Military Review

And the walls have "ears." The story of one invention and one betrayal

5 December 1991, during the reception at the US embassy on Novinsky Boulevard, the chairman of the Inter-Republican Security Service (as the democrats who came to power called the KGB) Vadim Bakatin handed over the wiretapping scheme to the American ambassador Robert Strauss in the new embassy complex.

New building of the US Embassy in Moscow

However, the scheme - said too softly. It was a whole package of top secret documentation (at least 70 sheets) about the system of listening devices and how these devices work. Strauss is said to have stood for a long time with such a soulful generosity of the Russian minister.
Of course, after a series of demarches with unilateral reduction of missiles and other concessions, the Yankees were not surprised at anything. However, so that the head of the security service of one state would transmit, like a spy, secret documents to a representative of another state - such stories secret wars and diplomacy has not happened.

Bakatin himself subsequently tried to justify his betrayal by the fact that the wiretapping scheme, they say, was outdated long ago and the Americans, they say, calculated it themselves. Therefore, the act of transferring technical documentation has not caused any damage to the security of Russia and can be viewed as an expression of goodwill and a desire for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Someone may have believed this nonsense, but not the experts. First, no mutually beneficial cooperation followed this act of goodwill: the Americans did not give out their secrets and were not going to give out. And secondly, the wiretapping system of the American embassy in Moscow was so perfect that it would take Americans more than a decade to fully compute the whole scheme and understand the meaning of its work.
Therefore, all the normal compatriots regarded Bakatin’s gift as an unprecedented in their scale and cynicism betrayal of their country.

Scheme of wiretapping in the building of the US Embassy. Bakatin gave 70 sheets of such documentation to Americans

And now a few words about the audition itself. If someone thinks that the KGB craftsmen poked "bugs" into the walls of the embassy building, they are deeply mistaken. The fact of the matter is that no one poked any “bugs” anywhere. The essence of this unique system was that the role of the listening device was performed by the materials themselves and the structures from which the new building of the American diplomatic mission was built.

Therefore, it was almost impossible to calculate exactly where secret information flowed from the embassy building. To do this, you would need to disassemble the entire building down to the supporting walls and floors.

One of the authors and developers of this unique listening system is KGB major Vyacheslav Astashin. At the end of the 1970s, this talented inventor headed the department in the Design Bureau of the special equipment for providing intelligence and counterintelligence activities by the KGB of the USSR. Under his strict guidance, already at the design and construction stage, the embassy building systematically began to resemble a gigantic microphone working for receiving and transmitting secret information.

At the beginning of 1990, Vyacheslav Astashin, unable to survive the general collapse and chaos, died a relatively young man - he wasn’t 60 years old. It so happened that I am quite familiar with Vyacheslav's brother Vadim. So, he told a lot of curious details, which, obviously, at one time he was told by his brother.

The idea to make concrete “hearing” came to Vyacheslav at the beginning of the 1970-s, when he, a graduate of one of the leading technical universities of the country, was invited to work in the KGB. For several years in one of the KGB laboratories, Vyacheslav, together with a group of like-minded people, brought his invention to the mind. And there was a great opportunity to put it into practice: the Yankees decided to build a new embassy in Moscow. The architectural design was developed by the Americans, but the building materials and equipment had to be supplied by the Soviet Union.

This situation brilliantly took advantage of the Soviet counterintelligence. So, already at the stage of production of building materials, barely perceptible listening devices were mounted in concrete blocks and wall panels. Outwardly, they did not differ from simple construction waste, which sometimes gets into the concrete during its production. For example, in a homogeneous mass of concrete, suddenly a small black pea is found with a pinhead.

And the walls have "ears." The story of one invention and one betrayal

Vyacheslav Astashin, author and developer of a unique wiretapping system

Determine what it is, it is impossible to go: you need a special analysis. But even if it turns out that this black ball is not rubbish, but a skillfully made microphone, in fact it will not change anything. Because of such balls, cubes, sticks and other objects, which are incomprehensible at first glance, several thousand were built into the walls and beams. And each of these balls played a role in the general wiretapping system. Thus, the whole building turned into a huge microphone.

Moreover, natural processes used in any building structure were used as feed energy: vibration, circulation of heat and water vapor inside walls, etc. Not surprisingly, the special US Senate Commission, which analyzed the technical documentation carefully transmitted by Bakatin, concluded that the listening system installed by the KGB of the USSR in the new building of the American Embassy in Moscow is "the most complex and skillfully conducted reconnaissance operation in history."

Interestingly, shortly before his death, Vyacheslav Astashin, who had already retired by that time, was visited by some respectable gentlemen from the American consulate and offered to move to the United States so that, at a university, for very good money to work on their technical projects .

At the beginning of 1990, people from a free democratic Russia pushed the West to the west: artists and athletes, directors and politicians, traffickers and journalists drove to America and Europe for a beautiful life. Therefore, the Americans were confident that they would be able to easily reach an agreement with a Russian engineer who lived on a modest pension. Failed. After listening to the guests ’offer, Astashin declared that he wasn’t selling his Homeland, and put the Americans outside the door of his apartment ...
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. pravednik
    pravednik 13 December 2015 05: 45
    Yes, and all those who betrayed Russia now live quietly and live and honor themselves, and Themis of Russia is stupidly silent. It turns out that treason is welcomed by the country's leadership. In short, insanity in Russia grows stronger for the joy of its enemies.
    1. Askin
      Askin 13 December 2015 11: 45
      Quote: pravednik
      It turns out that betrayal is welcomed by the country's leadership

      All this is wonderful and so touching that even a mean male tear begins to boil. One thing is not clear - if everything is so obvious, then why is nobody sitting for the betrayal of the Motherland? And who are the real Chekists - those who were shot at 38 in Lefortovo for 70 cases a day, in the 70-80s they shoved those who disagree with the regime in nuthouses, cut into 90 countries, and now they run gas and oil.
      1. APASUS
        APASUS 13 December 2015 20: 12
        Quote: Askin
        All this is wonderful and so touching that even a mean male tear begins to boil. One thing is not clear - if everything is so obvious, then why is nobody sitting for the betrayal of the Motherland?

        He was given the Peace Prize, lives on a pension in Germany and barks slowly, who will put him in prison? For the West, he is a hero!
    2. Mister X
      Mister X 13 December 2015 15: 03
      Quote: pravednik
      betrayed Russia now live peacefully and praise and praise themselves

      Judah received 30 silver as payment for his betrayal, but since then a lot of time has passed and the level of payment has increased: inflation ...

      Former chairman of SME (KGB) Vadim Bakatin from March 1992 to 1997 He worked at the International Fund for Economic and Social Reforms (the Reform Foundation), then as an adviser at Alfa-Cement and Stolichny Bank, which would deprive hundreds of thousands of Russians of their savings.

      Later he became a member of the advisory board of the British-Swiss investment company Capital Vostok, where he was invited by a member of the advisory board of Baring Vostok Capital Partners, president and chairman of the board of directors of Vostok Capital, pilot-cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.

      It provides services to Bakatin and the powerful Baring Vostok Capital Partners, which invests in the oil and gas industry in Russia and the CIS, the financial sector, as well as in television companies, actively influencing politics.
      Baring Vostok invested in the Russian search engine Yandex at an early stage of project development. In 2000, the company acquired 35,7% shares in a search engine.
      Thanks to investments, Baring Vostok managed to earn approximately $ 4 billion, as a result, the initial investment of $ 5 million paid off in 800 times !!!

      Other companies that received investments from Baring Vostok: Volga Gas, Borjomi,, Burren Energy, CTC Media, Center for Financial Technologies, Enforta, ER-Telecom, 1С, Novomet, Kaspi Bank,, and Golden Telecom.
      Since its founding, Baring Vostok has invested more than $ 2,4 billion in 67 companies.

      Vadim Bakatin has a son: Dmitry Bakatin (a successful businessman).
      In 30 for years, he became Managing Director of Renaissance Capital and Deputy Chairman of the Board of the International Financial Club.
      In 2001 - 2003 - First Deputy General Director, Gazprom-Media. Then - one of the founders of the “Sputnik” group of US citizen Boris Jordan and to this day its managing director.
      Member of the Executive Committee of the Russian-American Business Cooperation Council, Vice-President of the Charitable Foundation to assist the cadet corps to them. Alexey Jordan.
      Awarded the Order of St. Daniel of the Russian Orthodox Church.
      1. Idiot
        Idiot 12 January 2016 13: 28
        This is A. Leonov who is sure that the Americans were on the moon. Still he was not sure about it.
      2. Idiot
        Idiot 12 January 2016 13: 28
        This is A. Leonov who is sure that the Americans were on the moon. Still he was not sure about it.
  2. Alekspel
    Alekspel 13 December 2015 06: 07
    This is all a galaxy of u-ro-dovs, starting with the "best German" under-legged humpback who still does not die living in Germany and celebrating his nasty anniversaries in England. Maybe the Lord specially keeps him on Earth so that he looks at his deeds and listens to how millions of Russians curse him. And Bakatin is simply pathetic and he gave up his secrets for a small fraction, like all these vile chubais. It's surprising that they are still in good health, is Putin for them too?
    1. Aleksander
      Aleksander 13 December 2015 07: 54
      Quote: Alekspel
      . But Bakatin is just pathetic and he passed his secrets for a little bit,

      -1973 to 1975 - Second Secretary of the Kemerovo City Committee of the CPSU.

      1975 to 1977 - Head of the construction department of the Kemerovo regional committee of the CPSU.

      1977 to 1983 - Secretary of the Kemerovo regional committee of the CPSU.
      From 7 of May 1987 to 17 of November 1988 - First Secretary of the Kemerovo Regional Committee of the CPSU. .

      In 1986 — 1991 - member of the Central Committee of the CPSU

      That is, an ordinary party Mr.-nida functionary, what else was expected from him? Such is the "elite" of the country, ... Although any homeless person was a much greater patriot.
      1. bumbarash
        bumbarash 13 December 2015 16: 00
        )) of course .... but yours.
    2. Ladoga
      Ladoga 13 December 2015 11: 58
      like all these dastardly Chubais. It's amazing that they still live, is Putin really for them?

      Do you still doubt it?
      1. Starina_hank
        Starina_hank 13 December 2015 14: 15
        The vile was time !! Many and many betrayed betrayers!
      2. Starina_hank
        Starina_hank 13 December 2015 14: 15
        The vile was time !! Many and many betrayed betrayers!
    3. The comment was deleted.
    4. The comment was deleted.
    5. The comment was deleted.
    6. The comment was deleted.
  3. igorra
    igorra 13 December 2015 06: 08
    There is no Stalin on them, whoever has a green forehead, who has a knapsack on their shoulders. You can certainly wait until the liberal democrats themselves die, like their leader is foolish (to fry him in hell forever), but they infect the youth with the consumerism virus, so Kolyma needs to be revived.
  4. apro
    apro 13 December 2015 06: 35
    To kill a traitor is the official need of an intelligence officer, damn it, if you think about how many of these in Russia?
  5. venaya
    venaya 13 December 2015 07: 36
    The ancient legend about "walls with ears" in the royal palace of Spain in the Middle Ages surfaced in a new guise, in the form of a new building of the American embassy in Moscow. The genius of engineering thought Vyacheslav Astashin was able to actually revive such an ancient idea in reality, the fact that at the very top of the country's leadership there were frankly unworthy people for that - so read more closely one of the religious works (mostly instructions for action), it clearly indicates that: "It is not necessary to bribe everyone, it is necessary to bribe only the leadership, that is, the head ...". This is how the Yakovlevs, Shevornadze, etc. appeared here. etc., their name is ....
  6. Neophyte
    Neophyte 13 December 2015 08: 11
    The fact that Bakatin the traitor, like many party functionaries of that period, is understandable, but why didn’t he be imprisoned for life for treason? If this n.d.d. is alive, then right now, you can imprison without termination prescription. And since it’s not sitting, it means someone is taking care of it.
    1. mult-65
      mult-65 13 December 2015 19: 41
      Who could it be? And someone recently presented the Yeltsin Center in Yburg ...
  7. Good cat
    Good cat 13 December 2015 08: 44
    Interestingly, he himself came up with a message or who suggested? It’s a kind of dark story, and so it sat, sat, give me how I will give the plans to the mericos ... Nobody knows more about it?
    1. Baloo
      Baloo 13 December 2015 09: 49
      The puppeteer of the restructuring was Yakovlev, the last ideological secretary. He proudly passed his party card on the eve of the Emergency Committee in the evening. He was recruited during an internship at Columbia University in the late 50s with Kalugin (they still had a third, but I don’t remember his last name). Who prevented Kryuchkov from arresting these bastards? Kryuchkov in the last interview a few days before his death said that when he came to Gorbachev he waved away: then, then ... And then he said, show these documents to Yakovlev.
      The story with cards for 100 thousand bucks from the Preza of South Korea is known to everyone. Kryuchkov: Mish, when will you hand over the cards to the cashier? then, then ... Gorbach prepared advance routes in advance, and the decision on the State Emergency Committee was prepared at his direction and published in a few months. I read it in the Komsomol. The motive of the traitors, there is no USSR, and here we are selling the amers the secrets of a non-existent state. No one says how many valuable agents and residencies have failed. On TV, they briefly talked about a whole family of illegal immigrants, whose grandchildren grew up during their work across the river, and they all had to return because of Kalugin’s betrayal. All the same, the highest measure to the traitor in this area should be.
      I am a civilian and have never come in contact with the Stirlitz, I think so. Rope with soap traitor. angry hi
      1. atos_kin
        atos_kin 13 December 2015 11: 02
        Whatever one may say, but the KGB of the USSR is the main culprit in the destruction of the USSR. The Committee did not fulfill its main function - to ensure STATE security. Even the wiretapping scheme could not be saved or accidentally spoiled. The "fish" rotted away very quickly.
        1. sigdoc
          sigdoc 13 December 2015 12: 21
          Rather, the MGB, after the 53rd the KGB did not have such powers allowing control over the elite. It was not for nothing that Nikitka began his "reforms" with the reorganization of the state security bodies.
        2. mult-65
          mult-65 13 December 2015 19: 45
          For all that, the office was at that time the least corrupt body.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  8. bocsman
    bocsman 13 December 2015 08: 57
    Such crimes should not have a statute of limitations. So that even those who thought about such things would know, punishment will not pass him! Russia is the legal successor of the USSR and therefore has every right to prosecute such traitors. But does he want to ?! And why doesn’t he want?
  9. Clutch
    Clutch 13 December 2015 09: 31
    Bakatin - Chairman of the KGB of the USSR !!!
  10. raid14
    raid14 13 December 2015 09: 45
    How much these shitcrats drank blood to the special services, announcing that "Russia has no enemies" is a separate conversation.
    When a "stavlenik" of the West becomes the head of state, we are losing the war without fighting.
  11. 35lisment35
    35lisment35 13 December 2015 10: 48
    Eternal glory to Vyacheslav Astashin!
    1. Things
      Things 13 December 2015 12: 25
      Quote: 35lisment35
      Vyacheslav Astashin!

      Man! Patriot! Man! good

      May he rest in peace - such people deserve respect, admiration and memory ...
  12. Karlos
    Karlos 13 December 2015 11: 02
    "Astashin lives on a modest pension", this is how the country values ​​its heroes, and Bakatin, I think, does not live on a modest pension
    1. pv1005
      pv1005 13 December 2015 12: 00
      Read carefully, comment wisely. Astashin more than 20 years as a graveyard, what for a modest pension.
      1. Karlos
        Karlos 13 December 2015 15: 08
        guilty, "LIVED on a modest pension", but the essence of this does not change, Well, do not be rude.
  13. provincial
    provincial 13 December 2015 13: 06
    So many years have passed, and we are all looking for who is to blame. In the 90s, I lived in the BSSR and when the process of the collapse of the USSR began, I did not leave the TV and radio, listened, watched and analyzed. I was glad that the end of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and upset that the citizens of the great country stood as if on the sidelines and simply watched the process that was being done in Moscow and Leningrad. They watched dully without interfering. Then the liberals quickly carried out a coup d'etat under the leadership of the EBN in August and continued the "democratization" of the country. Part of the active citizens led by the general Makashov, Rutskoi and others tried to take revenge in October 93, but it was too late. Now the main thing is that we, the population of the USSR, our indifference and fear are to blame. Why do I think so, my brother-soldier lives in the suburbs of Odessa and when they started Maidan business I asked him "what is happening with you?" The answer was "This is happening in the center, far away from us, they will bother and end." So it is with us. It's just that our leadership turned out to be smarter and, in fact, is trying to build a more or less normal bourgeois state, and the Ukrainians were simply unlucky. It's too late to remember the USSR, there is no peaceful way back. "Having taken off their head, they don't cry for their hair."
  14. Mantykora
    Mantykora 13 December 2015 13: 26
    After listening to the commercial proposal of the guests, Astashin said that he was not selling his homeland, and put the Americans outside the threshold of his apartment ...

    Shortly before death? For good reason ... they could have helped ... At least out of revenge.
  15. linen
    linen 13 December 2015 13: 45
    Yeltsin-drunk handed over OUR !!! It was he who told Bagatin to hand over the scheme to these "friends"! !!!
  16. ivanovbg
    ivanovbg 13 December 2015 14: 16
    I remember the joke that for the US Embassy in Moscow, the KGB created a new building material - micro-concrete, consisting of 90% microphone and 10% concrete.
  17. Santjaga_Garka
    Santjaga_Garka 13 December 2015 14: 16
    But it’s vile, how they didn’t decide for him on the spot? This is such a blow - to devalue such investments of funds and forces in this development! These must be burned in the square, so that others would be disgraceful!
  18. python2a
    python2a 13 December 2015 14: 19
    Real man!
  19. xomaNN
    xomaNN 13 December 2015 14: 25
    In that foam of the "Eltsin" wave, many crooks have seized upon clearly undeserved posts. And such "party organizers" should not be allowed near the special services bully
  20. Leprekon
    Leprekon 13 December 2015 17: 26
    It is necessary, publicly, including through patriotic social movements, to reward such "patriots" as Bakatin with an order approved by Peter the Great - "Order of Judas"! Nits and their descendants should know that no one is forgotten and nothing is forgotten.
  21. dipol
    dipol 13 December 2015 19: 28
    Where is this traitor Bakatin now? Do not know ? I once fell under his distribution, I want to wish him health.
    1. Leprekon
      Leprekon 13 December 2015 19: 56
      Quote: dipol
      I once fell under his distribution, I want to wish him health.

      Lives and hopes to live to 100.
      His recent interview is
  22. 16112014nk
    16112014nk 13 December 2015 20: 17
    Quote: Askin
    if everything is so obvious, then why is no one sitting for treason?

    The authorities in Russia are traitors. They betray the interests of Russia for their own, commercial. In Syria, Russia is fighting not only for its geopolitical position. Much moreоThe major role is played by the fact that Syria does not allow the construction of oil and gas pipelines from Qatar and Saud. Arabia. And this is in the interests of Rosneft and Gazprom.
  23. 16112014nk
    16112014nk 13 December 2015 20: 34
    Quote: Askin
    if everything is so obvious, then why is no one sitting for treason?

    The authorities in Russia are traitors. They betray the interests of Russia for their own, commercial. In Syria, Russia is fighting not only for its geopolitical position. Much moreоThe major role is played by the fact that Syria does not allow the construction of oil and gas pipelines from Qatar and Saud. Arabia. And this is in the interests of Rosneft and Gazprom. If Syria falls, it will be difficult for Miller and Sechin to receive 5 million rubles a day. And they will come up with some kind of tax, such as repairing airways. And then you fly on an airplane, and it falls into air holes. Not otherwise, Ily and Ruslans have gouged the tracks. Igor Rotenberg will have something to do.
  24. Captain nemo
    Captain nemo 14 December 2015 00: 20
    Not in all I agree with Sergei Kholodov.
    1) Who is who can only figure out the time.
    a) And so we rewind my life in the 80s (you may not like it, but this is your fate), I stand one day until 1985 at a bus stop, and under my feet is a newspaper where on the editorial of Izvestiya England once expels our diplomats from England for espionage.
    b) I turn on the Ocean-209 receiver in the evening, exactly until 1990, and what I hear is that the American Embassy is not moving to a new building (this is even before all Bakatins, although the building was rebuilt a long time ago), because America became aware of that all the walls are crammed with KGB microphones, and in general the whole building is a huge microphone broadcasting to the entire district. And all this is said by my honestly purchased speaker of my "Ocean-209".
    c) My honestly bought speaker in "Ocean-209", according to the "voice of America" ​​if you believe this article, you see, he lied to me about the fact that the construction materials for the new embassy were supplied from Finland and not from the USSR.
    a) After Bakatin’s surrender, the United States quickly found that Finnish brick manufacturer for the new Embassy, ​​whose products included the right microphones in the right bricks, on the right side of the bricks.
    b) Bakatin - and we are not to blame for you Finami, if you Finns agreed to work for the damned people of Russia of the KGB of the USSR, moreover, he twice chose Yeltsin as a fighter with the KGB of the USSR.
    3) Do you still believe that under the constitution of the USSR / RF, action is not equal to counteraction?
    I am not like that, but as you wish, but I am better than you, and you are worse than me.
  25. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 3 January 2016 11: 05
    The wiretapping in the building of the American embassy is a well-known story.
    The Americans knew very well about wiretapping.
    And they used it. Various "disintegrations" were launched on it.
    And the KGB knew what the Americans knew. And disam did not believe. laughing
    Intelligence Games ... smile
  26. vka
    vka 4 January 2016 10: 47
    One obscenity and a traitor lives unnecessarily, another unrecognized genius died early - in this world something is wrong - the universe will wipe humanity into powder.