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What do you do with a Soviet bunker 22 stories underground?

Turn it into a luxury leisure complex, equipped with a hotel, shops and a spa.

At least that's what Nikolai Temerev, the general director of a company that purchased a 1950s nuclear blast-proof bunker in the heart of Moscow last year, plans to do. The Tagansky bunker was built under Stalin and was used to house the communications headquarters of the Soviet leadership and top military officials. With stores of food and medicine, as many as 3,000 people could live and work in the underground network for 90 days without assistance from the "outside world" thanks to its air recycling system and diesel generators.

Temerev's got a powerful ally in Yury Luzhkov, Moscow's mayor. Luzhkov wants to develop as much as a quarter of underground Moscow over the next ten years, up from the 8 percent that is currently being used. Temerev explains why:

There are big problems in this city—transport problems, communications problems. And these need to be resolved .... Either we can build upwards—like, say, in Japan, where they have all these overpasses. But that would mean covering the landscape with triple-level roads. The other option is to build underground. And in that way you don't change the face of Moscow, which is of historical importance to the city and to the Russian people."

And of course, who wants to be disturbed by a nuclear explosion when they're having a facial?

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