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Germany begins upgrading bunker system in wake of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Germany begins upgrading bunker system in wake of Russian invasion of Ukraine
Civil servants told to work up new concepts for strengthening underground car parks, railway stations and basements as possible sanctuaries in case of conflict

德国 is to begin strengthening its bunker and basement infrastructure following 俄罗斯’s invasion of 乌克兰, the country’s interior minister has said.

The government will improve its public shelter systems while also building up new crisis stocks, Nancy Faeser revealed.

“There are currently 599 public shelters in 德国,” she told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Saturday. “We will check whether we could upgrade more of such systems. In any case, the dismantling has stopped.”

She added that civil servants had been ordered to work up new concepts for strengthening underground car parks, railway stations and basements to act as possible sanctuaries in the case of conflict, while €88m (£74m) had been given to the federal states to install new air-raid sirens.

Emergency supplies of medical equipment, protective clothing, masks and medication will be improved and stocked in all major population centres, 她补充说.

But she admitted that more still needed to be done. “As far as nationwide coverage is concerned, we’re not even close,“ 她说.

The precaution – which would have seemed unthinkable just two months ago – comes after chancellor Olaf Scholz made the historic pledge to increase the country’s defence spending and strengthen Germany’s army.

Speaking to the Bundestag at the end of February, he announced €100bn in additional military funding – an epochal break with the country’s tradition of maintaining a relatively minimal fighting force, which is rooted in its history as an aggressor during the Second World War.

The bunker announcement also comes as many in the UK have started questioning whether this country would be sufficiently prepared for a missile or even a nuclear attack.

“There is certainly an emerging argument that we have relied on deterrence for so long that we haven’t given enough thought as to how we might withstand a nuclear attack,” Dr Patricia Lewis, lead on the international security programme at Chatham House, 告诉 独立 previously. “And it may be we do now see a shift [in that thinking] as a result of current events.”