Disasters in the late Soviet Union and Transition


Disasters in the late Soviet Union and Transition




Maps, photos, and other media about disasters





Collection Items

Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites incidents in country formerly part of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact
A map of unplanned explosions at munitions sites from 1979-2013. These stockpile explosions are often correlated with conflicts in the region, not as acts of war, but accidents due to storing weapons, often in preparation for some kind of military…

Radiation Hotspots Resulting From the Chornobyl' Nuclear Power Plant Accident
Map of concentrations of cesium-137 in the areas surrounding Chernobyl. This information wasn't released until three years after the event, meaning that there were whole swaths of people in Russia un aware they were in danger at all, as well as…

Mountainous Areas of the USSR Prone to Avalanche, Landslide, and Mudslide
A map of landslide, avalanche, and mudslide vulnerable areas of the Soviet Union. Notice how much of the hazard zones are in sparsely populated areas in the Far East, but also in more thickly settled mountain regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Areas in the Soviet Union at Risk from Seismic Activity
Distribution of all seismic events in the Soviet Union from 1977 to 1986. Note the particular concentrations along the Kamchatka peninsula, the Tian Shen and Pamir mountain ranges in south Central Asia, and pockets in the Caspian region. Note that…

CO emissions in 2010
Data retrievals from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. The gif depicts trace concentrations of carbon monoxide in the air at the time of the wildfires in Russia. The cloud of CO from the fires started over…

Ufa burn victim
Photo of one of the burn victims following the ufa train disaster. Burn medicine in Soviet Union at the time was discovered to be far behind Western standards, forcing the USSR to request medical aid from US, making it the second disaster in a row in…

Gorbachev in Armenia
Newspaper account of Gorbachev's visit to Armenia in the wake of the 1988 earthquake. The picture depicts his visit to Leninakan (now Gyumri), the largest city involved in the Spitak earthquake disaster.
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