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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Bunkers - Overview

For decades the Soviet Union had a comprehensive program under way to ensure leadership survival and continuity of function in the event of nuclear war. This effort involved the construction of deep underground command posts, secret subway lines, and other facilities beneath Moscow, major Soviet cities, and the sites of key military commands. These deep underground facilities are, in some cases, hundreds of meters deep and can accommodate thousands of people. Their function is to protect the senior Soviet leadership from direct nuclear attack. As nuclear arsenals on both sides became larger and more potent, these facilities were expanded and excavated to greater depths. In addition to deep underground facilities, the Soviets constructed near-surface bunkers and exurban relocation sites for military, Party, and government authorities, both in the Moscow area and throughout the Soviet Union. These would accommodate all key command and management staffs down to the local, territorial level in the Party-government hierarchy and the regimental-level in the Strategic Rocket Forces, Air Defense Forces, and Air Forces.

The deep underground facilities beneath the city of Moscow are directly associated with the main centers of state power. They provide the leaders of the various organs of state control the opportunity to move from their peacetime offices through concealed entry ways down to protective quarters below the city, in some cases, hundreds of meters down. This 40-year construction program offer the leadership the option of remaining beneath Moscow or, at some point, boarding secret subway lines connecting these deep underground facilities. From there the leaders and their staff can make their way to nearby underground complexes outside Moscow. The support infrastructure for these facilities is substantial. A highly redundant communications system, consisting of both on-site and remote elements, supports these complexes and permits the leadership to send orders and receive reports through the wartime management structure.

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