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Murmansk is a city in the extreme northwest of Russia with a seaport on the Kola Gulf, 20 miles from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland. It has some 400,000 inhabitants and is an important navy base. The port remains ice-free year round due to the warm North Atlantic drift ocean current. Actually Murmansk is the biggest city so north in the world.


The city, known initially as Romanov-on-Murman, was founded in 1915 when the railroad line to Kola was built, and named after the Russian royal dynasty of the Romanovs. The city was renamed Murmansk after the October Revolution in 1917.

From 1918 to 1920, the city was military occupied by the Western powers who had been allied in the First World War and "White forces during the Civil War in Russia.

During World War II, Murmansk was a vital link with the Western world for Russia, and a vast commerce with the Allies, especially the US, in items important to the respective military efforts passed through it: primarily manufactured goods into the Soviet Union, and raw materials out.

During the cold war it was a centre of Soviet submarine activity, and since the breakup of the USSR, it remains the headquarters of the Russian Northern Fleet.

Murmansk figured in an episode of JAG.