The first time I came here was in 2008. The way to the testing area lay along a bog lake. On its shore there was a washhouse guarded by soldiers.
The first sign of the testing area is a protective reinforced building from where the progress of testing was observed.
A thick glass window..
This old gate was the entrance to the fenced-off territory inside the perimeter of the testing area.
An empty missile case.
Later on we came to a large bermed-up ground once used for conducting blasting work.
I climbed up the wall and saw what I actually came here for.
Three self-propelled guns have been out here in the bog since the Soviet era.
The model name of these vehicles is ISU-152.
They are equipped with 152-mm howitzers.
I looked inside the guns’ compensator.
The armored mask of the weapon.
One of the traces of testing’s: a hollow charge crater.
The local soils are rather marshy..
The engine compartment had been taken apart almost completely. The diesel engine and the gear box were missing.
The only thing that was still in place was the rear speed reducer damaged by an explosion.
The back lid was tossed aside.
The fighting compartment had also been badly damaged.
There used to be missiles in here.
Miraculously enough, the gun pointing handles were in place.
A few yards away there was another SP gun..
The state of the engine compartment is similar to that of the first one.
But the speed reducer is in place.
Finally, there was the third vehicle standing deep in the woods.
After raising the flag on the post I left the area.
I came back here 5 years later in 2013. First of all I went to explore a control tower lost in the woods not far from the testing facility.
The fence surrounding the area was still downed, the facility still wasn’t being used by anyone.
Only this worn down sign reminds you of the tests that used to be conducted here.
Another armored “trailer” that we saw on our way through the woods.
It looks l like there used to be many of these scattered on the premises of the testing facility before it was overgrown by trees.
A stand sticks out of the bushes. It was supposedly used for concrete testing.
In fact this is a fixed crane beam. There is a birdhouse-like cabin on top for controlling the winch.
Among the young birch trees there are scattered shelter storages.
The forest is very nice. It is possible to find mushrooms and empty shot shells.
I came across a few houses. Some of them were locked, some were not.
Anyway, all of them are empty.
The local unsteady marshy soils cause the foundations to sink down and the walls to crack.
The only area of the testing site that hasn’t been overgrown by trees is near three sealed up and locked hangars.
There is an unusual tower in the background that I will talk about later.
There is another interesting object hiding in the bushes behind the hangars.
It’s a homemade construction mounted on IFV wheels that could move around on crawler belts taken off the same IFV.
Apparently, it’s a trolley that carried around a moving target.
The construction hadn’t been used for 20 years, and everything is overgrown.
Finally, the tower. In fact there are two of these.
Between them there were cables that were used to move a small cable car..
One of the towers was the central one and it is equipped with several winches.
The tension of the cables was provided by a heavy concrete counterbalance.
The second tower is smaller and farther from the checkpoint.
I climbed up to the very top
All of a sudden found an absolutely new bobbin here. It had obviously just been installed. What for?
Cables go up to the second tower from here..
You can see the testing site in full view from here.
Images by deletant