EERIE images of huge mushroom clouds from Soviet Nuclear testing offer a reminder of what it was like to live during the Cold War.
The scary snaps show enormous clouds of white and black smoke billowing high into the air after nuclear bombs were detonated in a testing ground.
Other pictures show the aftermath of non-nuclear explosive testing with explosions the equivalent of 1000 and 500 tons of TNT carried out by the USSR. One photograph shows a 1950s Soviet atom bomb test at Semipalatinsk.
The mushroom cloud is from the detonation of the Joe-2 (RDS-2) Soviet nuclear bomb on 24 September 1951 at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in what is now Kazakhstan.
This test had a yield of 38 kilotons of TNT. A total of 456 Soviet nuclear tests were conducted at the Semipalatinsk site between 1949 and 1989.
Another image shows the first Soviet hydrogen bomb test. The mushroom cloud is from the detonation of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb on August 12, 1953 at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in what is now Kazakhstan.
This test, known as RDS-6 and Joe-4, had a yield of 400 kilotons of TNT. It used a ‘layer cake’ design.
Hydrogen bombs (thermonuclear weapons) use nuclear fusion reactions and are many times more powerful than the first atomic bombs that only used nuclear fission.
A total of 456 Soviet nuclear tests were conducted at the Semipalatinsk site between 1949 and 1989.
The Cold War was a state of geopolitical tension after World War II between powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its satellite states) and powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others).
It began around 1947 and only ceased in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. The term “cold” is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides involved in the conflict, although there were major regional wars, known as proxy wars, supported by the two sides.
The threat of nuclear warfare was never too far from the public’s mind as both American and the USSR demonstrated their power and carried out nuclear tests.