Shadows of the Cold War: 3 Secret Soviet Underground Megastructures in the Crimea

Объект К-825 находится в Балаклавской бухте

The Cold War still reminds of itself, becoming a nominal concept in people’s heads. But not all traces were erased from the face of the earth, some of them were able to survive half a century, still representing the promised land for history lovers. We will discuss three such objects.

Object K-825

Object K-825 is located in Balaklava Bay, and was intended for repair and maintenance of diesel submarines of Project 613. The base was located underground, and its construction lasted from 1957 to 1961; the total area was 11 thousand square meters. It had an average level of anti-nuclear resistance; the base would have withstood a direct hit of an atomic bomb of no more than 100 kilotons, moreover if struck by portals.

Объект К-825 находится в Балаклавской бухте

Объект К-825 находится в Балаклавской бухте

The path for submarines.

Project and internal arrangement of the object

Despite the initial project, consisting of four docks and a shipyard, only one was built.

The capacity of the base amounted up to 7 submarines of such projects as 613, 613B, 644 and A615.

K-825 served several functions at once:

  •         autonomous repair of boats;
  •         bomb shelter for ~ 1,000 people;
  •         release of boats at sea through the gateway;
  •         50-bed hospital (in case of hostilities);
  •         placement of communications center and command post of the 14th division of submarines.

After Balaklava Bay, the submarine had to enter the channel independently, passing through the mountain. After that, it was necessary to pass the caisson gate and then on special cables, winches and drums, it has been moved to the dock. The length of the channel was 506 meters, width 6-12 meters, and depth about 6-8 meters.

Объект К-825 находится в Балаклавской бухте

Main channel.

In parallel with the canal, a long 300-meter corridor (postern) passed, which was used for technical purposes.

The dry dock, which was located under the ship repair plant at a depth of 7.5 meters, had a width of 10 meters and a length of 70 meters. In the widest part, the diameter of the channel reached 22 meters. Getting into the tunnel was not so easy: there was a multi-ton floating caisson gate at the entrance. Thanks to blowing air, he kept afloat and closed the entrance. The same caisson gate was installed in the dry dock; it helped to pump out water from the dock when the boat arrived for repairing works.

Opportunities and capacity

The bow-shaped greatly simplified the maintenance of submarines and personnel working at the facility. Loading torpedoes and their preparation for using occurred in different parts of the base, and the transportation itself took place on carts on rails stretched across the entire territory. The average time spent on the submarine base did not exceed a month. In total, about 200 people were needed for functioning of K-825: industrial production personnel serving technical systems, dock workers, and the camp garrison unit providing security at three posts.


Объект К-825 находится в Балаклавской бухте

Объект К-825 находится в Балаклавской бухте

Fragment protection ceilings and circle for trolleys

All ammunition was stored in a special bomb shelter, near the underground channel, in the southern part of the base. The storage for fuel, up to 4 4 thousand tons of petroleum products, was located in the northern part of the base. Precast concrete seven-meter slabs reliably protected the western exit.

Join our Tours Abandoned Places in Kyiv to see historical objects with your own eyes!

Объект К-825 находится в Балаклавской бухте

Today K-825 object opened its doors to the world, and a memorial museum exposition is located in the main part of the base.

Object 221

At the height of the Cold War, the construction of secret and reliable bunkers and shelters of all stripes was in trend. Object 221 was conceived as a reserve command post of the Black Sea Fleet of the USSR. Construction began in 1976, and aside from maintaining integrity after a nuclear strike, it had to ensure full autonomy for the life and work of a couple thousand people for several years. The base was equipped with a powerful communications hub, which was supposed to provide a connection with any part around the world.

Forward to greatness

The start of construction was scheduled for 1977, and the legend chose the development of a new stone quarry. Major-General L. Shumilov headed the construction, and other significant personalities, including the Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR N. Shestopalov made their contribution. To make draft work quickly and efficiently, a special mining battalion was created; it consisted of soldiers of the construction battalion.

By 1987 year, a two-tier underground complex with an area of ​​approximately 20,000 square meters was built; it contained an intricate corridor system, two galleries for pipes and mains for 500 meters long, a huge water tank and ventilation shafts.

The specifics of working underground and ambitious plans of the government led to the development of the author’s joint sealing system and additionally water and metal seal.

The collapse of the USSR and failed greatness

When almost 90% of the complex was ready, the USSR has collapsed, and construction was stopped. In addition, Ukraine declared itself as a nuclear-free state and the existence of facility 221 was no longer possible. Private individuals bought the complex, and all the valuable things were sawed off and torn off was taken off and sold. Vandals, who turned the remnants of the once mighty complex into an underground jungle with hidden dangers to life, have made their contribution.

The entrance to the former super-secret object looks unremarkable: an ordinary residential building with painted windows and void inside. Once there was a heavy anti-nuclear door inside the cabin, but not today, because the invasions of metal detectors left the room bare and unprotected. The object is characterized by high humidity, because all the former protection was lovingly torn away and carried away from here, as well as the stairs, so going down into the mines is doubly dangerous.

But for the marauders here you can also meet role-players: passionate fans of Stalker and Metro 2033.



Object “Mole”

The object called “Mole” is considered the largest underground structure of Sevastopol; its area reaches 30 thousand square meters. The construction is considered to be legendary, and access to it is much more difficult than it might seem at first glance.


History tour

Construction of the facility began in the 1930s, and the initial goals implied the functioning of a full-fledged underground power station. “Mole” was located in the rocky massif of the Sevastopol bay, rebuilding two huge machine rooms with 25-megawatt turbine generators. Here was located storage for fuel and facilities for stuff as well; everything had to fit in a 4-5-floor underground labyrinth.

“Mole” survived during the war and was almost completed by the 50s. Construction processes continued until the 80s, after which everything was frozen and remained in this form to this day.

The scenery of nowadays

The facility has repeatedly launched filming. The secrecy and inaccessibility of some parts of the complex leave them blind spots on the maps. Many transitions and galleries in the lower levels and completely flooded. Today “Mole” is a huge underground concrete area with cables and a diverse landscape: stairs, wells, tangled corridors and impressive metal structures. Some doors are still closed, hiding the secrets of history from anonymous visitors.

In some rooms, life is still maintained, as evidenced by the crackle of the panel board. Although most transformers have long been disconnected and disassembled for parts. On the floor you can find melted waterproofing and traces of transformer oil.

Sometimes it seems that you have fallen into Tolkien’s world, because the rails that go into the depths of the mountains, drown in the dark or completely hidden behind the next locked door. There is still a huge transformer here, and partly the railway tracks were laid just for its maintenance.

In some tunnels, the voices of workers who still support the life of the base are still heard. Closed and open doors lead through the corridors and levels, coming to the surface of a mountain that holds the secrets of our history.

The article used photographs from the sources: Object 825, Object 221Object Mole

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