There are approximately 6,000 air-raid shelters across the Czech Republic which could accommodate a quarter of a million people in the case of a nuclear attack or incident, the country’s Prime Minister Petr Fiala revealed on Thursday.
Fiala was responding to a question from Deputy Vladimír Zlínský on the resource available to the country in the case of such a disaster, and explained that the many underground spaces in buildings across Prague and the city’s subway could also serve as shelters to help accommodate the country’s 10.7 million population.
“There is no reason to worry. Let us not frighten citizens that there is a risk and that we will have to hide in a shelter or something similar,” the Czech leader said in response to the question, adding that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks about putting nuclear forces on high alert are part of a psychological war.
“Putin is using it to scare citizens of democratic states. The use of nuclear weapons is extremely implausible, if not out of the question,” Fiala insisted.
The Russian president ordered Russian nuclear forces to be placed on high alert, a move that was a reaction to alleged “aggressive statements” by leaders of NATO member countries against Russia and the “illegitimate sanctions” imposed on Russia by the West following its invasion of Ukraine.
The Russo-Ukrainian war represents the largest land military conflict in Europe since the end of World War II. According to the Kremlin, Russia is committed to the denazification and disarmament of Ukraine.
The European Union and NATO member states have condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Wednesday, by 141 votes to 5, calling on Moscow to end the fighting immediately and withdraw troops from Ukraine. The countries opposed to the resolution were Russia and Belarus, alongside Syria, Eritrea and North Korea.
In connection with ensuring the energy security of Czechia, Fiala stated that the country had current oil reserves for about three months and gas reserves for more than a month at current consumption.
Nuclear fuel reserves are also sufficient, Fiala stated, adding that people should not be afraid that the operating of nuclear power plants in the country could be suspended.