The photos were taken by NordSkif & Co. They are photographers and explorers based in Russia. The NordSkif & Co has been documenting urban decay, industrial abandonments, and rural decomposition since 2010.
Since the end of the 1970s, the Soviet MAZ factory started the development of another missile carrier MAZ 7916 12×12 with a payload of 63 tonnes based on the MAZ 547A. It was fitted with a 2-place fiberglass cabin on the left side and a single-place cabin on the right side. The first prototype was made in 1979, later 4 more chassis were produced. They were equipped with a 710 hp V-58-7 engine, updated torque converter, old 4-speed hydro manual gearbox, and 14.7-tonnes axles.
Comparing to MAZ 547, the curb weight of MAZ 7916 was increased by 4.5 tonnes (up to 32 tonnes), overall length — by 820 mm (to 16,320 mm), turning radius — by5 meters (to 27 meters). The top speed is 45 kph. From 1985 to 1986 MAZ produced 26 copies of MAZ 7916.
How was the forest formed near abandoned missile carriers?
In the USSR, near strategically important factories, special “military towns” were built in which the military engineers and specialists working for the defense industry lived with their families.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was followed by a massive reduction in both military units and the accompanying infrastructure. “The devil is in the details” and if you look in the background of the photo below you can see the ruins of an old Soviet barracks. The forest here grew relatively recently, after the collapse of the USSR, as a result of which and the subsequent events, the territory occupied by military units was almost halved.
History of abandoned
MAZ 7916 missile carriers
It is noteworthy that during the time while the trucks were rusting, the trees have not only grown around but in places have sprouted right through — this was especially noticeable in the places where the engine was removed.
The local vehicle fleet consisted mainly of MAZ-7916 trucks manufactured by the MAZ plant. Those missile carriers were used as launchers for the 15P642 Temp-2S missile system with 15Zh42 ICBMs.