: Cold War ghosts haunt Latvia amid renewed NATO-Russia tensions

15:28 Jul. 26, 2016

Cold War ghosts haunt Latvia amid renewed NATO-Russia tensions

People walk past abandoned Soviet R-12 nuclear missile hangar in Zeltini (Photo: Reuters/Ints Kalnins)

The Zeltini missile launch site, operational during the Cold War when Latvia was under Soviet rule, becomes a popular tourist attraction

Hidden in the forests of Aluksne, near Latvia's north-eastern border with Russia, the remains of a former Soviet nuclear missile base are a magnet for tourists now rather than a top-secret site manned by soldiers.

Read also Latvia reveals cost of Soviet occupation

The Zeltini missile launch site, operational during the Cold War years from 1962 to 1984 when Latvia was under Soviet rule, at one time concealed at least eight nuclear missiles in its hangars.

"Missiles were erected, everything was ready. We waited for a command," said Leonid Konovalov, a 74-year-old pensioner, and ethnic Russian, as he stood on the concrete field surrounded by trees. Full story

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