View Old USSR Listening Posts in a larger map
The world has been somewhat surprised by recent reports of the National Security Agency's massive electronic spying operations around the globe. But they're not the only ones with their ears to the proverbial ground. Just about every nation is engaged in some sort of electronic espionage. Russia, for example, still has an array of massive listening stations, ready to snoop on whoever's talking.
It's a legacy of the Soviet Union, which ran one of the largest of those electronic eavesdropping networks as it tried to gain any intel it could on the U.S. and its allies. Those old Soviet eavesdropping stations still exist. Some are rusting away in former Soviet countries. Others are still operational.
Intelligence historian Matthew Aid just got ahold of a recently declassified CIA document listing the locations of 11 KGB strategic radio interception stations throughout Russia and the rest of the old Soviet Union.
These stations "were a small but very important part of the massive [signals intelligence] intercept and processing complexes operated not only by the KGB but also by the Soviet military intelligence service, the GRU," writes Aid.
But these posts are hardly Cold War relics. Most of them are still "monitoring the communications of the U.S., Europe and virtually every other country of any significance or size around the world," he adds.
Killer Apps thought it would be fun to make it easy for you to explore these sites scattered across the old Soviet Empire by mapping them out. Click on each satellite dish for Aid's description of each site and its current status. Zoom in on each site on the map to explore its current physical state.