Throughout its territory of Russia inspections and repairs of shelters began in accordance with the order given by the Kremlin to modernize all these infrastructures that have collapsed since the time of the Soviet Union. Several current and former officials spoke to The Moscow Times about these preparations.
In Russia there are thousands shelters, reinforced basements and other secure underground spaces, many of which have been decommissioned for decades. But as the war in Ukraine drags on, local authorities have begun spending hundreds of millions of rubles to make them operational again.
“The decision to inspect the network of war shelters was taken by the government in the spring,” a Russian official said, citing information from government meetings held on the matter. “The order to start a large-scale inspection and cleanup was given to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Defense and [άλλα] ministries”. Although Russian officials have not publicly announced a national campaign to upgrade the shelters, officials say it has been underway for months. The Moscow Times newspaper spoke to four current and former Russian officials, who confirmed that the upgrades are taking place on Moscow’s orders. Inspections and repairs began after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and will continue until 2023, a current official said on condition of anonymity.
The existence of the order to upgrade the shelters given by Moscow was confirmed to The Moscow Times by, among others, a senior official of the administration of one of the easternmost regions of Russia, which is more than 7,000 kilometers from the front line. “There was an order from Moscow to do this work everywhere – inspection and repairs,” he said.
A former official who spoke to The Moscow Times linked the state’s interest in the shelters to heightened fears of nuclear war after Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be on “highest alert” in late February.
The newspaper writes that on the public works website there are hundreds of tenders to upgrade bomb shelters in all regions of the country.
In some cases, the Moscow Times writes, in an apparent attempt to prevent panic, local authorities tried to downplay the importance of shelter repairs. For example, officials in the Saratov region, hundreds of kilometers from the front line, in December began designating shelters “dwellings in depth». Instead, in Nizhny Tagil they placed signs in prominent places along the road indicating the direction to the shelters.
Source: News Beast
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