May 01, 2020

Sarov: A City Closed



Sarov: A City Closed

Monday, August 12, 2019, was a somber day in Sarov, birthplace of the Soviet Union’s first atomic bomb and still the hub of its nuclear program.

Thousands gathered in the city’s main square to view five coffins brought back from the State Central Navy Testing Range a couple of thousand kilometers to the northeast, where five Sarov scientists ­had been killed in the August 8 Nyonoksa radiation accident. Russian officials described the accident as a failed test of “an isotope power source for a liquid-fueled rocket engine.” Whatever the cause (We­stern experts suspected the accident stemmed from a Burevestnik cruise missile test), the mournful gathering was a reminder of the perilous business that is the focus of this nuclear “company town.”

The five were laid to rest in Sarov’s main cemetery.


Digital Subscription Required

Get unlimited digital access for just $2 a month.

Don't have an account? signup

See Also

Life in a PO Box

Life in a PO Box

In this modern tale of two cities, we visit a closed Russian city still getting accustomed to the new era, and a poorer town that lives in its shadow. The author's photos of the closed town, Tomsk-7, are believed to be the first of this town widely published in the West.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955