- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Russia is on the brink of completing construction for a building that can withstand a nuclear attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

In an address to top Russian defense officials, Mr. Putin called for heightened abilities to respond to “potential military challenges … even in the event of a nuclear strike.”

“A great deal has been done during the past few years to maintain all the command elements of our strategic nuclear forces at the highest possible level,” Mr. Putin said.

He said that “serious” upgrades have been made to stationary and mobile command posts as well as their operational capabilities.

“As of now, all command posts can receive comprehensive updates in real-time and use them to assess the situation and make substantiated decisions,” Mr. Putin said.

The 65-year-old Russian leader also told his military brass that the survivability of Russian systems needs to be improved.

“We all realize this, and we are aware that a lot depends on the survivability of these systems and their ability to continue operating in a combat environment,” Mr. Putin continued. “In fact, we have to guarantee this even in the event of a nuclear strike.”

As the U.S. and Russia remain locked in negotiations to extend the last remaining arms treaty between the two nuclear powers, Mr. Putin said that a “secure facility” has been nearly completed, and it will have the ability to control nuclear forces and “have a very high safety margin.”

Mr. Putin stopped short of providing details of the nuclear bunker, but reminded his officials that “no matter how modern and advanced they may be today, we cannot remain idle, and we all realize this.”

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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