Walking through Fomina Botanical Garden you can see an unusual building, which is hidden behind a concrete fence with barbed wire. In front of you is the military-strategic communications point K-2 from the times of the USSR (other names: Telephone and telegraph station No. 1, TTS No. 1, Government communications station). The K-2 facility was built in the late 1950s and served to transmit and receive secret (government, KGB and GRU) telegrams and ciphergrams. The communication point itself is located underground and is connected to the Universitet metro station by underground passages.
Communication facilities of type “K” usually occupy 2 underground floors with strict access control. For example, having access to only one floor, you will never be able to get to another. From the territory of the botanical garden, a medium-sized elevator descends down to K-2, slightly smaller than a freight elevator. At first, the communication point was equipped with ST-35 direct-printing telegraph devices of the 1935-36 model. They were intended for single-pole telegraphy using a direct current circuit. The maximum transmission speed reached 382 combinations per minute. This device served for quite a long time after modernization in 1962; its improved model received the name ST-2M. Each of the telegraph devices was configured for direct communication with a specific city in the world.
The devices were serviced by young telegraph operators who had previously signed a non-disclosure agreement. Girls were reluctant to work at type K underground facilities. The salary increase was insignificant, while the lack of air affected the well-being. In type “K” objects, the oxygen content is reduced by 25%, which was very noticeable after a daily duty underground. In addition, the loud noise of many operating devices created discomfort. Nowadays, outdated long-distance communication systems have been replaced by the Internet and satellite communications. K-2 has lost its strategic importance.
Nowadays, K-2 is still in operation, but as a state system of UkrChastotNadzor. For our safety: for example, monitoring the frequencies of air traffic controllers so that no terrorist interferes with their work. Under the escalators of the “University” metro station there was a “Sphere” or “Cone” system – a complex of anti-spy equipment. The radio emission control system is now operational (one of the facilities covering Kyiv with its frequencies). The government communications station is also equipped with a powerful diesel station, which explains the large number of ventilation shafts on the surface.