THE STRATEGIC MISSILE FORCES MUSEUM: THE GHOSTS OF THE COLD WAR

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ABOUT THE COLD WAR AND THE CARIBBEAN CRISIS?

If no, it would be interesting for you to visit the Strategic Missile Forces Museum in Pervomaysk. If yes, you should definitely visit the Museum and find out more about the most dangerous period of the 20th century. The Cold War was a confrontation between the USSR and the United States in the political, ideological, economic spheres and, of course, in the field of armaments.

This confrontation and the arms race led to the growth of weapons and caused the numbers of world crises. The Caribbean Crises (also known as Cuban missile crisis) was the culmination of the Cold War. It occurred in October, 1962, when the USSR secretly settled its nuclear missiles 180 km far from the USA borders and potentially could kill half of US population in several minutes. The nuclear war had never been so close.

The question is what weapon made the whole world so frightened? Who had invented it? How did it get to Cuba, where was it stored, how was it transported and who had an access to the “red button”? The questions are still actual and important for understanding the  military threat in general. So what could we expect from the nuclear weapons today? You can get the answers on these questions by visiting the Strategic Missile Forces Museum, which is located near Pervomaysk in Mykolaiv region of Ukraine.

WHERE IS HE LOCATED?

The museum is settled on the military missile base of the 46th Missile Division. It was a place, from where nuclear missiles, located in different parts of the region, were controlled. In the exposition you can observe the real engines and missiles, including R-12 missile, which played the main role in the Caribbean Crises and a legendary missile which was classified by NATO as SS-18 «Satan». In the museum you can see them in real size and even touch these giants of Soviet war industry. During the tour you would also be able to immerse in the atmosphere of military discipline, secrecy and will be able to estimate the high technological level of the Soviet military equipment.

The museum consists of underground command post, former administrative buildings and the extending surface area, where rockets and auxiliary vehicles are represented. At the first sight it looks like nondescript ordinary place and it is hard to imagine that it was one of the most secret places in the world. But the museum exhibition is really astonishing and impressive. Each missile, command post, silos, missile delivery systems and auxiliary technical services is a fascinating sample of brilliant engineering thought.

The excursion in the museum is provided by the former officers, who served on the base. They will tell you about the technical details of the missiles and auxiliary vehicles, about rules and discipline, about soldiers’ jokes and combat alerts.

In 1990, the President of Ukraine had signed a Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. That is why the military missile base was transformed into a Strategic Missile Forces Museum. But, by the way, all systems are still working.

The museum is really cool. Exhibits and officers are genuine. The bunkers and underground passages still keep their secrets, the silos remember the smell of propellant.

Museum is located in 3,5 hours’ drive to the South from Kiev. It is amazing place to visit during your trip to Odessa or to South Bug-river rafting region. Also it can be perfect idea to make a one day tour there and back to Kiev including authentic lunch in one of the numerous cafes and restaurants along the road. If you decided to have a trip here, it will be an adventure for the whole day and an impression for the whole life.