Russian Megafactories: A secret underground submarine base

YEVGENY ALEKSEEV
A top secret submarine base named 825 CTS in Balaclava, Crimea

Balaklava is a resort city situated 10 kilometers from Sevastopol, Crimea. A top secret submarine base named 825 CTS is located there.

To keep the large strategic site a secret, the decision was made to call it City Telephone Station number 825. This is how the abbreviation “825 CTS” appeared.

Construction on the secret submarine base in Balaklava began in 1957, when the Cold War between the USSR and the USA was at full steam.

It is a huge base for maintaining and repairing submarines, situated deep underground in order to protect its contents from a large nuclear explosion. If a 100-kiloton atomic bomb were to hit the base, all the ammunition, boats and staff members working there would remain safe.

There is no top secret site in Russia larger than the Balaklava submarine base.

During construction, a large tunnel was built. Around 125 tons of soil were removed. To keep construction a secret, the soil was removed only at night while residents of the city were sleeping. It was then placed onto barges and unloaded directly into the sea.

Seven submarines can fit inside. In case of extreme need, 14 submarines could fit in all the docks of the CTS base.

After 1957, Balaklava lost its status as a city, instead becoming part of the city of Sevastopol.

Today the base is open to those wishing to look inside and explore this secret Soviet site.

825 CTS is a museum where everyone can take photos and learn about the Cold War.

In 2003, the base for maintaining and repairing submarines was opened to the public.

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