Testament to the scale and might of the now defunct Soviet war machine, hundreds of retired tanks occupy the overgrown spaces of an abandoned facility in a remote Russian city. Decades have passed since their last active service. And now, forgotten to history and surrendered to the elements, they decay in bleak solitude, dying memories at the end of the world.
But thanks to the Russian website KFSS, which publishes news and photos about abandoned sites in far-flung eastern Russia, the outside world can now get a close-up look at this eerie tank graveyard. In 2012 the website posted dozens of pictures of the dilapidated facility, along with a thorough Russian-language description of its history.
The tanks are a kind of visceral historical record of two global phenomena. First, they are tangible products of the Cold War, a decades-long conflict, which spurred an unsustainable arms race between East and West. Second, they tell the story of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which caused the most remote outposts of the former Communist bloc to be abandoned to economic decline and decay.