Skrunda-1 Abandoned Soviet Military Ghost Town In Latvia

Updated: 1 June, 2022 seen 5,050

Update: Originally I visited Skrunda - 1 in Summer 2015, Skrunda -1 is closed for public visitors in 2022

Skrunda-1, also known as Skrunda-2, is a ghost town and former Soviet and later Russian radar station located 5 km (3 mi) to the north of Skrunda, in Raņķi Parish, Kuldīga Municipality in Courland region of Latvia. It was the site of two Dnepr radar (NATO designation "Hen House") installations constructed in the 1960s. A Daryal radar was being built there before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Skrunda was strategically important to the Soviet Union as its radars covered Western Europe. The two barn-like radars were one of the most important Soviet early warning radar stations for listening to objects in space and for tracking possible incoming ICBMs.

I have always been interested in a digger's stuff. Latvia is an amazing country for diggers. Speaking of this object - Skrunda-1 ghost town, in fact, I was just eager to find a place where more than 20 years ago Latvian Government blasted a mighty Soviet Military radar system, I didn't find that place,  but instead, I found an abandoned ghost town - Skrunda-1. 

Concrete slab road heading to Skrunda - 1

Look at the quality of that road even after 25 years since collapse of Soviet Union. It's in a pretty good shape. 

On 4 May 1995 US demolition experts blew up a 19-story tower in Skrunda-1. It housed a former Soviet Daryal radar system, one of the most advanced bistatic early-warning radars in the world. It served as one of the USSR's most important radar stations as it was responsible for scanning skies to the west for incoming bombers or nuclear missiles before the USSR disintegrated. The event spilled tens of thousands of Latvian people onto country roads and fields to watch the early morning spectacle, which was also televised nationwide. Latvian leaders, diplomats and other officials toasted the blast with champagne. The demolition was sponsored by the US, the Soviet Union's main nuclear rival, as they paid 7 million US dollars for the destruction, while the US-based firm Controlled Demolition, Inc. was hired for the destruction job.

Bogged vicinity

How less time is needed so Mother Nature can beat a human?

Road to Skrunda -1 Ghost town

We parked our car here and continued by foot

Ruined boiler house

The only reason I could find why some should ruin a boiler house is simple - it's all because of metal. 

All materials of value were removed from the site and carried back to Russia when the last Russian troops left in 1998; the 60 buildings that comprised the former complex and town, including apartment blocks, a school, barracks and an officers club, remained

Warning in Russian

A chair and abandoned block house at Skrunda Ghost Town

Again just tried to add some drama to this story.

Abandoned block houses

Nobody has lived here since last troops of Russian army left this site on 1999

Demolished sink at Skrunda 1 Ghost town

Either vandals and thieves cannot get any decent money for them, either it's just some lame act of vandalism

Abandoned block house

A book about USA 1992 Edition

Now this is a book I found most fascinating at this place - a guide book on US, it's about a New World Order, Middle East and US-Russia relationships, Great Designer of America, Military doctrines of US and Russia and other interesting topics. A wise man have lived in this remote and now God forgotten place, right?

Call for Voters (1984)

Abandoned and demolished flat at Skrunda Ghost Town

Vandals and thieves have stolen almost everything from here

A bottle of aiva juice

Written both in Russian and German, so probably produced in Democratic Republic of Germany?

A former post office at Skrunda

One could send a telegram from this booth

A doll head

Oh, I wanted to be just like those pro photographers, once I found a doll head I did my best to add a drama to this story. Doll heads are always a bit scary, right?

A beaver gnawing

The only inhabitants at this place, what once was a mighty Soviet military personnel base, seems are just beavers. Mother Nature doesn't loves emptiness. 

Pursuant to an agreement On the Legal Status of the Skrunda Radar Station During its temporary Operation and Dismantling, signed by Latvia and the Russian Federation on 30 April 1994, the Russian Federation had been allowed to run the radar station for four years, after which it was obliged to dismantle the station within eighteen months. The deadline for dismantling was 29 February 2000. Russia asked Latvia to extend the lease on the Dnepr station at Skrunda for at least two years, until the new Volga station under construction near Baranovichy in Belarus became operational. Riga rejected these requests, and the radar was verified closed on 4 September 1998 by an inspection team from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

In a joint New Year 1998 statement, the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania urged Russian President Boris Yeltsin to complete the pullout of all Russian troops from the region, as Russia had promised four years prior in 1994.