INTRODUCTION Viewed from the window of a passing train, an installation momentarily becomes visible in a forest clearing. Approached on the ground, this large site, obscured by a grey concrete wall, appears abandoned, cut off from the outside world. Inside, one encounters a bewildering complex of accommodation blocks, exercise areas and assault courses. There is a neglected children’s playground and forlorn fountain, a group of farm buildings and animal enclosures. Walking further, towards the perimeter wall, various sports and recreational facilities become recognisable. An empty, crumbling swimming pool with faded Olympic rings, a football pitch overgrown with silver birch saplings, assorted gymnasia with peeling murals, are all facilities that perhaps might indicate the site of a derelict sports academy. However, further exploration reveals a stranded armoured personnel carrier at the gates to a large garage and a workshop area, with curious teaching aids and murals in a Cyrillic script. Entering a vandalised room, bedecked with faded black-and-white photographs, our initial impression begins to appear misleading as the full nature and true purpose of Forst Zinna is revealed.