Haunting pics show lost Russian base with 1,000 tanks, jets and choppers left to rot following collapse of Soviet empire

A PHOTOGRAPHER has captured what remains of the Soviet Union’s once-great military might in a series of incredible images.

Incredible aerial shots feature at least a thousand tanks which have been abandoned in the far east of Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Another image reveals two MiG-23 fighter jets which have been left to rust for 25 years at a disused former-Soviet base.

The jets remain abandoned in their hangars at the Sakhalin airbase.

Just offshore from the city of Derbent lies a Societ Lun-Class ground-effect vehicle.

Built in 1975, the massive machinery has remained untouched for the past 45-years.

Other pictures show rows of abandoned helicopters stripped of their propellers and other valuable parts.

The helicopters were left to rust after state financing for the pilot school came to an end.

The pictures were captured by Moscow photographer Lana Sator as she travelled across the country uncovering forgotten relics of the fallen communist state.

The 31-year-old captured the incredible scenes using a Sony a6000 and a DJI Mavic Pro drone.

“I am trying to make people feel the aesthetics and atmosphere and energy of abandoned places,” Lana said.

“The photos I captured from the air look really fantastic and powerful.

“The tank cemeteries are called ‘reserves’ in Russia. If someday they are needed, Russia had thousands of tanks which could theoretically be recommissioned.

“It's a privilege to be able to travel and to be able to capture the atmosphere of these places from a different angle never seen before.”

During the height of the Soviet Union era there were between four and five million soldiers.

Soviet law required all able-bodied men of age to serve a minimum of two years int the army.

As a result of the strict conscription, the Soviet Union had the largest active army in the world from 1945 to 1991.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 1992 the Soviet Union previously owned 20,000 tanks, 1,500 helicopters, 30,000 armoured combat vehicles and 13,000 artillery pieces.

The fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989 signalled the official end of the Cold War and led to the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 sovereign states in 1991.

Gorbachev, Russia's former leader, allowed elections with a multi-party system to create a presidency for the Soviet Union which began a slow process of democratisation.

Eventually, this destabilised Communist control over Russia and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russian military enthusiasts can now even pick up a WW2-era T-34 tank for around £150,000 pounds, although fortunately their military capabilities are removed before sale.

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