Kopūstėliai rocket base

Historical memory places

In 1958 the ground-based medium-range nuclear missile base was started to build in the district of Ukmerge, near the village Kopūstėliai. In1960,it was fully equipped and prepared. The base was one of two analogic rocket bases (“the first and the second rounds”) joined into one consolidated structure (the second base was in the forest about 2 km from Vepriai). There were about 10 suchespecially secret objects in Lithuania.

8 medium-range missiles 8K63 were stored in the hangars of the bases (4 rockets in eachhangar). These rockets were considered asreliable andwell-aimed. They would depart from the target for about ten metres when they were flying 3,000 kilometres distance. The flight distance of these missiles is up to 3000 km.Rockets were aimed to various objects in the Western Europe (the targets were changing).Nuclear heads of missiles had the capacity until 1,5 MT and were kept separately.The preparation for launching these rockets lasted 3 hours 15 minutes. These rockets were prepared to launch once in 1968 during the USSRmilitary invasion to Czechoslovakia.
The entire area of Kopūstėliai Rocket Base (hangars, where rockets were kept, launch sites – auth. remark) was fenced with twelve rows of barbed fence. Its height was more than 2 metres.The “Tantal” security system was installed behind the fence and invisible sensors responded to any moving object and sent a signal to the guard’s headquarters. An electrified security system covered the entire territory with a network unnoticeable to the human eye.380 volts of electrical power continuously powered it, and in combat mode it was increased to 1800 volts.

After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence in 1992, when the Russian troops were withdrawn from Lithuania, the base was transferred to Ukmergė district municipality. Then Kopūstėliai rocket base, which occupied about 100 hectares of territory with more than 100 different types of buildings and other assets, became the property of district municipality.In the transfer act, the military assets were valued at 100 million vouchers (in prices of 1984, it amounted to about 4 million rubbles).

On July 27, 2000, the commission, who visited Kopūstėliai, ascertained that the former military base occupied an area of 80 hectares. The greater part of 70buildings owned by R. Urbonas were destroyed, wooden buildings burned, there was no electricity, plumbing, entrances were disassembled, the area was full of garbage and household waste. The Commission has decided to price the remaining buildings at 8400 litas and sell them without auction. In September of the same year, the resident of Ukmergė Kęstutis Sarapinavičius expressed his desire to buy the property. When the businessman paid 8400 Lt, the former rocket base became his property.

 

Thanks for the information to website www.apleisti.lt

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Photos by Aistis Masiulis AM Photo

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