Lost Places - Chornobyl Zone

Pripyat, Chornobyl area and other abandoned places

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Rocket shield


The rests of ZRC S-75 "Volkhov" (SA-2 Guideline) in a triangle of Leliv - Kopachi - "Chornobyl-2"

First time, about a rocket unit of air defence near Chornobyl, I have heard about two years ago from my good acquaintance, liquidator Evgenie Samoilov. He remembered about rocketeer with whom he lay in hospital and he told that he together with colleagues has left the unit which was somewhere in "Chornobyl", only a year later after failure on ChNPP.

Attempts to find any information about "rockets in the Zone" led me up a deadlock. Experts of the Zone who climb it all over, in reply to my questions, shrugged shoulders and mistrustfully asked again: "The Rocket unit in the Zone? I hear first time..." I already began to forget about it, having related this history to a category "Fables of Chernobyl", but recently, in conversation with the former officer, serving till 1984 on OTH-Radar "Chornobyl-2", this mysterious and an unknown rocket unit reveal itself again. And what is more than that, he has precisely specified a place of placing and anti-aircraft missile complex type: ZRC S-75 "Volkhov" (SA-2 Guideline)!

Such rocket had been brought down in 1960 the American plane-spy U-2, these rockets became the real headache of Americans in the Vietnamese war. These ZRC were delivered in more than forty countries of the world, them drew on all propaganda posters of the Soviet Army, on post cards, on marks. These rockets, together with legendary AK-47, became the present symbol of the Soviet Army.

Now I already knew precisely where to search. I have immediately called Sergey Paskevich and have started to prepare for a journey in the Zone:) Sergey, as well as it is necessary to the person of a science, who has got used not to take on trust, and trust only to established facts, has treat to my search euphoria with scepticism. As, the information he received by his "channels", about this place, vary from: "there is nothing there" and to "old cement plant". But, we have agreed that there is no sense to guess, it is necessary to go and check on a place, and the main thing is to go immediately, before snow has not fall yet and has not postponed our expedition till the next spring. On November, 8th, 10 o’clock in the morning, Sergey, Natalia and I leave Chornobyl in "desyatka" (ten kilometre zone around ChNPP). Before Kopachi we turn to the left on concrete-surfaced road, which goes to "Chornobyl-2", we pass about a half kilometre and we turn to the right on woods road.

SA-2 It was possible to go deep into the forest only for about a half kilometre and that’s all... All way is filled up by trees. We leave the car in the middle of forest and we go further on foot. By a map we need to go about half kilometer to reach the place.

The temperature "overboard" about zero, it is felt that it is last autumn days.



The unpleasant cold breeze blows, from time to time and from the sky strews fine snow.
A level gamma-radiation nearby 90 mcR/h.


Through trees grayish walls of a low building, and then and concrete columns of a fencing with the barbed wire rests began to be looked through. We on a place and it is, certainly, not "the cement works"...:)

1.The central gate 2.At the left barracks are visible 3.On the right - a parade-ground
SA-2 SA-2 SA-2
4. Barracks
SA-2 SA-2 SA-2

There are no any especial finds in barracks - the quarters "is carefully cleaned" from all "superfluous". The floor is removed, radiators are cut off.

SA-2 SA-2 SA-2

6. Not far to the left from a check point, Natalia has found wonderful "postindustrial installation": broken, turned to top wheels ZIL, tractor HТZ and... The motor boat (especially actual in the middle of wood, where to the nearest water reservoir (pond-cooler of ChNPP) by road about 4 km:), but in the Zone even not the such meets.

SA-2 SA-2 SA-2

Knowing that in the Zone similar things, as a rule, did not lie about for no particular reason, I approach, keeping a dosimeter in readiness... But nothing especial, any pollution the device does not register, only the general background (as well as in all territory of a military ubit) 90-120 mcR/h.

SA-2 SA-2 SA-2

7. Near garages Sergey has found such interesting device. I suspect that it was used for transportation of rockets (a photo on the right).

SA-2 SA-2 SA-2
5. A check point of an emplacement 8. Road on an emplacement 9. The central bunker
SA-2 SA-2 SA-2

Purpose of this quarters in the centre of an emplacement which I conditionally named "the central bunker", is not absolutely clear for me, as under standard scheme ZRC of this type, in the centre of a position there is no bunker should be, only the central radar and management cabins.

SA-2 SA-2 SA-2

10. One of six, stationed on a circle, firing pads.


That’s all actually. We come back, to our car, left in wood. For today we are planed to visit some more places of "fighting glory": village Kupovate, with its legendary sculpture of Heracles and the Cretan Bull and the pioneer-camp of ChNPP "Scazochniy" (Fairyland) in village Ilovnytsia.
But this is already the other history.

Huge gratitude for the organization of a trip and for support:
S. Paskevich (the state enterprise "Ecocenter")





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Die Sperrzone von Tschornobyl

By Yevgen KRANZ Goncharenko

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