Photos of abandoned Soviet military sites

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#1  Mongolia’s 126th Fighter Aviation Regiment

Eric Lusito

This image from Lusito’s Traces of the Soviet Empire series depicts a Soviet aviation base in Mongolia. It was built in the 1970s at a region that was viewed as the frontline in a potential conflict with China. At the time, relations between Moscow and Beijing were at an all-time low.

#2  Mongolian 41st Rifle Division

Eric Lusito

This is a memorial to the troops who served in the Great Patriotic War (World War II). Military parades were held in the area in front of the monuments.

#3  Mongolian 677th Artillery Regiment

Eric Lusito

This facility was near the northern edge of the Gobi Desert and was intended to counter a potential Chinese threat.

#4  Mongolian 2nd Guards Tank Division

Eric Lusito

During the Soviet period, numerous military troops and their families resided in and around Choibalsan, Mongolia, which has a population of over 300,000. It is now, approximately 39,000.

#5  Central Group of Forces Headquarters, Czech Republic

Eric Lusito

Milovice was a key facility in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and the GCF’s headquarters (Central Group of Forces). From 1984 to 1988, the Soviet army may have had as many as 100,000 personnel (including families) stationed in Milovice.

#6  129th Independent Radar Early Detection Center, Latvia

Eric Lusito

The station was in charge of detecting incoming Western ballistic missiles. “Victory begins here!” says the motto on the wall.

#7  Kazakhstan’s 44th Independent Command Complex

Eric Lusito

It became one of the most sophisticated Soviet space observation bases, equipped with satellite control and space surveillance facilities, in the 1950s to track satellites.

#8  Latvia’s 649th Independent Space Objects Radio Intelligence Center

Eric Lusito

Soviet military bases in foreign countries tended to be isolated settlements hidden away from the public in restricted areas.

#9  Russia’s KGB, military unit 93544

Eric Lusito

According to Francis Conte, Professor of Russian and Soviet Culture at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Lusito “assists us in understanding that, in Russia as everywhere, ruins are the manifestation of fundamental transformations in time and history.”

#10  I work for the Soviet Union

Eric Lusito

#11  Soviet Officers are Loyal Sons of the People

Eric Lusito
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