The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world

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These photographs by Rebecca Bathory make it seem as if the apocalypse has come and gone and the world is in complete ruins. Not quite. They’re actually photographs of countries and places that were a part of the former Soviet Union. The forgotten decay is haunting.

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The photographs come from Bathory’s book ‘Soviet Ghosts’ which documents her trips into the ruins of the former Soviet Union. She visited Chernobyl, went through Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Lithuania, East Germany and other Eastern Bloc countries and countries that formed the USSR to capture the stunning images.

It’s a world that few of us have ever seen. Bathory writes:

I travelled to 10 countries in Eastern Europe, The Baltic’s, Ukraine and of course Russia to capture what is left from the collapse of the Soviet Union such as forgotten towns, factories, prisons, schools, monuments, hospitals, theatres, military complexes, asylums & death camps across the former communist countries and occupied satellite states. I even came across a Soviet submarine in the UK.

My aim with the book was to capture the crumbling empire of the former Soviet Union, before it is gone completely. The title Soviet Ghost comes from the ghosts and stories that are left behind after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The former USSR was once a living, breathing place, but with the fall of a Communism, places now lie’s derelict, uninhabited, broken shells of a forgotten time. The collapse of the Soviet Union left haunting memories of ordinary people who once lived and worked there.

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Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
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Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
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Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
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Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
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Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
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Image for article titled The collapse of the USSR left behind a haunting post-apocalyptic world
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Rebecca Bathory is a photographer based in London. She loves photographing abandoned buildings, dark tourist sites and travel photography.

You can read more about her experience in photographing the former USSR here and buy her book ‘Soviet Ghosts’ on Amazon here.

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This is part of a series in which we are featuring futuristic, alien-looking or just plain awesome images of landscapes, cityscapes, objects or food. If you are a photographer with such work, please drop me a line here.

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DISCUSSION

By
Eric the RC guy

This is endlessly fascinating to me. Perhaps it is because I am just barely young enough to have not remembered any part of the cold war, but it is so interesting to see the remnants of a war that had a very real possibility of ending humanity's monopolization of the planet. Two countries basically had unlimited money and resources to invent and create and we walked the fine line between inventing and improving nearly everything we come in to contact with today and destroying thousands of years of civilization, and somehow cooler heads prevailed in the exact places that they needed to in order to give us the modern world we enjoy today.