At the base of a Russian mountain is one of the world’s most mysterious places. It’s a town. But not like other towns, being directly controlled by the Russian government. She’s a relic from the countries past. One of many secret towns created by the Soviet Union. Only certain people were allowed into such cities, with the ever present danger of those who trespass never being seen again. They were designed to be impossible for western intelligence to locate – or even learn of their existence – to be places that didn’t exist. Only some of these places still exist. But those that do are not equally secretive. This is Russia’s most mysterious closed city.


The Soviet Union established dozens of closed cities, tightly controlled communities where secret projects would take place, like building nuclear weapons. Soviet authorities didn’t want anyone knowing where bombs were developed so closed cities were created. Not even people in Russia knew about closed cities apart from those with high security clearance, and those who lived inside them. They were functioning cities with populations in the thousands who were not allowed to leave. On official records, those who lived in closed cities didn’t exist – so there’s no prize for guessing they had limited rights. The Soviet Union no longer exists and only 44 of it’s closed cities still stand.

Others were closed down when the end of the cold war rendered them not vital. This leads many to question why the 44 surviving settlements are still seen as vital. What kind of secrets might they contain? It’s hard to say for sure. Certain closed cities have been well investigated. American intelligence accused Russia of having a massive nuclear base hidden within mount Yamantau. When questioned on multiple occasions on what the mountain contains, Russia gave multiple answers. They claimed it was everything from a mining and mineral extraction site to a nuclear bunker for politicians.

At the base of the mountain is a closed city called Mezhgorye. It’s population is about 17 thousand, many of which work in the mountains secret complex, which is so large you could call it an underground city in itself. Two military battalions call the town home, where they defend and maintain nuclear missiles, if reports are to be believed. Little else is known about Mezhgorye. Anything could be going on there. It’s not the most notorious closed city. That is over 200 miles away and known for being one of our planet’s most contaminated places.

City 40

It was built in 1947 and came to be known as City 40. An especially remote spot was chosen for it as the city would be Russia’a prime nuclear weapons hub. Their first nukes were developed here. But they needed it to be a fully functional city so they attracted settlers with luxuries few other Soviet citizens could enjoy. Still today it’s a real city, with a population just south of 90 thousand – a number that would be much higher if the entire city was not radioactive. Dangerous waste from the nuclear facility was for a long time dumped into the local lake, understandably known as the lake of death.

It’s said any person or animal to enter it dies. But it’s not just the water that’s toxic. The entire city is one of Earth’s most polluted and radioactive places. It’s been a dangerous place to live since the beginning. In 1957 it witnessed the 3rd biggest nuclear disaster there has ever been. When a tank containing nuclear waste overheated and exploded the sky outside turned purple as deadly smoke escaped into the surrounding area. To onlookers it seemed like the world was ending, or the day of judgement had come. Hundreds were dead within days.

Wanting to keep any nuclear accidents a scret, locals weren’t actually told what was happening. To them a mysterious disease left no one in the city safe. With residents already not allowed to leave, there was no need to quarenteen them. They were just left to die without the outside world knowing. The soviets covered up this disaster for 20 years before it was exposed. But still the city lived on just as it does today. But none of us will ever get the chance to enter the city. Unless of course I have subscribers who live there, which is possible…

Almost no one is allowed into the area, partly because it’s still full of nuclear weapons. But also due to it being dangerous. In fact the world’s most polluted place can be found there. So definitely avoid it – it’s probably a boring place anyway. City 40 and all Russian closed cities that followed were copied from the US. America built her own closed cities during the Manhattan project. Either America stopped building them or they did so secretly that we don’t know about it’ But it doesn’t seem like they have built any closed cities in a long while.

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