Twenty-five years ago, Russia began its withdrawal from Latvia - republic left the first 49 soldiers. After the departure of the former Soviet army left its legacy of numerous garrison towns, heavy duty air defense radars, mines intercontinental missiles. What was with all this property now?
Once the former Latvian SSR was more than 1000 military units, which housed about 600 military facilities. Now many of them have little left.
"The Soviet garrisons, buildings and facilities were officially handed over to the Latvian authorities in 1993 year. Everything, down to the latches on the windows, was in place. Something guarded for a short time, those objects that were hoping to use the local armed forces. Then came a period of universal plunder. Taschilos all - until espagnolettes and concrete slabs airfields and roads. Nobody is protected. Especially dragged the metal, so that the mines had no chance. I know many examples when the finder of the owner of the land itself first all robbed. Then he calmed down a bit when it was pillaged and left the main interest of the owners - land ", - told the newspaper VIEW editor in chief of the Baltic Military History magazine Baltfort writer Yuri Melkonov.
Last February in Latvia started the demolition of the former Soviet nuclear missile base "Dvina R12" near the village of Tirza in Gulbene region. Once stationed in these places 30-second missile regiment with its headquarters in the city of Aluksne to 1982 years 23-who was a Guards Red Banner Order of Lenin Orlovsko- Berlin missile division, and later re-subordination 40-50-Panzer Army. In 1984, the regiment was disbanded due to the fact that available to him, silo launchers "Dvina" P-12U and "Chusovaya" P-14U were deemed obsolete. Now this once-formidable military structure completely dismantled and recycled into concrete rubble - work will last six months, the cost is estimated at 189,9 thousand. Euro. Malnieks Martins - owner of the company engaged in the demolition of "dismantling" - told the media that all the territory of Latvia once had twelve Soviet missile bases, including five underground. Almost all of them have been destroyed, the object in Gulbene region is the last.
It has been suggested that the former base should be maintained as a museum, but the Latvian authorities to seek to get rid of all Soviet military facilities, so that they are not reminded of them hated the era.
By the way, in a disgusting state for many years staying military relics not only of the Soviet period, but the imperial times. Thus, after the withdrawal of Soviet forces almost twenty years stood empty, gradually collapsing, majestic in Daugavpils fortress, built more on the order of Emperor Nicholas I. In the Soviet Union there was located Daugavpils Higher Military Aviation Engineering School of Jan Fabricius, and 90-e stone structures have become habitat for the homeless and drug addicts. Deserted streets with rows of abandoned houses, black dips loopholes in the crumbling facades of old bastions and mysterious dungeons - foreign experts who visited the fortress, have repeatedly expressed their surprise at the fact that such a significant architectural and historical monument remains neglected.
Only recently, the city government has begun to attempt to reconstruct the object, trying to attract tourists.
Latgale regional specialist Janis Kivrinsha complained VIEW newspaper "Dinaburg castle really is a unique object. This is an impressive building with cyclopean walls, bastions, ravelins formed in the typical Russian empire XIX century Russian Empire style. I find it difficult even to go so just call something like this. Well, except that the fortress of Port Arthur - in which the defense, by the way, my grandfather died ... Posterity will not forgive us if we are on their stupidity and carelessness, to lose this monument. But of thirty-two castle buildings twenty-two went cracks. From the walls begin to fall out stones: if you look at the fortifications that run along the Riga highway, you will see that the holes from fallen stones there and gape. "
Not in the best condition remains and the old Russian fortress Karosta in Liepaja, once built on the orders of Emperor Alexander III. Previously, there was based navy, but left the Soviet ships Karosta in August 1994 years.
"Today is a former Emperor Alexander III, the port is visited tourist attraction. Here are a contemporary art gallery, small cinema, surf club. Guided tours through the underground maze of forts, embankments and inspection of prison (constructed as a guardhouse). These casemates served sailors garrison punishment involved in the events of 1905 years. The last prisoners left no records on the walls of prison cells in 1997 year. The complex naval port has a unique architectural and cultural importance, but most of the buildings abandoned and gradually destroyed, "- he told the newspaper VIEW historian Oleg Pukhlyak.
Guides Martins Kesteris leading foreign tourists here, also expressed concerns about the crumbling military buildings of imperial times. "The reality, of course, sad. Since Karosta declared a special economic zone, which means that here, according to city leaders, are increasingly should be aimed at the development of the port industry. Unfortunately, in my opinion, now there is the destruction of unique historic site. As a result, there does not develop nor tourism, nor is the industry, which they say in the government. And by and large everything continues to fall ", - complains Kesteris.
Also indicative of the fate of the military town Skrunda, Kurzeme region. In Soviet times there was a separate radio engineering warning system assembly of the missile attack. The object was created in 1960-ies for the operation of the radar-horizon of the "Dnestr-M" consists of two horn antenna length and height 250 15 meters each with a two-storey building and Computing command points between them. Construction "nedremannogo eye" began in 1965 year and was completed in January 1969-th. In tandem with a similar station at Murmansk region Olenegorsk The local radar controlled the western direction, tracking ballistic missile launches from NATO submarine boats in the Norwegian and North Seas. Information from the stations on special lines of communication was transmitted to the command center, located in the Moscow region.
At the end of 1970-ies Latvian station was upgraded. First, without interrupting the current radar, a mile from her elevated installation of the new type of "Dnepr": now the range of detection achieved 4000 km. Then updated and the equipment of the first installation. In the middle of 1980-ies on the subject began the construction of the radar type "Daryal-UM." The project is consisted of two multi-storey buildings - the transmitter and the receiver, due to the high sensitivity spaced several hundred meters. By the early 1990-ies building installation was almost completed, the equipment was delivered.
As a result of the collapse of the Soviet Republic of Latvia became the object property, its rental Russia paid 5 million dollars a year. Despite requests from Moscow, Riga refused her further operation base. In early May, the building 1995 receiving installation "Daryal" was blown up by US company Control Demolition Incorporated. In turn, the "Dnepr" station stopped working in August 31 1998 years and were removed by the end of the year 1999. During the demolition and clearing the territory of Russia paid 7 million.
In 2000, the Latvian government has allocated for the preservation of the military town Skrunda 1,7 million, and in December 2009-th he was put up for auction at a starting price of 150 thousand. lats (220 thousand. the euro, the cost of four-room apartments in Riga). Those wishing to buy that stuff was not there, but the former military town popular with tourists, in addition, there were carried out the filming. Skrunda visited told us that the town made it possible to "ride" in the past, like a time machine: "The training center of the former military complex is now desolation reigns, but there still remained silent evidence of the past. Journals students with estimates, as well as some things military. Since Soviet posters and colorful slogans have become the subject of contemporary art, from the campus they mostly disappeared. However, some rarities yet come across: a visual diagram of the device mask, a well-preserved armory. In the guard-room - "wallpaper", invented ingenious Soviet military: the walls are pasted paper, and they are painted with oil paint on top. "Wallpaper" is very informative. can be found on them than the country lived in those years. "
Recently, "ghost town" was chosen for training the army of Latvia, and in July last year, Defense Minister Raymond Bergmanis announced that NATO polygon will be created here. Allegedly, this area in 45 hectares, which includes about seventy houses, most of which are in poor condition (barracks, ten block of houses, a school, a kindergarten, a hotel and a hospital), allows for tactical maneuvers in the urban environment. In January 2017-th alliance even posted to your profile on YouTube video, which shows how the combat training in Skrunda.
In parallel, in Latvia still we have begun to realize that it is better to use the former Soviet bunkers and polygons as "zamanuhi" for tourists, than to allow them to break down slowly. So, existing in the country Rural Tourism Association has made a map of objects in which noted seventy seats. The head of the association Asnate Ziemele considers that the remainder of the legacy of the Soviet army should be put in order. "Maybe now something will change. We are a little flaunting just how little such objects equip and protect. It is, of course, our history - and have always been people interested in the military heritage of the Soviet Union ", - says Ziemele.
In turn, the businessman Raivis Federovich prudently ordered the fate of the Soviet bunker in Riga Andrejosta area, built there a small museum. "I was interested in such things from childhood, when 90-e I was watching TV. Silos and army bases while showing a negative side, which, they say, is a place of heightened danger, contaminated objects. But this caused me a lot of interest. It took two decades and had the opportunity to go round these places live. As a child, could not even imagine that so many of them ", - says Raivis.
Among the exhibits of the museum it is, for example, an old mobile phone KGB cipher machine, a variety of gas masks and military uniforms. Businessman is actively engaged in the completion of its museum collection. "We are only now brought a new radio set - got it for two large three-liter cans of beer. And the man was happy that so dearly paid. This is the price he has appointed for the radio ", - says Federovich.
To him be accused of "glorifying communism" sickle-molotkastye items with symbols banned in the country, he does not put on display.