Vainode

Vainode

Vaiņode (also somewhere written as Vainodo, Vainede, Vaynede, Vaynodo, and Toyvanede) is a former USSR air base in Latvia, located 31 km south of Skrunda. It was abandoned in 1993 is only 4 km from the border with Lithuania.

During World War I it was a German airship base with two 240m long airship hangars. After the war, they were dismantled, parts of them were resued and erected as cover for Riga's Central Market food market. They are still in use today.

Vaiņode was home to 54 Gv IAP (54th Guards Interceptor Aviation Regiment), in 1967 flying some of the first Sukhoi Su-15 aircraft ever fielded. These planes were upgraded to Su-27 aircraft in the 1980s, and there is some evidence that MiG-23 aircraft were flown.

Today

The site has been derelict since Latvian independence from the USSR in 1991. The site, like the other former Soviet military installations in Latvia, have been stripped of everything apart from the concrete. Most of the area is a nature reserve.

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