Soviet Civil Defense Revisited, 1966-1969.

by Leon Goure

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Initiated in the 1950s and upgraded in 1961, the Soviet civil defense program has increased in scope and intensity since 1966. The system is considered vital to the maintenance of crucial military, industrial, and political capabilities in the event of a nuclear attack. Because of economic constraints, special shelters have been built only for those workers engaged in critical national services. The remainder of the population will be protected mainly by means of evacuation and dispersal to preselected safety zones. Because the program relies heavily on several days' warning of attack and is primarily concerned with protecting certain population elements, the Soviet leaders might be very sensitive to economic damage strikes against their cities. This seems to be borne out by their increasing concern with recovery operations for industrial, utilities, and transportation facilities. In any case, this survey leaves no doubt that Soviet leaders are continuing to invest heavily in civil defense. 111 pp.

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