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Skrunda-1 is located in Latvia
Coordinates 56°43′00″N 21°59′00″E / 56.716667°N 21.983333°E / 56.716667; 21.983333
Type Radar station
Code RO-2
Site information
Condition Ruined
Site history
Built 1963 (1963)
Built by Soviet Union
Demolished 1998
Garrison information
Garrison 129th independent Radio-Technical Unit [1]

Skrunda-1,[1] also known as Skrunda-2, is a ghost town and former Soviet radar station located 5 km (3 mi) to the north of Skrunda, in Raņķi parish, Latvia. It was the site of two Dnepr radar (NATO Hen House) radar installations constructed in the 1960s. A Daryal radar was being built there before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Skrunda was strategically important to the Soviet Union as its radars covered Western Europe. The two barn-like radars were one of the most important Soviet early warning radar stations for listening to objects in space and for tracking possible incoming ICBMs.[2]

Military installation[edit]

Pursuant to an agreement On the Legal Status of the Skrunda Radar Station During its temporary Operation and Dismantling, signed by Latvia and the Russian Federation on 30 April 1994,[3] the Russian Federation had been allowed to run the radar station for four years, after which it was obliged to dismantle the station within eighteen months. The deadline for dismantling was 29 February 2000.[4] Russia asked Latvia to extend the lease on the Dnepr station at Skrunda for at least two years, until the new Volga station under construction near Baranovichy in Belarus became operational. Riga rejected these requests, and the radar was verified closed on 4 September 1998 by an inspection team from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.[5][6]

In a joint New Year 1998 statement, the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania urged Russian President Boris Yeltsin to complete the pullout of all Russian troops from the region, as Russia had promised four years prior in 1994.

All materials of value were removed from the site and carried back to Russia when the last Russian troops left in 1998; the 60 buildings that comprised the former complex and town, including apartment blocks, a school, barracks and an officers club, remained.[7] The dilapidated buildings were still standing in 2010.

The Latvian government decided to sell the Skrunda-1 site in 2008, and on 5 February 2010, the entire 40-hectare (99-acre) former town was sold as a single lot at auction in Riga.[8] The starting bid was 150,000 lats (290,000 USD; 211,000 EUR).[9] The winning bid was by Russian firm Alekseevskoye-Serviss for 1.55 million lats (3.1[10] million USD; 2.2 million EUR). The auction, which lasted two hours, was also contested by another Russian firm, as well as a bidder from Azerbaijan.[11]

The winning bidder pulled out of the auction, as did the runner up.[12] The town was reauctioned in June 2010 for only 170,000 Lats.[13]


  1. ^ "Raņķu pagasta teritorijas plānojums" (PDF) (in Latvian). Raņķu pagasta padome, Kuldīgas attīstības aģentūra. 2007. p. 20. Retrieved 29 May 2011. kā arī bijušais ciems Skrunda–1 (Līdumnieki, Lokators), kura teritorija patlaban ir neapdzīvota 
  2. ^ Podvig, Pavel (2002). "History and the Current Status of the Russian Early-Warning System" (PDF). Science and Global Security 10: 21–60. doi:10.1080/08929880290008395. 
  3. ^ "Latvia takes over the territory of the Skrunda Radar Station". Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Copenhagen. 21 October 1999. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Chandra, Ramesh (2004). Minority: Social and Political Conflict. Delhi, India: Isha Books. p. 129. ISBN 978-81-8205-140-9. 
  5. ^ Rosenstiel, Francis; Edith Lejard-Boutsavath, Jean-Jacques Martz (2001). Council of Europe, ed. European Yearbook 1999. The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 335. ISBN 978-90-411-1677-2. 
  6. ^ Bloed, Arie (1997). The Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe: basic documents, 1993-1995. The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 390–398. ISBN 978-90-411-0372-7. 
  7. ^ "For sale: bargain missile warning station, no mod cons". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Soviet ghost town for sale". Irish Independent. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Latvia auctions off Soviet military ghost town". AFP. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Koksarovs, Romans; Peach, Gary (5 February 2010). "Latvian ghost town auctioned off for $3.1 million". AP. Retrieved 6 February 2010. [dead link]
  11. ^ Dahl, James (6 February 2010). "Latvia sells entire town for €2.2 million". Baltic Reports. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Latvijoje buvęs karinis Skrundos miestelis parduotas už 170 tūkstančių latų (nuotraukos)". 5 June 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Former Skrunda army base auctioned off for LVL 170,000". The Baltic Course. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 

External links[edit]