Posts Tagged ‘Cold War’

(METPO-2)

Page 69, Fodor’s Moscow & St Petersburg

Moscow’s metro is one of the deepest in the world, but below it, if you believe the Soviet Legend, is a second even deeper metro system, Metro 2. This metro was purportedly built for Stalin as a private line for top party officials. One of the lines supposedly led from the Kremlin to the Lubyanka, the home of the feared KGB.

1933, summer, and two men found a centuries old tunnel within sight of the Kremlin, excited that they might find Ivan the Terrible’s gold-covered books they found 5 skeletons and a rusted door they could not open. They didn’t dare let on what they had found during Stalin’s reign but when Mikhail Gorbechav came to power surviving engineer, Apollos Ivanov, recalled the tale.

It’s a good old-fashioned conspiracy dive, Metro 2 is the informal name for the secret underground system which parallels the public metro system in Moscow. It is theorised that it was built, or at least started, during the era of Joseph Stalin and codenamed D6 (Д-6) by the KGB.

The KGB (Комите́т Госуда́рственной Безопа́сности (КГБ)) was the main security agency for the Soviet Union, 1954-1991 until the breakup of the union. D6 is still rumoured to be operated by the Main Directorate of Special Programmes and Ministry of Defence.

In 1992 a journalist magazine called Yunost published a novel by Vladimir Eonik. It was called Преисподняя  (Preispodniaia or Abyss) and was sent in an Underground bunker in Moscow. The idea of the D6 project had been introduced to them via 20 years of collected papers and works on secret bunkers and an underground railway system that connected them.

Russian reporters have neither confirmed or denied the existence of D6, but there is supposedly evidence of it and when the Rossiya Hotel was demolished near the Kremlin a tunnel was found, providing another potential link into the conspiracy theory being more of a fact. Given that tunnels are all over major cities I’m not actually sure if this is to be counted as proof. So, let’s take a look into what we can find for further information.

1994, an exploration group “Diggers of the Underground Planet” claimed they’d found an entrance to the system, before that in 1991 the United States Department of Defence published a report ‘Military Forces in transition” that had a diagram of the system that was superimposed on a city map which was, it states, designed for 100,000 people.

Igor Maleshenko, the Deputy Director Broadcaster, gave an interview in 1992 with Time and discussed a similar project called Sofrino-2, he said that it has been built in case of a nuclear war but like many of the installations it was unusable. The age, deterioration and flooding had affected a great number of them.

2004, former advisor to Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Shevchenko confirmed that there was a secret in the Moscow Metro, however he said that the number of these things were greatly exaggerated. He then touched upon the subject again, “currently, the Kremlin subway cannot be called a transportation artery, and, as far as I know, for its continued operation it requires major repairs; for among other things there are a lot of underground utilities which will eventually decay.”

2008 – Mikhail Poltoranin, a minister under Boris Yelstin’s reign, confirmed an extensive network of tunnels for the purpose and mentioned Metro-2 directly.

Dimitry Gayev, ex-chief of the Moscow Metro felt that it would be of little surprise if it existed, in 2008 the head of the Moscow Metro, Svetlana Razina, also discussed that there had been recruiting for a service on secret routes and they required special clearance.

2007 ITAR-TASS stated “line of the Metro-2 has long been in the KGB office.”

Alexander Muzykantskiy was the former Head of Moscow’s Central Administrative District and spoke of a gigantic underground system. They had designed a place to ensure the stable operation of military and political operations during nuclear conflict, and for 91 years was kept as a highest state secret. I also think I will mention England tried to set up the same and I am sure it’s commonplace in many countries and not just Moscow.

Speaking of, the British Secret Intelligence Service also got a little information that was put out via defector. The former colonel of the KGB Oleeg Gordievsky said it was one of the main KGB secrets. The massive complex would likely never be shown to anyone, that huge underground city was not for the common eye.

A 2005 BBC article interviewed Eugine, who was 22 years old and a ‘digger’, they explore the underground spaces of Moscow and he relayed how a Russian reporter wrote about that secret network and was then questioned by the FSB (successor to the KGB). He was careful not to say how they got to their places and had a lot of images that they had collected as a group of diggers.

How has it been used in the media?

Well one of them favourite games uses it, I came across D6 in Metro 2033, a video game based on the series of books by Dimitry Glukhovsky. I’m 100% biased with my love of this nuclear survival and urban-ex nature of the game and in the book, it sends the main character, Artyom, to find the massive ‘bunker-like’ system. The existence is a legend amongst the underground dwellers of the Metro, and they reach one of the entrances located near Kievsaya Station. In the books D6 is only mentioned as Artyom does not go there himself.

Incidentally Metro, 2013, is a film set in the Moscow metro when a major leak sets off a pretty decent disaster movie. It has all the classic hallmarks of the type of film this genre holds and was fairly well received. My Russian understanding is minimal at best, but the plot was fairly simple to follow – spoiler alert below.

Rich man, c husband of wife and their daughter all end up trapped when the area floods. The old and busy tunnels become fatal for various reasons. Character (and a dog) all end up dying, trapped etc and you get some very good footage of the metro as this story goes on. It is clear that when travelling miles of these tunnels and seeing various entrances it would not be hard to believe that there is more than meets the eye, you get a similar feel when you go on the New York subway or the London Underground and so I think it is a subject for interested.
What do you think?

Jalopnik.com

inyourpocket.com

mmorpgforums.com

atlasobscura.com

metro.ru/metro2/

globalsecurity.org

bbc.co.uk

Metro 2003, Dimitry Glukhovsky


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So its that time! Time to look at communication, specifically an old over-the-horizon radar system called the Duga from the former Soviet Union (Russia/Ukraine for the purposes of this article.) Over The Horizon (OTH) or Beyond The Horizon (BTH) are radar systems for long range use. Most were used in the 1950’s and 1960’s because they were early warning systems, just think about the Cold War and the idea of it being a necessity; the ones I am looking at here are the Duga system but they were used all over the world and still are, if modern reports online are correct. I am no expert so correct me where you can if I get things wrong.

The system operated from July 1976 up until December 1989, there were two deployed in Chernobyl and Chernihiv. Chernobyl is in the Ukraine and Chernihiv is Siberian. They were powerful and appeared without warning, sounding like a repetitive tapping on 10Hz, they became nicknamed by the listeners as the Russian Woodpecker.

They seemed to pop up pretty randomly and could interrupt legitimate broadcasting and all variations of stations. Complaints were sent in about them but I can’t imagine it being easy to prevent them. Some of the radio and television users began including blockers in the circuit to try and filter out interruption.

The first type of Duga was built in the Ukraine and did successfully detect rocket launchers from 2,500 kilometres. With its success they worked on the larger project. The first signal was picked up in 1976 and amatuer radio users gave it the name woodpecker, some people had reported it as early as 1963. Regardless of the date the Russian Woodpecker was traced back to the Soviet Union. The sources were found in Kiev, Minsk, Chernobyl, Gomel and Chernihiv but eventually narrowed down through speculation has been made that there was more than one transmitter. Wireless World, 1977 muses that along with the OTH system the Russians might be trying to utilise radar returns or another source that worked along side it, or around two or more spots.

I wondered if this was plausible or were we just putting more technical knowledge to that in retrospect or are we accepting that NATO might not have been entirely accurate? The NATO name for DUGA-1 is quoted as STEEL YARD, some sources also use STEELWORK. It is officially recorded name may well be different but not disclosed for security purposes.

Some points of interest are that they realised when listening that it was not used as a form of jamming because Moscow and pro-Soviet Stations were also caught by it, so it couldn’t be reliable enough for that. The signal used three repetition rates of 10Hz, 16Hz and 20Hz, but the most common was 10. They used a fairly wide bandwidth, usually 40Khz.

An attempt to stop the signals causing interruptions came along, one of the ways was tor try and use signals at the same pulsing rate, people formed a club called The Russian Woodpecker Hunting Club. The transmissions slowed down in the 1980’s by 1989 they had disappeared. This slow down and eventual end does coincide with the Cold War closing down, the official end being 8th December 1971 when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Another factor in the close would be a further advancement in early warning systems, satellite systems are far more advanced and less likely to be affected by adverse weather.

The original Duga system was experimental and it lies outside of the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. It was restored in 2002 after it was badly damaged by fire. As of October 2013 there is a possibility to visit the Ukrainian site via tour operators for Chernobyl who know how to get the correct paperwork.

For those who like modern reference here are some ways the Duga has been imported into modern media.

If, like me, you enjoy games like Metro Last Light or S.T.A.L.K.E.R then you may already know this… Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is a heavy feature in S.T.A.L.K.E.R and specifically around the nuclear accident. The Duga array is in Clear Sky after the main campaign game. It is in the fictional city of Limansk-13 you can see it and visit it in game. The ‘Brain Scorcher’, a military installation, is inspired by the idea that Duga-1 was used for mind-control.

Call of Duty:Black Ops the map ‘Grid’ is placed in Pripyat and the array can be seen in game there too.

A documentary by Chad Garcia looks into the Chernobyl disaster and the potential links to the structure. The documentary interviews people directly involved in the building and operation of the installation.