Photographer Explores The Artefacts of Abandoned Former USSR Sites – Design You Trust — Design Daily Since 2007

Photographer Explores The Artefacts of Abandoned Former USSR Sites

A fountain at the former technical university in Gyumri, Armenia.

Relics of the Soviet conquest of space, Moscow Pioneer camps, remnants of propaganda along a journey sparsely dotted with statues of Stalin or Lenin, from traditional Moldovan houses to ghosts of the Caucasian wars, by way of petro-chemical factories in the Donbass…

This report invites the reader to relive, through its striking pictures, more than a hundred years of history, from the beginnings of the Soviet period to the legacy of a communist era now fast fading from memory.

Photographer Terence Abela has spent nine years travelling across the former USSR unearthing fragments from its past. His love of history, of photographing relics of the past and discovering the unknown, have combined to create this work. Driven by a desire to preserve the heritage abandoned by states that lurch between the threat of nationalism, dictatorship, wars and the will to invent a new history for themselves, he appeals to us through his pictures to protect these mementos which are at risk of disappearing in the not too distant future.

More: Instagram, “Abandoned USSR”


Prototype of a Tesla coil installed at the end of the 1970s in a research centre that was secret at the time.


The coil was used to test insulators for the protection of vehicles, aeroplanes and electronic equipment against lightning.


The last station in the country with any Soviet trains. It is the end of the line for this Armenian locomotive. Towering behind it are the Iranian mountains, which long marked out a clear border between the USSR and the rest of the world.


A school gym. Mishka, the mascot of the Soviet Union carrying the Olympic flag, takes centre stage.


122 hotel.


Pictures in an Armenian university basement of Missak Manouchian, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx.


A disused marine school in Riga.


The school was due to be demolished shortly after the photographer’s visit.


This spa, built in 1838, was for a long time a popular haunt of Russians. A railway line was built to establish a link with Moscow. The complex is on the verge of collapse.


In the ghost town of Pripyat, a few miles from Chernobyl, silence prevails.


Pripyat swimming pool, near Chernobyl.


Dodgem cars in the recreation area in Pripyat town centre.


A grand country house in Ukraine.


Built in the middle of the 19th century, the house pleasingly blends the neo-classical style with Russian baroque. To the rear there is a large botanical garden.


A theatre belonging to a sanatorium. The two medallions on either side of the stage show Lenin and Stalin in profile. In Ukraine, depictions of Stalin became increasingly rare because he was responsible for the terrible famine that decimated the country between 1931 and 1933. Most memorials bearing his image have been destroyed.


A textile factory.


A room in the textile factory.


A grand country house dating from the 18th century, built by Italian architects. After the Bolshevik revolution, the house was brought into state ownership in 1918.


Salyut Pioneer camp, reserved for children of Kiev radio factory employees.

[Fancy_Facebook_Comments_Pro width="990"]
If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Design You Trust Facebook page. You won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

T-Rex Wedding Photo Shoot Proves Love’s Not Dead
Farm Girls Strip For Sexy Superhero Calendar In Bid To ‘Celebrate Our Farming Heroes!’
Disney-Inspired Princesses Painfully Project Real World Problems In Photo Series
Surfer Doesn't Let Polar Vortex Stop Him From Catching Waves On The Great Lakes
Stunning Plus Size Models at New York Fashion Week
New York Through the Eyes of a Road Bicycle
Photographer Jonathan Higbee Discovers A World Of Coincidence On The Streets Of New York
Photographer Spent Two Weeks In Iceland To Shoot The Recent Fagradalsfjall Eruption
Trying to Understand the Mysterious Russian Soul with Amazing Photographs of Sergey Kolyaskin
“Haru and Mina” By Hideaki Hamada
Czech Photographer Michal Pudelka: Girls, Girls, Girls
An Oregon Couple Rushed Through Their Wedding Because Of A Wildfire And The Photos Are Breathtaking
The Lost Corvettes: 36 Chevrolet Corvettes From NYC Barn Find To Be Raffled In Charity Sweepstakes
"Fast & Curious": Adorable Images Of Four-Legged Friends Who Are The World's Fastest Dogs
Mariner Valley on Mars - the Galaxy's Largest Valley
Dream World: Revisiting the Surreal Urban Landscapes of Japan by Anthony Presley
September 7: This Day In Photos From The Past
The Finalists of The 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Have Been Announced
Teenager Does An “It”-Themed Photoshoot With His Baby Brother, And It Will Give You Nightmares
Someone Found An Old Photo Album Full Of Pics Of This Woman And Hollywood Celebrities In A Thrift Shop
Animal Lovers Converge on Pet Fair
The Final Selection Of Entries From The National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest
The World’s Largest Photography Competition Announced 100 Finalists From Over A Million Entries And Here’s 30 Of Them
Completely Terrifying ‘The Last of Us’ Cosplay by Emma Franks