AP PHOTOS: Soviet base in Hungary now a ghost town

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2014 7:10 AM
AP PHOTOS: Soviet base in Hungary now a ghost town

NAGYVAZSONY, Hungary (AP) — Little Moscow lies in ruins. Once a Soviet base where the Red Army may have kept a stockpile of nuclear weapons, the abandoned facility today looks like a set for a post-apocalyptic film.

The barracks, similar to prefab apartment blocks found across eastern Europe, still hold outmoded kitchen appliances and wrecked furniture. Many of the military installations are rusted and moldy. A large painting of a red flag covered with the faces of communist icons Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin provides one of the few dashes of color.

Located in a wooded area near the village of Nagyvazsony in central Hungary, the base nicknamed "Little Moscow" by locals was one of four nuclear storage facilities in the country. It was abandoned by the Soviets in March 1990, shortly before Hungary's first post-communist elections. Historians say there is no documentation on whether the Soviets ever stored nuclear weapons there.

The former base covering 36 hectares (89 acres) was protected by three lines of fences and barbed wire and numerous checkpoints and gates. Nuclear warheads would have been stored on the northern side of the base, in a pair of bunkers protected by doors weighing more than six tons.

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Pablo Gorondi contributed.