Civil de­fence drills launched

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

MOSCOW (AP): THE RUS­SIAN Emer­gen­cies Min­istry has launched a sweep­ing na­tion­wide civil de­fence drill set to in­volve 40 mil­lion peo­ple.

Emer­gen­cies Min­is­ter Vladimir Puchkov said the four-day ex­er­cise launched on Wed­nes­day will help to “raise gov­ern­ment ef­fi­ciency while deal­ing with the con­se­quences of large-scale emer­gen­cies”. Puchkov said his min­istry can en­sure “un­in­ter­rupted trans­port, en­ergy sup­plies and com­mu­ni­ca­tions”.

The ma­noeu­vres evoke mem­o­ries of the Cold War, when Soviet ci­ti­zens were trained how to sur­vive in case of a nu­clear con­flict. Some ob­servers link the cur­rent drill to the widen­ing strain in Rus­sia-US ties over Syria and other is­sues.

The na­tion’s Cold War-era civil pro­tec­tion sys­tem that in­cluded a sprawl­ing net­work of shel­ters in ev­ery city was dis­man­tled af­ter the col­lapse of the Soviet Union, but the Emer­gen­cies Min­istry has worked to re­store some of its el­e­ments.

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