Photo from the criminal case
In order to bring fair retribution to the criminals, the Soviet counterintelligence has done a tremendous amount of operational and investigative work. Already in the first hours after the explosion in the subway (in the open area of the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line), over five hundred witnesses were interviewed. The KGB criminologists examined literally every centimeter of the blasted car, collected more than 800 fragments and explosive device parts.
Dozens of fragments removed from the bodies of the dead and injured passengers.
Experts did a similar job in the shop on Dzerzhinsky Square (now Lubyanka) and near the building of the Historical Archives Institute on October 25 Street (now Nikolskaya), where explosions also thundered.
As a result of the titanic efforts of the KGB employees, it was found that the pig iron duck was blown up in the metro, the one in which the hostesses cook roasts, cabbage rolls and other food. And the analysis of the cast iron itself made it possible to conclude: the duckling came to Moscow from sunny Yerevan. So in the field of view of counterintelligence were members of the Armenian nationalist underground. The rest was, as they say, a matter of technique.
It is interesting how the group leader, Stepan Zatikyan, a student at the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute, motivated his actions. In his opinion, his beautiful homeland, Armenia, was occupied by the Russians. For many years in a row they oppressed the Armenian people, did not allow them to live and breathe freely.
And now, they say, the hour of reckoning has come. It's time to take revenge on the Russian invaders. Naturally, nothing more sensible than the murder of innocent people, Zatikyan and his accomplices could not come up with. Thus was born the plan of an explosion in the subway and in stores in the center of Moscow. Criminals began to prepare the attacks in the first half. Xnumx's.
Photo from the criminal case
During the investigation, Zatikyan’s accomplices, Hakob Stepanyan and Zaven Baghdasaryan, spoke in detail about how the terrorists carried out their plans. The organizer and leader of the group himself even denied everything in court, behaved defiantly and shouted out phrases that the KGB had organized a series of terrorist attacks in Moscow.
As you can see, the habits of modern terrorists and their predecessors from distant 1970's are almost identical: all of them, using beautiful phraseology, settle scores with innocent people, and when these "fighters for justice" are put on the defendants' bench, they unanimously start blaming organs in everything state security.
But the most interesting thing in the story stories not even with what persistence and supreme professionalism Soviet counterintelligence unraveled this rather extraordinary thing for that time, but the conclusions reached by the leaders of the KGB of the USSR. Quite rightly judging that the thundering explosions could be a signal for terrorists of all stripes, the leadership of the Soviet counterintelligence took a number of unprecedented measures in order to rule out any such excesses. Naturally, special attention was paid to Moscow, especially since in the capital at the end of the 1970-s, preparations for the Olympic Games were in full swing.
For example, shortly after the terrorist attack on the metro, a duty service and operational investigative group were established at the Secretariat of the KGB of the USSR, operating around the clock. As conceived by the KGB leaders, the task force’s duties included immediate response to any signals of impending attacks, explosions and other excesses, with immediate departure to the scene of the incident, inspection and initial analysis of the situation. After that, there was a report to the duty service of the KGB of the USSR, which analysts took decisions on further actions.
Photo from the criminal case
Boris Kozlov, a veteran of counterintelligence, recalls that the task force was equipped with all the necessary weapons, equipment, equipment and she was around the clock in full combat readiness:
- Each member of the group had personal small arms and other weapons, as well as special equipment and military protective equipment - helmets, body armor, gas masks. At the disposal of the task force was also special equipment that protects experts in the disposal of explosive devices.
The operations team had all types of communications, including intercoms, mobile telephone, operational and government HF communications. For movement in the Moscow region, the group members had special purpose vehicles: an escort car with a reinforced engine, radio telephones and special signals, a mobile forensic laboratory, a staff-type bus, and also a car with a large-sized container for the safe transportation of explosive devices.
According to Boris Kozlov, during the visits of the task force by the police radio, a voice signal was transmitted to the traffic police: “I am Gagarin”.
Then followed the route of the operation group. For example:
“I leave for Vnukovo airport from Lubyanka Square via Mokhovaya, then Leninsky Prospect. Please ensure unimpeded movement. ”
As soon as the traffic police received such a message, the traffic in the capital was regulated in such a way as to ensure the passage of the operation group’s column at maximum speed along the “green street” to the scene of the incident.
Subway car after the explosion. Online shooting of the KGB of the USSR
During the existence of the operation group, its members had to travel to a variety of tasks. Among them - the elimination of the consequences of explosions and man-made disasters, disassembly with foreigners, the conduct of the initial investigative actions upon the discovery of corpses of people who died under unobvious circumstances, and much more. Retired Colonel Boris Kozlov continues:
- Personally, I was most of all struck by an explosion of a train train at the Kurovskaya station near Moscow and incidents at capital airports. So, 6 December 1978 of the year at the Kurovskaya junction station in 02: 50 nights, an explosion of two cars loaded with industrial explosives (about 60 tons of ammonite, which was in wooden boxes).
As a result, a crater with a diameter of 60 and a depth of 10 was formed at the site of the cars destroyed by the explosion. The train traffic was paralyzed at the station, the railway tracks were covered with debris. In the city of Kurovskoye in many houses from the shock wave demolished interior partitions and smashed glass. The forest adjacent to the station was collapsed, 10 was almost completely destroyed from 12 cars of a completely new commuter electric train standing on a nearby track.
In a word, the destruction is monstrous. It is even surprising that there was no mass death of people. Two people died - the watchman, whose hand with a gun, we found at the scene of the incident, and the worker in the boiler room, located nearby. Having inspected the place of the tragedy, they reported on the incident, as expected, to the duty service of the KGB of the USSR. In the further investigation, we did not take part.
I only remember that, according to one of the versions, the explosion at Kurovskaya station was the work of terrorists. This version was worked out with special care, because the following fact spoke in its favor: just a few minutes before the explosion, a military transport train with ammunition and tactical ballistic missiles passed through the station. Obviously, this train was hunted by criminals. If ballistic missiles were torn, the consequences of such a terrorist act are hard to imagine.
The consequences of the terrorist attack in the grocery store on Dzerzhinsky Square. Online shooting of the KGB of the USSR
No less sad was the plane crash of the Tu-104 of the Odessa squadron with the board number USSR-42444. True, there occurred the usual man-made accident. As experts later established, the 17 of March, the 1979 of the year, the liner, taking off from Vnukovo on the route Moscow - Odessa, was soon forced to return back as a result of the false alarm of the engine fire sensor.
However, the liner failed to sit down. In conditions of poor visibility, the crew made a premature descent, as they approached the landing, the plane caught the power line and fell in the forest. 58 people died. After this disaster, all without exception Tu-104 aircraft were decommissioned on passenger lines.
And here is another episode. Once a message arrived from the same Vnukovo airport that a fire had started in the baggage terminal.
“The task force left in full force and arrived at the site in a matter of minutes,” says Boris Kozlov. - The fire, more precisely, the fire on the square in one square meter, was already extinguished, and therefore we immediately began to inspect the scene. It became clear that the reason for the ignition was the typical carelessness of service personnel carrying passengers' things on an electric car.
The surface of the battery of the electric vehicle remained open, an obstacle appeared on the way of the electric vehicle, it jumped, there was a slight concussion, and from contact with the passengers' things, the upper part of the batteries flashed. The ignition was immediately localized, but some of the passengers' things became useless. The airport administration has asked to help avoid scandal and liability for damage to property of passengers.
Therefore, I had to go for a certain trick and, when identifying passengers with luggage, draw their attention to the fact that among the things there were spray cans. With a slight heating in the stuffy room of the cargo terminal, the sprays, they say, self-ignited, which caused a fire. Foreigners were satisfied with these explanations and did not present any material claims.
Sometimes funny things happened. For example, once, in the spring of 1980, the operation group left for the MSU dormitory building. Lomonosov on Lenin Hills. As the agents informed, there were actions in the building that were similar to ideological diversion. Boris Kozlov reports on what happened next:
- Given the specifics of this signal, the task force left only two cars: on the escort car and mobile forensic laboratory. Upon arrival at the site, we saw that the situation for ideological diversion, to put it mildly, does not pull: just someone wrote a pen with the pen on the door of the toilet cubicle “Hit the Jews, save Russia!”. Below another pencil and other handwriting was attributed:
"Long live the Great Israel from Cairo to Baku."
Despite the obvious anecdotes, one of the operatives who served the Moscow State University seriously proposed to equip the toilet with technical means to ambush the authors of these inscriptions. However, we convinced him that it was not worth holding technical events due to the insignificance of the event. In order to reassure the zealous opera, our criminologist photographed the place and the inscriptions, took fingerprints from the door of the booth and wrote the corresponding certificate. We transferred all these documents to the local opera for possible identification of persons. I do not know whether he found the authors and performers of this “sabotage”.
But the management fully approved our actions: Colonel Alexander Petrenko, who was on duty on that day, after hearing our report on “ideological sabotage”, ordered not to spend more time on such nonsense and to return to the base.
Another time I had to leave the entire operations group at Sheremetyevo Airport. They found a cardboard package of impressive size, from which a muffled ticking of the clock mechanism was heard.
“We arrived so fast that local services did not even manage to organize a cordon,” recalls Boris Kozlov. - I had to take a risk - move the freight packaging to the nearest forest one kilometer from the airport and conduct its examination. Then, after consulting, we opened the load by cutting the side surface of the carton. Inside were hundreds of electronic wristwatches made in Japan. Moreover, if the course of individual clocks was practically not heard, in their mass, due to resonant phenomena, they made a “ticking” sound.
Something similar happened in the summer of 1980, at one of the Olympic venues in Moscow - in the sports complex on Prospekt Mira. There, too, was heard "ticking" behind the wall in the corridor of the second floor. The use of search engines did not give a sensible result, so I had to break through the wall. It turned out that behind the wall there is a vertical interfloor technological space through which water pipes pass. One of the pipes was leaking, and drops of water methodically dripped onto some kind of metal part, making a sound similar to the “ticking” of the clock mechanism ...
In general, thanks to timely organizational measures, the Olympic Games in Moscow were calm, without any incidents. Although it is known for certain that in the summer of 1980, in Moscow and other cities of the USSR, sabotage and terrorist acts were prepared using the most modern means of mass destruction of people. The leadership of the KGB of the USSR learned about this through intelligence channels. All the attacks were prevented in the early stages of preparation. The details of these operations are still a secret with seven seals.