A popular blogger Maxim Mirovich visited a nuclear weapons storage base located in the south of Belarus, somewhere in the forest area – this place is a tiny spot on the map called Zarechye. It looks like an ordinary small agricultural town of Belarus but it hides once a dangerous and frightening object – “Gomel-30”.
In the time of the cold war, the USSR stored nuclear weapons in Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine – the countries which were closer to a potential enemy and further from Moscow.
To maintain nuclear weapons they built some special complexes, that accepted nuclear warheads from so-called War pact countries. They disassembled the weapons there, checked the electronics and functionality to subsequently deliver them back to the storage bases or for “a combat alert duty”.
Gomel-30 was one of those complexes. It was being built and used under high secrecy, the complex was protected by several perimeters of barbed wire and machine-gun nests in concrete bunkers. The militarymen from the complex were dressed like signals soldiers but locals were strictly forbidden from getting onto the territory of the complex.
The area of the technical site of the complex is about 2,5 x 2,5 km, it has several storage bunkers standing 800 m away one from another. Such a big distance between the bunkers was provided for a reason, if one of them was hit, others would not suffer.
Remains of concrete roads.
Premises of the complex.
Doors of the auxiliary entrance. Look how thick the walls are.
Instructions for handling radioactive materials dated 1973.
The radiation background is normal.
The flooded corridor leading to the basement premises.
Probably they had some water cleaning systems here.
The main entrance of the storage base.
The complex observed from above. It does not attract much attention.
The only surface structure of the complex is an assembly hall.
The main entrance of the storage facility.
The guards could ask for a pass ticker through this peep hole.
The central hall. The height of the ceiling is about 17 meters.
Entrances to storage facilities.
The concrete gates are almost 2 meters thick.
Here they kept nuclear warheards.
The radiation background is not threatening.
Premises for personnel.
Forced ventilation and air conditioning facility.
Evacuation gateway for personnel.
The settlement of Zarechye itself where Gomel-30 complex is situated. This settlement didn’t exist on maps, locals were strictly forbidden to tell someone where they lived and what they did.
Today everything is different. One could easily come here and walk with a camera.
Local grannies willingly tell about the place, but they still do not like to mention the secret object of Gomel.
Some houses are being repaired, the settlement does not look abandoned. But Zarechye cannot employ its residents, many of them have to go to neighboring Rechitsa for work.
They have a kindergarten and a school. When the complex was operating, children studied according to Moscow programs, they should not know the history of Belarus because their parents were maintaining nuclear weapons of the USSR.
The advert with an invitation to visit a table tennis training looks rather touching. How wonderful it is for these people to live in the reality when Belarus is not involved into nuclear issues anymore.