Shikhany 1987

For decades the Soviet Union had denied it possessed chemical weapons. But in 1987 it came clean under orders of party leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The USSR invited delegates of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament to see samples of chemical munitions. This took place in Shikhany, a hitherto closed chemical weapons facility and testing ground on the Volga, some 750 kms southeast of Moscow.

I was one of the few journalists invited to cover the event. Here are some of the pictures I took back then. Details of the visit, the munitions shown and chemical warfare agents of the Soviet Union can be found here. More pictures I took are here.

img_20161004_00101

Approaching the Shikhany chemical weapons base.© 1987 Hans de Vreij

 

img_20161004_0019

UN delegates ate Shikhany. © Hans de Vreij

 

 

Chemical warhead for the Scud missile. Filled with 555 kilograms of persistent VX nerve gas. Lethal dose (LD50) = 10 mg

Chemical warhead for the Scud missile. Filled with 555 kilograms of persistent VX nerve gas. Lethal dose (LD50) = 10 mg. © Hans de Vreij

 

Two Dutch diplomats and a VX warhead for Scud missiles. © Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. Two Dutch diplomats and a VX warhead for Scud missiles. © Hans de Vreij

 

Assorted chemical munitions

Shikhany 1987. Assorted chemical munitions. © Hans de Vreij

 

Assorted chemical munitions. © Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. Assorted chemical munitions. © Hans de Vreij

Chemical spray tank, free-fall bomb. © Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987 Chemical spray tank, free-fall bomb. © Hans de Vreij

 

© Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. © Hans de Vreij

 

 

Dutch Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, ambassador Robert van Schaik. © Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. Dutch Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, ambassador Robert van Schaik. © Hans de Vreij

 

The main protagonists during the negotiations on a chemical weapons ban. Ambassador Max Friedersdorf (U.S., left) and Yuri Nazarkin. © Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. The main protagonists during the negotiations on a chemical weapons ban. Ambassador Max Friedersdorf (U.S., left) and Yuri Nazarkin. © Hans de Vreij

 

Colonel-General Vladimir Pikalov, commander of the Soviet Chemical Warfare Troops. © Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. Colonel-General Vladimir Pikalov, commander of the Soviet Chemical Warfare Troops. © Hans de Vreij

 

Lieutenant-General Anatoly Kuntsevich, deputy commander of the Soviet Chemical Warfare Troops. © Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. Lieutenant-General Anatoly Kuntsevich, deputy commander of the Soviet Chemical Warfare Troops. Later he reportedly was involved in providing Syria illegally with precursors to nerve gas. © Hans de Vreij

 

© Hans de Vreij

Shikhany 1987. Soldier of the Chemical Warfare Troops. © Hans de Vreij

 

Shikhany 1987. Mobile unit for the destruction of chemical weapons ‘Neitral’. © Hans de Vreij

 

Shikhany 1987. Mobile unit for the destruction of chemical weapons ‘Neitral. Prior to neutralization of a free-fall bomb a rabbit was injected with the Sarin from the bomb to prove the experiment was real. It was . Picture MOD USSR

Over Hans de Vreij

Dutch journalist. Former correspondent in Brussels, Geneva, Prague, East Berlin.
Dit bericht werd geplaatst in Chemical weapons, massavernietingswapens, Russian Federation, Verenigde Naties, weapons of mass destruction en getagged met , , , . Maak dit favoriet permalink.

Geef een reactie

Vul je gegevens in of klik op een icoon om in te loggen.

WordPress.com logo

Je reageert onder je WordPress.com account. Log uit / Bijwerken )

Twitter-afbeelding

Je reageert onder je Twitter account. Log uit / Bijwerken )

Facebook foto

Je reageert onder je Facebook account. Log uit / Bijwerken )

Google+ photo

Je reageert onder je Google+ account. Log uit / Bijwerken )

Verbinden met %s