Created: 1/10/1956

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Dieucmination Authorised

Asaifllantc" * ^

Office of CurrentNo" -


Olfice ol Research and Reports CENTRA!.. INTEi-UGENCE AGENCY






I. Introduction






Appendix A. .

Appendix B. ntelligence

Appendix C- Source References .


Types and Number of Vessels Operating cn thc

Northern Sea Route.avigation

Number of Vessels Operating on the Northern

Sea Route, by Area of Operation.ndSeasons .




A minimumessels,ry cargo carriers and barges.he highest number ever noted, operated on thc Northern Sea Route during4 navigation season, which lastedfrom mid-June through October. This number may bewith the previous highessels,arriers, which operated on the Northern Sea Route illion metricof cargo per year are transported on the Northern Sea Route

The management of shipping on the Northern Sea Routeomplicated and time-consuming process, but the approach o;R to the fundamental problems of the organization of an Arctic shipping lane seems efficient, and ic is developing an increasingly well-run organization lor lhe exploitation of the Northern Sea Route.

Thc number of vessels operating on the Northern Sea Route has . ii by approximatelyercent1 This increase is indicative of recent Soviet attempts to expand the level of ifunomli and military activity in the Arctic.

The estimates and conclusions contained in this report representest judgment of ORR as5

able l. p. II. below, for identification of th*!th*essel*

I'firtaiics .'ire givQii in metric tons th ioiiuIuhii I'uniinl>mn

The use of non-Soviet Bloc ships in the Western Sector of the Northern Sea Route continues to increase, 3 non-Soviet Bloc vessels were operated over, this route compared with 3nd

Expanded use of the Northern Sea Route will increase the tonnage of supplies which can bc brought to the Soviet Arctic area, thus accelerating Us military and economic capability.

As in past years,ery small number of cargo-carrying vessels traveled thc entire distance of the Northern Sea Route. This indicates once again that the primary economic significance of the Northern Sea Route is its utilization as the major supply lane to installations along the Arctic coast and transshipment bases for the hinterland, and as the route byarge proportion of the products of the Arctic is moved to other areas of the USSR. The Northern Sea Route itself has almost no economic significancehrough shipping lane connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

In thc event that access to other shipping routes were denied to thc USSR, it is conceivable that the Northern Sea Route would be exploitedreater degree than at present to provide an ocean-to-ocean route. The short season during which the route is open, however, the extreme difficulties of navigation in the Arctic Ocean, and the lack of adequate port facilities, among other deterrents to through navigation, preclude any significant expansion of thcof the routehort period of time. It would take many years to develop vessels ond sailing techniques that would enable Northern Sea Route convoys to proceed with any degree of ease.

A comprehensive meteorological and hydrographic program in support of shipping is conducted (faring each navigation season. This program includes the utilization of hydrographic ships, ice reconnaissance flights, and weather reconnaissance flights to the North Pole. An efficient, accurate, and highly organized system of weather and ice reporting and forecasting furnishes adeo.uaie support to shipping operations on thc Northern Sea Route

The entire trend of Soviet Arctic shipping an increasing number of vessels operating on thc Northern Sea Routeoncurrent increase in the amount of cargo carried, an expanded scientific program for the support of shipping, andew complete crossings of the Northern Sea Routes indicativeynamic, expanding Arctic economy.

I. Introduction.

The Soviet Arctic is physically forbidding and includes some of the coldest and most difficult terrain in the world. For the most part, the region is not heavily forested and consists primarily of mountains and tundra. ajor characteristic of the area ishick mass of permanently frozen ground which underlies most of the Soviet Arctic and sub-Arctic. Permafrost complicates mining andoperations and makes construction of all typesirfields, roads, railroads, and even ordinary buildingsifficult because of the thawing of the surface, the active layer, and the resultant settling of the ground each summer. Permafrost greatly reduces the absorptive capacity of the soil. Spring thaws result in extensive flooding throughout thc Arctic, and wide expanses of tundra turn into impenetrable swamps during the summer,

Except in central Yakutskaya ASSR, the native population always has been sparse. Labor, both compulsory and voluntary, for thc development of the region must be imported from other parts of the USSR. The region is poor in all of thc resources which provide food, shelter, and clothing for humans. Natural foods consist primarily of reindeer, wild fowl, fish, and berries and are mftifficien: 'o support the present population. Furs and skins are the only local materials suitable for cio:hing, and the supply of even these materials is wholly inadequate. Loral construction materials generally are too sparse and too poor inee'. thc needs of thc region in terms oi modern economic development. The same is true ofels.

Thus tlie accelerated economic developinent which has been under way in recent yearsarge and steady flow of supplies and manpower into thc area from other parts of thc USSR.

Water and air are the primary means of access to the Soviet Arctic and sub-Arctic. Thc major water supply lines arc the Northern Sea Route (between Nar'yan-Mar and thc Beringhe Pacific Ocean shipping lane (north from Vladivostok lond theenisey. and Lena Rivers, whose upper reaches connect with the Trans-Siberian Railroad.'* Access to the interior regions from the Northern Sea Route is by means of several major riversthe Pechora. Khatanga, Olcnck, Yana. Indigirka, Kolyma, and, on the eastern coast of the Chukotski Peninsula (Chukotskiyhe Anadyr.'. The only notable highways in the area are the Magadan-Kolyma highway, which links the Vladivostok-Providcniya ocean supply route with the interior ofontrolled by the Chief Directorate of Par Northern Constructionighway from Never tohich links thc Trans-Sibcriar. Railroad to the Aldanajor tributary of the Lena.

These main arteries into the Soviet Arctic arc all dependent upon the length of thc Arctic navigation season. In ihe northern regions, sea passages arc open foronths of the year. Navigation on the rivers may bc possible for as muchonths. Local distrihiit ion from central points relies upon small rivers and un-lrnproved trail;: The trails frequently arc impassible during the

" This definition of thc Northern Sea Route was adoptedniform basis for comparisonsubject dating back to7 navigation season, as wellexclude peripheral Anadyr' Bay and Whiteola The inclusion of shipping in the latter areanflated estimate of ihc number> i : i: .'.

"* Sec thc map. Merchant Shipping Operations on the Northern Sea Rome.nside back cover.

' An unimproved extension of tins highway goes through and beyond Yakutsk Into tin- Dal'stroy area.

Koi serially numbered sourceAppendix JJ.



when Urge tracts of permafrost turn to swamp. Such trails, notwithstanding their limitations, arc used even to supply major The airfield at Tanyurer. for example, is served byfrom Anadyr* up the Anadyr' and Tanyurer Rivers by barge during the navigation season and by sled and tractor over trails during the winter. Zf

Air transportation, in the past, hasather limited role in the total Arctic supply picture. It has been usad in special situations requiring the quick delivery of equipment or supplies. On occasion, it has been used to supplement supplies early in the spring before the water routes were open, or to set up an operation in areas in which regular supply routes have not yet been established. In most cases, however, such measures have been temporary expedients. onsiderable expansion of the present airfield construction program in the Soviet Arctic would not permit air transportation to replace regular water routes as the principal means of supply.

The management ol shipping on the Northern Sea Route is the basic activity of the Chief Directorate of iihe Northern Sea Routen the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet, around which most of GUSMP'S other operations are centered. Thc Fourth Five Yearrovided that the work of transforming the Northern Sea Routenormal navigational lane" should be completed This aim seems to have been attained.

Most of the vessels which operate on the Northern Sea Route do not traverse the full length of the Northern Sea Route, bui operate within either thc Eastern or the Western Sectors.* The Western Sector is served by thc Murmansk Arctic Steamship Agency (MAP) of the Directorate of Arctic Fleets and PortsUSMP. This steamship agency distributes withfh the western Arctic the supplies which are tunneled through the Arkhangelsk Section of the Arctic Supply DirectorateUSMP. Vessels operating under

* In this report the term "Western Sector" refers to that part of the Northern 5oa Routear'yan-Mar and Mys Chelyuskin. The term "Eastern Sector" refers to that part of the Northern Sea Route between Mys Chelyuskin and Uelen


MAP charter also deliver some cargo as far east as Khatanga and Tiksi in tho Eastern Sector. But. on the whole, the quantity of supplies coming into the eastern Arctic region via Arkhangelsk and other ports in northern European Russia is comparatively small.

The eastern Arctic is served primarily by vessels coming from Primorskiy Kray which have operated under charter to the Vladivostok Arctic Steamship Agencyupplies carried over this route are funneled through the Vladivostok office of Arktiksnab, and, for Dal'stroy, through the Nakhodka and Vanino offices of the Kolyma Supply Organization, Dal'stroy.

Two other inland supply offices channel supplies down tworiver supply routesrasnoyarsk for tho Yenisey and Osetrovo for thc Lena. 4/ The Yenisey River route is of rather secondary importance for the Northern Sea Route, but it is useduch greater extent by other organizations operating in thc Yenisey estuaryhat ia. thc Noril'sk Combine, the lumber industry, and the enterprises once subordinate to the former Chief Directorate of Yenisey Construction 'Yeniseystroy).

The Lena River, because of its central location, is the major inland supply route to the eastern Arctic. Shipping on the Lena is in thc charge of the-Lena River Steamship Agency {LRP) of the Ministry of the River Fleet, with headquarters in Yakutsk. The Osetrovo supply office was transferred from ArktiksnabRP in The Lena River is one of the more important Dal'stroy supply routes, and the port of Tiksi. at the mouth of the Lena,ajor transshipment base. The Lena Gold Fleet also operates on thc Lena River.

Dal'stroy controls shipping on the Yana. Indigirka. and Kolyma Rivers, which arc the local routes'leading to lhe interior of the Dal'stroy area from the Northernoute. Thc Khatanga River office of thc UAFIP is concerned with local transportation in the Khatanga basin. GUSMP also conducts limited shipping operations on some of the other small rivers in the Soviet Arctic.

Through this transportation network, delivery of considerable quantities ol almost every type of supply, from medical goods to

* Since about renamed the. Eastern Arctic Sleam ship Agency.

6 -

heavy construction equipment, is effected to every center of activity in the Soviet Arctic and sub-Arctic.

A transport service or activity that is conducted under the difficult, complex, and costly conditions inherent in Northern Sea Route operations operates only where great need exists for its services. The pastears haveonsiderable expansion in basic scientific research in the central Polar Basin, in the development of new rail lines in northwestern Siberia, and in the several GUSMP activities. The strong desire to develop the area springs not only from economic but also from strategic considerations based on the fact that its geographic location makes theotential jumping-off point for military operations against North America. The development of thc area is therefore carried on by both civilian and military agencies,oth of which, obviously, give attention to the economic as well as the strategic aspects of the Raw materials needed by Soviet industry make up the bulk of the exports from the Arctic, imports consist largely of equipment, labor, and supplies of food and fuel needed by the industries producing raw materials and by military and scientific operations in the area. Because of its participation in the process of moving these imports and exports, the Northern Sea Route "plays an important role in the economic life of thc country. It is difficult to overestimate its trans-p- rtation importance. The use of the Northern Sea Route will make it possible to reduce transportation costs and sharply reduce the t; t takes lo deliver cargoes to the outlying points in the Arctic and Far/ More important Still, expanded use of the Northern Sea Route will increase the tonnage of supplies which can be brought to the Soviet Arctic area, thus accelerating its military and economic capability.

II Administration.

i<agement of shipping on the Northern Sea Route ise consuming process. Preseason planning begins as early as Decern*',ong-term forecast of ice cor.dicions to be expected during the coming navigation season. evised version of the December forecast is issued in February Tj The Council of Ministers, USSR, thenecree in late February or early

March which usually contains tho plan for shipments to ' Arctic during the forthcoming navigation season. 8/ Before formalization of thc decree, there isonsiderable amount of discussion relative to contracts and planning between CUSMP officials in Moscow and those in thc field, as well as with customers of GUSMP. 9/ In some instances the planning by GUSMP's customersull year in advance of the opening of the navigation season

In the early spring thc preseason concentration of freight begins at certain southern Far Eastern and probably northern European ports from which shipments to the Arctic are made, 3 thisbegan in Vladivostok onaynnening of the navigation season.'

A further concentration of cargo takes place at Provideniya. Freight is shipped to that far northern port in thc interval between the end of navigation on the NorlfteTn Sea Route in mid-October andlosing of the port of Provideniya in early

Vessels designated for service on the Northern Sea Route receive "top-priority" servicing during late winter and spring, so that they can begin their voyages on schedule. Repair work is pushed tobefore the opening of the pavm*

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This special priority andiui-vcr.iioli; Qclieouleti lor service upon the Northern Sea Route indicates the importance attached by the USSR to the prompt and Orderly management of Arctic shipping operations.

Once thc navigation season opens, active direction of shipping operations is transferred to the North. The present system oi shipping control was introduced first duringS navigation season. In place o! over-all control by one mar. -the Chief of GUSMP or his deputyhe area of operations is divided into an Eastern Sectorestern Sector. Mys Chelyuskin being the dividing point Each sectorirector of Operations who originally was stationed aboard the duty icebreaker in his sector, but now one director is based al Pevek in the Eastern Sector and the other at Dikson in the Western Sector. When necessary the directors go out on icebreakers to supervise operations. This system

to be subordinate iy the Chief Directorate for Health of the Maritime and River Fleets. Ministry of Health.

represent an improvement over that ol control by one man. who did not possess asicture of conditions as can be achieved by having regional directors of

Mikhail Yakovlevich Fomin, former Chief of thc Directorate of thc Maritime and River Fleets. GUSMP. was in charge of shipping operations on the Eastern Sector of .the Northern Sea Route during3 navigation Vasily Andreyevich Fedoseyev, Chief of the VAP, apparently held this positionomin, who will occupy the posts Chief of thc Providenlya Regional Administration. The Director of Operations for the Eastern Sector usually begins operations at Pevek about mid-June andhis work there late in Assisting the Director of Operations were Mikhail Vtadimirovich Gotskiy,. Gurskiy. and Viktor P. Lebedev. The exact duties ofndividuals are undetermined, although it is known that Gotskiy has been at Pevek for theavigation seasons and is concerned with ice reconnaissance in support of shipping. Gurskiyormer First Deputy Chief and Acting Chief of the VAP,bcdcv was at one time on thc staff of the

Navigation Ln the Western Sector is controlled from Dikson. The Director of Operations, who was formerly the Chief of the Archangel'skteamship Agencys the chief of (MAP is virtually the same organization as AAP, the change in title reflecting little more than the change in location of headquarters.) .eas the directornd also held the position It was reported that Strekalovskiy would occupy the post His past duties are not known, although in4 Strekalovskiy occupied the post of Director of the Tulubcvo Repair Shops in the Northern River Steamship Line During1 navigation season thc assistants to the Director of Operations for the Western Sector were Vladimir Viktorovfrh Varley, Deputy Chief of thc MAP. andvanovich Kulagin. Chief of thc Dikson Port. As in the case of the Eastern Sector, their exact dunes are unknown

Nor'hcn Sea Route operations have reached the point whereoperating procedures relative to tlw movements ot vessels are in effe l The chiefs of steamship agenr ie* and of marine operations


arc required to provide promptly thc schedules of approach of vessels to ports and to advise ship captains of the specific dates of access to ports. iZ/ Ship captains are required to report their estimated time of arrival and the type and disposition of their cargo to ports, and failure to do so is cause for Socialist competition is organized between shore workers and the crews of vessels and between ports and their supplying Plans apparently undercouffhout the navigation seasor

mini tne close ofrtiion season, most of the vesselsUSMP, many of whichsevere strains during the summer's operations, enter open ports outside the area for inspection and arc repaired ifepairs, primarily to engines and propellors, also are carried out at Provideniya throughout the navigation season. inimum ofessels was repaired at that far Northernost vessels are employed on other routes during the Northern Sea Routelthough some of the smaller vessels winter on thc Northern Sea

The over-all approach of the USSR to thc fundamental problems of the administration of an Arctic shipping lane seems to besuccessful. rief period of trial and error, thc basic organization which is still in use was adopted. The fact that it has worked forearsestimonial to the general feasibility of the Soviet concept, although many errors have been made. Vessels have not always met their schedules, cargo has not always been ready, and an occasional disaster has occurred. There does not seem to haveeally serious underfulfillment of thc planowever, in spite of thc fact that the plan has becomemore ambitious. From this, as well as from the careful planning and administration which goavigation season, it might be inferred that thc USSRell-organised and smoothly operating plan for thc development of the Northern Sea Route.

III. Shipping Operations.

A minimumessels ol all Hags has been identified as probably in operation on thc Northern Sea Route duringeason. This number includes only those ocean-going vessels which have been noted between Nar'yan-Mar in thc west and Uelen in thc caul. Siberian river vessels which called at Northern Sea Route ports at the mouths of thc several Siberian rivers have been excluded from this count, although some of them may have been engaged in coastwise traffic. ndomparison of4 navigation season with the seasonsy type of vessel and by area of operation.

Thc number of vessels using the Northern Sea Route4 has increased by almostercent over the number using the Northern Sea Route The increase in traffic, which was facilitated by an evidently efficient organization within GUSMP. points to an expansion of military and economic activity in the Soviet Arctic. The greater number of hydrographic vessels included in this traffican expanded program for study of the Arctic in support of greater exploitation of the Northern Sea Route and suggests thai plans for future increases in traffic are being

The determination of the approximate volume of cargo carried on thc Northern Seaas always been difficult. Certain figures indicating total cargo turnover are available fors but. for several reasons, these are not necessarily trustworthy0 there have beeneferences to the amount of freight moved, and both of them have been expressed in termsercentageons of cargo were

* Sec Figureollowing' ** ollow on pp. espectively.

The establishment of three drifting stationsorth Pole J, North Polend Northn thc central Polar Basin durum the pastonths is further evidence of this increased program (or thc study of the Arctic. Sec p., below.

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Tabic 1

Reported Types and Number of Vessels

Operating on thc Northern Seaavigation Seasons


Type of Vessel








1 7



- tug



forollow on p.

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TabSe 2

Reported Number of Vessels Operating on the Northern Sea Route by Area ofavigation Seasons



of Operation 7 t1 8 0 ' 4 L'

Eastern Sector

Western Sector Complete crossing (east to west)

Complete crossing (west to cast)

Double crossing (east to west

and west to

Double crossing (west to east and bast to west)

crossing (west to east) and return (cast


/ /



Revised estimate

The tug Udainyyoyages on the Western Sectorhen crossed the Northern Sea Route from west to eastherefore, in this table, the Udarnyyategories, the Weltern Sector andossmyto canlj. Tliis Afioudli lor the discrepancy betweenind thi*fore..i1



avitrt ri'lcrctice indicates ih;ii therereight turnover of approximately HHO.OOO tons The Minister of ihe River Fleet Slated4 that "water transport in thc Far East Basin and along the Northern Sea Route increased more than lour/

Astated that cargo vessels operating on the

Northern Sea Koute4inimumhis figure does not includedditional vessels* with anross tons. The cargo tonnage carried by theseessels, assuming optimum operating conditions, is estimated lo have been

imes the gross tonnage,argo tono.** by coastal shipping and by voyages out of the area -nhaveargo tons. cargo tons4 is therefore approximatelyqualsargo tons).

anolrgo tonnage carried on the Northern Sea Routebased on all sources, wouldillion cargo tons. Thisappears rather conservative. It differs relatively littleofargo tons and fits into the

iol mc reasing vessel traffic


A minimum ofessels8cebreakers,

ydrographic. andval vesselsubmarines.

" Included inndach of theseessels! or more trips.

The formula, as used in an earliers that cargo tonnageimes thc gross tonnage for each ship. The estimateaximum figure. Thc ships may not always have operated at the optimum level.

This figure is based on the assumption that thc additional cargoes averaged at least one-half load tier vessel, operating in

. -


ee Figureollowing p. abive.

7 destroyer-escort type ships,s believed to have crossed thc Northern Sea Route during4 navigation season. This represents the second highest number in the history of thc Northern Sea Route and may be comparedotal ofesselsankers. efrigerator-trawlers.chooner, 1andinesweepershich crossed

Of particular interest is the number of vessels which made round trips on the Northern Sea Route, all from west to east andduring4 navigation season. Theserips from thc west too Pevek.o Kuogostaakh,o Tiksi. and return to the west. Never before have Bo many vessels made double transits of the Northern Sea Route. This facturtherof the efficiency with which Northern Sea Route shipping operations are being conducted.

During4 navigationotal ofargo vessels, approximately double thc usual number, made either partial orcrossings of the Northern Sea Route. Although this maythat somewhat greater attention than before is being paid to the Northern Sea Routehrough shipping lane, it docs not obviate thc fact that theseessels representmall portion of the total number of vessels in service on the Northern Sea Routeurthermore, although thc type, amount, and destination of most of the cargo carried by theseessels are unknown, in atnstances, cargo was not transported completely across thc Northern Sea Route but was unloaded at intermediate ports. It is possible that some of these vessels proceeded on to Provideniya and Vladivostok in order to derive greater benefit from the Northern Sea Route. Thus it is evident that the primary economic significance of the Northern Sea Route is its utilization as the major supply lane to thc variousalong the Arctic coast and the transshipment points for thc hinterland and as the route byarge proportion of the products of the Arctic are exported. The Northern Sea Route itself hasminor economic significance as an occan-to-ocean shipping lane.


B. Eastern Sector.

The Eastern Sector of the Northern Sea Route extends from Mys Chelyuskin, the northernmost point on the Eurasian land mass, to the port of Provideniya, on thc southern side of Bering Strait. inimum ofessels was noted operating in the Eastern Sector during4 navigation season. * No non-Soviet Bloc vessels operated in this sector.

The major economic organization operating in the eastern Arctic is Dal'stroy, whose primary function is thc exploitation of thc mineral resources of northeast Siberia (the area east ofand north ofexcluding the Kamchatka Peninsula). The headquarters of Dal'stroy are at Magadan.

Subordinate to Dal'stroy are seven regional mining industry directorates, each of which is responsible for the mines in its area. Headquarters of these directorates arc located at Yagodnyy. Susman. Ust'-Omchuk, Ust'-Nera, Omsukchan, Pevek, and Ege-Khaya. Gold, tin, tungsten, and cobalt are the principal ores mined by these regional directorates. There are facilities for ore concentration at many of the major mining enterprises, especially those designated as combines.

In addition to these regional mining organizations there is the First Directorate, which is administered by Dal'stroy but is engaged in the production of uranium and possibly other radioactive ores for the First Chief Directorate and the Second Chief Directorate attached to the Council of Ministers, the organizations responsible for the

Soviet atomic energy program. This directorate, organized

operates throughout thc Dal'stroy area. It has mining combines at


* This may he comparedinimum ofessels which operated in the Eastern Sector during3 navigation season. Only those vessels which operated to or beyond Uelen. on the north side of Bering Strait, have been counted. For an explanation of this geographical limitation, see p.bove.


A recent estimate states that Dal'stroyinimum ofillion tons of imports per There are three surface transportation lanes which carry these supplies into Dal'stroy, although the proportion carried on each lane is unknown. The most important of these is the ocean shipping lane north from Nakhodka or Vanino to Nagayevo. the port for Magadan. Over this route move the majority of Dal'stroy's supplies. The secondary supply lane to Dal'stroy is the Northern Sea Route, which connects with rivers leading from thc Arctic coast into the hinterland. The tertiary lane, the Lena River route, has two variantshe first follows the Lena and Aldan Rivers and then travels overland to the Yana area (or less frequently to the western Dal'stroynd the second follows the Lena River to Tikai, where it joins the Northern Sea Route. Cargoes for Dal'stroy brought in by way of thc Northern Sea Route are deposited at Pevfck and at ports at the mouths of the Kolyma, Indigirka. and Yana Rivers. From these ports the cargoes are transshipped to the hinterland.

Pevek, the port for the Chaun Directorate of the Firstand the Chaun-Chukotka Mining Industry Directorate of Dal'stroy, is the major Dal'stroy port on the Northern Sea Route. All types of cargo, including heavy construction equipment, vehicles, chemicals, electric and power equipment, timber and other construction materials, oil products, coal, food, fodder, and alcoholic beverages are shipped into

No ore shipments were observed leaving Pevek One such cargo was^ noted during3 navigation season. This wasigh-priority ore mined by the First Directorate of Dal'stroy, believed to produce uranium and possibly This shipment represents the first export of ore of any kind which has been observed leaving Pevek for manylthough no direct ore shipments from Pevek were notedhe Chaun-Chukotka Mining Industry Directorate0 rubles from Plantin smelter at Novosibirsk, on

* This lack of information is the result of extremely high security on the part of the USSR rather than tbe failure to make such shipments.


The Kolyma-Indigirka River Steamship Agency carries upriver the cargoes deposited at ports at the mouths of the Kolyma and Indigirka Rivers. 6jy The Yana River is served by the Yana River Steamship Agency, Dal'stroy.

Dal'stroy mines, primarily gold. long have been active in the upper reaches of the many-tributaried Kolyma River, and riverfacilities appear lo be well developed. Cargo imported by way of the Northern Sea Route includes food, petroleum products, construction materials, and manufactured goods for the mining organizations. Much of the cargo destined for the Kolyma area is transshipped at Pevek, althx this port isiles from the mouth of the river. The Kolyma River area ships coal (atons, tirnher (atons, and some swine, fish, reindeer meat, and vegetables. These shipments are consumed within the eastern Arctic.

There has been little change in the slow pace of development in the lower Indigirka area over the past few years. Imports into the area for thc gold-producing Indigirka Mining Industry Directorate of Dal'stroy are similar to those of the Kolyma region, and exports from the area consist of some fish and meat. in, these products arein the eastern Arctic.

In contrast with the Indigirka, thereoticeable increase in activity in the Yana River delta The transshipment port for the river, Kuogostaakh, was scheduled for considerable development, the population was increasing, andarger number of ships called than ever before. The Yana River is thc easiest route into thc Yana Mining Industry Directorate of Dal'stroy. with headquarters at Ege-Khaya, the production of which is despatched over thc Northern Sea Route. The Ege-Khaya area i# believed to have the richest tin deposits in the

The officials of CUSMP apparentlyetermined effort to deposit during thc naviganon season as much cargo as possible at the mouths of the Kolyma. Indigirka, and Yana Riversor* cargo than can be transported on the rivers during the summer. This cargo

- ^0

is stored At thc several transshipment bases and sent uprivcr after the close of the Northern Sea Route navigation season. For example,0 tons ot cargo, of which0 tons were shipped during the month of June, were despatched up the Yana River to the Yana Mining Industry Directorate during theonths The cargo shipped before the opening of the Yana River navigation season probably was transported by tractor

The Lena River is a' major transportation artery between thc Trans-Siberian Railroad and thc Eastern Sector of thc Northern Sea Route. The rfver connectsailhead ar Osetrov and flows northeastward and northward to the port of Tiksi. on the shore of the Laptev Sea (More Laptcvykh). The navigation season on the rivers is fromoays longer than the navigation season on tbe Northern Sea Route. Goods moved down the rivers to the coast, when the Northern Sea Route is not open, arc stored at ports on the coast until ocean vessels can transport them. Apparently the ships on the Northern Sea Route carry away from each port of call as much cargo as they can, and thus always travel with near-capacity loadings. The tonnage estimate in this report is based on fully loaded vessels, and the tonnage figures include the goods stared at the river mouths.

Partial statistics for4 navigation season indicated that the Lena River Steamship Agency hadons of cargo up to the end ofn addition to thisotalons were either undergoing or awaiting shipment,ombined totalons. Of thc amount alreadyons was "dry" cargo, whilep*

(Or annr-vimi.ol.. lift flflfl *xrh hi, 1

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Thc river cargoes which are not transshipped are excludes irom the estimates of flow into the Arctic.

It is indeterminable what proportion of this cargo is consumed by the diversified activities lumbering, mining, prospecting, farming, manufacturing, and shipbuilding along thc Lena and its tributaries, or is carried the full length of thc river and transshipped from Tiksi, or is shipped up the Aldan River and then transported overland from Khandyga to the western Dal'stroy area.

The port of Tiksi servesransshipment base for Lena River cargoes destined for various points throughout the eastern Arctic. The primary export from Tiksi apparently is timber. During4 navigation season the following approximate amounts of timber were shipped to thc following locations: 0 tons, including at0 tons for;ons; Nizhni yo Kresty,ons; Provideniya, ons; and Ugol'nyy, In addition to timber, construction materials and0 tons of coal for Dal'stroy were transshipped through

The importance of the Lena River supply route is evident when it is considered in the context of the supply problem of eastern Siberia. If it were not for the Lena,ons of oil products and "dry" cargo planned for shipment on the river5 would have to be carried into the eastern Arctic cither across the Northern Sea Route from the west or across the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Vladivostok, and north via the Pacific Ocean shipping lane and thc Northern Sea Route. The Lena River relieves both the Northern Sea Route and the eastern half of the Trans-Sibenan Railroad of the responsibility for carrying this cargo, as well asroad highway which offers easy access to the mineral resources of the eastern Arctic.

In addition lo thc operations dincussed above, cargo is moved throughout thc Eastern Sector to thc many GUSMP installations on both the mainland and the Arctic islands. Information on this cargois very sparse and is not sufficient toeconstruction of the pattern. All types of construction equipment and materials,and supplies necessary for thc maintenance of thc scattered settlements are transported throughout the Eastern Sector. Some are produced locally, but the majority are imported. Two cargo figures which are available indicate that thc Khatanga River Office of GUSMP. handlesons of cargo per year. This includes coal, which is mined at Kotuy and shipped through the central Arctic, as well as construction materials, lumber, and oil.

C. Western Sector.

Thc Western Sector of the Northern Sea Route reaches from Murmansk to Mys Chelyuskin. Only that portion of the Western Sector lying between Nar'yan-Mar. at thc mouth of the Pechora River, and Mys Chelyuskin is considered in this report, and all references to the "Western Sector" should be construed as referring to this limited definition of the area.

During4 navigationinimumessels operated in the Western Sector. These vessels served four primary areas in the Western Sector where raw materials are being exploited. These include the Vorkuta coalfields, thc Pay-Khoy fluorspar deposits, the coal and ore deposits in the vicinity of Noril'sk. and the timber resources of the middle Yenisey River,

The Vorkuta coalfields are the most important of thc western Arctic. The coal is of good quality and is believed to include grades Suitable for metallurgical coke. The brown coal deposits also found in thc area are not exploited. The Vorkuta reserves of hard coal alone are aboutillion tons, and production4 is estimated to have been overillion tons. Some of this production is consumed locally, hut the preponderance goes to thc European USSR by way of the Pechorahipments of Vorkuta coal also are made from the Northern Sea Route port of Nar'yan-Mar to Arkhangelsk and

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Murmansk, where it is used, among other purposes, for bunkering/ It is dUo possible that some of this coal is carried to eastern ports of the Northern Sea Route.

The Pay-Khoy Peninsula contains tho largest known reserve of acid-grade fluorspar in the USSR, amounting toillion tons. Ores from these deposits are concentrated at Amderma. and it is estimated that this area accounts forercent of total Sovietproduction. Ths concentrates arc shipped by way of the Northern Sea Route to thc Kola Peninsula (Kol'skiy Poluostrov) and

The copper, nickel, cobalt, and coal deposits near the estuary of thc Yenisey River are exploited by thc Noril'sk Combine of the Ministry of Nonferrous Metallurgy. ickel smelterefinery exist at the Combine, and their products are shipped by rail to the port of Dudinka, on thc Yenitfcy River. From Dudinka. Noril'skis sent cither up the river to Krasnoyarsk or across the Northern Sea Route to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. There is no information on thc ultimate destination of these produc'f '*

Noril'sk is an important producer of coal as well as metal products. ons of coal were shipped in river vessels from Dudinka to various consumers along the Yenisey River during4 navigation season. Thc major recipient of this coal was the Directorate of Arctic Supply. GUSMP, .it Dikson rimary bunkering point for ships operating in the Western Sector. In addition to these river shipments, an unknown amount of coal was transported over the Northern Sea

Timber from the middle reaches of the Yenisey River is floated downstream to Igarka, from which the greater part is transshipped to Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, and western Europe. Somesed primarily for construction purposes, also is distributed throughout the Western Sector ol lhe Northern Sea Routeor example, for thc

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iavaloi< .iiclush'yi Novaya Zcmlya Thc timber shipped Irom Igarka to Soviet and noti-Sovict northern European ports or along the Northern Sea Route is carried in Soviet vessels, that going to western European ports generally is carried in non-Soviet Bloc vessels chartered for service on the Northern Sea Route. Thc use of these non-SovietBloc vessels has been increasing in recent years. Thirty-three such vessels were noted carrying timber from Igarka to England, Belgium. France, and Egypt during4 navigation season. This number may be comparedotal ofUCh vessels3nd* Since these non-Soviet Bloc vessels have been used exclusively for foreign operationshat ia. timber sales to western Europeny increase in the number of these vesselseflection of an increasing number of such sales.

In addition to the cargoes discussed above, general cargo, supplies, food, construction materials, and technical equipment arc transported throughout the Western Sector. For example, the Khatanga Fish Processing Plant shipped fish torobably for tho Noril'sk Combine.

IV. Support of Shipping.

A comprehensive meteorological and hydrographic program in support of Northern Sea Route shipping is conducted each navigation season. In thc past, this program has been under the control of the Arctic Scientific Research Institute, Leningrad, and the now defunct Directorate of Polar Stations and Scientific Institutions, CUSMP, which operatedolarost of which are locatedew miles of thc shipping lanes. The work of the polar stations is supplemented by observations taken aboard icebreakers and hydrographir vessels, as well as by aerial reconnaissance Early5 the Directorate of Polar Stations and Scientifics merged with and subordinated to thc Direc torate of Arctic Fleets and

Aerial ice reconnaissance takes place every year throughout the navigation season. Flights are nwde almost daily in both sectors Ol the-Northern Sea Route by aircraft of the Directorate of Polar Aviation, GUSMP. which are chartered each vcar *- ith Northern

Betweenndydrographic vessels have operated on the Northern Sea Route each year for theears. During the

l*)b4 navigation season, hydrographic surveying was concentrated in the lollowing areas; Zemlya Georgamlya Aleksandry in Franz Josef Land, the east coast of Novaya Zemlya, the northwest coast ol the Taymyr Peninsula between Dikson and thc Borisa

Vil'kitskogo Strait, the eastern Laptev Sea between Tiksi and the


Novoislands (Novosibirskiysnd the Chukchi Sea. These hydrographic parties were charting lhe seas and. erectingaids. Some oi them may have furnished weather information.

Another phase of the program for thc Study of the A

relic is

thc establishment ofdrifting stationsoith Pole J. North Polend North- in the central Polar Basin. These litations, the announced purpose of whichto further the

as abandoned shortly aftci Northas

. Zl

ik-velopmenl ol the* Itoulc, Itavcut an oxtonsive program of al rosea rc:h. Although the actual purpose ol these expeditions prohahly is thc collection of data for the Soviet basic scientific research program during the forthcoming International Geophysical Year, they do have certain implications for Northern Sea Route shipping. The work of thc drifting stations almost certainly has resulted in an improvement in Soviet meteorological reporting for ihc Arctic. In addition to this, the study of the behavior of the sea ice in the central Holar llasin will make possible more accurate icc-fore-casting techniques, which, in turn, should result in the operation of more vessels for longer periods of time on the Northern Sea Rou:e.

Thus, through an apparently efficient, accurate, and highly organized system of weather and ice reporting and forecasting. GUSMP furnishes what seems to be adequate support to shipping operations on tint Northern Sea Route.





Evaluations, following the classification entry and designatedave the following significance:

Source of Information


Confirmed by other sources

- Completely reliable

Probably true

- Usually reliable

Possibly true

- Fairly reliable


- Not usually reliable

Probably false

- Not reliable

Cannot be judged

- Cannot bc judged

"Documentary" refers to original documents of foreign governments and organizations; copies or translations of such documentstaff officer; or information extracted from such documentstaff officer, all of which may carry thc field evaluation "Documentary."

Evaluations not otherwise designated arc those appearing on thc cited document; those designated "RR" are by the author of this report. No "RR" evaluation is given when thc author agrees with thc evaluation on tbe cited document.

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Original document.

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