A unique arm chromosome combination detected in the common shrew karyotype from a Karelian locality within the Arctic Circle (Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve, European Russia) is interpreted as a new chromosome race - Poyakonda. According to the standard nomenclature of G-banded chromosomes of Sorex araneus the karyotype contains the species specific bi-armed autosomes af, bc, jl, tu and the typical complex sex chromosome system (two metacentrics XX in the female and one metacentric/two acrocentrics XY1Y2 in the male). A group of race specific chromosomes includes 4 metacentric combinations (hn, ip, kq, mo) and two acrocentric chromosomes (g and r). In all 5 shrew specimens examined the same homozygous autosome complement 2Na=20 was found. Data available from neighbouring regions in Russia and, in particular, from adjacent Fennoscandian countries reveal complex relationships between karyotypes of common shrews from the European North.