Tukums reserve aerodrome management in the 90s.

With the departure of the Soviet occupation forces, the looting of many former war bases began. Soviet soldiers tried to take out as much as possible and leave the degraded infrastructure. After the departure of the troops, these bases continued to be looted by civilians and to exploit former military infrastructure.

“As the Russian army withdrew from Estonia, its property was taken over by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Latvia. Management was not always successful, the Ministry of Defense simply abandoned some of the monsters of the Russian army due to a lack and lack of funds for management. Many places have been demolished, but Tukums Reserve Airport has been leased to SIA Durbe, which manages it. The State Audit Office is now instituting criminal proceedings for the management of the aerodrome. Colonel Kārlis Kīns, Commander of the NAF Air Force, said to the NRA: In addition, all the funds for the maintenance of the aerodrome have been invested only by SIA Durbe. The Ministry of Defense has not given a penny for maintaining the airfield. Durbe also helps to protect the territory from non-ferrous metal thieves, because many Russian armies have not gone anywhere yet and know the territory perfectly - they know what to steal. ” Laimonis Mucenieks, General Director of SIA Durbe: “If I didn't manage the airfield, it would be the second Vaiņode (Vaiņode airfield was handed over to the municipality and has been completely looted - JH). As an enthusiast, I feed it for the benefit of the Latvian state, without receiving any material benefit from it, because I am not indifferent to the future of Latvia. ” The State Audit Office considers that the aerodrome is being looted. The State Audit Office is not satisfied that the concrete slabs of the 1190 aerodrome runway were sold to SIA Durbe very cheaply - concrete slabs of about 12 m 2, which were made especially for aerodromes, for 12 lats per piece, although their market price is about 60 lats. Laimonis Mucenieks explained that the plates were removed from the airfield on the basis of an agreement between SIA Durbe and the Ministry of Defense. "The Ministry of Defense ordered me to make an inventory so that the airfield could be entered in the land register, and I was allowed to take concrete slabs for it, because the ministry did not have the money to make an inventory. The price of the plates was set by the Real Estate Valuation Bureau of the Tukums District Division of the State Land Service, and it is more expensive than the Russian army estimated when it left. They valued the plates at eight lats each. In addition, only damaged plates that are no longer suitable for the runway have been removed from the aerodrome area. It has to be constantly repaired and renewed, therefore the useful plates were put on the runway, »informed Laimonis Mucenieks. Some of the removed concrete slabs are located at the Durbe Ltd. gas station, another part is at the company's home, office and elsewhere. Uldis Svilpe, the then head of the real estate appraisal office and the current deputy chairman of Tukums City Council, explained: “The appraisal office does not assess the market price, but the construction costs. In addition, it is necessary to work with very old price lists, using different coefficients, because there is no price list that would correspond to the current economic situation. Nothing is mentioned in these price lists about the valuation of military objects, because during the Soviet era, no one valued the army's property. The boards were manufactured in the early 1960s, and when we evaluated them in 1995, it was assumed that they accounted for 50% of use. I do not think we have committed an offense. " The State Audit Office audited Tukums reserve airport two years ago and did not detect any violations. The State Audit Office now considers that there has been a robbery of state property and a criminal case must be instituted against it. Vilnis Grasis, a member of the Council of the Economic Audit Department of the State Audit Office, said: "We will propose to terminate the agreement with SIA Durbe because the airport is managed in bad faith." The airfield is guarded by 19 soldiers and 6 officers. At least three times a week, detaining someone who has longed for belongings in the territory of the airport, most often - non-ferrous metal. SIA Durbe, according to Laimonis Mucenieks, employs 46 guards who guard the territory. In Jauntukums, Aviācijas Street 3, there is also a five-storey slum, which many Tukums residents remember as the most beautiful house in the district. The house housed an officers' hotel. The Latvian Ministry of Defense did not manage it, but did not return it to the city. Now only the walls are left of the house. Who is to blame - SIA Durbe, which has preserved Tukums airfield, or the Ministry of Defense, which is unable to manage its property due to lack of funds?!. "

Storyteller: Juta Hincenberga “Izsaimniekotais Tukuma”
Used sources and references:

The article was published in the newspaper Neatkarīgā Rīta avīze, No. 118, 1997.

Related objects

Aviation Museum “SKY ZOO”

The Aviation Museum “Sky Zoo” is located in Smārde parish, Tukums municipality, in the territory of Jūrmala Airport that was once the Tukums Military Airfield. The exhibit includes aircrafts YAK-40, AN-2, SU22M4, PZL TS-11 Iskra and a helicopter MI-24. Tour of the airfield includes hangars, caponiers and engineering equipment. The airfield was used by both the German and Soviet armies. During the Soviet occupation it was one of the most important military airfields in the territory of Latvia. The fighters stationed there were intended to attack enemy ships and bomb coastal fortifications. On the night of 9 November 1975, a battle alarm was received at the Tukums airfield – there was enemy warship in the territorial waters of the Soviet Union (in the Gulf of Riga), and it had to be destroyed. Several planes took off from Tukums. However, it turned out that it was the Soviet naval warship ‘Storozhevoi’ (Guardian) on which an armed mutiny against the existing Soviet regime took place. When the planes reached the warship, the battle was still ongoing. Later the rebel leader Valery Sablin, a Soviet naval officer, was wounded and the mutiny ended. He was sentenced to death for treason. This was one of the most dramatic events showing the discontent with the regime and marking the approach of its collapse.