MOUNTING fears of a nuclear war have sparked a bunker frenzy as Russians rush to buy shelters and authorities make urgent checks to Vladimir Putin's underground hideout.
It comes amid growing fears of a nuclear war between Russia and the West in a catastrophic escalation of Putin's botched invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian leader has repeatedly threatened to unleash nukes while he and his inner circle is said to be concerned the West could launch atomic strikes on Russia.
And as experts warn the world must be ready for a nuclear war, the Russian elite have already their own top-secret bunkers built.
Telegram channel SOTA posted a leaked order for a housing cooperative to clear by today a local bomb shelter used for cars byOctober 18.
The instruction said it had to be "brought into line with the direct purpose of a civil defence facility".
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Moscow city government is demanding efforts "to increase the readiness of collective protective means”.
And the head of a homeowners’ association in the capital was summoned to the police and told “there was an order to check all bomb shelters”, reported the IStories media outlet.
Similar orders have been reported in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, as well as the Volgograd region and Buryatia republic.
Meanwhile, close Putin ally Nikolai Patrushev has already ordered Russia’s sprawling Southern Federal District to "bring the protective structures of civil defence into proper condition".
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Russia has a total of 16,448 nuclear bomb shelters, according to the country’s Accounts Chamber, mostly built during the Cold War when such facilities were a Soviet priority.
The chamber complained six years ago that 95 per cent were not in a fit state for use, and that many underground structures had been illegally privatised.
NTV channel -owned by energy giant Gazprom, currently blocking gas supplied to the West- recently highlighted the rush towards private bunkers for those who can afford them.
It reported: "20-to-30 bunkers are bought in Moscow each week, and the trend is increasing."
Footage showed some of the ready-made "cellars" which can be constructed below houses or gardens amid fears the current east-west tension over Ukraine could turn into a full-scale "hot" nuclear war.
A report described them as "black cubes wrapped in polyethylene, buried 12ft underground" and can sustain an "eight or nine" magnitude earthquake.
The report said: "Some customers are afraid that soon it will be hot. And, they want to dig [the nuclear cellars] deeper.
"And now the cellars are advertised as economy bunkers.[They can handle pressure] of up to five tons per square metre."
Vitaly Ustinov, who sells such facilities, confirmed to the outlet that "demand has increased."
Data show that advertisements for nuclear bunkers have increased in the past weeks with the main focus on western Russia rather than Siberia.
One advertisement warned ominously that people are "preparing for the end of the world" urging clients not to waste time buying their own nuclear numbers.
"Due to the difficult situation in the country, as well as fear of natural disasters, it is time to think about the safety of your family and loved ones.
"We offer both high-end and low-cost shelters as well as underground housing complexes.
"Most of our bunkers are adapted for global disasters like wars, floods and catastrophic climate change."
According to the ad the cheapest bunkers cover an area of 97 square feet and cost £28.400.
Another supplier in Belgorod region reported delays due to high demand in "low cost" bunkers equipped to counter "nuclear, biological and chemical contamination".
It is believed Mad Vlad has a number of underground lairs in Siberia, including one in Sabetta and another one in the Altai Mountains.
General SVR said on Telegram: "Relatives and friends of the heads of state will be delivered to the bunker in advance.
"But not everyone in the leadership of Russia was lucky.
"For example, Putin ordered, in the event of a nuclear threat, to evacuate the ‘necessary minimum’ of Russian officials".
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This would include prime minister Mikhail Mishustin, and the speaker of parliament Vyacheslav Volodin as well as the prosecutor-general and the leadership of the Security Council.
It would also include key officials from his presidential administration along with three security and spy services, the FSB, FSO, SVR with their families.
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