Murmansk was only a small village before World War I. The port and its rail line inland from Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) were built in 1915-16, when the Central Powers cut off the Russian Baltic and Black Sea supply routes. Allied forces occupied the Murmansk area from 1918 to 1920, during the Russian civil war. A major World War II supply base and port for Anglo-American convoys, Murmansk was bombarded by the Germans. During the 1970s and 80s, the Sea of Murmansk was the dump site for the exhausted cores of Soviet nuclear reactors. Murmansk district, with rich apatite and nickel mines, was enlarged after World War II through the incorporation of former Finnish territories.
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