Oct. 28 – Across the Soviet Union, there were hundreds if not thousands of
facilities that ordinary people were not permitted to enter because they were
part of the USSR’s national security sector. But after 1991, most were
abandoned and then looted and are now visited by the criminal or the curious
but not by foreign spies.
X-Files website reports on four of them, one in Uzbekistan, one in Ukraine, one
in Russia, and one in Latvia, all of which attracted metal hunters in the 1990s
but now are tourist destinations, albeit sometimes involving those who do come
in danger (x-files.site/articles.php?article_id=9181).
first of these is the former bio-engineering institute on Vozrozhdeniya Island
in the former Aral Sea. It reportedly developed and produced biological weapons
in Soviet times but with the passing of the USSR, it was closed. The buildings
and some of the equipment remain but there has been much looting.
second is the reserve military bunker in Rostov Oblast from which senior Soviet
officials would run a nuclear war if one broke out. It was made deep enough to
survive a direct nuclear hit, and local people say that until nearly the end of
the USSR, tests of nuclear weapons were carried out to show that the facility
could withstand them.
1993, the bunker was finally closed; and five years later, enterprising local
people opened a museum there to attract visitors.
third site was known as Object 221 in Sevastopol. Begun in 1977, it was yet
another bunker for commanders to retreat to in the event of nuclear war. Most of
its equipment was stolen or vandalized in the early 1990s. Today, the site
attracts only the curious and those trying to find metal objects they can sell.
the fourth is a bunker that existed in Soviet occupied Latvia in the Kekava
forest. Abandoned in 1991, it flooded. But it still attracts visitors, despite
the fact that highly poisonous heptyl fuel has leaked into the water there. It
would be better, the site suggests, if people avoided sites like this one even now.