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Map of the Metro-2 system as supposed by the United States military intelligence.[1]

Metro-2 (Russian: Метро-2) is the informal name for a purported secret underground metro system which parallels the public Moscow Metro (known as Metro-1 when in comparison with Metro-2). The system was supposedly built, or at least started, during the time of Joseph Stalin and was codenamed D-6 (Д-6) by the KGB. It is supposedly still operated by the Main Directorate of Special Programmes and Ministry of Defence.[2][3][4]

Metro-2 is said to have four lines which lie 50–200 metres (160–660 ft) deep. It is said to connect the Kremlin with the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters, the government airport at Vnukovo-2, and an underground town at Ramenki, in addition to other locations of national importance.

In 1994, the leader of an urban exploration group, the Diggers of the Underground Planet, claimed to have found an entrance to this underground system.[5]

Historic evidence however paints a much more conservative picture, with one "line" existing by the late 1960s, from the Kremlin, specifically site 103, to the site 54 south from Moscow State University, with a spur going north-west from there, to the area of the Matveevskaya railway platform and the DV-1 there.[6][7] Additional lines, i.e. to Vnukovo, are likely a later invention by the enthusiast community, though with the change in generations of the hardened protective structure design in the 1970/80s a redundant back up of this system may have been at least considered.


Supposedly a tunnel switch that leads to Metro-1 from Metro-2, actually a switch at Troparovo to a buffer stop, on Metro-1.

In the summer of 1992, the literary and journalistic magazine Yunost ('Юность') published a novel by the author and screenwriter Vladimir Gonik entitled Preispodniaia ('Преисподняя') (English: Abyss), set in an underground bunker in Moscow. Earlier, in the spring of that year, excerpts from the novel had been published in the weekly newspaper Sovershenno sekretno (ru). In an interview with both the newspaper's editor and Gonik in 1993, the author stated that the term "Metro-2" had been introduced to them, and that the novel had been written based on information collected over the previous 20 years by the two of them on things such as secret bunkers and the underground railways connecting them.[8] Gonik admitted that he had worked on the book between 1973 and 1986, and that some of the more sensitive information had been purposefully misrepresented.[9]

In later years, Gonik has argued that the bunkers, and therefore the so-called "Metro-2", had been for use by the leadership of the Politburo and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), along with their families, in case of war. According to him, in the early 1970s the General Secretary of the CPSU, Leonid Brezhnev, personally visited the main bunker, and, in 1974, awarded the Chairman of the KGB at the time, Yuri Andropov, the Gold Star Medal of the Hero of Socialist Labour. Apparently, each member of the Central Committee had a 180 m2 (1,900 sq ft) apartment, with a study, lounge, kitchen and bathroom. Gonik claims to have gathered this information working as a doctor in the polyclinic of the Ministry of Defence.[10]

After the publication of the novel in 1992, the subject of a second, secret, underground railway has been raised many times, especially in the Russian media. In particular, the magazine Ogoniok has referred to a "Metro-2" several times.

Confirmed information[edit]

Russian journalists have reported that the existence of Metro-2 is neither confirmed nor denied by the FSB or the Moscow Metro administration. However, listed below is evidence for the Metro-2's existence.

Studies of declassified Soviet archival materials[edit]

"Metro-2" as of the late 1960s

In 2021 a book covering the new research on history of special fortification authored by Dmitry Yurkov has been published.[6][7] Below is a summary of findings.

From those de-classified archival documents an overall layout of the track system can be established for the late 1960s (this is limited by the source material officially released so far), with the main components identified. While the system was eventually assembled in the late 1960s by the KGB originally it was a collection of structures built for a variety of purposes and operators.

Deep single track tunnel[edit]

Various designs, including the implemented, with a deep single track tunnel.
The red line extension late 1950s-early 1960s

This is the oldest component, with construction being initiated in the mid 1950s (design finalised in 1956) and intended to provide a solution to the challenge of extended the red line south west, beyond the Sportivnaya metro station and the river. Because of the conflicting requirements—both to provide a reasonable cost and a secure river crossing, civil defence shelter capacity, the final design included a shallow metro line with the vulnerable bridge backed up by the deep single track tunnel, which spurs from the main line after the Sportivnaya station (initial part of this spur is seen on normal track maps) and, at least in the de-classified documents, a planned high speed elevator shaft.

There were also other intended peace time uses originally, such as for night time train parking.

Order 10-A[edit]

Order 10-A and surrounding structures, late 1960s

Order 10-A is composed out of sites 54 and 54a and was intended to provide protected work spaces for the personnel of the planned Palace of the Soviets behind the Moscow State University campus. The plans for those administrative buildings were tied to the shafts and other features of this underground infrastructure project but sadly Palace of the Soviets was not meant to be, much like its pre World War II variant located next to Kropotkinstaya metro station. Order 10-A was made by the 9th directorate of the Ministry for Defence and for it a new construction organisation (US 10-A, presently Transinzhstroi) has been set up in 1955. Construction has been initiated in 1956 and was complete by 1963.

The site is composed of at least 5 shafts (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 explicitly mentioned) and includes extensive supporting systems such as air filtering stations and power generation, with the latter designed to support the planned above ground administrative complex in case of emergencies. Site 54 is connected to the deep single track tunnel at the depth of 189m. Shaft R6, which was used during order 10-A construction, still exists in Moscow and is a marker for its overall location.

Sites 100, 101, 103 and "Branch"[edit]

Underground structures in central Moscow, late 1960s

Site 103 is a large U-shaped structure built in central Moscow, designed to enhance the legacy World War II infrastructure by providing site 1A in Kremlin at the depth of 55m for the leadership protected work spaces, site 15N communications node, site 100 shelter (passing under site 101), protected work spaces for the KGB. There were links to the existing legacy structures such as sites 25, 25/2 in Kremlin, site 201 at Lubyanka. It is also connected to the post-war site 101 at Zaryadie, which was intended to provide protected work spaces for officials working in the 8th Stalin's skyscraper, however the later was never built, with the site 101 mission shifting to supporting local Moscow region officials.

However this project has been plagued with a number of problems, from slower construction (which went well into mid 1960s) to how it could be evacuated post nuclear attack. The latter has been solved by construction of site "Branch" (Russian "Ветка"), which links up site 103 in the city center to the deep single track tunnel and allows moving people to the then city outskirts.

The remote air intake (DV) network[edit]

An early plan for the remote air intake network in Moscow

After some inititial work on a network of air filtering and then air regeneration stations, such as site 703 (aka ChZ-703) the decision has been made to shift towards using several large air filtering stations on the outskirts of the city and pumping this clean air into the rest of the deep metro from there. Those were quite large structures (600,000–800,000 m3/h productivity) and required extensive supporting infrastructure of their own.

While five were planned in Moscow this was later cut to three, with only two actually being built—"Matveevsky" (DV-1) and "Rizhsky" (DV-2) remote air intakes.

While the latter has been neatly connected to the post war deep metro line the former used a proprietary air supply tunnel connecting its location at the Matveevskaya railroad platform to the deep single track tunnel. This air supply tunnel has later been retrofitted with track, joining the network. For construction of this air supply tunnel and other related structures a shaft R6 has been transferred from US 10-A. A related additional structure was the special connector line between the red and circle lines, as it would allow transport of air from the deep and nuclear hardened post war section of the red line to the similarly protected circle line, bypassing the vulnerable area of the red line, which was built in 1930s. DV-1 could also have been be used as an evacuation exit for the Moscow Metro, due to its position on then city outskirts.

Leningrad also received a remote air intake, located at Lenin's square.

Move to KGB custody[edit]

In late 1960s the DV-1 and its related support infrastructure, the deep single track tunnel, were transferred to the KGB from the Moscow Metro, with a number of modifications being made, such as re-working the deep single track tunnel connection to the red line and adding a hardened hangar for 10 APCs at the DV-1, etc.

Possible causes of the naming confusion and myth generation[edit]

DV (ДВ in Russian) is quite close to the D6 (Д6) and may be one of the ways this designation came to be used in modern online discussions. The so-called "underground city in Ramenki" is likely the result of the urban explorers observing extensive support infrastructure for the DV-1, however this term has also been linked to the order 10-A, i.e. with the CIA map drawing a large rectangular box with the known shaft—R6 in the center.

Report from the U.S. Department of Defense[edit]

An underground service platform that is supposedly part of Metro-2

In 1991, the United States Department of Defense published a report entitled Military forces in transition, which devoted several pages to a secret government underground in Moscow. It also included a diagram of the system superimposed on a map of the city.[11]

"The Soviets have constructed deep-underground both in urban Moscow and outside the city. These facilities are interconnected by a network of deep interconnected subway lines that provide a quick and secure means of evacuation for the leadership. The leadership can move from their peacetime offices through concealed entryways in protective quarters beneath the city. There are important deep-underground command posts in the Moscow area, one located at the Kremlin. Soviet press has noted the presence of an enormous underground leadership bunker adjacent to Moscow State University. These facilities are intended for the national command authority in wartime. They are estimated to be between 200 m (660 ft) and 300 m (980 ft) deep, and can accommodate an estimated 10,000 people. A special subway line runs from some points in Moscow and possibly to the VIP terminal at Vnukovo Airfield(...)"

—Military forces in transition, 1991, p. 40

Information from officials[edit]

A structure that appears to be a secret ventilation complex near the Moscow State University

Igor Malashenko[edit]

In 1992, in an interview with Time, Deputy Director Broadcaster Igor Malashenko (ru) spoke about the existence of Sofrino-2, about 30 km (19 mi) to the north-east of Moscow's television broadcasting centers, built at great depths in case of nuclear war. According to Malashenko, the equipment was unusable due to age. He went on to say that the same fate befell many of the underground bomb shelters, and in particular a system of underground bunkers beneath the building of Moscow State University, which he said were flooded and had deteriorated.[12]

Vladimir Shevchenko[edit]

In 2004, former advisor of Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, former Russian president Boris Yeltsin and then president Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Shevchenko (ru) confirmed the existence of a secret in the Moscow Metro.[13]

"Reports on the number of underground communications are greatly exaggerated. In the days of Stalin, who was very afraid of assassination attempts, there was in fact a single-track underground railway line running from the Kremlin to his so-called "Nearby Dacha" in Volynskoye. Today, neither the Dacha nor the subway line are in use. In addition, there were underground transport links between the General Staff and several other government facilities. In 1991 a pneumatic mail tube was constructed between the CPSU Central Committee building in Moscow's Old Square and the Kremlin."

In 2008, Shevchenko once again touched upon the Metro-2.[14]

"Currently, the Kremlin subway cannot be called a transportation artery, and, as far as I know, for its continued operation it required major repairs: for among other things there are a lot of underground utilities which will eventually decay."

Mikhail Poltoranin[edit]

In 2008, Mikhail Poltoranin (ru), a minister under Boris Yeltsin in the early 1990s, explained[14]

"This is an extensive network of tunnels and an emergency command center in case of war, where you can command the nuclear forces of the country. It can hide a lot of people - its maintenance was necessary. I know that the "Metro-2" has branches that go to the suburbs so that the command could move away from the epicenter of a nuclear attack."

Dmitry Gayev[edit]

When ex-chief of the Moscow Metro Dmitry Gayev was questioned on the existence of the Metro-2, he responded:

"I would be surprised if it did not exist."

In the same year, in an interview with Izvestia, he said:[10]

"There is a lot of talk about the existence of secret transport tunnels. I will not deny anything. I would be surprised if they did not exist. You ask: Can we use them to transport passengers? It is not for me to decide, but for those organizations who own the railways. I do not exclude such a possibility."

Svetlana Razina[edit]

In 2008, in an interview in Argumenty i Fakty, the head of the Moscow Metro independent trade union, Svetlana Razina, admitted:[15]

"Several years ago, among the drivers of the Izmailovo depot there was a recruiting for a service on secret routes, and although there were many willing, they were to select only one. Entering the midst of these tunnels is only for people with special clearance. Most often, these branches used very short trains, consisting of battery-electric locomotive and one passenger car."


As stated in a report of ITAR-TASS in 2007:[16]

"Line of the Metro-2 has long been in the KGB office, and subsequently came under the wing of the FSB."

Information from defectors[edit]

Oleg Gordievsky[edit]

Oleg Gordievsky, a former colonel of the KGB who worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) for 11 years and defected in 1985, in an interview with Argumenty i Fakty called The supreme secret of the KGB, which has not been disclosed until now stated[17]

"You still do not know the main KGB secret yet: a huge underground city, a whole communications network of such facilities. But they will not show you; they will never, of course."

Declassified facilities[edit]

Model of the underground facility RFQ "Tagan".

Museum of the Cold War[edit]

In 2006, the Museum of the Cold War (ru) was opened to the public, located in the old Tagansky Protected Command Point at a depth of 60 m (200 ft). Initially it was a defence bunker (GO-42 or RFQ "Tagan").[18] Its depth is significantly greater than that purported of the Metro-2 lines, and so it could not have been part of the Metro-2 system.[citation needed]

Special fortification museum[edit]

In 2018, a museum opened at the location of the former ministry for foreign affairs secure archive facility.[19] Around 42 meters deep, it was originally intended as a metro air filtering, then air regeneration station, before the metro began work on a remote air intake network.

"Underground City" in Ramenki[edit]

In southwest Moscow, near the Ramenki District, there is a vacant lot to the southwest of the main building of Moscow State University.[20] A complex of buildings of the research base of Association "Science" (NEBO "Nauka"), built to a depth of between 180 m (590 ft) and 200 m, is the largest underground bunker in Moscow. According to the same source, it is connected with other secret underground facilities, and appears to be able to house up to 15,000 people.[21] A complex of surface buildings was built by architect Eugene Rozanov in 1975 by order of Glavspetsstroy.

One of the first times the facility was mentioned was in Time in 1992. Its article refers to a source named a "KGB officer", who claims he took part in the construction of a large underground facility in Ramenki. It was claimed construction began in the mid-1960s and was complete by mid-1970. The facility was named by the journalist as the "Underground City", which was supposedly intended to give refuge to 15,000 people for 30 years in the event of a nuclear attack on Moscow.[citation needed]

Most likely this is the sites 54, 54a of the order 10-A due to the location, time of construction (1956-1962), depth (189m at the connection to the deep single track tunnel) matching.[6][7] The inflated numbers for the shelter capacity may be influenced by the original deep single track tunnel's civil defence mission, which was to provide additional capacity to the metro. However, despite the high capacity, this was only a temporary, short term shelter, much like the other civil defence infrastructure.

In the media, the "Underground City" is often referred to as "Ramenki-43", the address of one of the supposed entrances to the facility. Ostensibly, the address is home to Militarized Rescue Squad 21 and the 1st Paramilitary Rescue Squad.[citation needed]

The video game Metro 2033 features the underground city and secret metro.[citation needed]

Supposed lines[edit]

Line D6
#3 Arbatsko–Pokrovskaya line
#1 Sokolnicheskaya line
connection to Metro-1
(Sokolnicheskaya line)
to Ramenki
"Underground City"
External image
image icon Photos of line D6 ("Branch", deep single-track tunnel)

The lines below are not supported by historic or other verifiable evidence. The "D6" line may be an interpretation by the urban exploration community of real tunnels such as site "Branch", deep single track tunnel, air supply tunnel. However those start at the Kremlin, specifically site 103, being connected to site "Branch" and not at the ministry for defence complex at Znamenka, as this graphic implies.

  • Line D6 – The only line that was explored and even photographed by enthusiasts.[citation needed] Stations are named, unofficially, after their obvious properties.
  • Vnukovo airport line – Built for government emergency evacuation. Vnukovo airport, when originally built, was an airport used only for military purposes, although now it has civilian commercial services as well.
  • Ismaylovo line – Built for Strategic Rocket forces. It is claimed to have been at least partially destroyed in the 1970s.[22]


  • Military forces in transition (Report). 1991. ISSN 1062-6557.
  1. ^ Kelly, Debra (January 27, 2017). "Metro-2: Is Moscow Home to a Secret Underground Railway?". Urban Ghosts Media. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "Metro". Archived from the original on 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2022-02-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ Главное управление спецпрограмм Президента. Agentura. 2000-03-23. Archived from the original on 2011-09-11. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  4. ^ Главное управление специальных программ Президента Российской Федерации. 2000-03-23. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  5. ^ Kalder, Daniel (2008). Strange Telescopes. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-23123-2.
  6. ^ a b c Yurkov, Dmitry (June 3, 2021). Soviet "Secret Bunkers" Urban Special Fortificaiton of 1930s-1960s (1st ed.). Moscow: Maska. p. 352. ISBN 978-5604604212.
  7. ^ a b c Yurkov, Dmitry. "Правительственные бункеры Москвы — лекция Дмитрия Юркова". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 5 September 2021 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Ъ-Газета - !Вышла книга о московских подземельях. Kommersant. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  9. ^ Введение, часть 1. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  10. ^ a b Секретное метро Сталина откроют для всех? - Известия. Izvestia. Archived from the original on 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  11. ^ United States Department of Defense (1991). Military forces in transition. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Defense. p. 40. ISBN 0-16-035973-2. ISSN 1062-6557. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  12. ^ Carney, James (1992-08-10). "Moscow's Secret Plans". TIME. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  13. ^ Подземные города [Underground cities]. Аргументы и факты. No. 21 (1230). 2004-05-26. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  14. ^ a b Правительство Москвы может открыть доступ в секретное сталинское метро. Newsru. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  15. ^ Представьтесь, пожалуйста (2008-10-16). Секретное метро.Спецлинии и сегодня продолжают строить. Аргументы и Факты. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  16. ^ Власти готовят карты подземной Москвы: узнаем ли мы всю правду о "провалах" и "секретном метро". Archived from the original on 2007-08-08.
  17. ^ Argumenty i Fakty Issue number 30 (1083) on July 25, 2001
  18. ^ Underground Soviet shelters and the secret Metro-2, December 26, 2013 Greorgy Manaev RBTH
  19. ^ "МУЗЕЙ — Бункер 703" (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-09-05.
  20. ^ Сидя на красивом холме. Русская жизнь. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  21. ^ Подземный город Раменки. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  22. ^ Метро-2.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°41′17″N 37°30′48″E / 55.68806°N 37.51333°E / 55.68806; 37.51333