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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 17 Jan 2007
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Ukraine/Russia/Kazakhstan + Military relics?

I'm looking to head over to this region in July and would love some tips for where to go and where not to go. I'm probably only going to spend a month total travelling, with 6 days planned to get from the UK to the Russian border and back. I'd love to have more time to travel further east and on to Mogolia but I don't think that'd be possible Also, given I'll be on a Suzuki Bandit, I need to stay on some half decent roads!

Also, it may a touch obscure, but if anyone knows of any old military sites and Cold War relics around that region please could you point me in the direction.

Thanks
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Old 17 Jan 2007
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Where NOT to go.
Chechnia and the small south-east corner of Russia close to the Caspian Sea and Georgia. Many foreigners are kidnapped. We don't get to hear of them in UK because exceedingly few Brits go there, but they regularly kidnap other who do.

Military relics.
Volgagrad (was Stalingrad). There are many WWII relics, memorials and museums there and around there. Even the popular guide books will assist. But not with Cold War stuff, mainly because they still exist and many are operational. Locals know where they are, what they do, but prefer to keep quiet!
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Old 17 Jan 2007
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Cold war relics

Take a look at this link http://www.ukrainianexpress.com/menu2/VIP-2#m1
There are many things you can participate in if you like military equipment.
I have not been but would like to go this summer.
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Old 17 Jan 2007
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Thanks for the advice!

Is it safer around the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan, or is the whole region still a bit dodgy?

The military thing looks cool, I'd love a ride in one of the Migs! Now, can I stretch my budget enough to include that? I'm mainly interested in the old abandoned military stuff, there's nothing quite like wandering around old military installations that have just been left by their owners. I figured that given the distinct drop in the cold war infrastructure over here i.e. RAF Upper Hayford and Greenham Common, that similar steps may have been taken in cash strapped Russia. I may have to do more research, there's got to be something there that won't get put in prison for!
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Old 17 Jan 2007
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Smile About the Caspian region's safety

I think it's misleading to say that the whole Caspian region is dangerous for foreigners. I live in the Astrakhan region (Russia), where Volga flows into the Caspian sea, we have frontiers with Kazakhstan and Dagestan (one of Caucasus republics). A lot of foreigners (from Italy, Norway, etc) work in our ship-building plants and there haven't been any cases of kidnapping. My professional activities include permanent contacts with foreign citizens and most of them have the most favorable impressions about our quiet city.
Good luck
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Old 17 Jan 2007
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Military objects

One thing which is must-do for people with such kinky inclinations, of course, is Borodino. It's the place where Napoleon got his first slap in the face trying to conquer Russia. The slap did not stop him, but made him think a bit.
Then, this was also a battle zone during WWII.
Basically, it is a large area with loads of monuments commemorating the elimination of batallions etc. It has a nice museum and is generally a nice place to visit. It is abt 80 kms to the West of Moscow.
Inside Moscow there is Park Pobedi. Military museum, tanks, guns etc.

In Kiev there is a monument commemorating victims of WWII annex military museum. Lots of tanks, helicopters, planes, rocket carrying trucks, armoured trains etc.

Auke
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