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The Russians Are Building Bomb Shelters - This Is Getting Real
In Moscow, authorities are inspecting the bomb shelters in the city’s schools. This is not a routine or academic exercise. The officials involved have been directed to get the shelters in working order. Right now.
Notifications have gone out in Moscow to inform residents that bomb shelters are being prepared. The Education Department has issued instructions to all institutions under its control to outfit new shelters in addition to those in existence.
Moscow hospitals are also involved in the efforts. Shelters are being set up in the hospitals as well and equipped with electricity, lighting, disposable plates, and water. Moscow’s Social Protection Department has been charged with painting arrows on the street and public buildings to direct people to bomb shelters.
Parking garages are also being converted into bomb shelters. Bunks, first aid kits, and heaters are being brought in. People using the garages have been told to remove their cars.
Similar actions are being taken in other major Russian cities. Emergency warning systems are being tested. Lists of locations suitable to be converted into additional shelters are being compiled.
President Vladimir Putin oversaw training exercises of Russia's strategic nuclear deterrence forces on Wednesday. Russian state television aired footage of Putin overseeing the drills from a control room.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the drills simulated “a massive nuclear strike in response to an enemy nuclear attack.” "Under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Vladimir Putin, a training session was held with ground, sea, and air strategic deterrence forces, during which practical launches of ballistic and cruise missiles took place," the Kremlin said in a statement.
The last time the Russians conducted such drills, was five days before Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
According to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency, two types of nuclear ballistic missiles were fired. The exercises also involved Tu-95 long-range aircraft. These are all weapons intended to be used in attacks on the United States, not tactical systems for use in Ukraine.
“The tasks envisaged during the training of strategic deterrence forces have been completed in full, all missiles have reached their targets,” announced the Kremlin.
Putin is taking convicts out of prison, putting them in uniform, and sending them to the front in Ukraine. Reports from around Central Asia indicate the Russians are attempting to hire former Afghan commandos trained by the United States to fight in Ukraine as well. There is even talk about Iranians being brought into the conflict on Putin’s side.
These are not the actions of a man who expects to stop fighting anytime soon.
Putin is backed into a corner and he is losing. He feels his grip on power slipping away. He sees himself as surrounded by enemies both abroad and at home. A desperate man may choose to do desperate things.
Former U.S. defense official Graham Allison who wrote maybe the best book on the Cuban Missile Crisis summed up the danger we face in a recent interview.
“If Putin is forced to choose between humiliating defeat, on the one hand, and escalating the level of destruction…there's every reason to believe he chooses the latter. As you step up the level of destruction, the first step is bombing infrastructure. And I think that's what he's doing now, even though he doesn't have as many smart bombs as he would like to, you know, so they are not as carefully targeted, but one up that ladder of destruction is just destroying people.”
“A humiliating defeat for Russia in Ukraine would not, I believe, be existential for Russia...but I think it will be existential for Putin.”
In Washington, the usual suspects continue to talk only in terms of holding course. Biden wants to send more money to Ukraine. The 101st Airborne is three miles from the Ukrainian border on what is termed a “combat deployment.” General Miley, the architect of our great victory in Afghanistan, says we must win in Ukraine to protect the international rules-based order.
It is time to drop the temperature in the room. It is time to start building off-ramps for the belligerents and bringing this conflict to an end.
The Russians are building bomb shelters.
This is getting real.