Egvekinot is an urban locality (an urban-type settlement) and the administrative center of Iultinsky District in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia. Population: 2,790 (2010 Census); 2,413 (2002 Census); 5,478 (1989 Census).
Egvekinot, located on the coast of Kresta Bay (a part of the Bering Sea) at the foot of mountains some 800 meters (2,600 ft) high, is a port settlement with a maximum depth of 35 meters (115 ft). It is located 1,675 kilometers (1,041 mi) from Magadan, 236 kilometers (147 mi) from Anadyr, and 6,097 kilometers (3,789 mi) from Moscow.
Archeological excavations around the settlement have indicated that the area was inhabited in Neolithic times and possibly even in the Mesolithic, with the discovery of a number of stone implements, tools for grinding and obsidian arrowheads, all of which are now stored in the local museum in Egvekinot.
In 1937, metal deposits were discovered in Iultin. Due to the isolated nature of the area, the transportation of any minerals extracted would be difficult and it was decided that a new port would be created to serve the Iultin mines. Dalstroy formed a new section, "Chukotstroy", whose aim was to construct Egvekinot and the road connecting it with the Iultin mines.
Egvekinot was founded in 1946, under the supervision of B. N. Lenkov, the first head of Chukotstroy, specifically as a port so that the nearby Iultin Mining Complex about 180 kilometers (110 mi) north of the settlement could be easily supplied with materials. On July 16, 1946, the MV Sovetskaya Latviya brought the first 1,500 settlers to Egvekinot. These construction workers were mainly political prisoners rather than willing emigrants. This labor force was responsible for the construction of the entire infrastructure in the area, including the construction of Egvekinot, the nearby village of Ozyorny, and the village of Iultin, as well as the 270-kilometer (170 mi) road linking the mines to the new port, the power station, warehouses, and residential and industrial buildings.
As a result of this, the settlement became quite an important hub causing the population to grow to over 5,000 by the late 1980s. However, when the mining complex was closed in 1993, the economy of Egvekinot suffered with the population falling rapidly throughout the 1990s, although the 2010 Census details indicate a slight recovery in recent years.
Administrative and municipal status
Aerial view of Ozyorny MicrodistrictWithin the framework of administrative divisions, Egvekinot serves as the administrative center of Iultinsky District, to which it is directly subordinated. As a municipal division, the urban-type settlement of Egvekinot is incorporated within Iultinsky Municipal District as Egvekinot Urban Settlement.
The nearby former selo of Ozyorny has been incorporated into Egvekinot as Ozyorny Microdistrict.
Egvekinot can be reached by flights from Anadyr (236 kilometers (147 mi)) which land at the Kresta Bay Airport (ru), though the spring meltwaters can cause the runway to become flooded. Infrequent helicopter service to Provideniya by Chukotavia.
Egvekinot is linked to the now abandoned settlement of Iultin by the Iultin-Egvekinot road (ru) (around 200 kilometers (120 mi)) via Amguema, as well as to the abandoned settlements of Dorozhny, Tranzitny, and Geologichesky. The road crosses the Amguema River.