In light of the full-scale unprovoked war of aggression that the Russian Federation has waged against Ukraine, a number of countries have been providing military assistance to Ukraine.
The aggressor country (the Russian Federation) has expressed surprise and, at times, indignation at this fact. The dictator of the Russian Federation has made a number of open threats to attack supply convoys and has open stated that no weapons, including nuclear weapons, are off the table in response to any country making any moves thwarting the aggression.
A number of Russian political commentators have made claims that there is a war scenario in which Russia would contemplate the 1st strike with a nuclear weapon and it relies on the political leadership of Russia surviving the initial phases of a nuclear war by hiding out in bunkers in the Russia's far East. The claims are non-specific, but some of them include the following:
- Russia has bunkers in the far East which can allow its residents to survive even direct hits by a nuclear weapon.
- The depth of the bunkers is at least 1km. Some have claimed as much as 2kms.
- The bunkers have the ability to maintain full range of communications even after a direct hit with a nuclear weapon and Putin himself already spends most of his time in one of those bunkers even while making virtual appearances on TV.
I am highly skeptical of these claims for a number of reasons. Among them are
- The level of preparedness of the Russian armed forces, and overall military industry does not match the renown of the USSR's armed forces, simply because the army personal were 1st-class citizens in the USSR and they were one of the last-class citizens in the Russian Federation. Military industrial complex of the Russia Federation is in a disarray.
- When trying to estimate how effectively public funds are spent in the Russian Federation, I compare the expenses on the 2014 Olympics and Russia's annual military budget. Both figures (the cost of the Olympics and Russia's annual military budget) are around $50 billion. $50 billion is the most expensive Olympics tab anywhere so far. And yet the level of preparedness of the Olympic games was abysmal. Even one of the 5 rings during the opening ceremony malfunctioned. There were also numerous reports that the athletes' living quarters did not meet some of the most basic accommodations (clean water, functioning toilets, etc.)
- Given that $50 billion couldn't buy functioning Olympics games in Russia, I have difficulty seeing how it would be possible for Russia to build elaborate bunkers. After all, the $50 billion spent on military expenses have to cover all military expenses.
But my skepticism is just an opinion which motivates my actual question. Has the Russian Federation ever made a demonstration which makes claims of it having such bunkers true?
I understand that there plenty of possible reasons not to show them even if they do exist. But there is a clear reason to show them. Namely, demonstrating that the bunkers are real would make the threat of use of a nuclear weapon more credible.
So does anyone actually know if the bunkers have been shown to exist?