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Report - Chernobyl Duga Radar, Kindergarten & Riverside

The Wombat

Mr Wombat
28DL Full Member
#1
Report 5 from our epic trip to Chernobyl

A few sites near Pripyat, whilst still in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

After a long drive down a bumpy track, we spent a hot humid afternoon at the military radar & control station.

The history is interesting: The Duga was a Soviet Union over the horizon radar used an early warning of a nuclear missile attack from the west. A similar radar was built in eastern Siberia. It operated from 1976 to 1989, and was extremely powerful, over 10MW in some cases. The signal appeared without warning, sounding like a sharp repetitive tapping noise, which led it to be nicknamed the ‘Russian woodpecker’. The signal disrupted legitimate broadcast in the west & in the USSR. The signal became such a nuisance, that some amateur radios & televisions began including ‘woodpecker blankers’ in their design. The signal was a source of much speculation, giving rise to theories of Soviet mind control & weather experiments. I had seen photos of it, but seeing it up close is something else. The ominous large command station was a dark and often dangerous building, that had a control station and would have housed banks of computers over several stories. The damp inside offered a welcome relief from the bugs & humidity, but it did mean getting dripped on through insulation & filth.

The Kindergarten was an interesting place to explore. Childrens toys, chalk boards, cots & books hastily abandoned in the wake of the evacuation. Radiaton was very low inside the building, but the vegetation outside harboured a few hot spots. Another thought provoking place.



The scale of this was mind blowing
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even with the wide angle lens, I couldn't get it all in
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This is the corridor that runs the length of the radar
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Inside the command centre
Apologies; I forgot my bloody tripod, :banghead
so these are hand held with flash
I will explain where I can what you are looking at

This was the point of entry. Presumably computers & operations
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Possibly a canteen?
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Amazing that this has survived so well
Pictures celebrate soviet space achievements
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Computer hall probably
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Control room
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More computer hall
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TRAINING ROOM
this globe depicts the line between the USSR, and their opponents.... us
The UK can just be seen in the middle
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Rooftop
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(thanks to TLR for the tip on this one)

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And something very different
THE KINDERGARTEN

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Finally, a shot from the riverside of a rusting tanker
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Thanks for looking​
 

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