Created: 5/1/1969

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Intelligence Report

Civil Defense, in the Soviet Union


Copy No.

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligenceay9


Civil Defense in the Soviet Union


Soviet political and military leaders atd Party Congress in6 reaffirmed their belief in the importanceigorous civil defense program. Since then, there haseneral rise in the level of civil defense activity in the Soviet Union.

In part the renewed emphasisonvictiontrong civil defense posture would help the USSRuclear war, but beyond that it also serveseans forreater degree of patriotism and discipline in the populace. The regime's growing concern over the danger of liberal influences hasincreased reliance on paramilitary-type programs for large-scale indoctrination.

No other country has informed its people ason the effects of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Soviet citizens now are engaged in the sixth compulsory civil defense instruction programnd civil defense hasequired subject in elementary and secondary schools throughout the country, workers are also participating intraining. An extensive network of staff schools trains leaders for civil defense duties. The effect of all this indoctrination cannot be measured, but its pervasiveness has probably conditioned most of theto follow orders and take self-help measures in an emergency.

Hole: 'This report vas produced solely by CTA. It was prepared by ihe Office of Strategic Research and coordinated vith the Offices of Current Intelligence and Economic- Hesearch.


The Soviet military has an important role in civil defense. Military officers supervise the program, and in wartime civil defense operations involving millions of civilian workers would come under military control. In addition, the Sovietsumber of military civil defense units,hree-year school wasin7 to train junior officers in civil defense specialties.

Tho Soviet concept of civil defense calls for mass evacuation of urban areas before an attack, because blast-resistant shelter is scarce and is considered tooto buildarge scale. This concept presupposes adequate advance warningeriod of rising tension or non-nuclear war. Some key personnel would remain in place, however, to maintain essential services, and Soviet civil defense officials have claimed that some hardened shelters are provided for them.

The evacuees would disperse into the countryside by every means of transport available. Extensive plans have been made to handle the logistics of this operation but the feasibility of an expeditious evacuation remains Transportation couldarticularly acute problem because of competing military needs andfacilities.

Even if the urban dwellers were successfullythe problems of providing fallout shelter, food, and medical services for them would remain. Soviet civil defense literature devotes much attention tofor building earth-covered trenches, suggesting that the Soviets intend to rely heavily on this kind of last-minute preparation. There is little evidence that materials have been stockpiled in the countryside for shelter construction or for other essential services to the evacuees.

A decision to evacuate cities before an attack would cause enormous disruption and could have an unpredictable psychological effect on the population. Soviet leaders mightapability for evacuating citiesseful, option for demonstrating their resolve short of hostile action risis situation. On the other hand, evacuationeriod of rising internationalwould have provocative overtones.

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Soviet Philosophy of Civil Defense

Civil defense in the USSR is quite different in concept and execution from civil defense in the US. The coercive nature of the Soviet political system facilitates mass participation and makes it possible for the leadership to use civil defense as anof indoctrination.

It has become especially clear sinced Party Congress6 that the Soviets consider civil defense training to have considerable utility beyond its express purpose of helping the USSRuclear war. Political and military leaders at tho Congress strongly endorsed civil defense and also expressed concern over theof the population, and mainly youth, to ideological subversion and bourgeois influences.

Such political-sociological motives increasingly have come to underlie large-scale publicin such activities as compulsory civil defense and pre-induction military training. The fact that the leadership sees an indoctrinational spinoff to be derived from these programs will probably assure their continuation regardless of their military significance.

Public civil defense training and themilitary training that is required of all high school students are now integral aspects of the Soviet "military-patriotic education" process. Theseconstantlyho need for discipline. Another theme they stress is the threatajor war in which the US and its allies would not hesitate to use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons against the Soviet populace. The unanimity of purpose shared by the people, the party, and the armed forces is also emphasized.

Military considerations nevertheless remain the primary motives behind Soviet civil defense In addition to minimizing casualties, aobjective of Soviet civil defense is toomplete collapse of public morale, government and economic output in wartime. These are factors that wouldpecial significance in


a protracted war in which the military's ability to continue would depend on popular supportontinuous flow of resources.

One of the purposes of civil defense indoctrination and propaganda, for example, is to condition theto remain orderlyartime situation. Civil defense indoctrination serves to reduce the possibility of panic by giving reassurance that defense against modern weapons is feasible. To this extent it could enhance the government's ability to maintain order in wartime.

A primary purpose of compulsory civil defense training for workers is to prepare them for an active role in restoring the economy after an attack. Workers in important industrier are among those few for whom blast shelters are reserved or planned. They areto stav on the job as long as possible up to an attack, and to begin reclamation work as soon as possible afterward.

The military significance of Soviet civil defense is also apparent in the attention some military theorists give it in classified and unclassified publications. It is further demonstrated by the fact that military officers supervise the civil defense program and that in wartime civil defense operations involving millions of civilian workers will come under military control.

Orgai :iz Jticr.

The Soviet civil defense effort is directedilitary-civilian organization headed by Marshal of the Soviet Union V. I. Chuykov. Leaders of thelevels ofoblasts, city subdivisions, and rural townships--are the responsible peacetime heads of civil defense in their jurisdictions. So arc the managers and directors of enterprises, schools, farms, and other institutions. In wartime, an assistant commander for civil defense attached to each of thedistrict headquarters would assume operationalof civil defense forces.

A professional civil dofonae staff is assigned to each economic organization and political subdivision and to each of theilitary district headquarters. Civil defense staffs are responsible for planning andcivil defense measures and for training.

Host, if not all, of the higher level staffarc military officers on active duty. Staff officers assigned to economic organizations and to some of the less important seats of government appear to be civilians. In many cases they are retired or reserve military officers. In the more industrialized oblasts, republic capitals, other important cities, and the military district headquarters, civil defense chiefs of staff and their immediate subordinates aro senior military officers.

Sixteen general officers thus far have beenin civil defense staff capacities. With theof Marshal chuykov and his deputy, Colonel General Tolstikov, little is known of the caliber or professional background of the military officers serving in the civil defense organization.

Military officers assigned to civil defense come from the various branches of the armed forces. US attaches who visited the Soviet civil defenseln January observed that among the personnel employed there were field-grade medical, engineering, artillery, air force, navy, and motorized rifle officers.

In addition to civilian civil defense formations, the Soviets maintain an unknown number of military civil defense units. These units are of three typesradiation, and chemical. In wartime they would probably coordinate the operations of civilian formations and handle specialized functions such as monitoring for radiation and performing Thoy would probably also assist in securing or reconstructing especially important military and civilian installations. Tho Soviet press has indicated that military civil defense troops are armed and are responsible for combating enemy paratroopers dropped in rear areas.

The Soviets may be expanding the size of these military civil defense forces. Accordingumor that circulated early8 among the military attaches in Moscow, three divisions of civil defense troops have been created.

The rumor has yet to be confirmed or disproved. The recent establishmenthree-year civil defense school for junior officer candidates, however, gives it some plausibility. In the publicity the school has



in the press, students enrolled there have been roferred to as "future commanders" of mechanized, chemical, and antiradiation civil defense units. otor vehicle and tank driving coursehemical proving ground are being built as part of tho school's facilities. As to the strength of military civil defense units, the press has referred only to units of less than regimental size.


There is no confident estimate of how much the Soviets are spending for civil defense. Civil defense expenditures are accounted for in the all-union, republic, and local government budgets as well as in appropriations to the Ministry of Defense and other ministries. Civil defense expenditures by enterprises and local governments are reimbursed in part by the parent ministries and appropriate higher levels of government, but it is not known to what extent.

An estimate of Soviet civil defense expenditures would necessarily entail morealculation of direct outlays for such items as shelter construction and gas masks. It would have to involve numerous indirect costs as well. Included in this category would be compensated time off for attendance at training exercises and lectures. It would also include the expenses involved in the ush of factory and school facilities for training and in modifying subways and other underground installations for shelter purposes.

The magnitude of the Soviet effort suggests,thater capita basis the USSR in probably spending considerably more for civil defense annually than any other major power. Moreover, the Soviets have apparently boosted their commitment of resources to civil defense in the past two years. This is evident in the increased emphasis on civil defense in the mass media, the openingew military civil defense school, and the introduction of training in grade schools and high schoolsational scale. It is also apparent in recent indications that tho Soviets may be building some shelters and increasing their supply of civil defense protective equipment. Their civil defense expenditures, however, arc probably quite modest in comparison with their outlays for strategic offensive and defensive weapons systems.

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Training and Indoctrination Public Training

No other societyajor power has been more indoctrinated in the effects of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons than that of the USSR. The bulk of the Soviet public is presently taking the sixth compulsory program of civil defense Instruction Civil defense training is included in theand secondary school curricula. In higherinstitutions, especially technical ones, the training is tailored to the vocation or "major-tudent is pursuing. Summer youth camps also include civil defense training and exercises as well as other paramilitary activities in their programs.

Adults are trained at their place of work, whether in agriculture or industry. Their training is intended to equip them to help themselves as well as to serve in operational units. The emphasis is on practicalwith an aim toward organizing most of the working populationultimillion-nan rescue and recovery force. Formerly, about ten percent of the labor force of an enterprise was designated for service in civil defense units. The present training program calls for preparing all the employees of an enterprise for this service. The pressures that can be exerted by employers and by party and trade union activists help assure the participation of workers in civil defense training.

Civil defense instruction was introduced intoschoolsationwide basis As statistics from one area show, this involved aeffort. ixth- and seventh-grade teachers in Perm Oblast attended special courses,of one to two weeks' duration, which qualified them as civil defense instructors. In8 compulsory prereiUtary training, which includes civil defense instruction, was initiated in secondary schools. This program, according to Education Minister Prokofyev, required the establishmentew post at0 secondary schools.

Besides formal training, the Soviets increasingly have made use of public communications media to inform the population about the hazards of modern weapons and about protective measures against them. Tn the past



three years the volume of civil defonse propaganda has risen noticeably. Civil defense articles, once confined mainly to civil defense.and military publications, now frequently appear in party and government newspapers thoughout the country. The number of radio andprograms on civil defense procedures has also increased. Even movie theaters are under instructions to show training films as trailers to main features.

Thure is no way to gauge, other than in general terms, the effectiveness of civil defense training in the USSR. Some reports suggest that training still meets with public indifference. Othersthat it has had an undesirable effect, because instructors emphasize the awesome destructivenesn of nuclear weapons rather than tho feasibility of protection against them. Periodically Marshal Chuykov publicly cites various locales, farms, and factories where training is less than satisfactory.

Despite the reported shortcomings, however, the training programs have probably achieved some measure ofonly by sheer weight of repetition and the fact that attendance is mandatory. The discipline and awareness of emergency procedures acquired by the Soviet population could reduce casualtiesuclear war and help the government control tho population.

Staff Training

The Soviets operate an extensive network of staff schools for civil defense training. These schools are attended by party and government officials,and executives and selected personnel from enterprises and farms. They offer courses of ono or two weeks' duration to indoctrinate civilian leaders in their civil defense responsibilities and to train specialists and instructors for tho civil defense system. There now are probablyundred of these schools located in republic capitals and oblast and rayon centers throughout the country.

The Soviets also operate two civil defense schools for military personnel, both in Moscow. Onehree-year school, opened inhich offers programs leading to junior officer commissions in chemical,and engineering specialties. Its graduatesfirst of whom ara due out inbe assigned to junior staff positions at the various civil defense

headquarters or to command of civil defense units. Graduates of this institution are also eligible to attend any of the other Soviet military academics.

The other military civil defense school is for senior officers. It has been in existence forears. Its alumni probably are assigned as senior staff officers to civil defense headquarters at the various levels of government or the military district headquarters. This institution was located inbefore it moved to Moscow and has been attended by civil defense officials from the East European Communist countries.

Operational Aspects

The Role of Warning

Sufficient warning time is the key to thewith which Soviet civil defense couldcasualtiesuclear war. Blast-resistant shelter is generally not available, andime-consuming process, is presently the principal civil defense measure contemplated for protecting the majority of urban dwellers from tho immediate effects of nuclear attack. Soviet civil defense plans are thus based on an assumptioneneral nuclear war would be precedederiod of international tension or by conventional or limited nuclearthat would allow time to begin evacuation and other civil defense measures.

One example of writings by Sovietssue of

The author

is an advocateore for the USSR that would put lessnuclear weaponsthat the

increased possibility of forewarning was one of the benefits oftrategy. He theorized that the use of non-nuclear weapons at the outset of hostilities wouldountry time to mobilize its armed forces and economy for the nuclear phase..

It is questionable, however, whether the Soviets would take optimum advantage of the forewarningby an international crisis or by limited con-

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ventional conflict. The evacuation of major citieseriod of tension, if detected, could be construed as an escalatory step. It is also an expensive and disruptive operation that the Soviets would probably be reluctant to order unless warning were unmistakable.

On the other hand, Soviet leaders might consider urban evacuationaluable option to exerciserisis confrontation, because it would enable them to demonstrate determination without initiatingof course to save lives if attacks on cities ensued.

with the notable exception of Moscow and Leningrad, and perhaps other cities with foreign consulates, it is possible that the Soviets could evacuate some urban areas without immediate detection. an in8 restricted travel by foreigners within the USSB for about two weeks and demonstratod that the Soviets could effectively shield most of the country from foreign observation.

Evacuation and Dispersal

The Soviet plans to relocate most city dwellers if there is sufficient forewarning of an attack date from the. According to Marshal Chuykov, evacuation and dispersal measures would affect "on the average"oercent of the urban population.

Committees for coordinating and planning evacuation and dispersal have been set up in enterprises and city government offices. Procedures have been worked out for documenting evacuees. Gathering points forand destinations outside cities have been The rural population is under instructions to receive and quarter evacuees, and receptionare being organized to make arrangements for feeding, medical assistance, and useful employment.

Among those scheduled for evacuation are suchcity residents as old people, children, hospital patients who can be moved, and the employees of organizations that would cease operating in wartime. They would be resettled in small towns and settlements and.on state and collective farms. Every available means of buses, trains, and river and eoa vessels-would be used.


would affect off-duty personnel of key industries and important organizations that would continue operating in wartime. They would be moved to locations not too distant so that, if no attack occurs, they could relieve their coworkers who are on shift. If an attack did ensue they would begin rescue and restoration work as soon as radiation levels permit. Workers who remain in potential target areas would be protected in blast shelters, but as Marshal Chuykov has recently implied, therehortage of suchfor these people.

A number of factors make it questionable whether large Soviet cities could be evacuated expeditiously. Chuykov recently asserted that the Soviet transportation system and the USSR's territorial expanses make itto evacuate "on short notice." There is noof recent city-wide evacuation exercises, however, that would demonstrateapability. The Soviets did gain valuable evacuation experience ln World War II, but timingess critical factor then.

Despite Chuykov's optimism, transportation coulderious problemarge-scale evacuation attempt. The military practice of requisitioning vehicles in mobilization periods might cause aof trucks for evacuation in some locales. oro critical factor in evacuating large cities, however, could be the competition between civil defense and priority military traffic for available road and rail space. Poor road conditions and the limited number of routes leading out of some major cities coulderious constraint on the number of vehicles that could be used effectively for evacuation.

The ability to arrange mass feeding is another factor that would affect the success of evacuation. Chuykov has admitted that supplying evacueuH with food and waterhe "main problem" connected with evacuation. To alleviate this problem, he hasthat food warehouses and processing plants no longer bo concentrated in cities and that most of these facilities be relocated to farm areas where tho bulk of the evacuated population would be distributed. There is no indication of how seriously planning authorities take his proprosals.



Shelters ol this kind were included in rrvxiy new apartment nouses built duringhey were designed to offer protection against Tire, lallout radiation, and cheitwcal and biological warldte agents Ihey would provide some moderate blast protection since they were built lo withstand Hie collapse of the buildings overhead.

The two sections of text at Uie bottom of the poster sod' out rules of behavior to bc observed while tn the shelter

lhe legend at the top translates as follows

Ventilation Pipe

Airtight Doors





/ Blasfwaveravel filter

y. Exit

irtight Durances 1) oileis


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Duringhe Soviets built basement-type shelters extensively, but there is little evidence that this practice continuedarge scaleoviet civil defense manuals as recently6 claim that the most common kind of shelter in the USSR is the basement type.

The USSR probably has enough potential fallout shelter space for most of the urban population in the basements of masonry multistory apartment houses in cities and city-type workers settlements. Thesecould afford shielding from fallout radiationrotection factor of" but would give only limited protection against blast effects. to Soviet standards, basements designed to serve as shelters would withstand the weight of the building superstructure if it were to collapse. Ordinaryhowever, would probably sustainow blast overpressure.

Because of their relatively low blast resistance and their location intherefore likelybasement fallout shelters would have little value. The increased emphasis on urban evacuation since thehows that Soviet civil defense planners are aware of the limitation.

Even if urban dwellers were successfully evacuated, it is questionable whether the Soviets would be able to provide them timely and adequate fallout protection once they arrived at their disperal areas. The plan is to adapt the basements of buildings in small towns, mine shafts, and the numerous vegetable storage cellars found in farming areas for such shelter, whore there are shortages of adaptable space, earth-covered trenches would be built. The amount of attention that training manuals and exercises devote to the techniques of

* Protection factor (PF) is the ratio of the intensity of fallout gamma radiationhelter to that within. For example, the radiation level helterF ofould be 0 ihe intensity of radiation outside. Public fallout shelters in the US mustinimum PF



VKPblTHfll A


I he Soviets claim that shelters ol this lype built with the use ol urn her or vegetation can provide adequate lalloul promotion loreople bstimated construction time isan-hours. Dimensions on the drawings ore in centimeters.


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building these emergency shelters indicates ignificant shortage of suitable protective space is anticipated.

Moreover, the Soviets apparently intend to rely heavily upon last-minute preparations to provideshelters. Work to adapt potential shelter space or build field-type shelters would not start until the governmentSpecial Period." Thistate of alert that would also signal the beginning of evacuation. Success in sheltering evacuees, therefore, will depend not only on adequate forewarning andbut also on the time of year and theof materials, able-bodied personnel, and some light construction equipment.

There is little evidence that materials have been stockpiled in tho countryside for shelter purposes. Moreover, the Soviets seem to have given littleto the seasonal ground conditions that could affect their ability to build emergency shelters quickly.

Shortcomings in this area apparently are serious enough to warrant periodic criticisms from top-level civil defense officials. Marshal Chuykov, for instance, recently called for remedial action by urging that some initial shelter preparations in the countryside begin now. He also recommended that shelter requirements for evacuees be taken into consideration in newin rural areas. It is not known to whatthis recommendation is being implemented.

umber of recent occasions Soviet civi1officials have stated that blast-resistant shelters are being built for workers and otherwho will stay in evacuated areas. eparture from the usual official Soviet reticence concerning such projects. Tho Soviets have also acknowledged, however, that it is economically infeasible to provide the entire urban population with blast shelter.

Whatever shelters the Soviets may now be building are probably reserved for key personnel. According to Chuykov, thisignificant part of the In tho9 issue of the popular science monthly Science and Life, the Soviet civil




defense chief claimed that "tens of millions of people" will remain in the cities after evacuation and dispersal measures are carried out. These "tens ofe stated, will be the people employed in defense industries, transportation, the power system, communications, and other important enterprises. It is necessary, he added, to provide shelter for them in the immediate vicinity of their work.

Some of the new shelter for these people may be dual-purpose structures with functional roles inChuykov suggesteday to cut the cost of meeting shelter requirements for key personnel would be to build garages, theaters, restaurants, and otherenterprises underground so that they could be used as shelters.

The Soviets intend to use subways to help meet the requirement for heavy, reliable shelter for personnel who will not be evacuated. Blast doors are installed in recently opened stations of the Moscow and Tbilisi subways. They are also probably to be incorporated in current subway construction and expansion in Leningrad, Xiev, and Baku and in the systems planned for Kharkov and Tashkent.

With the exception of subways, however, the practice of building dual-purpose facilities docs not appear to be widespread. oviet shelter expert, Yuriy Kammerer, complained about this situationecent issueoviet construction magazine. According to his article, several experimental underground garages were constructed recently in Moscow, but nothing has been done to exploit the experience gained.

Protective Equipment

The Soviets may have stepped up the procurement of protective equipment for civil defense personnel as well as for the general population. Although they continue to extol the life-saving qualities of homemade gauze face masks, and rubberized raincoats, capes, and boots, high-level civil defense officials have recentlythat production of such items as gas masks has been increased to meet growing requirements. These officials report that such equipment is being used in practical exercises and stress theof supplying the whole population with devices to protect them against chemical, biological, andcontaminnntn,

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In The CPSU on the necessity of Improving Cioil Defense, publiflhed ol. Gen. Tolstikov noted: "The main method of training workers, employees, and collective farmers is group practical exercisos in which the appropriate equipment, instruments, andof protection must be widely used." Tolstikov, who is First Deputy Chief of Civil Defense, went on to emphasize that one of the responsibilities of civil defense is to provide the population with individual instruments of protection. He stated that industry is producing this equipment, and warned againstits life-saving potential.

Marshal Chuykov and another of his doputies, Lt. Gen. Shuvyrin, have also been emphatic on the need to provide items like gas masks. Chuykov, in his recent publication Civil Defense in Rocket-Nuclear War, stated that it is "mandatory" to equip the population,evacueos and people in shelters, with individual protective equipment. In an editorial ln the8 issue of Military Knowledge, joint monthly organ of the paramilitary youth and civil defense organizations Shuvyrin cited the special role this equipment plays in protecting people. He claimed that modern protective devices for all age levels of the population are in production. Ho alluded to four models of gos masks designed for children and adults.

Military Implications

With adequate forewarning, Soviot pro-attackmight reduce casualties significantly if evacuees were provided adequate fallout shelter. There are,no civil defense measures now in effect that would prevent major damageuclear attack on Soviet cities and industry. The cost of hardening cities and industrial facilities to increase their survivability would be prohibitive.

Soviet civil defense officials haveumber of measures to minimize damage to industry, but it is apparent from the tone and repetition of the recommendationb that economic planners are not always or fully receptive. Civil defense chief Chuykov, for instance, has frequently proposed thai approved engineering-technical mo.isuron should





be included" in new and renovated plant facilities to minimize war damage by reducing fires and explosions. He has estimated, however, that these measures could reduce the consequencesuclear attack by only about "five to ten percent." He did not specify the magnitude of the attack or the level of damage on which he based this calculation.

Soviet officials have not alluded to anybetween civil defense and ABM defense in the USSR. Furthermore, the Moscow ABM system has had no visible impact on local civil defense As far as is known, evacuation measures will apply to the population of Moscow even though the city has some antimissile sites deployed around it.

Since at6 most major statements and articles on civil defense have been prefaced with the remark that there is "no guarantee that some of the enemy's woapons will not reach theiruch admissions may be intended to counteract earlier exaggerations by the Soviets concerning their ABM capabilities. These exaggerations may have had an undermining effect on the rationale for massive, compulsory civil defense training.

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