THE cold war forgot about these relics. These images, taken by photographer Danila Tkachenko in Russia and Kazakhstan, show bold attempts at technological progress that were abandoned. Tkachenko ventures out into the snowy wastes to document the deserted remains.
The main image shows a Bartini Beriev VVA-14, an aircraft developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Designed to take off from water, the idea was to fly low over the sea and destroy US submarines. Only two were ever built, and one crashed. This dilapidated survivor resides in Russia’s Central Air Force museum.
Above, is the location of a nuclear contamination test in a lake close to the site of the Kyshtym nuclear disaster. In 1957, an explosion occurred at a plutonium production plant, releasing about 80 tonnes of radioactive material. Details of the accident were kept secret until 1976, when dissident Soviet scientist Zhores Medvedevin New Scientist. The nearby city of Ozyorsk remains inhabited but access is restricted; Tkachenko was able to enter because his grandmother lives there.
Below and above are remnants of the space race: parts of a rocket and an unfinished space port in Kazakhstan, close to the Baikonur Cosmodrome where Yuri Gagarin launched on the first crewed space flight in 1961.
(Image: Danila Tkachenko)
This article appeared in print under the headline “Icy survivors”
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