He was replaced with fellow Communist apparatchik Boris Yeltsin, who was invited to work in Moscow and eventually became Russia’s first president.
No, it’s not an alien colony, a time machine, or even a Russian version of America’s ionospheric HAARP program. But in a forest near Moscow, this Soviet-era “lightning machine” has a capacity arguably equal to Russia’s entire electricity output.
Bloggers flock to see this technical marvel, which has been dubbed the “High Voltage Marx and Tesla Generators Research Facility.” The testing range, a branch of the Russian Electrical Engineering Institute, is in the sleepy town of Istra, 40 kilometers west of Moscow.
It is situated in a relatively small forest next to the New Jerusalem Monastery on the edge of town. The secret, open-air, high-voltage testing device was constructed in the late 1970s for testing insulators to protect vehicles, aircrafts and electronic equipment against lightning.
The facility is absolutely unique; nothing like it exists anywhere in the world, primarily because of its outstanding charge capacity. At its peak operating capacity the giant Marx generator, when lightning is discharged onto an isolated platform, has power equal to all power generation facilities in Russia – including thermoelectric, hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, and wind power stations combined. But only for about 100 microseconds.