Лощина (pronounced Losheena) is one of the larger nuclear bunkers in Ukraine. The main portion of the bunker is buried 25-30 metres underground with approximately 50 different underground rooms connected by long corridors. It was once a military communications centre which explains the sheer size of the place.
I arrived into Lviv late in the evening after a long trip from Warsaw and met up with Bottlehunter and an awesome crew of explorers from Explorer Lviv. We headed for a drink first in a pub called “The Underground” (which deserves a blog post of its own) after which 5 of us loaded up in a car and headed for the location in the suburbs surrounding the bunker.
Our chosen entry point to the bunker was flooded up to knee level but luckily the guys from Lviv had brought shoe covers for me which just about reached the right height. We suited up and waded our way into the darkness. The ground under the water was littered with debris so the walk through the flooded section was made nice and awkward. After 2 or 3 minutes of scrambling over debris we reached a doorway which signaled the area where the water level recedes. This was one of the old entrances from the long entry corridor into the main portion of the bunker. There were two doorways here, one which led straight on ahead into the main corridor and another on the right which entered a side chamber which contained another door which also led into that main corridor. The lads mentioned that this room was created this way in case people needed to be decontaminated before entering the bunker. They entered the door on the right, the doors were sealed shut, the decontamination took place and then the door into the main corridor would be opened.
The main portion of the bunker was mostly dry however time had not been kind to what remained down here. The majority of metal has been stolen for scrap and the place has been badly trashed. Also, someone had started a fire down here recently. Needless to say starting a fire in a confined area like this isn’t too smart. There was a lot of smoke in the air in one section of the bunker so we had to make our way quickly through this part.
Other than this though the place was pretty amazing. The whole complex is on a different scale to anything in Ireland. There were over 50 different rooms to explore along the many corridors. Most of the rooms and corridors were empty however some of the original heavy blast doors were still in place along with some machinery and even a collection of old Soviet air filters. I didn’t take a huge amount of photos as we were trying to keep moving but what I did manage to take is below.
After nearly an hour of wandering the corridors we made our way back out through the flooded section and into the open night air. We packed up and made our way back to the car. Next up was Lviv’s famous underground river, the Poltva.