This Could Have Been Our Future

Imagine spending months locked in this Latvian bomb shelter. The banner reads "Without Communciations, There Is No Authority. Without Authority, There Is No Victory!" The shelter, now a museum, has a nuclear-blast-absorbing wall and a huge facility for filtering radiation.

Not that all that equipment you're seeing in the top photo is for communication with the outside world, of course. The shelter in Ligatne, Latvia, has separate rooms for the KGB, and they include direct phone lines to Moscow but also rows and rows of gray electronic devices that allow you to listen in on conversations taking place anywhere in the shelter. So even once you were entombed in the ground, hiding from an uninhabitable world, you still would have been under the thumb of the surveillance state at all times.

This Could Have Been Our Future

This Could Have Been Our Future

This Could Have Been Our Future

Somehow that single vase with its drooping flowers is the saddest thing of all.

My favorite part: the huge, monstrous facility only had enough food and supplies to last three months, meaning after months of claustrophobic repression, you still would have had to venture out into an atomic wasteland. Images by AP.