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Russia – spying. Eavesdropping antennas on the roofs of embassies. What’s the situation in Warsaw?

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At least 182 eavesdropping antennas have been counted on the buildings of Russian embassies in European countries, according to the international ESPIOMATS investigation conducted by European journalists. Among them, there is a facility at Belwederska Street in Warsaw, as well as a block of flats occupied by diplomats from Russia at 3 Beethovena Street.

Diplomatic missions Russia they deal with radio-electronic intelligence, i.e. capturing mobile phone and satellite communications signals. The antennas installed in the embassies are also used to maintain secure communication channels with colleagues staying outside the premises of the embassies – according to the ESPIOMATS investigation, conducted by an international team of journalists from Poland, LithuaniaSweden, Estonia, BelgiumSlovakia and Great Britain.

Investigative journalists have established that the antennas are located on 39 buildings belonging to Russian diplomatic and consular missions in European countries. The record holder in this respect is the facility in Brussels, where there are 17 such antennas. Apart from her, the embassies in Madrid, Prague, Belgrade, Lisbon, Sofia and Nicosia stand out in terms of the number of eavesdropping devices. At least 10 antennas can be seen in each of these representations.

Russian Embassy in LisbonAlexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock

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Russian Embassy in PragueMilan Sommer / Shutterstock

Russian Embassy in SofiaVASSIL DONEV/EPA/PAP

Russian Embassy in Belgradeok_fotoday / Shutterstock

Antennas on the roofs of buildings in Warsaw

The building of the embassy in Warsaw is equipped with several antennas, but it is difficult to assess what other devices may be located on the premises of the Russian embassy in the capital of Poland.

The property at 3 Beethovena Street, which is a block of flats occupied by diplomats from Russia, looks completely different. On the roof of this object you can see a whole set of antennas, numbering more than 10 such devices. “The roof of the Beethoven block hides several secrets. The recording we have clearly shows a collection of multifunctional antennas of various shapes and sizes, a network of cables and even special containers that can be used for listening operations” – it was written.

Block at Beethoven 3Mateusz Szmelter / tvnwarszawa.pl

According to the sources of journalists and experts with whom they analyzed the special video material, from the roof of the building in Mokotów, the Russian services can conduct surveillance covering even the entire city. “This roof is a Russian SIGINT nest,” said one former high-ranking Western intelligence official.

“SIGINT (signals intelligence), i.e. radio-electronic intelligence, consists in obtaining intelligence information from radio and electronic systems, e.g. from mobile networks and police frequencies” – it was written.

In turn, from the roof of the embassy building in Warsaw, the Russians can conduct eavesdropping activities within a radius of up to 30 kilometers.

Russian Embassy in WarsawShutterstock

Hundreds of diplomats were expelled

In the period from February 2022, i.e. the beginning of Russia’s invasion of UkraineHundreds of Russians with diplomatic passports were expelled from European countries.

Most of them belonged to the technical and administrative staff responsible, inter alia, for the maintenance of radio-electronic devices. Therefore, it is currently difficult to assess the effectiveness of Russian intelligence activities in the EU, noted Russian independent media.

Main photo source: VASSIL DONEV/EPA/PAP

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