and the brutal and incoherent deprivations inflicted on the people sent to construct these new industrial sites. During the Cold War. military concerns for establishing a naval base that would be accessible year-round and resistant to blockades became enmeshed with schemes for economic modernization. The strategic significance of a warm water port on the Arctic Ocean attracted state attention to the region at least as much as the desire to make economic use of its natural resources. Nevertheless. The former was typical of the level of industrial activity in any polity. the Northern Fleet developed into the largest and best-funded branch of the navy that was supported by its own set of municipal infrastructure and closed cities. the process reconfigured interconnections and dependencies between humans and nature. During Sergei Witte’s initial proposals for a port in the Kola Bay and an accompanying railroad connection at the end of the nineteenth century.

though much of Siberia remained undeveloped and Cold War geopolitics would likely have led any powerful government to build-up the Kola Peninsula. The combination of accelerated production and 282 . but it is worth also addressing synthetically what this study tells us about what was unique about the environmental history of Soviet communism. but modernity remained illusionary. The historical context of initial industrialization. the revolutionary impulse of Stalinism brought the environmental and social effects of total war into peacetime. a desire to solidify control over borderlands. sometimes intentionally and sometime inadvertently. This work has largely focused on exposing commonalities between the Soviet Union and other forms of political economy. For one thing. Moreover. The significance of this point comes from its function as a counter-balance to the claims that modernization leads to increased human control over the world and to lasting solutions that overcome previous environmental limitations on society. sentient forms of ecological knowledge influenced reformers of the reindeer economy who were committed to modernization.transcendence in the continual role of the material world in shaping thinking about the environment and in raising new problems and dilemmas for further development. The Stalinist state did not face a comparable situation when it chose to send former kulaks and Gulag prisoners to industrialize the Kola Peninsula. The entanglement of human bodies with energy production. created extreme vulnerabilities to the natural hazards of the far north began in the imperial era when military exigency coalesced with industrial imperatives. The application of forced labor and policies that. the distribution of natural resources within the country. the intricate networks joining distant landscapes and livelihoods. The scale of industrialization and city building in forbidding natural environments was indeed greater in the communist era. Central planning and the command economy did not adapt well to a shift in global economic conditions in the 1970s that caused service and finance to play a larger role in generating growth than production. and the ways that life in the nuclear age became entrenched in new uncertainties about the behavior of natural elements reveal how Soviet modernization brought about new connections between nature and society instead of ascending the latter over the former. and a conviction in the desirability of colonizing and developing peripheries also inspired a distinct geography of Soviet modernization. Modernization changed environments and peoples.

283 .economic stagnation brought about even higher levels of unaddressed environmental pollution than capitalist industry at the same scale. but they have often been subordinate to another fanciful belief that the market itself will optimally distribute environmental goods and bads. Finally. Similar convictions have existed in capitalist thinking. on the ideological plane Soviet communism included an extreme confidence about the possibility that public policy could surmount any contradiction that emerged between economic activity and pollution generation. the lessons of the communist environmental experience for the twenty-first century rest less in a negative example of what went wrong than in a general warning about the difficulty of finding sustainable modes of land use in the context of continual economic growth. we may need to rethink the status of economic expansion as a nonnegotiable criterion in policy decisions. As mass species extinction and global climate change promise to further remake our world in tumultuous ways. nor a panacea for. Ultimately. The Soviet experience helps us see how market capitalism is neither the exclusive cause of. modern environmental problems. Something beyond the distinctions of the political-economic systems has led to similar environmental trajectories: the impulse to modernize society and the natural world.

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