Ukraine - Echoes of the Cold War

Ukraine - Echoes of the Cold War

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 10 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers


Day 1 – Lviv

Arrive in Lviv and transfer to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner. Overnight Reikartz Medievale Hotel or similar (D)

Day 2 – Lviv

We start our Cold War tour in the old, medieval city of Lviv. Occupied by the Bolsheviks in WWII, it was turned into an important control centre for Soviet expansion into the West. You will see both sides of the city’s history from pre and post war period,and learn why it was important for Soviets and the KGB to defeat the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) who were fighting against occupants for many years. Visit the museum inside the former KGB prison on Lonckyi str., and the museum ‘Territory of Terror’ where you will see the atrocities of the totalitarian world. We can also walk to the abandoned Radio Centre Bunker hidden in the hills. Return to the hotel. Overnight Reikartz Medievale Hotel or similar (B)

Day 3 – Lviv – Krasne – Brody – Novograd – Korosten – Zytomyr (total travelling – 540km, approx. 8 hours)

Today we move to the East through the woods of the Polissia area, which are stuffed with secret objects, hidden there by cunning Soviet engineers. We will visit abandoned emplacements of missile regiments, which were redeployed to Western Ukraine from Cuba after Caribbean crisis in 1961. You’ll see the neglected technical and administration section and launch sites of “Sandal” and “Satana” missiles. On the way we will also make a short stop to see the former complex of long-range radio suppression. Dozens of antennas of this centre were designed to drown out the radio signals of western radio stations and prevent Soviet people from hearing “enemy voices”. We get down into an old command bunker, which was constructed in a solid granite rock for Josef Stalin, and later served as a Cold War shelter for local Soviet rulers. Throughout the journey we make several short stops to see the dumb witnesses of World War Two – pillboxes of an endless Fortified Stalin line, and listen the story of its glories fight with Germans in a hot summer of 1941. Overnight at Reikartz Zhytomyr or similar (B)

Day 4 – Zhytomyr – Vinnitsa (total travelling – 140km, approx. 3 hours)

Start with a visit to the museum of space exploration, named after the genius rocket engineer and spacecraft designer Serhii Korolev, who was born in Zhytomyr and worked as a leading inventor of Soviet rockets and missiles during the Space Race between USA and USSR. After that we will visit the place near Vinnitsa, where the general headquarters of Hitler during WWII – ‘Werewolf bunker’, was situated. In Vinnitsa city we’ll go first to the heart of all Strategic Missile Troops located in Ukraine – the abandoned command centre of 43d missile army. Continue to visit the Military Aviation museum and optionally – the charming local Museum of Retro Technology Avtomotovelofotoradio. Overnight at Hotel France or similar (B)

Day 5 – Vinnitsa – Pervomaisk – Kropivnitsky (total travelling – 420km, approx. 7 hours)

In the morning we drive to a unique place – the Museum of Strategic Missile Forces, located near Pervomaisk, on the territory of former Missile Base. This is the only such museum in the world, showing all the nuclear forces potential of so-called “Evil Empire”. You will see the main types of strategic missiles, which are still used by Russian Missile Forces. And you will go down to the underground command centre, which looks exactly like Russian combat control centres standing on alert duty till now. On the way enjoy the beauty of Ukrainian Step and granite rocks and canyons on Pivdennyi Bug river. For overnight we will stay in a small town Kropivnitsky. Overnight at Reikartz Kropivnitskiy or similar (B)

Day 6 – Kropivitsky – Dnipro (total travelling – 260km, approx. 5 hours)

After breakfast we’ll drive to Dnipro in order to have a tour to the place, where main types of soviet rockets and missiles were produced and where the most ingenious minds of Soviet rocket engineering worked – the aerospace manufacturer known as UzhMash Rocket Plant. This enterprise still produces spacecraft, launch vehicles, liquid-propellant rockets, landing gears and other industrial products. You will learn its history from the moment of foundation until the present day. After the museum visit the newly created Rocket park and see many rockets and satellites of different types, produced in the space capital of USSR. Optionally you can visit another new museum – the ‘Museum of Anti-Terrorist Operation’, where you can learn about the last ongoing conflict with Russia in the Donbass region. Overnight in Dnipro at Reikartz Dnipro or similar (B)

Day 7 – Dnipro – Poltava – Prylyky – Kyiv (total travelling – 600km, approx. 9 hours)

This day will be dedicated to the third part of the Nuclear triad, bomber aircrafts, capable of delivering nuclear weapons. We will visit a unique Aviation Museum in Poltava and examine the samples of strategic bombers of the same type as those of Russia’s, which are still keeping the world in suspense with their long-range flights over Atlantic. On the way we will stop to see the remains of one of the main strategic airfields in Pryluky, where bombers such as Tu-160 Blackjacks and Tu-95 Bears were deployed. Overnight in Kyiv at Hotel Rus or similar (B)

Day 8 – Kyiv

On our big city tour of the Ukrainian capital you will learn about the history of Kyiv from the moment of its foundation in the Middle ages until the Soviet period and recent revolutionary times. All these historic periods are deeply connected. The architecture of Kyiv in the post-war period was much influenced by communist ideology and with styles of Ukrainian baroque and modern European it shows an astonishing mixture of a cosy green town and a monstrous republic capital. Travel from the old town of Kyiv Rus to Maidan Square, continue to Pecherks and Lavra Monastery and finish with amazing WWII National Museum complex. Overnight Rus Hotel or similar (B)

Day 9 – Kyiv – Chernobyl – Kyiv (total travelling – 320km, approx. 8 hours)

Early in the morning we go to the largest restricted abandoned area in Europe – the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. Life here stopped in 1986 after an accident at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station. All the neglected land looks exactly the same as if the Cold War had become hot, being the best ‘horrible’ example of a real world nuclear war result. During the tour you will see the remains of a ruined nuclear station and visit the ghost city of Prypyat. Here you will be surprised to learn that all these facilities to a great extant were built for the Cold War purposes, and you will see the over-the-horizon radar system, known as Russian Woodpecker or Duga2 object, part of a super-secret Soviet anti-ballistic missile early-warning network. In the evening we invite you to a local Ukrainian restaurant for a farewell dinner to share your impressions and say goodbye to your new friends. Overnight Rus Hotel or similar (BD)

Day 10 – Kiev Departure

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight from Kiev (B)

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