Military Review

The last gift of the last KGB chairman

The last gift of the last KGB chairman

More than two decades have passed since the day when the citizens of the USSR collapsed on the heads of the citizens of the USSR who were already disappointed in Gorbachev's restructuring news - Vadim Bakatin, the last KGB chairman, gave the American ambassador in Moscow an unusual gift from 74 drawings and a short description on one sheet. Most of all, this shocked Russian officers and KGB veterans. Yes, and simple, not initiated into the games of special services by citizens of the USSR, excited by the articles of the media of those years, this event seemed like a bad dream - still, “to give to Americans easily secret documents about the system of eavesdropping? Such in stories There has never been a domestic policy or activity of the special services. ” That was the way the newspapers and magazines of those years shouted.

What did Bakatin “surrender” to the Americans? And how secret and valuable was this gift for the USA? The author of the article will try to answer these questions with the help of copies of all “Bakatin” documents and drawing on his own experience of operational and technical work in the KGB.


This story began at the end of the 1960s, when the USSR Foreign Ministry received the long-awaited finances for building more than two dozen new foreign embassies and concluded relevant bilateral agreements with many countries, including the United States. The architects enthusiastically set about preparing projects, and with them experienced quiet joy and special services, for whom the construction of new buildings provided great opportunities for the implementation of information retrieval systems. Thus, many talents got the opportunity to realize their own ideas and developments - some wanted to show their architectural mastery, while others, on the contrary, planned to work as secretly as possible, hiding even the time and place of their secret activities from their colleagues.

So, for “bugs” a new “breeding and habitat” environment was being prepared - concrete with fillers, steel framework for reinforcement, ready-made reinforced concrete structures, finishing materials. The “electronic battle fields” of the two powers, the USSR and the USA, were designated, which had already begun to prepare construction sites for new embassy buildings in Moscow and Washington. Previous practice has convincingly shown that it is impossible to leave the construction or overhaul of buildings of diplomatic missions without proper supervision - “bugs” can crawl into such places from which it will be almost impossible to pull them out without destroying the structures of the building framework.

This was well understood in Washington and in Moscow, where they began to develop countermeasures and train inspector-inspectors who were to strictly monitor the construction of local builders at all stages of construction, among which it was necessary to identify secret brigades with “bugs in their bosoms”.

After the first months of work, the inspectors-inspectors began to think about what method of supervision to follow. Theoretically, it was required to observe every worker and all building technologies. But in practice, such surveillance is impossible, since dozens and hundreds of builders of various specialties work at the construction site, and, moreover, they often change with the construction and equipment of the new building. Or maybe throw all the forces on the most important premises, where, for example, the ambassador and his cryptographers are sitting? But how then to deal with the offices of other embassy staff who also work with particularly important documents, possess secrets and can be followed up with the help of “bugs”? The conclusion suggests itself - it is impossible to keep track of all, and it is more expensive to divide diplomats according to the degree of importance, because getting a bug about the personal life of a mission officer for his subsequent recruitment can create a gap in the security of the embassy and lead to a leak state secrets.

In addition to the strategy of supervision, it was necessary to solve tactical issues. For example, is it better to secretly observe and record all suspicious actions of builders or stand pointedly behind them, preventing them from installing a radio tab, microphone, or laying a secret cable? The latter didn’t like the embassies ’security services, who said:“ You’re scaring away all the bugs, but what will we get to assess the technical potential of the enemy? No, gentlemen-comrade controllers, it is necessary to give the builders the opportunity to install a couple of “bugs!” But this turned out to be a very delicate problem - where can you be allowed to introduce “bugs” and where not? Try to find today a brave man who will take the responsibility to choose a room in order to “substitute” him for a “bug”? Most likely, none of the ambassadors or the head of the department will agree to provide their offices for the installation of “bugs”, so that later they serve the experts as samples for assessing the capabilities of the enemy! The ambassador, for example, can declare: “You, the special services, solve your problems yourself, then you and state security, and leave us alone”.

And such not simple questions were confronted by Soviet and American controllers, who had already begun their work in Washington and in Moscow at the end of the 1970s. With the similarity of tasks, the controllers worked in completely different conditions. At the Moscow construction site, the situation was under the control of the omnipotent KGB, which, having received “good” from the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU as early as 1969, systematically implemented operational and technical combinations, including pioneer student volunteers and Sunday workers, who caused complete chaos in the attempts of American specialists to establish a systematic check , accounting and control of imported building materials and finished structures coming from concrete plants located near Moscow.


In the American capital, the construction of new Soviet buildings was led by one of the largest private firms, which, of course, was not formally subordinate to the US government. And she didn’t want to risk her business reputation, being in the center of the scandal in case of detection of “bugs”. However, a press conference in February 1980 in the USA sounded like a bomb blast, at which Soviet diplomats demonstrated more than a dozen “bugs” put into operation by American builders along with new residential apartments. One of the “bugs” found inside a huge reinforced concrete column had the piquant inscription “Fuck you”, which caused shock to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who was considered a supporter of elegant and flexible diplomacy. Vance disgustedly called "shit" photos of American special equipment, delicately shown by the head of the USSR Embassy.

However, the Soviet success in Washington later turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory, because he untied his hands to the controllers in Moscow, to the aid of which specialists from the CIA and the Pentagon arrived. As American media wrote, “the Moscow construction site began to actively apply the experience of the Soviet inspectors, who x-rayed the concrete columns and boldly destroyed already finished building structures with a jackhammer”. CIA specialists in Moscow began to copy the Soviet experience of identifying "bugs" and went further, sending a reinforced concrete column to Langley by diplomatic mail for a special, objective examination.

The results were so stunning that the Americans sent a letter with indignation to Gorbachev himself, who was then personally visited by the American ambassador, showing the “young” general secretary of the photo of the suspicious building frame filling. Puzzled, Gorbachev tried to reassure the ambassador, citing the specifics of the restructuring he had begun, which had touched, most likely by mistake, on the new American building in Moscow. Having dealt with the ambassador, Gorbachev ordered the KGB chairman Kryuchkov to immediately curtail all secret work at an American construction site in Moscow. Vladimir Alexandrovich decided not to quarrel and, with his order, “froze” all the special works in 1986.


However, Gorbachev’s friendly assurances did not reassure the Americans, who expressed their emotions in the foreign media, which gave Ronald Reagan one of his strategic anti-Soviet "tricks". The president of the United States has previously called the USSR an “evil empire,” and has now received this “concrete evidence.” And in order to slightly besiege the Soviet leader, who had gained increasing popularity abroad and was losing support in his own country at the same speed, Reagan billed Gorbachev in 200 million dollars to rebuild the American building in Moscow. Gorbachev tried to resist and ordered to hold a press conference already in the Moscow press center, where American “bugs” showed to journalists, found at various times in Soviet missions to the USA.

In response, the US State Department banned the relocation of the Soviet embassy to new buildings in Washington, which hurt diplomats and other agencies who were housed in a small old building. There was a stalemate with two new complexes in Moscow and the United States, which could not be used.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, American experts began a systematic survey of the structure of their building, closing the empty window openings with wooden panels and not being distracted by the Moscow workers, who were barred from entering the construction site. They began to remove pieces of intertwined cables from the concrete frame, sometimes strange reinforcement from various metals was found, and other incomprehensible objects were found, which according to the project should not be. Restless politicians with a rich imagination were quick to speak out about the “huge electronic ear of the KGB,” which was greatly liked by the lively journalists, and the media smashed this sensation all over the world. However, experts were not in a hurry with assessments and more and more often asked themselves the question - what is the essence of this complex KGB system?

The case, or rather, Vadim Bakatin, who accidentally fell into the chair of the KGB, helped him out of the impasse, who, fulfilling the instructions of two presidents, Yeltsin and Gorbachev, presented the US ambassador in Moscow with a set of drawings with a short, single-sheet descriptive part. It listed the numbers of columns, beams and crossbars with elements of special equipment, as well as devices, designated by special terms.

Let us try to understand these documents in order to understand the purpose, value and uniqueness of everything that Bakatin "passed".


The main drawing of the building frame shows concrete supports, vertical columns, beams, as well as parts of the foundation slab. Inside these structures are designated cable routes with intermediate connectors, special containers with additional cables and connectors. At the ends and sides of reinforced concrete columns, foam concrete plugs are shown (for quick opening of these places) with “switches” inside, which could be used to connect new cables with information pick-up sensors during the final period of interior decoration of the building, during erection of brick and panel fencing (which was not due to the construction stop). In the drawings of vertical columns, special “contactless transitions” are also indicated (in the documents they are called BP). With the help of power supply units operating as high-frequency capacitors, each lower vertical column with a cable route section inside could be connected to the next vertical column, and thus, all individual cable sections switched to a single wired system, from the foundation to the upper floors of the building and further , to the final elements of information retrieval (in case of continued construction).

According to the description given by Bakatin, “concrete chemical power sources” were placed inside the two building structures (indicated as BHIT in the drawings), possibly for the power supply of electronic units hidden there as well as two microphones installed, most likely for acoustic control over the actions of American controllers on the upper floors of the building, where in the future rooms with secret information and electronic equipment of the US Embassy could be located. The presence of microphones in this part of the frame of an uncompleted building may indicate increased attention to the actions of American controllers, who were to carefully monitor all the actions of Soviet builders, and at night and on weekends visually and with the help of various equipment examine the framework elements of the upper floors . It can be assumed that, listening to the conversations of Americans, the KGB tried to understand the results of the work of the inspectors in order to hide or remove the detected or suspicious building detail with special elements inside.

One more “information for reflection” - on drawings No. 61 and No. 65 of horizontal reinforced concrete structures, called in the documents as “beams”, “pieces of plastic pipes of small diameter” are shown. By analogy with the basement drawings, it can be assumed that these elements were to be used in the future for laying cables for microphones and information pickup sensors.

The description also shows the numbers of two crossbars, where special “P” sensors are installed, and in separate drawings these places are called “sections of insulated reinforcement”. It is very likely that such a system could be used as an antenna for receiving radio and magnetic radiation from communications equipment, encryption, etc., which are often located on the upper floors of diplomatic missions.

At the end of the descriptive part of the “Bakatin” documents it is stated that “the listed elements are not integrated into the systems for receiving information and do not presently pose a threat to the security of the embassy”. Indeed, in the drawings there is no confirmation that the individual parts of the cables are connected to a single wired system. It is likely that Bakatin “passed” the unfinished interception system consisting of a large number of separate cables and connectors hidden in concrete columns and beams, which later had to be connected to sensors, microphones and other information retrieval devices. It is possible that these terminal devices were not installed in accordance with the order of Gorbachev and in connection with the Americans stopping construction at the planning and finishing stage.

The documents handed over to the Americans indicate the locations of such special systems as concrete-chemical power sources, high-frequency transitions between vertical columns, methods and places for hiding containers under the surface of building structures, special “P” sensors and much more. The conclusion suggests itself - the “Bakatinsky” gift clearly helped the American specialists in finding installation sites and deciphering the purpose of the KGB special equipment. It can be assumed that the “Bakatinsky” documents enabled the US Department of State to solve the problem of protecting a building in Moscow by demolishing the two upper floors and building four new ones, but using their own resources.

What goals did Bakatin pursue, handing over a set of secret drawings to the US ambassador? Perhaps it was the desire to please their superiors, Gorbachev and Yeltsin, and the very idea could be prompted by Bakatin by his American consultants, who were at that time in Moscow. The usual amateurism of the last KGB chairman, who simply did not understand the irresponsibility of his act and probably wanted to look original at the height of the political games of that period, cannot be ruled out.

In various articles about the “gift of Bakatin”, opinions were expressed that the Americans themselves, knowing from practice about the clever operational combinations of the KGB, could not completely believe all these documents and suggest that, in addition to the “donated” special equipment, the Russians have others Not yet implemented information retrieval systems that will wait for a suitable situation for their implementation or inclusion. It is possible that such a time has come.
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  1. tomatokin
    tomatokin 14 May 2016 07: 04
    About times, about morals ... Article +.
    1. Finches
      Finches 14 May 2016 07: 29
      For ages, only one gnaws at me - that this is a jerk, my fellow countryman from Kiselevsk, was the secretary of the Kemerovo regional committee in the late 70s and early 80s ...
      1. nov_tech.vrn
        nov_tech.vrn 14 May 2016 09: 24
        So what? Yeltsin and Gorbachev were also secretaries of the regional committees of the CPSU, professional leaders of degenerates, and how many of them later in the national republics, almost from childhood, fought with the "soviets"?
        1. Finches
          Finches 14 May 2016 17: 13
          I didn’t want to say something! That is, it turned out with such a meaning, but I just wanted to emphasize that he came from Kuzbass!
      2. Trotil42
        Trotil42 15 May 2016 08: 25
        I'm from Kemerovo. Really scum .. then a communist, then a liberal ..
      3. lukewarm
        lukewarm 16 May 2016 15: 11
        smile Is eating a fellow countryman? Or what of the regional committee? laughing Everything is normal with the regional committee - they are all like that from there. I have a fellow countryman too. Smaller, almost not at the hearing. Belolentochnik Kozyrev Oleg. Almost from one yard. It is a pity in childhood did not kill. laughing
  2. 0000
    0000 14 May 2016 07: 08
  3. Strashila
    Strashila 14 May 2016 08: 15
    Any such gift is human destiny and life.
    How many of them fell to the slaughter after this recognition is not known.
    People believed, betrayed them ... others thought hard, but it is worth dealing with those who sell them.
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 14 May 2016 08: 23
    One of the most influential newspapers commented on the fact that Bakatins had given top secret information to the Americans: "The openness of the Soviet society, designed by the father of perestroika, M. Gorbachev, continues to amaze the imagination. The gift left Mr. Strauss completely perplexed. The history of the special services has never known such precedents."
    1. 16112014nk
      16112014nk 14 May 2016 15: 01
      Quote: parusnik

      Quote: parusnik
      did not know such precedents ".

      You can argue. A little earlier Gorbachev, during a visit to England, showed Thatcher a top secret map with the location and coordinates of the strategic missile mines. The chief of the General Staff, Akhromeev, who was present at the same time, was speechless from such a betrayal. So Bakatin already had an example to follow.
  5. Koshak
    Koshak 14 May 2016 09: 20
    Quote: parusnik
    The history of the special services has not yet known such precedents. "

    yeah, SUCH traitors to look for ...
    1. Rus2012
      Rus2012 14 May 2016 09: 39
      Quote: Koshak
      yeah, SUCH traitors to look for ...

      ... I wonder where this type is now dug in?
      1. saygon66
        saygon66 14 May 2016 12: 03
        - In 95, after an amnesty, he lit up in Alabama ... And his son is very interested in football here ...
      2. Vladimir61
        Vladimir61 14 May 2016 12: 59
        Quote: Rus2012
        ... I wonder where this type is now dug in?
        It is a pity if he died without waiting for the criminal "court of honor". The last known place of work is an advisor at Alfa-Cement, in the investment company Vostok-Capital, 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 Alexey Leonov!
        46-year-old Dmitry Bakatin, the son of Vadim Bakatin, is a successful businessman. At the age of 30, he became the managing director of Renaissance Capital and the deputy chairman of the board of JSCB International Financial Club. In 2001-2003 - First Deputy General Director of Gazprom-Media. Then - one of the founders of the Sputnik group of US citizen Boris Yordan and to this day its managing director. Member of the Executive Committee of the Russian-American Council for Business Cooperation, Vice President of the Charity Fund for Assistance to the Cadet Corps named after Alexey Jordan. He was awarded the Order of St. Daniel of the Russian Orthodox Church.
        PS - can you imagine what kind of cadets this charity fund is raising?
        the only private charitable foundation in Russia of recent times that is one of the initiators of the revival of the cadet corps and provides systematic support to the cadet educational institutions of the country. At the same time, the foundation bears the name of a man who served in the Russian Corps during World War II [2] [3], whose members fought on the side of Hitler with Yugoslav partisans and units of the Red Army. (Wikipedia)
  6. 1536
    1536 14 May 2016 12: 23
    A natural result of the decomposition of the employees of this "venerable" organization, which took place at the turn of the 1980-1990s.
    1. Sergej1972
      Sergej1972 14 May 2016 20: 54
      Well, Bakatin worked in the KGB for only a few months. So he was a professional party worker.
    2. tolancop
      tolancop 15 May 2016 07: 58
      If by "venerable organization" is meant the upper echelon of the party leadership, then I agree. Completely.

      Bakatin is not a committee member, but a party appointee.
  7. King, just king
    King, just king 14 May 2016 14: 05
    I handed over and handed over ... And he hurt himself and sons in chocolate. Well done, sssss ...
    1. martin-159
      martin-159 14 May 2016 14: 13
      Rose on dad's silver pieces.
  8. les103284
    les103284 14 May 2016 14: 08
    V. Bakatin - a traitor and a point.
  9. Andrey VOV
    Andrey VOV 14 May 2016 15: 29
    It has long been ripe for a return to the system, when traitors "accidentally" fall on the steps, choke on cutlets and meat, get run over by a car, and so on ... so that they walk and constantly look around, sleep in one eye, be afraid to sit down, and search constantly bomb, so that ulcers, gastritis, impotence and liquid diarrhea develop from the nerves .... enough to endure this traitorous bastard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. King, just king
      King, just king 14 May 2016 16: 35
      Forget and do not expect. None of this will ever happen.
    2. traffic light
      traffic light 14 May 2016 18: 51
      Andrew, I support all 100 !!! And how many bastards who have done great harm to our country ?! Traitor, must always live by one expectation. Waiting for retribution and death !!!
  10. Romin
    Romin 14 May 2016 17: 52
    As Putin said, we are not the 37th, ... We steal and betray further ... Serdyukov and a relative of Medvedev's wife are an example!
  11. jaroff
    jaroff 14 May 2016 19: 50
    Common people at the cutting enterprises were surrounded by all kinds of restrictions, and the homeland and its scratches were handed over to the untouchables, a priori considered crystal clear honest only on the basis of their position. Life has shown that this practice is wrong. Unfortunately, everything is repeated now.
    1. tolancop
      tolancop 15 May 2016 08: 08
      Quote: zharyoff
      Common people at the cutting enterprises were surrounded by all kinds of restrictions, and the homeland and its scratches were handed over to the untouchables, a priori considered crystal clear honest only on the basis of their position. Life has shown that this practice is wrong. Unfortunately, everything is repeated now.

      Well, and what restrictions were placed on ordinary people at sensitive enterprises?
      I WORKED in a regime enterprise. By and large, there was only one limitation - KEEP TONGUE BY TEETH and follow the simple rules (with the correct organization of the process, this was not at all burdensome). And they PAYED for it. There was also a "restriction" - I could not get into all the premises in my enterprise. Well, he could not and could not, so there was nothing for me to do there. Where it was for me to do, I got there without any problems. IMHO, common practice and correct organization for ANY enterprise (regime and non-regime).
      And there were only a few people who traveled over the hill, including whether he worked at a secure enterprise or not - no difference.
      And yet ... When applying for a job in a regime office, each VOLUNTARY signed a discreet paperwork, which outlined ALL the restrictions associated with work. Signed up? Now don’t whine, you were WARNED!
  12. bars1
    bars1 15 May 2016 14: 50
    Does anyone really believe that Bakatin did this on his own initiative without the approval of the top leadership of the state ?!
    1. Pitot
      Pitot 16 May 2016 02: 00
      Where is he now? If not in Russia, perhaps his initiative. Although at that time they competed among themselves in betrayals .... Starting from the hoopoe labeled and then to the poor journalist .....
  13. solovald
    solovald 16 May 2016 06: 26
    Mudachye ... there can be no other diagnosis for such people.
  14. lukewarm
    lukewarm 16 May 2016 15: 17
    Yes, there was a time .... Fascinating gifts from which even the gifted were fucking - for they did not expect. And the homegrown Judas seemed to compete with each other in "openness." The Germans couldn't believe their ears about the unification of the Germaniums. And when it came down they hummed for several days. How we got through all this ... HZ. So sobsno and realized that NATO in estonia, latvia, ukraine ... But in our country, by and large, nothing has changed since then. They shaved their tails, no more.
  15. The comment was deleted.
  16. BEECH 1972
    BEECH 1972 17 May 2016 00: 26
    What can I say. One of the brightest representatives of the tribe of the current LIBER-alalny A-ktivi-STOV, who are still fighting for the victory of democracy in America and for the victory of "America" ​​over Russia. Sooner or later, a holiday will come to his street, in the form of dear guests with flowers and gifts, on which his name will be written. First, guests will come with ice axes, and then with wreaths.
  17. Vega
    Vega 19 November 2016 20: 28
    Times are funny, traitors at least well .. chew and well .. even more liz!