November 2, 2017: What is the Russian “Pentagon?”

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A Brief History

On November 2, 2017, we answer reader requests to tell them about the Russian equivalent of the American military headquarters building known as “The Pentagon.”  In just a few words, the Russian equivalent of our Pentagon is known as The Main Building of the Ministry of Defense. (Note: This building is NOT to be confused with the Kremlin.  The Kremlin is an entirely different structure, consisting of fortified government buildings surrounded by a wall that is more akin to our White House than it is to our Pentagon.)

Digging Deeper

Like the American Pentagon, the Russians (then the Soviet Union) saw the need to construct a major building to control the vast forces needed to fight during World War II, and in both the United States and Russia, construction began during World War II.  The Soviet/Russian version started construction in 1940 and was not completed until 1951, with the building getting a major renovation from 1979 to 1988.  The US Pentagon was started in 1941 and dedicated in 1943, and underwent a massive renovation from 1998 to 2011.  Just as the American Pentagon is the home of the US Department of Defense, the Main Building is the home of the Russian Ministry of Defense.  Both the US and Russian military headquarters are located in their countries’ capital city.

Another similarity between the Russian and American military headquarters buildings is that even though both are the main building concerning the military, neither is the only major defense related building in their respective capitals.  Moscow and Washington, DC both have other headquarters type buildings housing various branches of the armed forces and subordinate commands.

The Soviets, and now the Russians, being more secretive than the government of the United States, limits the information about their Main Building of The Ministry of Defense, so we do not have detailed information about the buildings’ construction, square footage, defensive measures and the like.  The US obviously keeps certain information about the Pentagon secret, but much more in the way of details about the building is public information than that about the Main Building of the Ministry of Defense.  In any case, both buildings would likely be targeted during a nuclear World War, so common sense dictates there must be certain survivability factors built in for the staff manning both buildings.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.