Pühapäev, 20. september 2015

1. Jamming soviet transmissions in August 1991                              

On the top floor of Toompea Castle, in a room next to the attic, a radio communications center started operations on July 10, 1991, which made it possible to communicate with foreign countries, international organizations (e.g.UN), the White House in Moscow (Yeltsin’s headquarters), all the power structures under the jurisdiction of the government of Estonia, counties of Estonia, governments of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as monitor the radio communications of the Soviet Armed, Intermovement, KGB, air traffic, ship traffic, Soviet Border Guard, etc. The technology also enabled immediately establish direct contact with the opposing side. Under the roof of the castle, we established entire field of antennas in order to use different radio frequencies, while none of the antennas were visible from the outside.
The most complicated was to maintaining communications with the counties and the only possibility was to involve radio amateurs, because they existed in all of the counties. A large number of the radio amateurs at that time, whose trustworthiness was not in doubt, were involved. Naturally, they did not know where the information that they collected was going, and who was actually giving them instructions and organizing their activity. The information from the radio amateurs was not sent directly to Toompea Castle, but to specific amateur radio stations in Tallinn that directed the work of radio amateurs. At the Castle, we just had to listen in on these communications. It was agreed that the veil of secrecy would not be raised on the radio station at the Castle, because our goal was to operate only as a last resort.
The radio communications jamming group was located in another location and received direct instructions from the Toompea communications center. A total of 60 people working under my supervision to guarantee communications for the government of Estonia.
When armoured  personnel carriers from Pskov arrived in Tallinn in the evening of August 19, the soldiers were relatively tired, but a radio check was the first thing they did. This provided us their working frequencies and backup frequencies. These armoured fighting vehicles had four built-in channels, as well as a fifth radio station, and we knew all the frequencies.
The most important moment was the attack on the Tallinn TV Tower. Some men from infantry went up into the tower at four or five o`clock in the morning. At the same time, the armored vehicle group took up positions around the tower. After that the unit commander communicated with the commander of The 76th Division in Tondi and reported that they were in place. He didn’t say that they are at TV tower, but it was clear to us because we were in direct contact with the Tallinn TV Tower all the times.

Thereafter, the division commander ordered them to report about the situation. In the military, this is done with the help of an ordinary code table, for instance, two-three numbers stand for some phrase. From the moment they started to read the numbers, we started jamming. The attackers tried all the reserve frequencies, however, they were everywhere confronted with our by our jammers. They did not succeed in reporting about the situation and the commander of the entire operation could not give the order to attack. We were not ready for this. We improvised, but everything turned out perfectly. We interrupted their communications for three and a half hours. No information from TV tower reached the higher command. There was a rumour that they even used a messenger.
Later, when we reviewed the recordings, a surprising fact became clear. We even had been able to jam the communications between the different Soviet Army units that were at the Tallinn TV tower in Pirita!
The communications center was in direct contact with Moscow, however the White House (Russian Parliament building) did not know that we were representatives of the government of Estonian.
Edgar Savisaar, who arrived back around at seven-eight o’clock in the evening of August 19, was in contact with the Prime Minister of Lithuania the same night via the radio communications center. The next day, Jaak Leimann, the Deputy Prime Minister, used the radio communications to consult with Lithuania.