25 “Chernobyl-2” – a Pearl of the Past

“Chernobyl-2” – a Pearl of the Past

Posted on September 15, 2010 by team


Today we are going to visit the legendary and mysterious Chernobyl-2 and have a close look at a masterpiece of a constructive idea, feel the spirit of the past epoch of “the cold war”.


Training ground


Visual agitation


Another one


Going to an aerial site




Officially “Chernobyl-2” is called as the long-haul radio center. Chernobyl-2 is a “shadow” of a small and calm Chernobyl city. Most of the secret objects of military operations support were named as their ordinary neighbouring cities. Probably it was a way to confuse reconnaissance of an enemy.

Absolutely covert facilities 20 years ago, it was a pearl of space reconnaissance and a dream of soldiers allowing to watch rotation of all possible ground targets not only over Europe but even “see” firing activity of a potential enemy in the Continent of North America. Very powerful and super modern radars let the military literally look over the horizon.


Thanks to its abilities it got its name – “Duga-1” – over-the-horizon radars. There were only three similar radars in the Soviet Union -in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Chernobyl.

The height of the big antenna – 150 m, of the small one – 90 m, their overall length – 900 m.


Pickup antenna


Can you imagine how huge it is?


According to different versions they invested 500 million to 1,5 billion dollars in “Chernobyl-2”. It is two times more expensive than it was invested in the construction of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.


Entering the building


Space communication center


On the roof – these empty platforms of satellite antennas can be clearly seen on Google photos.


This “circle” is the station of oblique incidence-backscatter ionospheric sounding.


A way to the check-point





One of the dismantled antennas


Boundary circle antenna


Shield grid


Dismantled antennas


The main building


Even a fire truck was found on the territory



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25 responses to ““Chernobyl-2” – a Pearl of the Past”

  1. Nergol says:

    Maybe they should have spent more money on the nuclear plant…

  2. Lenny says:

    It’s really amazing. Just like a timeshell 30 years ago

  3. russia_bound says:

    Very Very cool pictures. Thanks for the upload…

  4. Lord Cunt says:

    The brain scorcher from STALKER!

  5. itoldyou says:

    This could have been on Lost…

  6. DougW says:

    That’s Duga-3, otherwise known as Woodpecker.
    It is a large over-the-horizon radar.

  7. DCC says:

    If I recall correctly, the unit located in Chernobyl was the Duga-3. It was named “the russian woodpecker”, as it was a repetitive noise jamming in lots of radio frequencies.

    Amazing souvenir from the cold war…

  8. Unknown says:


  9. Testicules says:

    And it is in such good shape still.

  10. Mysticismer says:

    Get out of here, Stalker

    someone had to post it

  11. Ivo says:

    It’s really nice.

    I wouldn’t mind get my hands on the soviet poster.

  12. George Johnson says:

    Should be fairly easy to bring it down. Just cut the bracing (the angled parts), then attach a steel cable to the top (or do this part first!) and then use a bulldozer to just pull it down.

    Should think about collecting some of those signs and posters. I’d expect them to go up in value over the years.

  13. Julian says:

    Pity GSC Gameworld partially screwed up this part creating STALKER SoC, by replacing this Duga by 5 simple antennas… Later on Clear Sky they’ve brought it in, but without any usable background right into the imaginary city of Limansk…
    At least on Call of Pripyat they’ve put in the main building, and the familarity is impressive, though ingame version is not as messy as the reallife counterpart. But watching these pics on this blog made me want to play STALKER again… 😀

  14. SovMarxist1924 says:

    Great Soviet tech!

  15. Boritz says:

    I especially admire the custom steering wheel in fire truck.

  16. Wraith says:

    After seeing how much the installation cost, how much electricity did it need to operate? Probably why it was built near Chernobyl.

  17. kater says:

    On September 17 1939 the treacherous Soviets ruthlessly attacked Poland, already under attack by Germans. Russians signed a pact with Germans to cut Poland in half and share the loot. Poland was once again betrayed and attacked by Soviet Russia. What followed was 50+ years of effective occupation by Russians in terms of communist government and presence of foreign army in the territory of Poland. May the memory of this hideous deed never be forgotten, in spite of continued attempts by Russians to rewrite history. Long live Poland!

  18. harold says:

    There’s a good Wikipedia article about the Duga-3.


  19. ZeroDrop says:

    To see a huge impressive structure like that abandoned and destroyed, makes me feel very sad. I think dozens of people passing by and having fun destroying all the equipments. For what? Why not just keep it intact?
    In fact, makes me want to play STALKER again. Love that game.

  20. Bigg Fredd says:

    Old electric relays commonly have gold contacts where they meet. If that’s true here, there’s thousands of dollars waiting for a pair of tinsnips.

  21. sinan says:

    Hi, can anyone with antenna elaectromagnetics background explain the peculiar zeppelin-like shape of the antenna endings ? I recently visited Odessa and noticed exactly the same shape antenna endings (yet much smaller) on top of a public building in the main historic square. Anyone any idea ?

  22. Les Hayward says:

    What an amazing place! Brilliant photos, I only wish I could come over and take a close look.
    Regarding the shape of the Ae’s the wide cage was probably to give the system a wide bandwidth over a range of frequencies. The circular ends are rounded to minimise corona (These being at the voltage nodes). I wonder what the radiated power was.

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