A secret research city, the Limansk is an empty place, abandoned by its former inhabitants. The derelict buildings and vehicles that litter the city witness only the occassional bandit or Monolith patrol pass through. After the formation of the Zone, it became an even more unwelcoming place, as anomalies filled the city and its surroundings, cutting it off from the world. Only the Monolith and Bandits found their way into the city.
When the massive blowout came in September 2011, the anomalies disappeared and stalkers poured into the city, looking for an easy way past the Brain Scorcher and clashed with Bandits and the Monolith. The Limansk war zone is a mandatory element of the player's progress towards the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and a point of no return in the game.
Limansk was a stuff of legend, considered by many a non existent myth... but that was not true, Limansk was quite real and existing. Located practically in the middle of nowhere, the city was built to house the Radiowave Institute and accomodate its researchers and staff. The inhabitants weren't popular with local residents, they were suspicious of strangers and trusted no one outside their city. According to the Forester, they constantly mumbled something to themselves and praised the Soviet regime even as supply shortages manifested themselves. Furthermore, should any outsider stay in the city, he suffered from headaches, probably caused by the massive radar.
Available evidence suggests that Limansk was the research center focusing on manipulating the human consciousness through use of radiowaves… and also the first field test of the technology, indicated by Forester's statements. Curiously, despite its importance, the city was not evacuated in the wake of the Chernobyl catastrophe. After the second incident, when the first blowout happened, all the remaining citizens disappeared, as if they were burned instantly – only their shadows, dark silhouettes were left on the walls of the buildings and even they faded with time.
In 2011, the town is completely abandoned, with Stalkers roaming the streets, avoiding deadly anomalies and fighting for dominance over the only route to the heart of the zone not affected by the Brain Scorcher.
Entrance — The tunnel leading from Red Forest to the city exits here. When entering the city for the first time, the player will emerge with a Clear Sky squad and apprehend a Bandit. He can be given a medkit, which results in him giving a valuable hint, or executed.
Bandit ambush — Numerous Bandits hide in the buildings and will fire on the player if he walks down the street. Additionally, the car is booby trapped and will explode if you walk by.
Gastronom — A large brick building with a small square in front of it, where one of the deadliest Monolith ambushes takes place. The basement of the building contains what is believed to be a teleportation device. (Teleportation machine and all that underground room is a reference to a Russian science-fiction series Guest from the Future.)
Bridge outpost — A fortified position secured by Ukrainian special operations soldiers (Spetsnaz), cuts off access further into the city. PKM emplacement.
DUGA-3 Radar — A massive radar installation on top of the hill, previously used for mind control experiments. Next to it, a construction site, where the bulk of Monolith troops are holed up.
The real life counterpart of the Limansk is actually a soviet time military base called Chernobyl-2 hidden in the Red Forest, which had a civilian residential area for the families of the soldiers working there. The reason the designers didn't use Chernobyl-2 as a name is unknown although it is obvious they used the real Duga-3 radar as a concept.
The radar is in the middle of the city even though in real life it is in the middle of a forest. However, the Red Forest has its own radar system, known as the Brain Scorcher.
Limansk is modelled on pre-war Kiev architecture.
Originally, in Shadow of Chernobyl, there was a map called Dead City, which was believed to be Limansk – until GSC said that Limansk is not a ressurection of Dead City; one thing to prove it is that the western-merc outpost in Military Warehouse was the entrance to Dead City, since along the road to it is a street sign in Russian, pointing there, and saying "Dead City" in Russian. The PDA map in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky also has both Dead City and Limansk on it – proving that they're two different locations. There is a theory that it points towards Pripyat, or points to both Dead City and Limansk at a time, due to all of them being dead cities.
Prior to Clear Sky patch 1.5.05, Limansk is one of the buggiest areas in the trilogy. Prone to crashing and having problems.
↑S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, Anarchy Cell design document: "Scientists and workers of CNPP used to live here, but in the night when the catastrophe and the first blowout happened all the citizens disappeared as they were burned by something – their shadows, dark silhouettes left on the walls of buildings."