85. Intelligence Assessment Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

SI 78–10044

Soviet Civil Defense Against Chemical and Biological Warfare (OUO)

Key Judgments

The USSR has an extensive biological and chemical warfare civil defense program. The effectiveness of the program, however, is limited by the present lack of sufficient resources such as shelters and protective equipment. Preparations for defense against biological and chemical warfare are similar in some respects to those for defense against nuclear weapons and Soviet civil defense preparations against chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons have been and continue to be integrated.

Most of the Soviet civil defense shelters appear to provide adequate protection against the effects of biological and chemical weapons. The standard-type shelters are equipped with ventilation-filtration systems that include filters specifically designed to remove chemical and biological contaminants. Currently about 10 to 20 percent of the urban population can be accommodated in these shelters and accommodations for 15 to 30 percent are to be built by 1985.

Compulsory civil defense training in general is not taken seriously by the population. Nevertheless, those portions of the program dealing with chemical and biological weapons will generate at a minimum increased public awareness of the effects of such weapons and appropriate defensive measures.

Soviet concern with civil defense against biological and chemical weapons continues even after a biological warfare treaty has been signed and talks on limiting chemical weapons are under way.

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[Omitted here is the table of contents and the body of the assessment.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 12, Chemical Weapons, 5/78–11/80. Secret; Noforn.