Ukraine has inherited a huge part of ex-soviet military and industrial potential. It had the third nuclear power in the world, of which the country had refused many year ago. But still, a lot of places reminding of its nuclear power are located across Ukraine. Strategic Missile Forces museum is one of such places, probably the best in terms of preservation of soviet era.
Located in the village of Pobuzke on the border between Kirovohradska and Mykolayivska oblast (region). It was one of the nuclear strongholds of former nuclear shield.
The museum was found in 2001 as a branch of the National military historical museum of Ukraine. It was made on the basis of the real operating site and command post of 46 missile division of the strategic missile forces.
The Ukrainian museum of strategic missile forces includes: launching site with silo, silo command post, on-ground equipment and support units of the missile complex – all that is preserved almost in its original condition. Museum expositions are kept by former missile forces officers, who served on this and other missile silos.
The silo command post is an underground metal capsule, hanging in the air on hydraulic suspension units. The depth of the shaft is 40 meters, with 33 meters of the capsule itself. Its weight is 125 tonnes and it is comprised of 12 compartments. Each compartment is designed to perform its specific role: maintenance staff duty room, living room, technical room ,etc. The silo command post has its own elevator, for passengers and cargoes. It was designed to be autonomous for as long as 45 days.
The territory of the museum has several areas with different exhibitions, like vehicles, missile transporters, CBRN equipment, guard towers and buildings. Many of the building were connected by underground tunnels. Some guard towers were equipped with machine-gun turret on the top. Obviously the whole territory was (and partially is) surrounded by fences, barbed wire, electric fence and other defensive equipment.
Despite “outdated” staff, who’s minds were probably left in some Cold Was years, the museum itself is pretty interesting, even for people who are not interested in military history. Everything is in its original state, so it is not “reinvention” of missile military bases.
The main attraction here is, obviously, the silo itself, with its underground facilities and silo command center. The “Satan” SS-18 (RS-20) ballistic missile is definitely worth looking at. Not mentioning all the other missiles and equipment.
There is also exhibition of the history of strategic forces of Ukraine and some post-nuclear periods, including Chornobyl nuclear accident.
Here is the gallery with images taken in Strategic missile forces museum: