110. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

11786. Subject: Technical Penetration of U.S. Embassy Moscow. Ref: (A) Moscow 11684 (B) Moscow 11713 (C) Moscow 11770.2

1. We believe we are faced with a decision in the next few hours of whether or not we should attempt to remove cables described in para 3 [Page 359] of Moscow 11770. We are certain that this cable and the materials described in paras 4, 5, 6 and 7 are located in Soviet repeat Soviet territory.

2. While we do not repeat not know whether or not the Soviets are aware of our discovery, they will certainly learn of it by tomorrow morning (about 6 hours hence) when we deny Soviet workers the use of their changing rooms. By then it will probably be unsafe for us to go beyond the Embassy’s territorial limits. If the Department believes the materials in Soviet territory would be useful in determining the extent and type of system, we believe we can still safely attach hooks and ropes to the cables and equipment in Soviet territory and drag parts of it back into U.S. territory from a position of safety. We must however, have the Department’s instructions in the next few hours if this is to be done.

3. Any decision to remove equipment from tunnel under Soviet territory should of course have high-level political approval, including that of Ambassador Toon.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office, Unfiled Files Box 152, USSR: Technical Penetration of US Embassy in Moscow: 5–6/78. Secret; Niact Immediate. Sent via the SY Channel. Although the cable is dated May 26, it was actually sent just before midnight, Zulu time, on May 25.
  2. See footnote 2 to Document 106 and Documents 106108.