However, if you look closely at this map, instead of points with bomb shelters, you will find mostly basements, parking lots and underground passages on it. Nothing has been said about the state of the hermetic shelters with filter ventilation.
Will shelters protect people in case of danger?
Shelters of the Obolonsky district
Shelters of the highest security classes are secure facilities, so an ordinary Ukrainian can see them with his own eyes only in the event of an emergency. Unauthorized entry can threaten correctional labor for up to two years. Nevertheless, on sites for diggers, you can find photographs of a dozen of these objects. Some platforms even indicate the number of such illegal "guests".
Communal workers on the right bank of Kyiv are in no hurry to show shelters under the pretext of the coronavirus epidemic. But Oleksandr Kalugin, chief specialist of the civil protection headquarters of the Obolonsky District Housing Management Company, agreed to conduct a tour of two facilities intended in case of an emergency. One is in the basement of the housing office, the second is under the management company itself.
So there are shelters in front of us is indicated by arrows along with the buildings and signs 60 x 50 cm. The entrance to the first shelter is opened by a housing office worker who keeps the keys.
I must say right away that these are not bomb shelters. The term used for such protective structures is outdated. The presence of such a level of protection is a big question because the shelters are not buried deep underground. Nevertheless, in terms of the level of protection, they are quite reliable. Both objects are of the second class, that is, they are able to withstand a shock wave of 3 kg per square centimeter. For comparison, a first-class shelter can withstand 5 kg per sq. cm, and other shelters - from 0.5 to 2 kg.
The layout of these shelters is the same because they were built according to the same typical scheme and both are located on an area of about 265 square meters. The only difference is in the degree of grooming and capacity: the second shelter can accommodate 10 more people.
We go down the steps into the airlock, separated from the main room and by pressurized doors with a locking mechanism. Such a vestibule is necessary so that a person can remove contaminated clothing before entering the shelter. The metal hermetic door itself weighs half a ton. In both shelters, they are not closed: due to safety precautions, this is allowed in peacetime.
A similar door can be purchased on sites for posting free ads for 1,200 USD. We'll come back to how legal this is.
In the shelters, we are greeted by tools, a fire extinguisher, telephones, and a loudspeaker, which is connected to the district broadcasting network. By phone, we can contact the civil defense point of the area. We pick up the phone, and a long beep sounds - there is a contact.
If you go to the right - we find the main shelter room. The first shelter houses the headquarters of the military commissariat. The head of civil defense says that the exercises were supposed to take place here, but they were postponed because of our arrival.
There is a map of the region hanging here, there are signs on the tables indicating the places of representatives of the regional security services, the police department, and the chief of staff of the territorial defense. On the blackboard - clarification of the management plan for the territorial defense zone. There are also dials with operational and astronomical time. The fact that the shelter is actively used affects its general condition. This is already noticeable from the aesthetically pleasing benches upholstered with tarpaulin.
Such re-equipment is not prohibited, because, according to the 2017 Cabinet of Minister's decree, shelters can be used not only for storing materials but also for ateliers, rental shops, shooting galleries, gyms, shops, canteens, cafes, exhibition halls, medical backrooms. True, with some conditions: during use, redevelopment, the device of additional holes, dismantling of equipment and repainting of data on it is prohibited. Also, if necessary, the rented shelter must be made ready no more than 12 hours in advance.
At the same place in the shelter of the department, there is its archive.
Here are the dosimeters and protective equipment. If necessary, a gas mask issue point is deployed here. True, the gas masks here are old.
“They don’t allocate money for protective equipment. This is how these gas masks were given out, so they remain. We periodically give them to the laboratory, and there they extend their shelf life. Well, at least sometimes the Red Cross helps,” says Oleksandr Kalugin.
The first shelter, where the commissariat is located, is also covered with tarpaulins, and the second is quite simpler. They also have printers and folders with documents. Kalugin says that a documentary was filmed here. According to him, the sunbeds for filming had to be cut, and then they were welded back.
Further there is an additional room. On the doors, it is indicated that smoking is prohibited, because the boards are highly flammable. By the way, it is also forbidden to bring pets and use perfume here. So in the event of an emergency, the pets will not be too lucky.
The emergency manhole reminds us that these are not bomb shelters near Berlin at a depth of 20-40 meters, and in fact, we are not so deeply hidden.
It is estimated that it can accommodate 350 people. Due to this capacity, our shelters are considered average. For comparison, according to the classification of shelters, small shelters can accommodate 150 people, large ones - from 450. Shelters in factories can accommodate thousands of people. Documents with the characteristics of the shelter, as well as diagrams of external and internal networks, a log of checking its condition, are also stored inside the protective structure.
People will have to sit on hard bunks for about two days - this is the approximate life of the shelter. It is difficult to say that it will be very convenient, because for safety reasons it is impossible to move around unnecessarily. But you are allowed to take light bedding and small pillows with you to the shelter. It's good if you know this before the emergency.
By the way, about the operating time. Two days is still quite a long time, because ordinary basements in houses, for example, are intended to be used for only a few hours. There are, of course, bunkers in which you can hide and live for two or three weeks, but they are almost never found in the city: such long-term shelters were located mainly outside the city. If the tension persists after staying in the shelter for several days, further evacuation is necessary.
In the second shelter the light is no longer on. The bunks and benches here are not painted blue, but green. Also buckets, shovels, axes, crowbars are kept here.
It's cool enough in here, but acceptable. In winter, the temperature should not be lower than 10 degrees, in summer – not higher than 30. It is measured with an ordinary thermometer - it is hung at a distance of a meter from the floor and two meters from the walls. The room is heated from the general heating system of the house, and there are shut-off valves to regulate the temperature.
In addition to temperature, humidity and oxygen content in the air are also constantly checked here.
Air is supplied by electric fans through pipes. After the pressurized doors and emergency exits are closed, the regulating plugs of the exhaust ventilation are closed and the filtering unit is turned on. Such equipment can protect against radioactive dust and chemical weapons. The chief of civil defense shows how a small force is used to drive an electric hand fan.
Although for safety reasons, the tightness and serviceability of ventilation are systematically checked, the equipment is hopelessly outdated. Filter cartridges need to be changed systematically, but this has not happened since the 80s. Moreover, such a deplorable situation in the whole country. Even Ukrzaliznytsia changed its filters just a few years ago.
We can say that these are still relatively "young" shelters, because some of them were built in the 60s. The first shelter has been maintained for 40 years, the second one is a year younger.
Further we pass by an emergency supply of water. Water is allocated to a person here from a consumption of 3 liters for drinking and 25 liters for household and household needs. Water supply and sewerage - on the basis of common water supply and sewerage networks.
There is a toilet behind the water supply. In the first shelter, the plumbing was obviously updated, but in the second it was covered with rust.
Every year, asset holders develop "Plans for the repair of protective structures", but funding is not enough. There is no money either for paint, or for whitewashing, or for replacing communications and contacts, not to mention keeping a serious, manned guarded shelter. Kalugin says that private shelters are well equipped at factories, for example, at the Obolon brewery. According to him, under the last head of civil protection, who was a former Security Service colonel, significant funds were allocated to repair the shelter.
The fact that the protective structures on the balance sheet of housing offices have been removed and electrical appliances have been replaced in them is already a good thing. By the way, local authorities periodically offer to transfer communal property for funding from the state.
We move from the restroom to the emergency exit. If we were in this shelter during the emergency, after the bathroom, it would be necessary to wipe the shoes on the mats with a disinfectant. When there is such a high concentration of people in a small room, the cleanliness must be monitored especially closely. Even garbage bags need to be added with preservatives.
An emergency exit is required in case the main entrance is covered with debris. This exit leads to the surface through a head - you could see such head heads even in your own yard. This door is not opened unnecessarily, so we go back, and already at the exit we clarify: where is the supply of food and medicines?
There is no food here, which is also not surprising in the absence of funding. However, this is not prohibited by the instructions, because people can take food with them. The same applies to drugs that have long passed their expiration date.
Of course, it is impossible to form a full-fledged picture of the state of the city's defenses based on two shelters. Surely the management company will not show objects that are in a deplorable state. And the statistics of the State Emergencies Ministry, alas, suggests that this is exactly what it is.
There are about 500 such specially equipped civil shelters in Kyiv, and 5716 in the country. And only 11% of them are really ready to receive people in case of danger. According to the results of last year's inspection, another 63% are partially ready, more than a quarter of the shelters are completely unsuitable for performing their functions.
Although in recent years the government has reported that it pays "special attention" to protective structures - they are repairing the water supply system, electricity, practice shows that it is the shelters in the state property that are in the worst condition.
We were not allowed into the protective structures at the Artem plant, each of which is capable of sheltering about 4 thousand people. The reason is a strategic object for the country's economy and security. At the same time, on the website urban3p.ru, we find diggers' reviews about one of the plant's shelters - object No. 14. Illegal visitors to the protective structure admit that its security is "low" (at least as of the beginning of 2017), and it itself "is in a terrible state and continues to "rot".
The shelter of the Kyiv Motorcycle Plant, which closed in 2012, is in the same condition. The diesel was cut off, as were the two pressurized doors - but they were left lying on the floor. The lifting metal parts were sold for scrap.
At the former Bolshevik factory, the shelter is also completely dismantled, and its toilets are used as toilets in a shopping mall.
The situation in the east of Ukraine is no better. Several years ago, in Kramatorsk, only 6 out of 90 storage facilities were fully ready to receive people. More than half of them were not ready at all at that time. Some of the shelters are flooded, some turn out to be mismanaged as a result of the liquidation of factories, some, apparently, were sold, because it is stated that "in fact do not exist at all."
Every fourth storage facility in Ukraine is privately owned. Although in article 32 of the Civil Code it is written in black and white that they are not subject to privatization. Previously, it was easy to stumble upon such ads on the Internet. Shelters were selling for a thousand dollars per square meter.
In general, in Ukraine, only 10% of the population can hide in storage facilities of the 1st and 2nd class. For comparison, in Switzerland, not only the entire population but also tourists can take refuge from danger. The country has about the same number of shelters as in Ukraine, but there are another 300,000 bunkers disguised as rocks, houses, and sheds.
It is important to understand that even the willingness to accept this 10% of the population is only on paper. In 2015, the city authorities admitted that most of the bomb shelters were leased for warehouses or utility rooms, and we have already seen this.
"Most of the basements are rented, but they are quite alive," says Feodosiy, a representative of the Kyiv Spelestological Association. Or, to put it simply, a digger with 14 years of experience. "Three-four years ago we helped Kyiv Rescue Service. We went into one basement, collected a person's questionnaire, he told us how many people he could hide. And then it turned out that his shelter was not in the register at all. He said: “Well, you write me down anyway, we are ready to accept people."
But it is not a fact that all tenants will have time to prepare shelters in 12 hours. Especially if the premises are not used for archives, for example, but for a gym or sauna.
However, even if the shelters were in the best condition, not everyone will be able to use them.
Shelters for "ordinary mortals"
Most of the shelters were built during the Soviet era and were intended to shelter the personnel of "the most important objects of the national economy", as well as doctors and some categories of patients. According to article 32 of the Civil Code, the rest of the citizens will have to look for salvation precisely in dual-purpose structures (metro, tunnels, underground warehouses, passages, parking lots, shopping centers) and in the simplest shelters – in the basements of their houses.
There are much more such shelters on the Kyiv city administration map than serious shelters - about 4,000. It is assumed that there are enough of them to save the entire population of the capital.
However, in case of bombing, not every metro station is suitable. It should be in-depth, so Heroes of Dnepr, for example, is a rather dangerous option. Moreover, a shopping center was erected over the station.
On the other hand, a deep station in the event of an airstrike can become a mass grave. The metro administration cannot clearly answer the question of whether the deepest tunnel will withstand an airstrike. Even if so, it is still not a massive option. The press service of the metro reported that the Kyiv subway can accommodate no more than 200 thousand people.
If, of course, you do not have 200 thousand dollars for the construction of a personal underground residential module, then with the greatest degree of probability in the event of an emergency, you will have to hide in the basement of residential buildings, that is, in class 5 shelters.
However, in case of bombing, not every metro station is suitable. It should be in-depth, so Heroes of Dnipra, for example, is a rather dangerous option. Moreover, a shopping center was erected over the station.
On the other hand, a deep station in the event of an airstrike can become a mass grave. The metro administration cannot clearly answer the question of whether the deepest tunnel will withstand an airstrike. Even if so, it is still not a massive option. The press service of the metro reported that the Kyiv subway can accommodate no more than 200,000 people.
If, of course, you do not have 200,000 dollars for the construction of a personal underground residential module, then with the greatest degree of probability in the event of an emergency, you will have to hide in the basement of residential buildings, that is, in class 5 shelters.