Peace Time: April 11, 2001


Seeking tourist dollars, Ukraine is offering soldiers, wannabees, and spies a chance to spend a few days at one of their military bases and even operate military equipment. For $650, you can drive a T-72 tank across a training course and then climb up into the gunner's seat to send a 122mm shell down range. Too expensive? Then how about $380 for the same experience in a BMP? If you are really cheap, you can fire an AKM rifle for $1.25 per shot. (A Dragunov sniper rifle will set you back $20 per shot.) For those with more to spend, you can buy a half-hour in the back seat of a MiG-29 or Su-27 for $5,235 (double that if you want some fancy maneuvers thrown in). For the Top Gun on a budget, you can ride an L39 trainer for $1725 or spend an hour in an Mi-8 helicopter (complete with a combat insertion and evacuation under simulated enemy fire) for $2610. You can stay in tourist barracks that reach Holiday Inn standards, or camp in the woods with the troops. Eat in a respectable restaurant or in the mess hall (for the same price). Most tours are coupled with military demonstrations and visits to various battlefields and museums. Just about any weapon in the Ukrainian arsenal is available (for a price) to tourists. Ukraine says it makes no attempt to screen out foreign intelligence officials as its equipment is well known around the world, and will even arrange special tours for them "at an appropriate price".--Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Peace Time: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close