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The decaying heritage of the Cold War

Abandoned military vehicles in Russia

06/02/2014 07:58 |  Comments: 

A beginner bursting with enthusiasm, happy to learn the tricks of the trade from the greats of Hungarian automotive journalism. Doesn’t own a car yet, which makes him a queer fish at the office. A curious all-round talent who also blogs about New York and the Middle-East.

A fan of abandoned militaria has discovered an unguarded vehicle depot deep in a forest near Moscow.

Have you seen the film in which Jurij Orlov buys up the stock of the ex-soviet military warehouses from corrupt general officers then sells it all to the equally corrupt, brutal leaders of African civil wars? In   Lord of War everything from helicopters to tanks is changing hands, and the thousands of Kalashnikovs are often only small change in this business. Unfortunately, the story is no fiction. Thanks to the military leaders inveigled by Western currency, the stock of many Russian and Ukrainian military warehouses has dwindled away once the USSR disbanded. The vehicles in these pictures remained. To rust in peace.

These military vehicles must be parked unguarded  somewhere near Moscow. The photographer claims to have spotted them while picking mushrooms in the forest, but that sounds more like a cover story (which would be understandable considering the Russian way of doing business), as Lana Sator runs a website dedicated to pictures of abandoned Russian institutes.

Nobody seems to know much about this particular depot, but the dozens or maybe hundreds of vehicles have obviously been parking on the forest lane for quite some time. Many of them are covered by moss, lots of windscreens are broken and most of the tires are deflated. Some of the cars look like they may have been a wreck by the time they got there. And almost as interesting as the depot itself is the fact that the still valuable technology has not been stolen yet, even though the depot is not guarded, or at least wasn’t guarded at the time the photographer was there.

It looks like a depot for mainly culled transport vehicles. I spot lots of Urals, for example, and the rest, I hope, will be identified in no time by the militaria fans among our readers. 

You’ll find plenty of pictures of abandoned Russian vehicles and buildings on Lana’s website. Don’t miss the pictures of the heaps of rocket parts dumped next to strange military vehicles taken in November, or these rather interesting pics.

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