Kremlin orders to inspect and renovate bomb shelters across Russia

The Russian authorities have ordered the inspection and repair of bomb shelters throughout the country on the background of the war in Ukraine. The inspections are taking place even in the most remote oblasts of the Russian Federation.

Source: The Moscow Times, referring to current and former Russian officials

Quote from an official of one of the western Russian oblasts: "No one needed them [bomb shelters] after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But now, due to the situation on the frontlines, the Kremlin has ordered for everything to be sorted out"

Details: According to the media outlet, the official procurement portal Zakupki has published hundreds of government tenders for the renovation of bomb shelters in oblasts across the country.

Purchases include ventilation repair, waterproofing, door replacement, an air filter and lighting installation.

In one example, a tender was announced for 3.8 million roubles (US$54,100) for waterproofing works in a bomb shelter in Samara Oblast in November 2022.

According to the Russian official, the decision to inspect the network of bomb shelters was made by the government in the spring of 2022, and the Ministry of Emergency, the Ministry of Defence and other civilian ministries were instructed to conduct a large-scale inspection and clean-up.

Such actions are explained by the fact that the military actions in Ukraine are already affecting remote oblasts of Russia.

In particular, three attacks on air force bases hundreds of kilometres from the Russian borders in December were linked to the use of Ukrainian drones.

According to the media outlet, local authorities in the south of Krasnodar Krai will spend more than 6 million roubles (US$260,000) on bomb shelters this year. 50 million rubles ($712,000) will be spent in Nizhny Novgorod and almost a million roubles (US$14,240) in Ryazan.

The directive from Moscow on the renovation of bomb shelters was confirmed to The Moscow Times by a senior official in the administration of one of the oblasts of the Russian Far East, located more than 7,000 kilometres from the contact line in Ukraine.

As the official states, the Kremlin has issued an order to carry out these works on inspection and repair shelters everywhere.

The Kremlin is now facing two problems: most of the country's bomb shelters have been left in disrepair or abandoned since the Soviet Union, and Russia lacks enough bomb shelters to serve its current population.

In particular, last month, officials in the northern city of Petrozavodsk said that public bomb shelters can accommodate only one-eighth of the city's residents.

One former official, speaking to The Moscow Times, linked Russia's newfound interest in bomb shelters to a growing fear of nuclear war after Putin’s order to put Russian nuclear forces on "high alert" in late February 2022.

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