Soviets’ most twisted science experiments
WARNING: Graphic content.
BACK in the days of the Cold War, the Soviet Union conducted all kinds of horrific experiments in the name of science.
We unearth five of the most terrifying that took place under the communist regime.
1. ILYA IVANOVICH IVANOV AND THE 'HUMANZEES'
Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov was a Soviet biologist who worked on cross-species breeding in the early 20th century.
He was controversially linked to attempts to create a human-ape hybrid - known as "humanzees".
In the 1920s, Dr Ivanov carried out a series of experiments that involved artificially inseminating female chimpanzees with human sperm.
He failed to achieve his goal, but he wasn't put off.
In 1929, he organised experiments to inseminate female humans with ape sperm, but the death of his last orang-utan caused a delay.
Shortly after, the Soviet government decided to exile him to the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, where he died just two years later from a stroke.
2. TWO-HEADED MONSTER DOGS
While well regarded as an early organ transplant pioneer, Soviet scientist Vladimir Demikhov is more infamous for his twisted experiments on poor pups.
The controversial professor performed depraved surgeries that involved transplanting a dog's head onto another hound to create two-headed dogs.
Prof Demikhov created at least 20 of the creatures in communist East Germany during the Cold War.
Most of the dogs died after just a few days, but one of them lived for nearly a month.
One double-headed dog was even pictured drinking water and walking around.
But while the smaller dog could lap up liquid, she wasn't connected to the main stomach, so water simply flowed out from a tube onto the floor.
Due to a lack of immunosuppressive drugs, the host dog's immune system eventually rejected the transplant, causing death.
Prof Demikhov died in Moscow in 1998.
3. POISON LABORATORY OF THE SOVIET SECRET SERVICES
The Soviet secret services opened up its first "poison laboratory" in 1921 under the name "Special Office" - and was used to test various deadly poisons.
In 1939, it was renamed "Laboratory 1" and came under the command of Grigory Mairanovsky, a Soviet biochemist and poison developer.
Dr Mairanovsky, better known as "Doctor Death", and his colleagues tested deadly poisons on human prisoners from the Gulags - so-called "enemies of the people".
These included mustard gas, ricin, digitoxin, curare and cyanide - all in a bid to find tasteless, odourless chemicals that couldn't be detected after death.
These poisons were given to victims with a meal or drink as "medication".
Eventually, they developed the poison known as C-2 or K-2 (carbylamine choline chloride), which caused victims to become calm and silent before dying within 15 minutes.
Dr Mairanovsky tested his poisons on people of different conditions and ages to understand the chemicals better.
He was eventually arrested as part of a political campaign by Joseph Stalin.
The lab lived on in various forms throughout the Cold War however, and was reportedly reactivated in the late '90s for the "creation of biological and toxin weapons for clandestine operations in the West".
4. REVIVING DEAD DOGS WITH MACHINES
Soviet scientists are also believed to have investigated how to revive "clinically dead" organisms.
A documentary called Experiments In The Revival Of Organisms was created in 1940, which showcased some of the research.
Soviet boffs Sergei Brukhonenko and Boris Levinskovsky performed a range of twisted tests on animals in the film.
They started by removing a heart from a dog's body, and then connecting it up to apparatuses - including a lung in a tray, operated by bellows that oxygenated the blood.
This allowed the heart to keep pumping outside of the body.
Another experiment involved killing a dog by draining all of its blood.
After 10 minutes, the dog was connected to a heart-lung machine, gradually returning blood into the animal's circulation.
This seemingly allowed the dog to return to life - a process that was reportedly repeated on several animals.
But sceptics of the footage say that the animals involved only survived for a few minutes.
While the experiments were controversial, the research was a vital party of the development of open-heart surgery in Russia.
5. MASS SLAUGHTER OF DOGS TO TEST NERVE AGENT
Russian scientists are believed to have killed and tortured thousands of dogs in horrific experiments.
The goal? To hone the nerve toxin that poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the recent attack in Salisbury, UK.
Animals were forced to wear gas masks and walk on treadmills until they died from exposure to the powerful Novichok nerve agent.
The sick torture tests took place at the Chemical Research Institute, which was abandoned by the Red Army in 1992.
The compound was built by the Soviets in Uzbekistan to manufacture Novichok.
US expert Judith Miller, who visited the compound after it had been shut down, told of her horror: "I saw hundreds of small cages where the dogs were held on 25 miniature treadmills.
"The dogs were strapped to them and crammed into gas masks.
"Thousands died from exposure to the agent."