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Report - Skrunda-1, Latvia, 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by kingrat, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. kingrat

    kingrat 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    In 2012 Weasel and I attempted to 'visit' Skrunda1. In all honesty we were a little premature in visiting. The buildings were secure, security was tight and the dogs were ..... there were dogs ok, big dogs, big barky dogs. We only managed 45 minutes on site.

    Cut to a very wet and windy december 2015.........

    Built in the 1980s, Skrunda-1 was a secret settlement not marked on Soviet maps because of the two enormous radar installations that listened to objects in space and monitored the skies for a U.S. nuclear missile attack. Like all clandestine towns in the Soviet Union, it was kept off maps and given a code-name – which usually consisted of a number and the name of a nearby city.
    After the Soviet Union fractured in 1991, a newly independent Latvia was eager to scuttle all Soviet military bases and expel Russian troops. Russia's Defense Ministry, however, continued to rely on Skrunda's early warning system, and as a result the radar base was for years used as a negotiation tool between Washington and Moscow. One of the radar buildings – dubbed Pechora – was enormous, soaring 60 meters (180 feet). In May 1995, it was ceremoniously blown up by a U.S. demolition firm using over a ton of dynamite.
    Finally, in 1998 the last residents of Skrunda-1 departed, leaving behind hundreds of vacant apartments and dozens of buildings. Talk about transforming the town into a recreational area went nowhere, and finally two years ago Latvia's government decided to put the entire settlement on the auction block.
    A representative of a Russian investor won the bidding contest in Latvia's capital, Riga, with an offer of 1.55 million lats ($3.1 million), said Anete Fridensteina-Bridina, a spokeswoman for the Baltic country's privatization agency. She said the buyer was Aleksejevskoje-Serviss, a Russia-based firm, though she could not provide details. It wasn't immediately clear what plans the buyer had for the 110-acre (45 hectare) property, which is located in western Latvia about 95 miles (150 kilometers) from Riga. The town contains about 70 dilapidated buildings, including apartment blocks, a school, shop, hospital, barracks, prison and an officers' club.

    *****UPDATE*****

    After years of failed auctions, harsh winters, illegal salvage and dilapidation, the Latvian government decided to take back control of the site. Tentative plans included tourism and manufacturing, but the base has so far only seen a return to military use. In July the government announced half of the territory would be awarded to the Latvian Army, and NATO troops are reported to have recently used the base for training.
    The other half will be leased “for a low price, though with the stipulation that the investor has to develop it – to create jobs and infrastructure in the abandoned city,” a report in LSM.LV said.

    We can say for certainty the Latvian army are using their half ;)

    Report is image heavy but there are more over at ratsnruins.net should you wish to see more.

    As always, thanks for looking and any feedback (other than "your photography is sh!t") is always welcome.

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  2. Jim Sullivan

    Jim Sullivan 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    That place is beautiful. Wonderful pics. I especially love the first picture--so creepy it makes me wish I could go there!--and the closeup of the bottle (I love artifacts, especially old bottles).
     
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