Kos'vinskiy Kamen', Gora MT 59°31'00"N 59°04'00"E
Kosvinsky Mountain in the Urals is the site of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces alternate command post. This deep underground command post for the general staff was built to compensate for the vulnerability of older command posts in the Moscow region. In early 1996 it was reported that Russia had finished the new underground command and control center at Kosvinsky Mountain. Said to be designed to resist US earth-penetrating warheads, the command and control facility was said to be equal to the American Cheyenne Mountain Complex. According to a 1997 CIA report obtained by the Washington Times from defense sources, construction work was continuing on a "nuclear-survivable, strategic command post at Kosvinsky Mountain," located deep in the Ural Mountains, about 850 miles east of Moscow. "The command post at Kosvinsky appears to provide the Russians with the means to retaliate against a nuclear attack," according to the CIA report.
According to one recent account ["We Keep Building Nukes For All the Wrong Reasons", By Bruce G. Blair, The Washington Post Sunday, May 25, 2003; Page B01] "Kosvinsky is regarded by U.S. targeteers as the crown jewel of the Russian wartime nuclear command system, because it can communicate through the granite mountain to far-flung Russian strategic forces using very-low-frequency (VLF) radio signals that can burn through a nuclear war environment. The facility is the critical link to Russia's "dead hand" communications network, designed to ensure semi-automatic retaliation to a decapitating strike.
"This doomsday apparatus, which became operational in 1984 during the height of the Reagan-era nuclear tensions, is an amazing feat of creative engineering. It features hard radio nodes near Moscow that can use remote control to launch communications rockets, which in turn can launch virtually the entire Russian missile force without human intervention. But the Moscow-area radio nodes have grown vulnerable over the past 20 years. Kosvinsky restores Russia's confidence in its ability to carry out a retaliatory strike.
"Kosvinsky came on line recently, which could be one explanation for U.S. interest in a new nuclear bunker buster. If there's a new item on the target list, U.S. strategy requires a weapon to destroy it. Even with a "robust nuclear earth penetrator," as the bunker buster is called, destroying Kosvinsky is not an easy assignment; the command center is protected by roughly 1,000 feet of granite."
Sources and Methods
- Moscow builds bunkers against nuclear attack By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES 01 April 1997 pg 1
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