The (ex) Top Secret Military Base Hidden in Chernobyl’s Irradiated Forest

duga-3This April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of one of mankind’s most catastrophic events: the explosion at Chernobyl’s reactor number four.

Recent years have seen Ukrainian authorities allowing intrepid visitors into the Exclusion Zone to see the haunting side effects of the disaster. But while the abandoned town of Pripyat, with its iconic ferris wheel, receives the most attention, there is an even more mysterious site hidden in the irradiated forest.

The site was shrouded in such secrecy during the height of the Cold War that on official maps, it was marked as a children’s summer camp. Like the rest of what would become the Exclusion Zone, it had to be abandoned suddenly in 1986. While it once was at the forefront of Soviet military and scientific technology, classified as top secret, today it rests, mostly forgotten and silent in the woods surrounding Chernobyl.

Venturing deep into the forests of the Exclusion Zone for Atlas Obscura, I went to explore the derelict and awe-inspiring military base known as Duga-3.
Read More at Atlas Obscura.