Soviet Secret City Sold for $3.1M

During the Cold War, Stalin and his successors built dozens of secret cities in the Soviet Union where thousands of people lived and worked, but did not exist on any map or gazetteer. One such town was Skrunda-1 in Latvia, which had originally been built to support radar installations. After Latvia became independent, the Russian government insisted on maintaining control of the town until 1998, when its last residents left, leaving it vacant. Now it's been sold to a Russian investor for $3.1 million:

The town formerly known as Skrunda-1 housed about 5,000 people during the Cold War. It was abandoned over a decade ago after the Russian military withdrew from Latvia following the Soviet collapse.[...]

It was not immediately clear what plans the buyer had for the 110-acre property, which is located in western Latvia about 95 miles from Riga. The town contains about 70 dilapidated buildings, including apartment blocks, a school, barracks, and an officers’ club.

Built in the 1980s, Skrunda-1 was a secret settlement not marked on Soviet maps because of the two enormous radar installations that listened to objects in space and monitored the skies for a US nuclear missile attack.

Like all clandestine towns in the Soviet Union, it was kept off maps and given a code name, which usually consisted of a number and the name of a nearby city.

Link via Hell in a Handbasket | Information about the Secret Cities Program | Photo: adevarul

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