>Blast from the Past File: Russian co. buys Latvian military ghost town, Skrunda-1 housed 5,000 Soviet/Russian troops until 1994, radar base until 1998

>In another stealthy move that reflects the “creeping” re-Sovietization of the Baltic republics, Russian company Alekseevskyoe-Serviss has bought the military ghost town of Skrunda-1 for US$3.1 million.

The Latvian government was all too happy to divest itself of the 110-acre property that housed 5,000 Soviet/Russian troops, including their families and support personnel, until their withdrawal in 1994. At the time the Russian Defense Ministry cut a deal with the Latvians to lease the nearby radar base until 1998, when the last residents of Skrunda-1 departed. Finally, in 2008 the Latvian government decided to sell the property by auction.

Located 95 miles west of Riga, the national capital, Skrunda-1 consists of 70 dilapidated buildings, including a former barracks, officer’s club, warehouses, garages, 10 apartment blocks, hotel, shopping centre, and school. Built in the 1980s, Skrunda-1 was given a code name and not marked on Soviet maps since it boasted two “enormous” radar installations that scanned the skies for incoming NATO missiles.

The Latvian government has placed no restrictions on how the new owners develop the land. Internet search engines, moreover, yield no information on Alekseevskyoe-Serviss, such as whether this company is a Kremlin entity or whether its board of directors has personal links to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Anete Fridensteina-Bridina, spokeswoman for Latvia’s privatization agency, offered no details concerning the buyer’s intentions. However, according to the February 8 print edition of the Daily Telegraph, Fridensteina-Bridina gushed: “The successful privatization of Skundra-1 could give it a new lease of life.” Indeed. Perhaps in the not-so-distant future the Red Army, er, rather the Russian Ground Forces will return and plant some pretty flowers around those gray, Soviet-era apartment blocks.

3 responses to “>Blast from the Past File: Russian co. buys Latvian military ghost town, Skrunda-1 housed 5,000 Soviet/Russian troops until 1994, radar base until 1998

  1. mah29001 February 9, 2010 at 12:33 am

    >Suspicious? Even I couldn't find any information on that Russian company.Front group? I hope not.

  2. mah29001 February 9, 2010 at 1:16 am

    >One wonders why also why the "former" Soviet Republic of Latvia was more than happy enough to allow someone whom is possibly affiliated with the Kremlin to purchase this ghost town?

  3. mah29001 February 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    >You may also want to take note that the Obama administration is trying to encourage many "former" Afghan Communists whom served within the military of the short-lived Soviet-promoted Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.How "nice", Obama's giving the Reds Afghanistan without a fight.

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