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The Russian embassy in Chisinau has 28 "spy antennas" installed on its rooftop, which can be used for signals intelligence purposes, the Moldovan Jurnal outlet reported on July 24.
According to experts interviewed by the news outlet, such devices can "capture" signals between a transmitter and a receiver with the possibility to modify them before releasing them again.
These signals can come from radio, television, mobile networks, or satellite communications. According to experts interviewed by Jurnal, such devices could be used for either military or civilian purposes.
Jurnal's investigation revealed that the satellite dishes on Chisinau's embassy are likely connected to a command center inside the building. The rotating of the dishes indicates they transmit data to Russian satellites.
In a joint investigation project "Espiomats," European journalists have previously identified 182 similar satellite dishes installed on the rooftops of Russian embassies across Europe, designed to collect signals intelligence (SIGINT).
These surveillance devices allegedly allow Russia to deal with the expulsions of Russian diplomats, often reported as spies, according to the Dossier Center.
Some 17 Russian antennas have been discovered in Brussels, Belgium, which hosts the headquarters of NATO and the EU. Prior to Jurnal's own investigation, this has been the largest number discovered in a single European city.
Eight devices have been uncovered by journalists in Berlin and three in Paris, Le Monde reported.