Germany needs to construct more bomb shelters and other civilian protections in preparation for a possible war with Russia, the head of a major government civil society organisation has said. (Photo by Oleksii Samsonov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)


Germany ‘must spend €10 billion to keep population safe from Russian aggression’


Germany needs to spend at least €10 billion on bomb shelters and other civilian-protection measures in preparation for a possible war with Russia, the head of a major governmental civil society organisation said.

André Berghegger, a Christian Democrat MP and managing director of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities, publicly stated that old bomb shelters from the Cold War era have to be brought back into service to protect civilians, while new facilities also needed to be built in light of the country’s growing population.

“The threat situation has changed, as the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine shows,” he told the Funke media group in an article published on March 9.

“We need to invest at least €1 billion each year for the next 10 years to protect the civilian population,” he argued, claiming there was currently only enough shelter space for 500,000 of Germany’s 84 million inhabitants.

“There is an urgent need to put disused bunkers back into operation,” he added.

“Security can no longer be taken for granted.”

To do this, Berghegger said, the country must focus on raising the required sums of money to “ensure internal resilience” in the event of any future conflict.

He added that new air-raid siren systems were also required as part of efforts to protect German civilians from “war-related dangers”.

The official said the Government should be examining the use of subway shafts and underground car-parks as emergency shelters, as such methods of protecting civilians had proved effective in Ukraine.

The association manager’s warning came amid increasing nervousness in Germany regarding the possibility of a future war with Russia.

Despite the country’s increasing support for Ukraine, Berlin has remained cautious regarding the conflict, apparently keen to keep it at arm’s length.

This has resulted in an ongoing hesitance to deliver certain advanced-weapon systems to Kyiv, with the German Government continuing to refuse to send its long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine for fear they could be used to strike targets in undisputed Russian territory.

In the meantime, Germany has been slowly preparing for any future global conflict within which it might be directly involved.

While attempts to bolster the country’s military have seen mixed results, officials have already visibly begun ramping up emergency-response systems.

Tests of such systems, which include the use of air-raid sirens and mobile-phone notification methods, have become relatively commonplace in the country.

Authorities announced the latest of these on March 11, with warning sirens set to bellow across the State of North Rhine-Westphalia on March 14 at around 11am local time.

Apart from warning of a possible conflict, the system can also be used to notify residents of major accidents or natural disasters.