Fascinating photobook showcases the surreal street monuments that the Soviet Union left behind

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Plinths topped with gunboats and sculptures of fighter planes frozen in flight: Fascinating book showcases the surreal street monuments of a forgotten Soviet empire

While some of the most famous of these monuments have now been toppled, hundreds still exist and a brand-new photobook has been released by French snapper Jason Guilbeau that showcases some of the most surreal.

Soviet Signs & Street Relics (Fuel Design & Publishing) features more than 70 snaps of everything from plinths topped with trains, tractors, buses and Soviet symbols to colossal concrete sculptures of fighter planes frozen in flight.

Compiling the book during lockdown, when travel was restricted, Guilbeau ingeniously enlisted the help of Google Street View to virtually scour Russia and the former Soviet Union for the signs.

This shot showcases a monument in the mining town of Vorkuta in Northern Russia. The foreword to the book, written by Clem Cecil, explains: 'The minor pieces of street art, monuments and insignia shown in this book, were foot soldiers to the major monuments, such as Mother Russia outside Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad)'

The foreword to the book, written by Clem Cecil, explains: ‘Relics of the Soviet past transport us in time and space. Those featured in this book are far from the beaten track, in places it is unlikely we will visit. Each one is a minor monument to a Soviet vision of the future, the foundation of which crumbled some 30 years ago.’

Scroll down to see 14 of the fascinating images presented in the book.

'Monuments of tractors, steam trains, trucks, cars and aeroplanes (later to be joined by space rockets), helpfully reminded citizens that, in its efforts to reach new peoples and places, the Soviet authorities had conquered movement in all its forms,' the book reveals. This particular shot shows a monument in the city of Slavuta in western Ukraine
This photograph shows a jet fighter that's anchored to the ground by its concrete exhaust plume. It's located in Primorsko in Russia
'Commissioned by local authorities, the desire of the regime to signpost all parts of its empire corresponded with the desire to keep everyone employed, including artists,' the book reveals. This photograph shows a monument in Krasnodar Krai in the North Caucasus region of southern Russia

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