During Soviet times when Ukraine was part of the USSR, civil defence against nuclear and biological attack from the USA and the United Kingdom was perceived as a very real threat. School children were taught how to throw grenades and had competitions to see how quickly they could unpack and put on their gas mask, which was a standard part of the school equipment for all soviet children during the cold war. Towns and cities also had secret facilities like underground bunkers to protect the civilian population should war with the west ever become a reality, in fact in Kiev the entire metro system also doubles as a deep level civilian shelter should the need arise.

However since the end of the cold war and the break up of the soviet union, although still officially part of the governments civil defence plan, many of the bunkers in Kiev have fallen into a very poor state of repair and with no money available they have not been properly maintained, or in some instances even properly secured.

The photos below show an insight into two such bunkers, which officially, according to the government civil defence plans still stand at the ready to protect the civilian population of Kiev against future threats. In reality although the electricity may still be on and the generators and ventilations systems ready to go they are now little more than dated cold war relics of times past!