Bomb shelters across Russia are undergoing systematic inspections and repairs following a Kremlin order to upgrade the country’s crumbling Soviet-era infrastructure, according to current and former officials, The Moscow Times reports.
For the first time, Russian officials confirmed that efforts to upgrade the bomb shelters were being made on orders from Moscow, the newspaper reports.
Hundreds of millions of rubles are being spent to make mothballed bomb shelters fit for habitation again according to a decision made in the spring. This overhaul comes against the backdrop of the Kremlin’s nuclear saber-rattling and a militarization of daily life.
Russian officials have not publicly announced a national drive to upgrade bomb shelters but efforts by local authorities to overhaul the country’s civil defense network have been widely reported for months.
Local authorities in the southern Krasnodar Oblast will reportedly spend over 6 million rubles ($260,000) on bomb shelters this year, while 50 million rubles ($712,000) will be spent in Nizhny Novgorod and almost a million rubles ($14,240) in the city of Ryazan, Moscow Times reports.
Repairs are taking place in locations far removed from Ukraine, where fighting is taking place. A senior official in one of Russia’s Far East regions confirmed that Moscow ordered bombshelter inspections and repairs to be carried out throughout the country.
On 5 December 2022, two Russian military airbases: the airbase in Engels, Saratov Oblast, and Dyagilevo, near Ryazan, were targeted, resulting in damage to aircraft and losses in personnel. These strikes continued a trend of attacks on Russian territory, which Ukraine neither confirms or denies.