Gets multi-billion subs, lacks gas for heating

The ballistic missile submarine “Verkhoturye” made port-call to Gadzhievo last week. Photo from Северный флот on Facebook.

Russia’s paradox in a nut-shell: Naval base Gadzhievo on the Kola Peninsula is homeport to the core of the country’s naval nuclear forces, but lacks gas to cook food in the submariners’ houses.


With temperatures dropping down to minus 25° Celsius, the inhabitants of the closed naval town of Gadzhievo could welcome the return of the ballistic missile submarine “Verkhoturye” last week. The submarine, carrying 16 intercontinental nuclear missiles, returned to the pir of her homebase after being refitted for years at the shipyard Zvezdochka in Severodvinsk. 

Gadzhievo is located on the coast to the Barents Sea, northwest of Murmansk, some 100 kilometers from the border to Norway.

Although the crew got a warm-by-heart welcome by fellow submariners and family members upon port-call; the cuisine in the kitchen in the submariners apartment blocks where the officers live were somewhat colder. This weekend many of the flats run out of gas, the regional news portal B-port reports. On Friday and Saturday, the municipality alerted the residents that they were forced to reduce the flow of gas due to shortage. Citizens were asked to reduce consumption. With no gas - no warm food to the submariners.

See more photos from last week’s return of “Verkhoturye” to Gadzhievo in the photo slide-show posted on the official Facebook profile of the Russian Northern fleet.

The regional branch of Russia’s Emergency Ministry, EMERCOM, reports that additional three tons of gas was received to the nearby town of Aleksandrovsk mid-day Sunday and normal gas supply to the network to Gadzhievo was restored at 15.50. This supply will last for 2-3 days, according to EMERCOM’s press-service.

This is not the first winter with gas supply problems to Gadzhievo. In 2011, only 30 percent of the needed gas was brought to the naval base, according to a report published in MBNews

Gadzhievo is the homeport to the Northern fleet’s current six ballistic missile submarines of the Delta-IV class. Russia’s new generation missile submarine of the Borey class will also be based here. The first of them, the “Yury Dolgoruky” has an estimated price tag of RUR 23 billion (€570 million), according to Wikipedia. On the international market, a cubic meter of natural gas cost typically less than a euro.