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The derelict Radiotechnical School – a victim of food shortages

Anastasia Kolomiets
©KFSS

The radio technical school of the Pacific Fleet (military unit 70024, later military unit 25108-2) is located near the village of Rynda between Rynda and Babkin coves, close to Vladivostok, a major Russian port city on the Pacific coast. Although mostly a creation of Soviet architecture, some buildings were inherited from tsarist times.

The radiotechnical school was established here in 1953. Five companies were trained here and specialists in the fields of hydrography, radiometry and radiotelegraphy were prepared. Graduates of this school went on to serve in the Pacific Fleet.

©KFSS

©KFSS

A scandal erupted in March 1993 when fifty young servicemen were taken to the hospital ship Irtysh. They were so malnourished that their immune system was severely weakened and could not cope with infection. Diagnoses included alimentary dystrophy, pediculosis, dysentery, and pneumonia. Four sailors from the training group who arrived at the hospital died.

©KFSS

©KFSS

Many blamed the Navy for this, as many young men who were drafted to serve their mandatory term were already malnourished – they should not have been drafted in the first place.

This tragedy was due to food shortages following the fall of the Soviet Union. In the political chaos and disorder caused by the termination of planned economy, food supplies were spare and special coupons were even used to ration the food.

©KFSS

©KFSS

The school was disbanded in 2002. It was maintained for some time, but then left completely to decay. It did not turn into ruins only because it was eventually transferred to the Maritime University, which prepares radiotechnical cadres for the Navy. The university has plans to renovate the school and make it into a base for practical training.

Thank you to KFSS for information and images!

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