Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Russian Woodpecker

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As Cold War between USA (and Western Countries in general) was unfolding, Soviet government decided to come up with yet again one top-secret project, in which number of early-warning radars should have been deployed across USSR, as an Over-The-Horizon system. It was called DUGA and was meant to be an early warning system in case of American intercontinental missile attack. 


DUGA - The Russian Woodpecker
DUGA - The Russian Woodpecker


Incredible amount of money was spent in order to get this giant mesh up and running (I don't remember the exact figure but it was like a 'jillion dollars' or like a 'bazzilion of jillions rubles'). Long story short, after years and years of engineering, building, tweaking and whatnot, the majestic system was up and running. But! Shortly after they started testing it, they found out that the damn thing is interfering with short radio waves and pretty much whole world hears weird woodpecker sounding noise in their radios. As a matter of fact, that was also the only thing that giant thing was good for. It never really worked and was abandoned eventually, just like the political system and Soviet Union itself :-)


Checking up the Woodpecker    DUGA's Data Center
Checking up on the Woodpecker & DUGA's Data Center (right)


Anyhow, it's still there, you can walk up to it and touch it (you should not climb it though) and it's quite impressive. As far as it's size, it's about 800 m long and 150 m tall. It's kind of interesting how they wanted to keep that thing secret in the first place, since it was visible from miles away:) You should be allowed to check out its operation center buildings and datacenter as well and it's well worth it.