NPR

Now A Museum, This USSR Submarine Base Was Built To Endure U.S. Nukes — And Retaliate

A once-secret underground naval base in Crimea designed to preserve Soviet submarines in case of a nuclear attack is now a museum with an anti-American message.
Hazmat suits hang next to the canal that leads from Balaklava Bay to the heart of the underground base. Source: Lucian Kim/NPR

Today, white yachts bob on the turquoise surface of Balaklava Bay, a quiet inlet hidden from the open waters of the Black Sea. But 30 years ago, the bay was a restricted military zone, filled with submersible giants of the Soviet Navy.

Located on the southwestern tip of the Crimean Peninsula, Balaklava is a suburb of Sevastopol, a strategic port that Russia has used to project power across the Black Sea and beyond for more than 200 years. During the Cold War, Balaklava Bay was home to a top-secret submarine base

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