TIL that Russia has “closed cities”, cities that have restrictions on visitors and are sometimes omitted from maps.

TIL that Russia has “closed cities”, cities that have restrictions on visitors and are sometimes ...

I wonder which ones are left off of maps and if google is complying. I chose Sibirsky at random from the list on the wikipedia page (ha!) and could zoom in on google maps.

Another part? of Sibirksy is just down the road to the south and east, and that part of town is much more 'planned'

there's another sub-city or something to the north of these two, some weirdness going on there.

Ok I picked another, Zheleznogorsk. This one is looks cool on satellite because it has large white buildings everywhere that form squares. But what makes it cool is, you can't do google streetview BUT people have taken photos of different places in the city and you can see what it looks like on the street level. example

edit, this is a weird fucking city. to the west, south, and around the river, no photos have been posted and the buildings are odd, and then suddenly it's like rows and rows of plots with shacks on them and some pre-made plots with no shacks at all, just vegetation...

darn you op I can waste hours doing this.

google was able to get on the highway near Arkhangelsk Oblast but I you can't see much of the closed city from there and there's few photos of the town and no streetview. Fresh veggies, anyone?

Here are some planes on the tarmac. looks like a big 4-engine prop job and some smaller jets, and a mix of stuff.

more planes

what the heck is this? edit, it's a national park!

ooo mystery feet!

and a surprise visit by a bear

This is in nearby Khazakstan, but wtf, maybe salt mining?

some kind of set of spaced-out devices?

what the.

this is actually the coolest thing I've seen edit, I suspect it's a much used oasis or meeting place.

is it a watering hole with lines of trails of animals or... tribes leading to it? COOL On a second look I suppose there could have been a tremendous explosion here and those trails are some kind of damage.

followed one of the 'trails' to the north west (I think ) and found this walled city in Khazakstan. It's not on the map! Click maps and it disappears. And what's that like hole near it?? WTF. TOTALLY COOL. ok gotta put down the computer for a while.

another .... settlement? could be government. not on the map.

edit, looking at streetview in the areas around the closed cities is a bit depressing. The areas are really poor-looking, the houses are wooden shacks surrounded by giant square soviet-looking apartment highrises. pretty dismal looking. To the people who live there, I'm sure it's a lovely place, what do I know, I'm looking at photos on the internet.

these streets are insane, why make them curve like that? to stop anyone from getting anywhere quickly, including fire trucks? or invading armies. what the.

still just lookin around... Mikhaylovsky in the Saratov Oblast. Neat rows of houses, but pull back a ways and visit the city to the west. None of this has google street view and very few pics. Pull out even more - this closed city looks like it's in the middle of nowhere.

Sibirsky is home to the 35th Rocket Division of Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces, so it's a closed city because of nukes.

At the end there you were looking at a military test ranges. The area between Volgograd and Astrakhan is littered with military installations. Kapustin Yar is still an active missile test site and the Soviets used to launch all kinds of rockets there. This for example was apparently the launch site for the Kosmos-2I rockets that were launched in the 60s and 70s.

There's all sorts of things you can see on google maps around that area. This complex for example is a practice range for anti-air weapons. And here is a former nuclear test site.

Oh and this thing that you spotted is the Astrakhan gas complex. Essentially gas field and processing plant etc.

I spent a couple of months in one, called Stupino, several years ago. I think they made military helicopter components there, among other things.

I'm Canadian, and I live in a former closed city right now. It is called Kolomna.


They used too (or maybe still do, im not sure) make trains. There is also a MIG factory about 30 minutes away. I have driven past it, but obviously haven't been inside.

I have been living here for around a year and a half now.

Its crazy. 20 years ago, I wouldn't have been allowed anywhere near here... Today, I live and work here.

I believe it was a closed city for a few reasons.

1- It was (again, maybe still is, im not so sure) the home of a munitions factory. Where they made bombs and ammunition for the russian arms in WW2 and the cold war. 2- The train factory which I mentioned earlier (which developed an experimental, and unused jet powered train) 3- The fact that a MIG plant is so close.

I am sure there are other reasons why it was closed, but those are all I know of.

Came here in search of this answer. You’re the real hero!!! Have my upvote!

So does the US: Mercury, Nevada, and, of course, Area 51 though these are obviously only two and arguably Area 51 isn't a "city. "

Nyet. Murican. But my dad was Russian.

wow great info, thank you.

The anti-air range also has a skeet shooting range according to google maps, ha.

I read that the area had a lot of underground nukes set off, is the site you, ah, cited above ground or under?

I had read about the underground blasts while reading about the gas in the area, and I had figured out that the last thing you linked was something to do with gas, I;m guessing storage. each of of those little marks on the map there is a oval area that has a big ring built up around it with a pipe leading out of it into a building. And there's a whole lot of them. I'm fascinated by the whole area and also interested to learn about the people who are native to the places.

Are you Russian?

As far as I understand Russian closed cities are off limits to non Russians. There are approximately 1.5 million people living in closed cities in Russia.

Only a visa, but that was to get into Russia. To my knowledge, no special requirements to get into Stupino. I might not be fully aware, though; M&M Mars might have done some things behind the scenes. I was doing some work for them.

Yes, hard. Turned out my visa had its dates screwed up. I had to immediately leave Russia for Prague so I could get it fixed. (The visa was in Cyrillic, so I didn’t spot the error.)

Hold up. Mars the chocolate company sent you to a closed military industrial city in Russia? Just.. why?

City 40 is a brilliant documentary on one of these cities. It's on netflix, well worth a watch

No it became open when Soviet Union fell apart. But the signs remained for years (road signs). Wasnt any different than any other place, people just went on with their lives as usual. There was just a bunch of military stuff nearby (bases, factories etc).. but it doesnt really feel out of place, since every Russian (with few exceptions) has to serve, everyone at one point or another was in the military. So its normal to see military folks around.

Yea, imagine the crap you would be in if you didn't have papers and were standing where you are now, if it were currently 1970...

wow there's a circle with an X in it! lol.

I thought I read they were detonating low-yield nukes to either make room for natural gas storage or to access the gas easier, I was a bit confused about it.

edit, evidently using nukes for construction projects was not too frowned upon in Russia.


March 23, 1971 on the projected highway Pechoro-Kolvinsky channel in the Perm region in 100 km north-west of the city Krasnovishersk there was a powerful built-up explosion - it triggered three nuclear charges of 15 kt each (remember, the same power was in the bomb, razed to the ground Hiroshima ), buried at a distance of 162-167 m from each other at a depth of 127 m. As a result of the explosion, a channel 700 m long, 340 m wide and 10 to 15 m deep with stable sides with a slope angle of 8-10 degrees was formed. From the engineering point of view, the result was brilliant. Problems came from abroad.

again, great info!

I was born in an area that was a closed "zone" (many cities within) in Russia (siberia), where you couldnt go unless you were Russian and lived there.