The Soviets weren’t one for shying away from massive and expensive structures. Whilst their public starved, they threw all of their cash into technological innovation, avant-garde architecture and scaring the Americans.
As the Soviet Union crumbled and countries began to win back their freedom, the cash that was being splashed into weird and wonderful techno-projects dwindled and dried up.
Although no one is particularly sad about the crumbling tendrils of Soviet power, there’s something quite maudlin and eerie about the junk that’s left behind.
Photographer Danila Tkachenko spends a great deal of time seeking out these post-apocalyptic remnants of communist days and snapping them in the snow.
These secret buildings have been left to decay and, because the Soviet Union covered such a vast and sparsely populated area, many of the buildings and monuments below have been seen by very few people. Tkachenko explains:
Many of these places were once secret cities, that did not appear on any maps or public records. These places were the sites of forgotten scientific triumphs, abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity. The perfect technocratic future that never came.
Any progress comes to its end earlier or later and it can happen for different reasons—nuclear war, economic crisis, natural disaster. What’s interesting for me is to witness what remains after the progress has ground to a halt.
The images that follow are from Tkachenko’s project ‘Restricted Areas’. Some of the images were taken in Russia, others are from ex-Soviet countries, such as Kazakhstan and the Baltics. He explains:
For ‘Restricted Areas’, I travelled in search of places which used to hold great importance for the idea of technological progress. These places are now deserted. They have lost their significance, along with their utopian ideology which is now obsolete.
I don’t have to tell anyone how these structures wouldn’t go amiss in a ‘Star Wars’ movie. They are moody and awesome in equal measures.
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If you’d like to see some more impressively strange abandoned Soviet monuments, click here.