CURRENT APPRAISAL OF THE CIVIL DEFENSE SHELTER PROGRAM IN THE USSR

Created: 11/5/1957

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FOREWORD

Die attached report has been prepared by the Office of Research and Reports, CIA, and has not been coordinated with other IAC agencies. This brings up to date the summary and conclusions expressed in CIA/RR 8U, Civil Defense in the USSR, published on

GUPRENT APPRAISAL OF THE CIVIL DEFENSE SHELTER PROGRAM IH THB USSR

Civil DefenseGeneral

The USSR has an active and extensive civil defense system. In the early postwar years, civil defense was relatively dormant. However, inhe program began moving ahead; specifically, steps were taken to improve its organization, to undertake defensive construction, and to increaseefinite acceleration in Soviet civil defense has oocurred> acconpanled by more publicity and emphasis onagainst nuclear weapons.

Civil defense, sa an integral part of over-all Soviet air defense, is the responsibility of the Main Administration of Localn arm of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). GUMPVOody of MPVO (civil defense) staff officers who areto posts at all levels of government. MPVO officers are also present In many major enterprises, supervising civil defensein large factories, ports, railroad centers, and other key,

The Soviet system provides specialized training for civil defense personnel and survival training for the general population. chool for civil defense staff officers Is operated ln Leningrad. GUMPVOa Central Scientific Laboratoryedical research These two Installations undoubtedly develop techniques and materials for civil defense.

The Voluntary Society for Cooperation with the Army, Air Force, snd Havy (DOSAAF) is the organization charged with giving civil defense training to the general population. This organization is closely linked to the MPVO system. DOSAAF organizations are formed in factories.offices, collective and state farms, nachine tractor stations, schools, and dwelling units. Its membership is estimated to he shoutillion at the present time. Most of its members are probably under ccerpulsory enrollmentivil defense training course, which Includes general knowledge of civil defense, Including slam signals; types of attack; gas defense and de contamination; first aid; atomic anddefense instruction; and fire-control measures.

First-aid training is conducted by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Members of these societies would be used extensively as auxiliary personnel for medical organizations which have civil defense roles.

9 the USSR hadrogram to include air raid shelters in the construction of new public buildings, factories, schools, anddvelllnga. Reports of returning prisoners of war vho worked on such construction indicate that the Inclusion of air-raid shelters in newhastandard practice. Many of these reports described base-Dent shelters as having sufficient strength to withstand tbe completeof buildings. The shelters, designed to be gasproof, are fitted with hermetically sealed double doors. They are constructed to utilise filter* ventilating systems, but most reports do not indicate actual installation, either because such systems vere to be installed later by Soviet workers or because installation has been deferredater date. Thaof such shelters is continuing at the present time, and the population has been advised that they are satisfactory protection against atonic

weapons.

While it is obviously impossible to knov the precise extent of the Soviet shelter program, it Is believed that most state-owned housing of masonry construction built1 included some provision for On the assumption that all such housing included shelters, this program could now afford seme proteotion to about one-sixth of tha urban population and this ratio could rise to about one-third by the end In addition, there are shelters in factories and public buildings, but no estimate of their capacity is available. 6 Sovietas well as information on shelter-building activities in the European Satellites indicate that heavier bunkers and hillside tunnel shelters have been designed.

In several of the European Satellites construction of hillside tun--nels, and heavy above- and below-ground concrete bunkers has been These installations ore generally constructed at factories and enterprises of military importance and in proximity to Party andoffices or to transport snd communications centers. In addition, some protected control centers have teen prepared outside urban areas. For example, there are several confirmed locations of undergroundnear Sofia vhich are reportedly designated for the use of thegovernment in an emergency. Inasmuch as the Satellite civilpreparations follow the Soviet model, lt is believed that the Kremlin has already constructed or is now providing similar Installations ln tbe USSR to protect essential elements of the Party and Government, the transportation and communications network, and workers in vital industries. The same general type of protection is probably being afforded civilheadquarters, Important telecommunications terminal facilities, and some radiobroadcasting Installations.

Tbe fact that urban and Industrial ftre-flgfatlng forces areto the MVD should facilitate their integration into the MPVO system. Fire prevention has been stressed in the USSR, and the nev emphasis on concrete construction should gradually reduce vulnerability to fire. The prevalence of wooden construction, however, isenace in urban areas.

fiAse and the Shelter Program

Civil defense preparation in the USSR has increased training for civil defense began, vith emphasis on tbeof instructors. The years02 were marked byof basement-type air-raid shelters, by the publication of at least three civil defense manuals, and by the formation of DOSAAF from existing paramilitary societies. Some civil defense training had already been carried out by the paramilitary societies and2 air anddQfense study circles were made mandatory in all DOSAAF primary units.ev chairr-in vas appointed for DOSAAF,eavy recruiting drive was initiated vhich virtually compelled participation by members of the Komsomol. Air and Gnomical defense training vas cade compulsory for all DOSAAF Members. imited information on atomic warfare vas first released in open publications. According to an announcement Issued after an unusual plenary session of DOSAAF, the provision of modern air defense training for the entire population wasigh-priority goal. Civil defense activityigh level56 vhen the need for improved civil defense was stressed publicly by Soviet leaders and training was instituted for defense against atomic and bacteriological weapons.

Information gained7 confirms the enphaels on civil defense preparations as well as the readjustments toward the nuclear concept of air defena.;. Hungarian refugees have reported extensively on heavy bunker andype shelters constructed In tbat country2ritish engineers reported that new extensions of the Moscow subwayto be built at great depth for no apparent reason other thanuse for civil defense. Rev manuals, films, and televisionon nuclear civil defense subjects appeared Completion of the Initial atomic defense training program of the Soviet population was announced. Although it is doubtful that all citizens have beenunder the program, training has probably been widespread in DOSAAF, in the Communist Party and in key industries. To supplement the earlier sir and chemical defense course and the atomic defense course, every citizen of the USSR overears of age is to receiveours ofInstructionev course in air defense, including atomic, bacterio- ogical and chemical (ABC) defense. Such training is to be completed In I

large cities bynd In the remaining cities and villages by the end After an absence of about six years, mention of civil(MPVO) offices and personalities has reappeared ln the popular press. Organization and training of national guard-type oivil defense troops has taken place in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, and it is therefore probable that the USSR has taken similar steps. Polish offioers vere reportedly being trained for this type operation at the Leningrad MPVO school, vhich further reflects the parallel nature of Soviet and Satellite programs.

At least tvo other important Soviet developments7 have civil defense Isrpllcatlons, although they vara announced to be primarily for administrative, economic, or social reasons. The partialof industrial and governmental control in the USSR may improve civil defense organisation and operations by permitting batterof civil defense groups at the local level. The second development is the decision toing highway around Moscov and to construct by-pass telecommunications lines around certain major cities. Ringand transport routes around major cities have definite passive defense value.

SUvWRY

Some firm conclusions and others vhich border on speculation may be dravn from Soviet preparations for civil defense. Foremost among tbe firm conclusions Is that ths leaders of the USSR haveidespread and presumably costly effort to develop civil defense in tbe Soviet Bloo. Whether the initiation of this effort is inspired by actual fear of attack from the West oroviet intention to initiate war cannot be In either event, the widespread and developing civil defense system Improves the defensive posture of the USSR and the European Satellites. The Soviet willingness to devote great effort and considerable Bums of money to civil defense is shown by the training of millions of people andidespread program of shelter construction. This effort is facilitated by central planning, direction, and financing ofand by compulsory enrollment and training of personnel.

The second firm conclusion about Soviet civil defense is that* it was apparently directed against attack with high explosives rather than with atomic weapons. At the present time, both tbe atomic andaspects of oivil defense are being accented. The generalhowever, still must rely on relatively light local shelters. Some heavy shelters have undoubtedly been prepared, but these are not believed to be adequate for more than selected control elements of the government. The fact that evacuation or dispersal of the general population has not

been publicly mentioned in tbe USSR is not conclusive evidence that plans along this line are not being prepared. If tbe USSRolicy of evacuation, tbe civil defense staff, closely allied with the extensive nationwide police structure, would greatly facilitate its execution. Tbe millions of DOSAAF members, who have bad military and civil defensewould be available for duty as auxiliary control personnel.

Tbe structure of civil defense in the European Satellites as well as their civil defense training and related measures indicates that thepattern is being closely followed. Substantial progress has been madearticularly in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, and recently increased civil defense activity has become apparent ln Poland, Rumania, and East Germany.

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