Many ingenious concealment devices have been invented to allow spies to hide equipment, money, poison, guns, microdots, photos, ciphers, negatives, films, and sketches. The concealment devices were used to smuggle material through security checks and to hide recording devices.

KGB Museum exhibition hall
KGB Museum exhibition hall

Concealable cameras and hidden listening devices (bugs) were used, for example, to covertly record conversations between people during covert surveillance operations. Hidden cameras could be used to take secret pictures of people, places, and documents. For example, an agent might hire a sex worker and secretly film them with a target for the purposes of blackmail. 

Intelligence agencies make great efforts to develop devices that will enable them listen to their enemy’s conversations or to collect compromising material. Our collection contains a comprehensive assortment of such devices, in addition to the surprising stories of where such devices were placed and what they were used to accomplish. The most famous concealed bug is the “Thing,”  which KGB spies used to listen to the US ambassador for seven years.

Bugs could be hidden anywhere: in a house, in a car, in the park, in a bathroom, even in the chip in your beloved pet’s ear. This would allow the KGB to record and trace secret information that could be used for whatever purposes the KGB might devise.