Abandoned Town of Gudym: The Secret Missile Base in Chukotka

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Among the variety of abandoned military bases in post-Soviet Russia, Anadyr-1 (Gudym) is possibly the eeriest one. Located in the close proximity to the ideological enemy – the United States of America, it used to store nuclear warheads for the missile base which had targeted Alaska, Washington state, California and South Dakota.

Today, Russia is suspected to have at least 15 secret cities. These “closed cities” are officially classified by the government, with their names and location unknown, they appear on no maps, no road signs will direct you to them, and visits from foreigners are strictly prohibited.

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Back in 1961, the closed city of Anadyr-1 was built in the subarctic climate of Chukotka to protect the Soviets. Officially, the town was called “Anadyr-1”, but locals called it Gudym (Гуды́м), in honor of Colonel Gudymov, who supervised the construction, and committed suicide under mysterious circumstances immediately after the completion of construction.

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The glorious history of Gudym has ended recently. The final part of military installations was dismantled in 2002. All five thousand residents (mainly military and their families) have left the settlement of about fifty wooden and stone buildings, airport and the military base.

Throughout Gudym, wooden containers are stretching. They contain the communication lines and pipes. Nothing can be buried in the frozen soil because of the harsh climate.

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This used to be the canteen.

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The floor of local drugstore is piled with the canned potatoes.

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Every abandoned building and each of these helmets were the Soviet taxpayers’ involuntary investment.

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The Soviet military used to be well paid. Residents of the closed city, located that far North, had decent salaries and allowances. The town had a grocery store, which had no food supply shortages even in the years of stagnation.

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Northern summer is short and chilly. The snow does not melt even in June.

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This secret facility used to host three or four RSD-10 pioneer nuclear missiles. Apparently, that was enough to destroy half of the continent. Rumor has it, that the captured archives of Nazi organization Ahnenerbe were stored here as well.

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Presumably, a great sum of money was spent on the construction and maintenance of dozens similar facilities throughout the country. We can only speculate where this money could be invested instead. In the end, the secret objects have collapsed. But Russia is still in search of new enemies of state, instead of raising the standard of living.

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Photography by macos.livejournal.com

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