With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, one of the most important eras in human history came to an end. Urban explorer Rebecca Litchfield’s new book, Soviet Ghosts, takes a look at what has become of the Soviet Union. Rebecca was kind enough to share a few of these haunting places with us. [37 photos total]

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Buzludzha, Bulgaria. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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On the top of Mount Buzludzha lay the remains of a truly massive monument that displays how truly insane the USSR was. At its heart stands a huge amphitheatre, adorned in Soviet art which in its day was exquisite but now lay in ruins. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Sanatorium, Russia. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Sanatoriums were houses of rest spread around the former empire for workers lucky enough to get some time off for restoration and relaxation. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Soviet Hospital, Germany. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Built in 1898, this hospital treated military personnel during the World Wars, including Adolf Hitler who was wounded during the Battle of the Somme. During the Cold War, the East German military hospital was the biggest outside of the USSR. Since reunification, it has been left to rot because of its dark history. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Soviet Headquarters, Germany. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Formally a German stronghold during World War II, this 260 hectare complex was occupied by the Red Army and used to manage the construction and maintenance of the Berlin Wall. When the 100,000 inhabitants evacuated, weapons, bombs and chemical waste were found amongst the wreckage. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Patarei Prison, Estonia. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Patarei Prison is an incredibly dark place, made even darker by its abandonment. It served as a transit point for the unlucky prisoners on their way to the fearsome Gulags. Conditions were horrific, with 25 inmates stuffed into cells meant for 7. Those who perished were gruesomely thrown over the cliffs into the Baltic sea. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Train Station, Hungary. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Skrunda, Latvia. #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Skrunda was a secret town unknown to anyone until Latvia gained its independence. It housed a few hundred people who operated a radar station used to listen to objects in space and track incoming missiles. The entire town was sold for $30,000 in the 90s, but it still remains as it was decades ago. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Friendship Monument, Bulgaria. The Knoll of Fraternity Memorial Complex was gifted to Bulgaria in 1974 to celebrate the socialist revolution in the country. Inside the monument, an eternal flame once burned. This has since been extinguished and the huge monument locked up and neglected. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Irbene, Latvia. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Irbene is the home to two Soviet radio telescopes and a spy center, which now lay stagnant after being discovered in 1993. Their aim was to intercept and decode messages sent from US satellites, though this never came to fruition. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Young Pioneer Camp, Russia. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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The Young Pioneer Organization was a movement founded by Lenin. Camps like these aimed to teach children their role in the greater collective and stamp out individuality. The propaganda and books used at the camp remain largely intact (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Pripyat, Ukraine. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Pripyat, a city of nearly 50,000, was totally abandoned after the nearby Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Due to radiation, it has been left virtually untouched ever since the incident and will be for many thousands of years into the future. Nature now rules the city in what resembles an apocalyptic movie. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Vehicle Graveyard, Latvia. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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(Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Following the fall of the USSR and the de-militarization of the former Soviet states, Riga Airport became a graveyard and museum for military jets. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Krampnitz, Germany. Krampnitz, a German military training camp, was occupied by the Red Army following the end of World War II. It has been decaying since it was abandoned in 1992. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Pripyat Hospital, Ukraine. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Following the disaster at the Chernobyl, the basement of Pripyat’s hospital was turned into a shelter for the firemen and emergency workers who stayed behind to oversee the evacuation. Most paid the ultimate sacrifice, with their uniforms still registering dangerously high levels of radiation. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Cinema, Russia. Following the Russian Revolution, cinemas were quickly seized and used to air films of political education and indoctrination. It is unsurprising that these tools of propaganda were left to decay following the USSR’s downfall. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Milovice, Czech Republic. Following the Velvet Revolution, the USSR abandoned all their bases in former Czechoslovakia, including Milovice. They left behind caches of weapons and mines, which make the crumbling structures incredibly dangerous to explore. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Soviet ‘Black Widow’ Submarine, UK. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #
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Sold to a museum in London, this Soviet submarine remains exactly as it was after being decommissioned. During the height of the Cold War, it carried 22 nuclear warheads. (Source: Rebecca Litchfield) #

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