Northern Russia, a safer place

Murmansk is the region in Barents Russia with the lowest homicide rates.

The number of murders in northern Russian regions has decreased threefold since the 1990s.


According to Patchwork Barents, the regional database, a total of 384 homicides were in 2014 officially registered in the five Northwestern Russian regions of Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Nenets AO, Karelia and Komi. As a comparison, in 1995, their number amounted to 1,052. The situation started to improve at the beginning of the 2000s. In 2002, the number of murders dropped to 881, in 2008 to 564 and in 2013 it fell to a record-low of 347.

The most criminal region in the Russian north is the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, where 13,9 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants were registered in 2014. In second place was Arkhangelsk with 12.4 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. The Republic of Karelia closes the triplet with 12.3 murders.

The Komi Republic had 11.9 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, while Murmansk Oblast can be considered the safest of the regions with 6.9 homicides committed per 100,000 inhabitants.

Meanwhile, Russia is in the lead by number of homicides among the countries of the Barents Region. For example, in th whole Northern Sweden there were committed fifteen murders in 2014, and in northern Norway only three.

However, in general, the crime rate in the Russian North has significantly decreased over the last few years. While in 2013 there were officially registered a total of 30,655 various crimes in the northern regions of the country, in 2014 their number decreased to 29,693 and almost caught up with the figures from Northern Norway (27,576). As a comparison, in Northern Sweden there were committed 50,807 crimes last year.

This story is published in cooperation with Patchwork Barents