A review of the Soviet civil defense system, prepared for publication in NATO--Fifteen Nations. Considerable effort and investment apparently have been expended in the long-standing Soviet civil defense program in progressive recognition of the character of strategic weapons and their effects. However, no information has been published on the program's scope. Relying heavily on early warning of an attack (several days), the present system gives priority to the survival of population elements essential to the preservation of the political organization and of military and economic potential. Soviet officials claim a high degree of effectiveness for the system, but continue to call for improvements. The Eastern European Communist states have similar civil defense operations, and their staff leaders are trained in Soviet schools; but these countries' investments and capabilities are not uniform. 14 pp.