10 LARGEST port cities in Russia


There are 67 seaports in Russia located on 12 seas, from the Black and Baltic basins to the Pacific and North basins. Here are the most important of them, through which a large part of Russian oil, coal and other goods are transported.

1. Novorossiysk

Novorossiysk is located in the ice-free Tsemes Bay of the Black Sea. For several centuries, the city belonged to the Ottoman Empire, but under a peace treaty following the Russo-Turkish wars of 1829, it passed to Russia. It is the largest port in Russia, with a turnover of more than 140 million tonnes of goods per year. It also houses a Russian Navy base.

2. Saint Petersburg

The first port appeared here in 1703, the year the city was founded. However, the Gulf of Finland has a narrow, winding coast near St. Petersburg and over time this has become a problem for large merchant ships. To remedy the problem, a canal was built in the second half of the 19th century, which allowed the opening of a new port. The Grand Port of Saint Petersburg stretches 31 km along the coast and has around 200 berths.

3. Vladivostok

Vladivostok is one of the largest ports in the Russian Far East and is home to the main base of the country’s Pacific Fleet. The city was founded in 1860 as a military port and its name is derived from the expression “rule over the East” (“владеть Востоком”). At the end of the 19th century, when the city became the final destination of the Trans-Siberian Railway, people from all over the Russian Empire began to settle there en masse. In Soviet times, the city was a modest, restricted port, out of the attention of the Moscow authorities. However, in the 1990s, its restricted access status was lifted, foreigners were allowed to visit, and after the APEC summit in 2012, the city was completely transformed. Today, it is also a free trade area.

4. Nakhodka

“What a find!” exclaimed a sailor aboard the corvette ‘America’, as it approached an unknown bay in the summer of 1859, according to legend. In any case, that’s what this new point on the map was called: Nakhodka, which means “a find” in Russian. At first there was only one village, but in the 1930s and 1940s a port was built thanks to the labor of Gulag prisoners and a town followed soon after. Today it is the third largest city in the Russian territory of Primorsky after Vladivostok and Ussuriysk.

5. Petropavlovsk-Kamtchatsky

A colony was founded in Petropavlovsk at the end of the 17th century, when explorers first reached these distant lands. In the 19th century, a port began to be built here, taking advantage of the ice-free Avacha Bay. During World War II, a new large port was built, which was enlarged throughout the 20th century and continues to develop actively, as the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is an important point on the Northern Sea Route, which offers the shortest route from the European part of Russia to the Far East.

6. Murmansk

The world’s largest city beyond the Arctic Circle is home to a major ice-free Nordic port. It was built in 1915 during World War I, after which a town was also founded here. In Soviet times, Murmansk was actively developed as a supply and repair base for the Northern Fleet. During World War II, the city was badly damaged by air raids, but the Nazi army was unable to capture it by land. Today, the port of Murmansk retains its importance as a base for Arctic development and as an outpost for the Russian nuclear fleet.

7. Sochi

The port terminal of Sochi, built in the Stalinist Empire style in 1955, is one of the city’s hallmarks. The port of Sochi mainly receives passenger traffic, rather than commercial and industrial activities. In addition, the entry of tankers into the port of Sochi is prohibited, unlike the large cruise ships which call there regularly. The history of the Russian presence on this coast dates back to the first half of the 19th century, when the first fort was built, and since 1909 Sochi has become Russia’s main resort on the Caucasus Black Sea coast.

8. Kaliningrad

Until 1945 the city was called Königsberg and was the capital of East Prussia. The first commercial port was founded here in the 14th century. After World War II, the northern part of this province and the city itself were transferred to the USSR. The port was badly damaged during the war, so the Soviet government built a new port and renamed the city of Kaliningrad, which became Russia’s westernmost port and the only ice-free port on the Russian coast of Russia. Baltic sea. The port of Kaliningrad accommodates mainly commercial cargo ships and fishing boats. Interestingly, it only became a hub of the fishing industry after the region was integrated into the USSR.

9. Makhachkala

The capital of the Republic of Dagestan is the largest city in the Russian North Caucasus and Russia’s only ice-free port on the Caspian Sea. The port was built in the second half of the 19th century. It has a large dry cargo port, a level crossing and a modern high-tech oil port. In addition, Makhachkala is home to one of the bases of the Caspian flotilla of the Russian Navy.

10. Sevastopol

Present-day Sevastopol was founded by decree of Catherine the Great in 1783, immediately after Crimea became part of the Russian Empire. At the beginning of the 19th century, Sevastopol became the main Black Sea port of the Russian Empire. This city of military glory, which was the battlefield of several wars, is today the main naval base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. In addition to the military base, the ice-free bay of Sevastopol has a large industrial port, through which deliveries of fish, oil, metals and various other products are carried out.

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