A photographer from New Zealand Amos Chapple managed to get to the territory of a secret underground nuclear base located 185 kilometers away from Kiev. This place is considered the last nuclear base of Ukraine: it had been functioning until 1991 when the country, following the collapse of the USSR, was deprived of all nuclear weapons.
Let’s visit the bunker from where the Soviet army was threatening to the west with intercontinental nuclear missiles.
In the Soviet time they could launch nuclear missiles in the direction of America from here, but now this place is free from weapons. However the base is preserved rather well.
The launching silo.
This place still creates a nervous feeling.
The main entry to the base does not attract much attention.
When you come down, you find yourself in a corridor 155 meters long that leads straightly to the control room.
The heavy metal door weighs 750 kg, so it can withstand a nuclear explosion.
The underground nuclear base was working since 1978 to 1991. It is ten storeys deep including launch silos. In a case of a nuclear blow it could autonomously maintain itself for 45 days. It was equipped with its own generator, all the personnel could be accomodated in bedroom and other dwelling premises of the object.
The control room with a red button! The chairs have belts to fasten a man on duty in a war period to keep him in the chair even when he’s exhausted. They say, that there were missiles SS-18 “Satan” and SS-24 “Scalpel” ready to be launched from here.
It is still in a faultless condition.
The control panel is made in a recognizable Soviet design.
The museum exhibit: the sectional view of the nuclear base.
How is it like to be a nuclear missile operator?
If they got a command to launch a missile, two officers had to simulteneously turn the key (on the right) and push the button (on the left). Only four hands could make the system work – it was a prevention from someone’s crazy actions.
Missiles launched from here could reach New York within 20-25 minutes. Upon reaching the target, the warhead of a SS-18 missile would open and let a dozen of smaller missiles out to cover targets withing huge areas.
If a visitor wants guides could turn on the emergency signal or a missile launch signal. Just to hear the sound, of course.
The entire base was standing on powerful shock absorbers to prevent a launch of missiles or a spontaneous blasting in case of a nuclear strike.
All the doors of the object are heavy and thick.
Full-sized “Satan” missile.
Recreation room for the duty staff 36 meters deep under the ground. Squeezed but pleased!
Fire guns storage box.
There are no elevators at the base.
They had all modern equipment! A microwave oven, for example. Soviet people didn’t have it even in their dreams then.
And a cute samovar!
“Stop! Back off! High voltage!”
Now it is not dangerous but once it could kill anyone who would incidentally touch it.
The secrecy of the base was maintained so strictly that even today, many years after, locals do not want to discuss it – cause it’s the secret!
“What to do, if…” instructions.
Remains of Soviet fighters on the base.
And other military equipment.
The museum has opened just recently but it will probably be interesting for crowds…