Cold War Soviet Cities

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    Lyce Ribeaupierre - Sections Europennes Anglais anne

    2013 2014

    HUBER Laure DIEUDONNE-ROMINGER

    Lionel

    SATELLITE IMAGERYubject : how can satellite imagery consolidate our knowledge of territories,

    atural phenomenons, human dynamics at the global, regional and local

    Ghosts from the Cold War. Soviet

    Secret cities and abandoned

    military facilities

    THREE SOVIET

    CITIES IN

    RUSSIA

    SOSNOVY-BOR

    SEVERSK

    VILNYUCHINSK

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    SUMMARY

    Introduction ..................................................................................

    ..................... p. 3

    A. Continental

    scale ....................................................................................................... p.

    4

    B. Regional

    scale ....................................................................................................... p. 5

    C. Local

    scale ...............................................................................................

    ........ p. 8

    1. Sosnovy-

    Bor ................................................................................................ p. 8

    I. Industries and military

    installations ................................................ p.8

    II. Life area and urban

    structures ....................................................... p.10

    III. Oddities, remarkable

    elements ...................................................... p. 11

    2.

    Seversk .................................................................................................

    ..... p. 12

    I. Industries and military

    installations ................................................ p.12

    II. Life area and urban

    structures ....................................................... p.13

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    III. Oddities, remarkable

    elements ...................................................... p. 14

    3.

    Vilnyuchinsk ............................................................................................

    .... p. 8

    I. Industries and military

    installations ................................................ p.8

    II. Life area and urban

    structures ....................................................... p.10

    III. Oddities, remarkable

    elements ...................................................... p. 11

    Conclusion ..................................................................................................

    .................... p.22

    INTRODUCTION

    Since the dawn of mankind men interested in their environment. It

    was of a critical importance, even a question of survival.

    So they began to discover the world and the first maps were drawn even

    though these maps were not accurate most of the time.

    Today new technologies allow us to have perfect flat representations of the

    Earth : the shapes of the continents are faithful to reality and we thought

    nothing was to discover anymore, at least until the beginning of satellite

    imagery. During the cold war satellites were developed, at first for an

    intelligence and military spying purpose but then to cartography the world

    even more accurately.

    Today these satellites stay military, but there is also a very dynamic

    satellite imagery activity.

    For instance the ISat is a fantastic tool that allow to see far away, near

    again and with a

    2

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    3

    3

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    A.

    A. CONTINENTAL SCALE

    Continental view with the localisation of the three

    secret soviet cities. From left to right : Sosnovy Bor,

    Seversk and Vilyuchinsk.

    4

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    B. REGIONAL SCALE

    The first city is Sosnovy Bor, located in west Russia : near the coast, it is less

    discreet but more easily accessible.

    5

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    The second city, Seversk, is in

    central Russia near Tomsk.

    It is less exposed for it is not

    located near the coast : its far

    away inlands, in the middle of

    nowhere : the perfect place foris city that was not supposed to

    exist. Today this city is not

    unknown anymore but the

    access is still restricted, as for

    the two other cities.

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    Vilyuchinsk is

    located on the

    Kamchatka

    Peninsula. Ithas many

    naval bases -

    right in the

    front of the US

    - and is less

    likely to be

    spotted, unlike

    Sosnovy Bor

    which is near

    Saint

    Petersburg,

    one of the

    main cities in

    Russia - and in

    the former

    USSR.

    7

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamchatka_Peninsulahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamchatka_Peninsulahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamchatka_Peninsulahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamchatka_Peninsula
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    C. LOCAL SCALE

    1. Sosnov Bor

    This is a nuclear power plant

    being built, in the southern

    part of the city : there are

    many industries, mainly

    nuclear energy production,

    nuclear waste disposal

    facilities and research centers- Alexandrov Research

    Technological Institute for

    instance is a research facility

    mostly dedicated to

    development and testing of

    nuclear ships and submarines

    power plants.

    The following picture is a view

    of the yard where anothernuclear plant is rising higher

    I. Industries and military installations

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    This may be another

    nuclear facility. Whatcan be confused with

    a dock is actually a

    channel where all the

    wastes are rejected.

    The third picture

    shows the output,

    where all that green

    foamy water isreleased directly in the

    sea.

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    II. Life area and urban structures

    This is a typical

    residential area of a

    closed soviet city :

    big house blocks,

    with many trees

    spread around.

    Actually it's lovely

    beside the heavy

    industries that can

    be found in the

    south.

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    III. Oddities and remarkable elements

    What can this

    weird building be ?

    Actually it's the

    optical institute ofSosnovy-Bor, also

    nicknamed the

    "Tower of Sauron"

    by the

    inhabitants !

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    2. Seversk

    I. Industries and military installations

    One more nuclear

    power plan, in

    Seversk this time :

    but whereas we only

    see 3-4 chimneys at

    Sosnovy-Bor, thereare 29 - at least -

    cooling towers in

    Seversk!

    Next to the power

    station - to the left -

    we can see a wide

    infrastructure : it's a

    chemical and

    metallurgical plant.

    These structures are

    in the northern area

    of the city.

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    II. Life area and urban structures

    The residential

    areas are

    quite similar

    from a city to

    another.

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    III. Oddities and remarkable elements

    A plain park... or is it ?

    The circular shape

    tells us thatsomething might be

    buried here : an

    underground base

    under the city ? We

    can't be sure, but

    there is enough trees

    and grass around in

    the city : such a place

    isn't necessary in the

    middle of a forested

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    I. Industries and military installations

    3. Viln uchinsk

    This is a naval

    base in front of

    Vilyuchinsk. We

    can see ships

    and even

    submarines.

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    Vilyuchinsk,

    unlike Seversk or

    Sosnovy-Bor is a

    small city of the

    same size than

    Colmar (around

    20.000

    inhabitants).

    Sosnovy-Bor has

    around 65.000

    inhabitants and

    Seversk more

    than 108.000.

    II. Life area and urban structures

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    CONCLUSION

    III. Oddities and remarkable elements

    What can these circles in the forest be ? No pictures areavailable but we can clearly see that there are no trees in the

    bright areas.

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