These Abandoned Soviet Radar Sites Show How Quickly The Cold War Ended

Soviet Radar

Photo: Darmon Richter

Picking up almost where World War II left off, the Cold War waged on for almost 50-years, defining U.S. foreign policy and a way of life across the globe.It was painted in the West as a simple good vs. evil scenario that generated a lot of passion, and a lot of defence spending. It was also a situation that seemed like it could go on forever and then, with nary a warning, the Cold War ended.

The following pictures from Darmon Richter at The Bohemian Blog will take you on a tour showing how quickly the Cold War ended better than words ever could.

As we passed the road entrance to this disused Soviet radar site, the open gate offered a tantalising invitation.

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Elsewhere we stumbled across a stack of heavy duty axels, along with tyres that had been stretched in order to give better purchase in deep snow.

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Making our way back over the barrier, we headed through the scrap yard and towards the road entrance.

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At some stage it looks as though an effort had been made to clean up the site - it was abandoned mid-progress however, overflowing bins left to gather dust and cobwebs.

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En route to another nearby radar dish, I spy an archaic Soviet gas mask slung from the coupling of a moving lorry.

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We arrive at our next tip-off, a military site that houses one of the largest satellite dishes ever built by the Soviets - measuring a total of 60 metres across.

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The entrance is locked and barred and so we are forced to go off-road, searching for another way in from the forest.

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Just as I tentatively begin to climb over the fence for a closer look, a dog barks… and then a second, and third join in. The site is well guarded after all, it turns out.

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So close, and yet so far. In the end all we can do is peek through holes in the fence, admiring the colossal radar dish that towers in the distance… not to mention the fuselage of a MiG jet fighter, which lies corroding in the foreground.

Passing through the gateway, we came into an open yard - separated from the military compound by a rusted iron barrier.

The ancient vehicles dotted around the yard looked as though they may have been here some time. In the background, the satellite dish looms ominously behind the fence.

In one corner of the yard stood a structure that had presumably served as a greenhouse, its plastic dome now surrounded by a sea of discarded bottles.

Under the bonnet, the engine had long-since been removed.

Another bizarre structure across the yard was now being used by mechanics, the occasional burst of sparks coming from a welding gun being wielded somewhere within.

A rusted iron gantry was the only trace of the loading bay which would have greeted large machinery, when this site was still in military use.

Climbing carefully to the top of the gantry, I was able to take in a wide view of the whole yard.

At the edge of the scrap yard, a concrete division drew the boundary of the radar site; luckily, the overgrowing trees made it an easy climb.

Once over the barrier, we came face-to-face with the towering radar dish itself.

The dish was originally used to send relays to Soviet satellites… local sources claim it has been left abandoned since the end of the Cold War.

Beneath the dish, a number of store rooms had been dug out of the grassy slope. Nowadays these are filled with junk, and festering cardboard boxes.

Another corner of the site has been used as a dumping ground for all manner of domestic waste.

Even computer equipment and audio reels can be found decaying around this disused military base.

Elsewhere we stumbled across a stack of heavy duty axels, along with tyres that had been stretched in order to give better purchase in deep snow.

Making our way back over the barrier, we headed through the scrap yard and towards the road entrance.

At some stage it looks as though an effort had been made to clean up the site - it was abandoned mid-progress however, overflowing bins left to gather dust and cobwebs.

En route to another nearby radar dish, I spy an archaic Soviet gas mask slung from the coupling of a moving lorry.

We arrive at our next tip-off, a military site that houses one of the largest satellite dishes ever built by the Soviets - measuring a total of 60 metres across.

The entrance is locked and barred and so we are forced to go off-road, searching for another way in from the forest.

Just as I tentatively begin to climb over the fence for a closer look, a dog barks… and then a second, and third join in. The site is well guarded after all, it turns out.

So close, and yet so far. In the end all we can do is peek through holes in the fence, admiring the colossal radar dish that towers in the distance… not to mention the fuselage of a MiG jet fighter, which lies corroding in the foreground.

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