Dmitriy Nikonov

Articles by Dmitriy Nikonov

16 October 2008

The rebirth of Russia's closed cities

Dmitriy Nikonov

Almost upon developing the bomb, the Soviet Union enforced strict security measures within its nuclear weapons complex. In particular, it established so-called "closed cities"--one-employer settlements complete with travel restrictions and barb-wired perimeters that were tasked with designing, manufacturing, and servicing the most sensitive pieces of the Soviet nuclear weapons arsenal. For decades, the closed cities were the country's crown jewels, and as such, they had substantially better living conditions, infrastructure, and lower crime rates than the rest of the country.