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CIA Kremlin bug 'saved Gorbachev'
The Observer (U.K.) ^ | 10/13/2002 | Nick Paton Walsh

Posted on 10/12/2002 5:14:45 PM PDT by Pokey78

The newly revealed exploits of spies who operated in underground tunnels

The CIA dug a tunnel under the Kremlin and installed a hi-tech bugging system to eavesdrop on the Soviet Union's most senior figures, according to the former US intelligence officer who executed the plan.

The device was put in by a US agent who had to wear a protective suit and was guided by satellite and sonar images of Moscow's underground. The bugging formed part of audacious operations to rescue a key defector, a KGB officer with responsibility for eavesdropping, and to alert Boris Yeltsin to the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev.

This wasn't part of the Cold War - the intrusion into the seat of Soviet power occurred in 1989, when Washington and Moscow were trying to smooth relations.

'The stories about a five-level city beneath Moscow are true,' said Tony Mendes, a former Moscow-based CIA technical officer, now retired. 'These are tunnels from ancient times - Ivan the Terrible did a lot of digging and torturing. But some of the tunnels were recently made.'

An agent, whom Mendes refuses to say worked for the US government, entered the tunnel system one night equipped with computer guidance systems, air filters and maps. He negotiated the sewer and metro system to reach tunnels running under the Kremlin. One of these passed directly beneath the nerve centre of the 16th Directorate, the KGB's electronic ears, which also dealt with state communications.

That night Mendes was in the Kremlin theatre attending a performance of the ballet Koppelia. The audience also included a US mole in the 16th Directorate, 'Major Peter Leonov', and his wife. Two of the ushers were CIA agents in disguise.

When the Russian couple went to the toilet during the interval, they were joined by the two agents, who donned disguises to make them look like Leonov and his wife and returned to the couple's seats. The Leonovs, now dressed as the ushers went to the service lifts.

They went to a tunnel entrance to meet the subterranean agent. Leonov then reportedly showed the agent where to plant the listening device in the communication system.

The Leonovs left the Soviet Union days later on a ferry from one of the Baltic states.

Mendes claims the eavesdropping device was instrumental in thwarting the coup in August 1991, when Gorbachev was detained at his dacha by the military. President George Bush Senior and Prime Minister John Major called Yeltsin to urge him to stand up to the army.

'How do you think they knew about all this?' said Mendes. However, Russian moles in US intelligence betrayed Mendes's network.

'For years we were mining high-grade gold,' he said. 'But things started going awry in 1985. We thought we knew what the KGB was doing, but then our group of 25 started being caught and executed.

'This all had to do with Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen [Russian moles in the CIA's Russia department and the FBI's intelligence unit], but we did not find out until years later.'


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: 16thdirectorate; aldrichames; borisyeltsin; cia; fbi; georgebushsr; ivantheterrible; johnmajor; kgb; koppelia; kremlin; mikhailgorbachev; moscow; nickpatonwalsh; peterleonov; putinsbuttboys; roberthanssen; russia; tonymendes; trollmccoy; unitedkingdom; vladimirputin; vladtheimploder

1 posted on 10/12/2002 5:14:45 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen two traitors who need to be executed.
2 posted on 10/12/2002 5:20:06 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: demlosers
I agree, "Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen two traitors who need to be executed."
3 posted on 10/12/2002 5:32:29 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Texas_Jarhead
Section. 3.
Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

4 posted on 10/12/2002 6:05:09 PM PDT by bonesmccoy
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To: bonesmccoy
your point is ????
5 posted on 10/12/2002 6:06:16 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Pokey78; Bobby777
Back in the early 1960s we had a tunnel dug under E. Berlin, and tapped the cable traffic of Group Soviet Forces Germany HQ.

Somehow they caught wind of it, and started digging for it. We pulled our stuff and began filling in the excavation, and from seismic sensors could tell that they were digging out our tunnel from their end as fast as we were filling ours in. At a point directly under the W. Berlin - E. Berlin border, we put up a sign in English, French, and Russian: "You are now entering the American Sector".

And they stopped.

6 posted on 10/12/2002 6:13:16 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: Pokey78
This sounds like it would make a good movie.
7 posted on 10/12/2002 6:20:06 PM PDT by Husker24
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To: Texas_Jarhead
treason should be enforced!
8 posted on 10/12/2002 7:04:49 PM PDT by bonesmccoy
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To: Husker24
I think it was on the History channel series on Secret Passages. Back in the early 60's right after the wall went up, German students dug tunnels under the wall to rescue their relatives and friends. CBS subsidized one group tunneling, gave them cameras and film and they made their own documentary about the tunnel. Back in the days when liberals still cared something about freedom.
9 posted on 10/12/2002 7:15:45 PM PDT by Jabba the Nutt
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To: bonesmccoy
agreed
10 posted on 10/12/2002 7:19:01 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead
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To: struwwelpeter


"That was a close one, Keptain"
11 posted on 10/12/2002 8:13:53 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: Bobby777

Ah, the good old days - when the enemy was at least semi-civilized.

12 posted on 10/12/2002 8:36:44 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: struwwelpeter
was der Struww in the Army before taking a ride in a -135?
13 posted on 10/12/2002 8:45:51 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: Bobby777

Die Nazionale Volksarmee of the DDR. Some habits are hard to break ;-)

14 posted on 10/12/2002 10:12:32 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: backhoe
fyi
15 posted on 10/21/2002 12:16:03 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
Note: this topic is from 10/12/2002. Thanks Pokey78.
The CIA dug a tunnel under the Kremlin and installed a hi-tech bugging system to eavesdrop on the Soviet Union's most senior figures, according to the former US intelligence officer who executed the plan. The device was put in by a US agent who had to wear a protective suit and was guided by satellite and sonar images of Moscow's underground. The bugging formed part of audacious operations to rescue a key defector, a KGB officer with responsibility for eavesdropping, and to alert Boris Yeltsin to the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. This wasn't part of the Cold War - the intrusion into the seat of Soviet power occurred in 1989, when Washington and Moscow were trying to smooth relations.

16 posted on 03/11/2019 10:07:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (this tagline space is now available)
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