- Trey Whittenton, Post-Societ Transition and Russia's "Secret Cities",
- via: http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~alexseev/RussiaInAsia/ZATO.htm.
- Robert J. Kaiser, Russian Administrative Districts The Ethnic Territories of Russia GIS Project.
- Anatoliy Pokrovskiy, Don't Play With Nuclear Fire. The Open `Wounds' of the Closed Cities, PRAVDA, 12/2/1995
- Pilar Bonet, From Nuclear War to the War of the Markets, EL PAIS, 11/7/1995
- Murray Feshbach, Ecological Disaster. Cleaning Up the Hidden Legacy of the Soviet Regime. A Twentieth Century Fund Report (Russia in Transition), New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1995.
- In this publication is a list of known secret or closed cities, which was originally compiled by Dr. Murray Feshbach and his research staff: Doug Goudie, Janel Lardizabel, Cathy Schaidler and Niki Gallozzi. The data was taken from a wide variety of Russian-language sources, including newspapers, journals and books.
type of New Town:
> scale of autonomy
The New Town of Znamensk was a secret city nearby the Kapustin Yar rocket launch testing site of the Russian Military in the north end of the Astrakhan region. The development of the Kapustin Yar was a part of the Soviet militairy development program that was launched in the aftermath of World War II. The decree for the foundation of the rocket industry in Russia in 1946 meant the start of the search for a location for a new testing site. The site of Kapustin Yar was chosen because of the infrastructure connections with main cities and the availability of land for the production facilities. Initially the rocket specialists who were working on the testing site lived in a tent village on the testing site, because the area was so remote from urban areas. Not before 1951 the construction of a residential area for the rocket specialists, their families and the supporting personnel was started. Most of the barracks, buildings, houses and streets came into existence in the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1962 the residential area gained the status of a city, named Znamensk. Because Znamensk was part of a secret military operation it was a secret city, which meant that it was enclosed with fences and guard forces and not to be found on maps.
Because of the remote location and the boundaries the city had to be self-contained. The city of 30,000 inhabitants nowadays consists of twenty-one kindergartens, four middle schools, two gymnasium schools, a sports facility, and several faculties of the Astrakhan State Instiute, for technical education.
Znamensk was one of many research and development centres that were created by the Ministry of Armed Forces under the guidance of Stalin. There where two types of research and development centers. Firstly there were academic cities devoted to research. Secondly, there existed secret cities for the development of Soviet military technology. The secret cities share characteristics: they were separated from other urban areas, self-contained, and protected by fences or walls and guard forces. The secret cities required a special permit for entrance. Personnel working in the Soviet nuclear complexes were under heavy surveillance by the KGB, and underwent an intensive screening process. Soviet-era control systems relied heavily on closely monitoring nuclear industry personnel, and severely punishing violations.
The facilities could grow to considerable size, with tens of thousands of employees. With schools, stores, and recreational facilities, these secret cities contained everything a normal city might have. The selection of goods was often much better than in a normal Soviet city, a reward for the difficult lifestyle and secrecy required by the job. Many of these cities are now "open," but remain engaged in military-industrial work. In present Russia, 3 million people live in such 'naukograds' ( "science cities": cities with a high concentration of scientific research facilities in the Russia and the Soviet Union). The problem is what to do with these cities after the end of the militarized East-West contest.
Consulted on November 15, 2012.