...The development of the system began in the 1950's during the cold war. The first experimental devices of this type began to be constructed in the 1960's.
They were, however, beset by a number of technical problems and were unable to detect any dangers. The first fully functional systems were successfully designed at the end of the 1960's.
The first experimental system Duga-1 was constructed near the town Mikolaiv (Миколаїв) in Ukraine and could successfully detect rocket launches from cosmodrome Bajkonur (“Байконур”), over 2500 km away. This system was followed by a second prototype Duga-2, built at the same place. After another success, works on Duga started. It was nicknamed ‘The Moscow Eye’ and was supposed to be the monitoring of space in Europe as well as potential enemy targets in North America.
Soviets started to build the radar station with a small military town called Chernobyl-2 in 1970. The following construction of a power plant in the nearby city of Chernobyl was no coincidence. When fully operational the consumption of energy by this radar system was supplied directly by the Chernobyl power plant and was enormous. The highest estimates are that the radar was supplied by the full capacity of one of the four Chernobyl reactors...