For several decades the Bunker-42 was one of the most secret facility on the territory of the USSR, as it was intended for the top management of the country, as well as military command, in the case of a nuclear war. In 2000 the bunker was taken off the security list and became one of the most interesting cold war museums (2006).
The first Stalin`s bunker was built in Samara in 1942, when the government of the USSR prepared for the evacuation from Moscow because of the approaching German armies. Now it is also a museum. The Moscow bunker was built taking into account the new realia of the cold war between the former allies - the USSR and the USA.
The construction of the Bunker-42 in the Tagansky district of Moscow began just after the last war, in 1945, by the order of J. Stalin. You can see his wax figure in one of the rooms of the bunker. However, the facility was put into operation only in 1956, after the death of Stalin.
The depth of the bunker is 65 meters, that is, the main rooms are on the -26th floor. It consists of 4 tunnels with a diameter of 9,5 m each and a total area of about 7000 m2. The tunnels are on the same level and are connected by passages.
However, you can`t call it the world`s deepest bunker. In 1953 Josip Broz Tito decided to build a much deeper one in Yugoslavia. After it was finished in 1979 its depth was about 280 meters.
But unlike the Tito`s bunker in Yugoslavia, where there was no real reason for its construction, at the height of the cold war the Moscow bunker was assigned an important role of the command center of the strategic aviation equipped with nuclear-armed missiles, as well as the nuclear missile launch center. About 5000 people could take shelter in the bunker in case of a nuclear war.
The Bunker-42 had all necessary means of defense against the direct hit of a powerful nuclear missile. The house above the bunker has a foundation shaped like a 6 meter thick dome above the pipe of the bunker. The special network of tunnels was designed to withstand both a powerful shock wave and penetrating radiation.
An excursion route includes all main rooms of the bunker: meeting rooms, the Stalin`s room and the other rooms for the maintenance personnel. Of the greatest interest are the command center of strategic aviation and the nuclear missile launch center. There was preserved the equipment used to give orders about nuclear missile launching in the museum room. In the neighboring room is located the command center with the special equipment and maps with targets for potential nuclear attacks.
During the Caribbean (also known as Cuban Crisis) Crisis of 1962 the Bunker-42 was used for intended purposes, and it was from there that the historical telegram of Khrushchev about the pullout of Soviet missiles from Cuba was sent. It put and end to the sharpest confrontation when the risk of the nuclear was very high.