Tomsk Museum of the History of Political Repression
An unusual memorial site in Russia
in that it commemorates the very darkest sides of the political legacy of the Soviet Union
's repressive system, especially under Stalin
in the 1930s and 40s, which today are more generally rather ignored in contemporary Russia (but see also Perm-36
and Moscow's Gulag Museum
). So this is quite an exceptional museum.
It's located in a former prison of the NKVD (predecessor of the KGB
) in the western Siberian city of Tomsk. Amongst the exhibits are restored interrogation rooms and prisoners' cells in the basement, as well as prisoners' personal belongings, photos and documents, including a map of gulag
locations across the USSR
Opening times: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: 30 roubles
Guided tours (in Russian only) are available locally. (But see e.g. ACRIS tours, based in Novosibirsk, who have a gulag
-themed 7-day tour in English that takes in both Tomsk and Perm).
the museum's address is 44 Lenin Avenue, which is near the State University of Radioelectronics in downtown Tomsk, Russia
Google maps locator: [56.47565,84.95004
Not far north from Tomsk, the closed city of Seversk (formerly code-named Tomsk-7) was allegedly the site of a nuclear accident at the reprocessing plant there, which some class as one of the most serious in Russia (and that's saying something). But that place remains out of bounds to tourists anyway.