Soviet Ghosts: photographing the abandoned USSR


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Why did they just abandon all this stuff? It’s not as if the people all died or turned into zombies or something, they still need locomotives and auditoriums and hospital rooms. At the very least you’d think it would be sold for scrap.


You’ve been to Detroit?


Be nice to know what I was looking at.

Well, 1) a lot of these buildings were very shoddily constructed and even used hazardous materials in their construction. For example, East Germany’s parliament ( Palast der Republik) was going to be remodeled but they discovered that it was too contaminated with asbestos to save; they ended up tearing it down (and are in the process of building a replica of a royal palace on the site). 2) Some of these buildings were in out of the way places that didn’t really need them but getting a a fancy auditorium was the way that the Party leader of Outer Pigsty Village showed he had power (not unlike university administrators in the West).


Article title appears to be wrong. These are obviously concept art for the next S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game.


No pictures of the Meat Grinder?

Not a great surprise that it looks similar, given that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was loosely based on a film that was made in ‘the abandoned USSR’.

Will this book be plugged again in another couple of days? If so, more pictures, please.


Reminds me of the great PC game, Metro 2033.

English Russia has loads of photo galleries of abandoned stuff like this.


I’ve lived there (the Eastern Bloc). It was not so bad.

The architecture was greyish, the material goods were more scarce, but the people had more time to spend together. These days, everybody is working their donkey off and paying a mortgage and afraid of losing job. Not worth the shinier houses.


So do the homeless people. They have a lot of time to spend together on the streets. Not bad at all if you don’t care about living on the streets.

That’s a pretty weak argument, you know?

We didn’t live on the streets. We had decent schools. We had long queues for stuff but you ultimately could live without some things easier than without a home. And you had a reasonable certainty that your job will be there the next Monday. The rat race was way way WAY slower.


I dunno, man. Listening to what people who were actually there say? Sounds like that might unleash all sorts of dangerous, wrong-headed notions. Let’s just take a step back folks. We’ve got a nice, solid base of firmly believed assumptions here, remember. Much safer to keep building on that, sez I.


I was born and grew up in the Eastern Bloc. Granted, I was just ending the elementary school when the Revolution came, but I was there, my parents were there, the family friends were there…

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I wasn’t aware the “liberal media” was hiding this kind of stuff. Also wasn’t aware they were trying to sell us on “Paradise.” You must be watching and listening to a different news than I am. I do know that recently NPR did a great series on Cuba and had a lot of negative stories about how the government keeps getting in the way of people trying to earn a living, etc. It didn’t make living in a Communist country sound all that pleasurable.

You probably wanted to reply to @agcala?

I think @GilbertWham was making a joke… :wink: Because @agcala is being ideological and ignoring your actual experience with the soviet system… And that’s silly.

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No, rat-race crapitalism is not the best system. It eats people. It serves the top fraction of fraction of percent and uses the others and throws them away once they are spent. And brainwashes them that it is good for them, and dangles a carrot of promise of making it big, which very few do. I assume you believe those claims?

For the record, I prefer the Nordic style of hybrid capitalism-socialism. Finland, Scandinavia, along those lines. Not the dog-eat-dog faster-cheaper-damntheworkers-whatsthepoint style of exploitation in the name of profit.

I however understand the cognitive dissonance you must feel when there’s a report that the must-be-so-wrong another-philosophy area that the Holy Fox rails against was not so bad to live in at all. Did not suit some personalities, granted, but your side does not make everyone happy as well, and on the survival end of the curve comes off as way worse.

Granted, that was the 80s. The Stalin’s 50s, I heard, sucked. But then, Pinochet’s Chile sucked too.

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Nobody’s touting Capitalism as a perfect system. That is not the issue here.