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Civil defense in contemporary conditions is a system of general state defensive measures taken during peacetime and wartime to protect the civilian population and the national economy against mass-destruction weapons and other enemy offensive means. Civil defense also conducts rescues, emergency repair actions, and restores situations at the center of losses and in the areas hit by natural disasters. The missions of civil defense are as follows:

----- - ensuring direct protection for the population against mass-destruction weapons and other enemy offensive means;

----- - increasing the operational sustainability of the State national economic organs during war;

---- - eliminating the impact of enemy attacks during war and eliminating the consequences of natural disasters during peacetime;

----- - preparing civil defense forces and the population;

----- - conducting repairs and restoration;

----- - ensuring security of the social system.

The role and importance of civil defense generally increases continuously due to future expansion of the economic potential of the nation and the greater possibilities of losses inflicted by the possible enemy on the economy.


Organizational Structure of Civil Defense

The organizational structure of civil defense must comply with missions assigned to civil defense. Therefore, the fundamentals of such structures are based on the regional-production principle. In observance of this principle all measures related to civil defense are planned and conducted by local state organs (republics, oblasts, rayons, cities) and professional organs conducting production and economic activities (ministries, agencies, factories, sovkhozs, education institutions, and other organizations). Accordingly, in the centers and in the regions (rayoni), chiefs of civil defense with necessary control organs are assigned. Civil defense services and troops are subordinate to the command of these organs.

The Chief of Soviet Civil Defense is a Deputy Minister of Defense. Control of civil defense in republics, autonomous regions, oblasts, and cities is conducted by the chiefs of civil defense, i.e., chief of the Council of Ministers of the republics and executive chiefs of the representative committees of the worker's councils. These officials, in the context of their administrative authority, have special responsibilities to organize and conduct civil defense.

Civil defense measures in ministries, agencies, factories, educational institutions, and other organizations are conducted under the control of the chiefs of these organizations who, at the same time, are the chiefs of civil defense in their related establishments.

The major and important tasks of civil defense are the responsibility of the Minister of Defense and high operational organs. The commanders of military districts are responsible for the following tasks:
----- - organizing the military district's civil defense plans;
----- - participating with civil defense chiefs of oblasts and republics in planning, preparing, and conducting measures for protecting the population and national economic installations located in the area of the military district;
----- - coordinating civil defense plans of republics and oblasts with mobilization measures of military districts;
----- - planning and conducting the deployment of military units, staffs, signal centers, and civil defense institutions in the framework of missions approved by the General Staff of the Armed Forces;
----- - organizing the interaction of military units, garrisons, and local control organs with civil defense organs, during the planning and conduct of civil defense in the area of the military district's jurisdiction;
----- - extending regular, methodical, materiel, and technical assistance to civil defense staffs and services in planning and conducting civil defense;
----- - extending regular assistance to joint control with civil defense chiefs and staffs of the republics and oblasts in the areas of operational training and training of civil defense commanders, staffs, and services;
----- - informing air defense staffs of the republics, rayons, oblasts, and cities located in the area of the military district of the threat of enemy attacks, enemy use of mass-destruction weapons, and of the development of the situation;
----- - planning and conducting field exercises of the operational formations, large units, and units of the military districts in conjunction with the participation of the civil defense chiefs of republics, rayons, oblasts, cities, and the civil defense troops;
----- - controlling the light maskirovka of cities and other built-up areas, national economic installations, and transport means in the area of the military district;
----- - extending assistance to civil defense organs conducting rescues, emergency repairs, and restoration of the situation in the centers of losses (contamination), flooded areas, areas hit by natural disasters, and to troop control organs of the military units of the military district assigned to conduct these tasks.

In contemporary times military district commanders, along with civil defense control organs of the republics, rayons, oblasts, cities, and institutions, bear joint responsibility for civil defense and conducting civil defense measures in the territories of the military district.

It must be understood that the commander of the military district cannot fully supervise the following during the war:
----- - preparation of the population;
----- - protective installations;
----- - individual protective means;
----- - equipment of non-military institutions;
----- - protection of animals and agriculture;
----- - upgrading the firmness of the action of national economic targets (obyekti).

In spite of this the commander of the military district bears full and direct responsibility for the following:
----- - participating in general planning of civil defense measures in the area of the military district which are conducted during peacetime;
----- - coordinating all civil defense plans with the actions of the military command taken as the political and military situation becomes more complicated;
----- - organizing combat and political preparations of civil defense units and maintaining their high combat-readiness;
----- - interaction of military units with civil defense organs.

Along with the civil defense chiefs they plan and conduct field exercises and control light maskirovka.


Civil Defense Control Organs and Services

Command organs of civil defense include the following:
----- - civil defense staffs of political and administrative regions (the capital of the USSR, republics, oblasts, rayons, and cities);
----- - civil defense directorates (sections) of the military districts;
----- - civil defense staffs of the ministries and agencies.

The civil defense staffs are control organs under the civil defense chiefs. These staffs include the following:
----- - operations;
----- - training;
----- - engineer;
----- - signal;
----- - protection against radiation;
----- - chemical protection;
----- - others.

All civil defense staff are run by military personnel. The civil defense staff of some ministries and agencies are run by civilians who as a rule are retired military officers.

The civil defense service is a system of organs, forces, and means assigned to conduct rescue operations related to civil defense. They include the following:
----- - medical troops;
----- - engineers;
----- - fire fighters;
----- - forces and means for maintaining social order;
----- - economic protection,
----- - animal protection;
----- - protection of national economy;
----- - providing transportation support means;
----- - signal.

The civil defense service is established on the basis of decisions of the Council of Ministers of republics, executive committees of the worker's representatives, and ministers and heads of agencies, institutions, and other organizations. Depending on the availability of bases in republics, oblasts, rayons, cities, and installations (objectives) the services of the following are established:
----- - signal;
----- - medical;
----- - fire fighter;
----- - engineer;
----- - energy;
----- - motor transport;
----- - maintenance of social order;
----- - materiel and technical supply;
----- - protection of the national economy;
----- - protection of animals and agriculture;
----- - others.

The chiefs of services are assigned by ministers, heads of agencies, institutions, and other organizations where such services are established.


Civil Defense Troops

Civil defense troops include non-military organizations, military units, and civil defense institutions. They are assigned to support the protection of the population, to conduct emergency repair, and to conduct urgent restoration operations at the centers of casualties (contamination), flooded areas, and areas hit by natural disasters.

Non-military organizations of civil defense constitute the basis of civil defense troops. They are organized from workers, service crews, and other employees working in different agencies, educational institutions, sovkhozes, and construction establishments typically organized by the national Civil Defense staff. In terms of the nature of their missions the non-military organizations of civil defense are divided into general purpose organizations and civil defense service organizations.


General Purpose Organization

General purpose organizations are assigned to conduct emergency rescue, repairs, and restoration operations at the national economic institutions, in centers of casualties, and in areas hit by natural disasters. In organization they consist of general purpose civil defense detachments (svobodnii otryadi), civil defense rescue detachments (teams, groups), and separate rescue teams (groups).


Civil Defense Service Organizations

Civil defense service organizations are assigned to conduct special measures (reconnaissance, eliminating hazards, medical assistance) during emergency rescue, repair, and restoration operations, as well as to reinforce and support the actions of the general purpose organization during their operation at the center of fires and in areas hit by natural disasters. In structure they are organized in detachments (otryadi), teams (tima), (separate teams) (otdelnaya tema), groups (grupa), command druzhina volunteer sections, and sections zvena.

In terms of subordination the non-military organizations are classified as follows:

Target Organizations (obchyektovnye formirovanii)

These organizations are assigned to conduct emergency rescue, repair, and restoration operations at the center of casualties and areas hit by natural disasters directly affecting specific economic targets where these organizations are assigned to conduct their operation.

These organizations are established in advance and they are employed in accordance with the plans of the chiefs of the targets' civil defense.

Local Regional Organization

These organizations are assigned to conduct emergency rescue, repair, and restoration operations, along with target organizations, at the most important targets of the national economy. They will conduct rescue missions and other civil defense actions in cities, regions, rayons, oblasts, and republics, and will operate in areas hit by natural disasters. Local organizations are deployed around-the-clock and are employed in accordance with the plans of the chiefs of civil defense of cities, rayons, oblasts, and republics.

All civilians not subject to being called to the Armed Forces as part of the mobilization, including those who are temporarily exempted from mobilization into the Armed Forces, are employed in non-military organizations of civil defense. Only work handicaps, first and second category soldiers (reservists due to be called up), and children up to age seven are exempted from employment in non-military organizations of the civil defense.

Civil Defense Military Units

Civil defense military units are composed of cadre motorized regiments and separate battalions which fully deploy at the time of war. These units are better trained and are equipped with various technical equipment. They are assigned to provide the following:
----- - assistance to affected population;
----- - conduct of emergency rescues;
----- - repair and restoration operations at centers of casualties on important directions and at targets of the national economy, as well as at the areas hit by natural disasters.

In order to accomplish these missions the composition of such units will include motorized, medical, fire fighter, and other special subunits. These units and subunits may be assigned and conduct active actions to fight enemy airborne assault troops, enemy diversionary and reconnaissance groups.

In peacetime the military units of the civil defense are under the command of the chief of the USSR civil defense and commanders of the military districts. With the threat of war civil defense military units of the military district are employed in accordance with the plans of civil defense chiefs of oblasts and republics. As a rule they are employed at the center of the heaviest casualties. Armed forces units and subunits located in the territory of the military district may also be employed to conduct emergency rescue, repair, and restoration (rehabilitation) operations.

Civil Defense Institutions (Ucherezhdenie)

Civil defense institutions (organized and deployed at the time of war) are special service institutions assigned to accomplish the following:
----- - conduct medical assistance;
----- - conduct laboratory control;
----- - provide materiel and technical support in the interest of non-military organizations of the civil defense and civil population;
----- - carry out operations to eliminate hazards related to terrain, installations, transport means, and clothing;
----- - conduct other special actions while eliminating the consequences of enemy attacks.


Planning Civil Defense Measures

The planning civil defense measures is conducted on the basis of orders and instructions on civil defense from the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet government and the Minister of Defense of the USSR. The aims of the plan support the combat readiness and planned actions of civil defense troops and their troop control organs during peacetime, for their methods of actions to protect the population and national economic targets from enemy threats of attacks, and their actions during enemy air and space attacks.

The content, volume, and timing of the conduct of civil defense measures regarding accomplishment of missions in cities and other built up areas and at large targets are determined in accordance with the political, administrative, economic, and military significance of the cities, built up areas, and targets. For this purpose the political-administrative, industrial centers, cities, and large targets are classified as follows:
----- - especially important;
----- - first, second, and third category in terms of civil defense.

The classification is made by the Council of Ministers of the USSR based on the suggestions of the Council of Ministers of republics, in accordance with the plans of the Soviet Government and the plans of the Ministry of Defense.

The most responsible role in this important matter is borne by the staffs of the military districts. The staffs of the military districts, under the direction of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, along with the civil defense staffs of the republics and oblasts and on the basis of scientific analysis of the characteristics of future war, forecast likely situations in the territories of the USSR, cities, and in areas of the military district's jurisdiction which may result from the use of nuclear weapons against the rear service targets. The general State civil defense plan is worked out by the national civil defense staff. On the basis of the general State plan, the plans for organizing and conducting civil defense in the military district areas are prepared. These plans must include the following:
----- - characteristics of terrain in the military district's area and assessment of the military, political, and economic significance of the area under the military district's jurisdiction;
----- - assessment of enemy potential for launching strikes with contemporary weapons on military and economic targets;
----- - assessment of forces and means to conduct civil defense measures:
----- - general concept of the conduct of civil defense in the military district area (the location of the main effort and how the assigned mission must be accomplished by the forces);
----- - order of deployment of civil defense forces and means;
----- - missions of forces and civil defense groupings regarding emergency rescue, repair and restoration of the situation on the main directions;
----- - measures for defense against radiation and chemical weapons, and also engineer measures, medical measures, and materiel and technical support;
----- - organization of troop control.

The civil defense plan of the military district is prepared by the military district staff with the participation of the chiefs of the civil defense staffs of the republics and oblasts. The plan may be prepared in written form with map annexes, diagrams, graphics, tables, and calculations. The plan is considered the basic document. On the basis of the military district's civil defense plan more elaborate plans are prepared at the republic, oblasts, rayons, and cities. Special importance in planning is given to determining probable areas of destruction so that priority is given to those areas for protecting the population and establishing protective shelters approved by the State.


Conduct of Civil Defense Measures

Civil defense measures are very extensive in terms of content and volume. Therefore, their accomplishment is possible only by conducting a large number of missions facing the state organs and the national economic authorities in advance during peacetime. First priority is given to protecting the population against the effects of mass-destruction weapons and other destructive means.

Protection of the Population

Protecting the population in protective shelters is the only viable defense against likely threats and establishing such installations is considered the number one mission.

In terms of missions and tasks civil defense protective installations are divided into population protective shelters, and areas for the deployment of troop control organs (command posts, control centers, and signal centers). In terms of their characteristics there are two categories; fully-protective shelter and antiradiation cover. In terms of the location of the protective installations they can either be inside other buildings or they can be established separately.


Shelters are installations where the population is protected against all effects of nuclear explosion, radioactive material, and bacteriological substances. Shelters must be resistant to the power of explosions and must be equipped with radiation filter means.

Antiradiation Covers

These installations provide protection for the population against radiation. Such places are established in areas where damage is most likely to be light. These covers must protect the population against destruction and may be equipped with radiation filters.

Protective Installations for Deployment of Troop Control Organs

These are special installations which can support disposition, protection, and operation of troop control organs. These installations are normally established in advance.


Dispersion involves alternating between (1) the moving-out and organized establishment in the outer areas of the city of workers and employees of installations and establishments and (2) the continuation of their operation during the war in areas which most likely will be heavily hit by the enemy. This operation is conducted by an alternating method in which workers and employees take turns working in cities or installations under threat of destruction, and going to rest outside of the city.


Evacuation is the organized moving out of workers and employees from establishments, installations, and organizations which cease to operate during the war. People who are not capable of working or are unemployed are evacuated from likely areas of heavy destruction. The evacuated people remain outside of the city during the entire war or until the special situation is up.

Evacuation Commissions

Evacuation commissions are established on the basis of the decisions of the Council of Ministers of the republics, and executive committees of the workers' representative's councils. They are also established in ministries, institutions, and national economic targets by their related chiefs. These commissions carry out necessary assistance with civil defense staffs directly in matters of organization, conduct of dispersion, and evacuation of the population.

Assembly and Evacuation Points

These points are established near railroad stations, ports, and motor transportation centers. Assembly and evacuation points are designated for assembling and registering the population to be dispersed and evacuated and sending them to embarkation areas.

Reception Commissions for Evacuees

These commissions are assigned to receive and process the population to be dispersed and evacuated to the areas of resettlement in the outer areas of cities. The commissions include responsible personnel from organizations and services of the affected areas charged with the mission of reception, resettlement, and support of the arriving population. In order to provide protection for the population special importance is given to advance preparation of dispersal and evacuation areas, as well as all outer areas of the cities.

Preparation of Dispersal and Evacuation Points

The aims of preparing dispersal and evacuation points is conducted to resettle workers and other people who are not supposed to work in major cities. In their resettlement special importance is given to preparations of fortified facilities outside of the cities and establishments. Such preparation will include readying all buildings and built up areas for the resettlement of the evacuated population, repair and expansion of the road network, and establishment of simple covers for the protection of the population from radioactive contamination.

Organization of Food Services

Organization of feeding, accommodation, and medical support the population in dispersal and evacuation areas are vitally important in the context of the protection of the population against mass-destruction weapons. For this aim the following are expanded and established:
----- - provision (food) supply bases;
----- - dining facilities;
----- - food stores;
----- - cultural and relaxation facilities;

Capabilities of medical facilities are upgraded and further supplied with necessary materiel and medicine to extend urgent medical assistance and heating and cooking fuel are supplied.

The Civil Defense leadership, engineer and technical personnel, and chiefs of services and commanders, conduct daily training directed at targets (in the form of commander's training, staff exercises, participation in command and staff exercises, and special tactical training) in courses, and in educational institutions in order to perfect their training level.


Support of the Sustainability of the Activity of the National Economy

One task assigned to civil defense is supporting the sustainability of the activity of the national economy during wartime. In order to increase the sustainability of the activity of the national economic targets during peacetime and wartime the following measures are taken.

Industrial areas and factories in the national territory are dispersed. Concentration of new industrial collectives and important targets in areas likely to be flooded by water, destroyed, or subject to fires must be avoided. Concentration of institutions within important industrial complexes must be kept to a limited level. Establishment of new institutions and establishments and expansion of existing ones in major cities and their vicinities where they are subject to destruction must be prohibited.

Creation of important industrial establishments on the basis of back-up arrangements must be anticipated (meaning that if one of them is destroyed the other can make up for the loss). Underground caves and caverns under mountains must be exploited for emplacement of important industrial establishments of the national economy.

In the industrial establishments the systems of energy, water supply, sewer facilities, and gas supply independent from the general system must be created. Emergency reserves of energy and raw material (oil, coal, gas, etc.) must be established. Resistance of buildings and installation at industrial targets are reinforced and measures against fire are taken. Buildings are kept sufficiently apart from one another so that destruction of one will not affect the others.

A reliable system to control the activity of industrial establishments is organized.

At the beginning of construction and establishment of industrial targets, factories and other establishments, scientific views and planning of the civil defense and military authorities must be sought so that buildings are constructed in compliance with their considerations.


Eliminating Consequences of Enemy Attacks

At the onset of war under the conditions of enemy use of nuclear weapons and other means of destruction on cities and targets of the national economy, the elimination of the consequences of enemy attacks are conducted by civil defense organs and civil defense forces. This includes the collection of measures conducted in a short time to provide all types of assistance to the effected population in the centers of casualties, contaminated areas, flooded areas, centers of fires (areas hit by natural disasters), preventing further destruction and losses, and also restoring routine living conditions in cities, other residential areas, and at targets of the national economy.

Rescue Operations

Rescue operations are conducted in casualty centers, contamination areas, flooded areas, and places hit by natural disasters to rescue the population, give medical assistance, and evacuate them to hospitals and medical establishments. Rescue operations include the following:
----- - reconnaissance of casualty centers and contaminated areas, as well as flooded areas, and areas hit by natural disasters;
----- - eliminating consequences of the attack, extinguishing fires, digging out destroyed and damaged installations, sifting through and digging out victims from the rubble;
----- - giving first aid to the population and evacuating them to the city and medical establishments;
----- - moving the population out of radioactive and chemically contaminated areas;
----- - rescuing the population and material supplies from flooded areas;
----- - medical decontamination of personnel, clothing, terrain, installations, and technical and transportation means.

Emergency Repair and Restoration

Emergency repair and rehabilitation activities are conducted by civil defense forces at transportation networks, municipal energy networks, establishments and targets of the national economy to provide for successful and safe conduct of the rescue operation. Moreover, they are conducted to prevent further destruction and losses due to subsequent enemy nuclear strikes. Emergency repair and rehabilitation work includes the following:
----- - extending access routes to and establishing crossings in casualty centers;
----- - isolating damage in municipal, economic, energy, transport, signal, and support networks;
----- - restoring water supply stations, water pipe networks, and energy support systems in order to expedite rescue work;
----- - eliminating potential future hazards due to damage sustained by buildings and installations.

Groupings of civil defense forces are created during peacetime on each civil defense direction to conduct emergency rescues, repairs, and rehabilitation operations.

Civil Defense Direction

The civil defense direction is the terrain area where civil defense forces and means deploy. It includes one or several precincts of a city (part of the city is not organized into precincts) and also rural localities included in the area.

The composition of groupings is determined in accordance with the availability of forces and means and the characteristics and volume of tasks to be conducted in casualty centers and nuclear, chemically, and bacteriologically contaminated areas and flooded areas, etc.

Groupings of forces must comply with concepts of the upcoming action and must provide the following:
----- - rapid advance of forces to casualty centers, contaminated areas, and areas of natural disasters;
----- - deploying rescue apparatuses quickly and continuously conducting rescue actions with the full employment of forces and means to rescue the population;
----- - expanding the strength and maneuverability of troops during the rescue operation;
----- - rapid control and maintenance of interaction;
----- - protecting forces and means from mass-destruction weapons and other means of enemy attacks.


Interaction and Command and Control

While conducting civil defense measures, special importance is giving to thorough and continuous organization of interaction of organs of command and control of civil defense forces and means with the forces of military district commands and all forces, large units, and units assigned to assist in civil defense matters. The main principles of interaction are specified in the orders of the Minister of Defense.


Nature of Interaction

The nature of interaction includes coordinating the actions of civil control authorities of republics, military district commands, non-military organizations, and forces of civil defense with large units and units of the armed forces in supporting successful accomplishment of assigned missions in various situations and also giving mutual assistance with available forces and means. The following are conducted for this purpose:
----- - joint planning is conducted;
----- - actions of reconnaissance troops are coordinate-
----- - the population is alerted about the threat;
----- - methods of resettlement of workers, employees, and population in shelters or their dispersal;
----- - evacuation of the population;
----- - conduct of emergency rescues, repairs, and rehabilitation operations are planned and coordinated.

In order to eliminate the consequences of nuclear weapons and other enemy means of destruction the necessary measures are coordinated and assistance is extended to the civil defense forces.


Command and Control of Civil Defense

Command and control of civil defense is directed by civil defense chiefs and staffs toward organizing the actions of subordinate organs, organizations, and troops for the preparation and conduct of timely measures regarding the following:
----- - protecting the population against mass-destruction weapons;
----- - upgrading the sustainability of activity of the national economy targets;
----- - all-around support measures relating to eliminating consequences of enemy attacks.

Command and control is exercised with close contact of the civil defense chiefs and staffs, civil administrative authorities, and national economic and military organs. The main tasks of civil defense staffs are as follows: ----- - continuously maintaining preparation of troops and civil defense systems;
----- - planning measures during peacetime and wartime;
----- - continuously supporting control of actions of forces and means, staffs, services, and control organs of civil defense in oblasts, republics, ministries, and establishments, along with maintaining the interaction among them;
----- - controlling contaminated terrain;
----- - collecting, analyzing, and continuously transmitting information on preparing and protecting the population;
----- - warning all civil defense organs and the population about the threat of enemy use of mass-destruction weapons;
----- - organizing operational and combat training of staffs, establishments, and military units;
----- - preparing orders and instructions and their timely dissemination to subordinates, etc.

Command and control must be active and flexible.

In order to conduct command and control of civil defense a system of command posts are established. These systems are a collection of command posts created for accommodating and supporting the actions of the chief's of civil defense and control organs (staffs), regarding control of subordinate forces and implementing civil defense measures. The command post system includes command posts of the civil defense chiefs of the republics and oblasts inside and outside cities. In one of these the deputy military district commander for civil defense is located, along with the mobile command posts of the civil defense chiefs of republics and oblasts. In command posts signal communication is established with subordinate, superior, and interacting elements.

In order to alert civil defense forces and the population a warning signal communication system is established and kept constantly ready.



Civil defense provides continuous operation of state productive forces in activity of millions in the population. Timely conduct of civil defense measures are a critical mission of the state and are part of the preparation of the nation for war and for the repulsion of enemy aggressions. Successful conduct of civil defense missions are provided by the following:
----- - advance preparation and implementation of civil defense systems in state establishments, the national economy, and installations;
----- - systematically and centrally preparing the population for conduct of complicated measures at all levels of civil defense;
----- - establishing required material and technical reserves to conduct urgent rescues, repairs, and rehabilitation operations;
----- - improving and perfecting the future of civil defense structures.