Bronx Residents Claim Spies Are Everywhere Near Russian Diplomat Building in Riverdale

This is one of those stories that might seem far-fetched yet if you’re from The Bronx and especially from Riverdale then you probably know about the ugly Soviet-built Russian diplomat building at 355 W 255th Street and the decades old rumors that surround it.

Now local Bronxites have told the New York Post that they are surrounded by spies and feel like big brother is watching them.

And it doesn’t help that in 2015 a local Riverdale resident just blocks away from the Russian Diplomatic Compound was arrested for trying to recruit everyday Americans to conduct espionage for Russia.

He was eventually deported.

The New York Post writes:

Builders and all construction materials were imported from Russia so as to minimize the risk that American intelligence could plant listening devices or sabotage the construction, the resident told The Post.

Although it’s a mystery what goes on at the giant complex — a place many local residents refer to simply as “the compound” — most assume that many of their Russian neighbors are spies.

Many believe Riverdale has long been an epicenter of Russian intrigue and espionage. Soviet defector Arkady Shevchenko, a former advisor to the Soviet foreign ministry who lived in the building before he defected to the United States in 1978, noted in his book “Breaking with Moscow” that “the apartment building in Riverdale and the mission . . . bristled with antennas for listening to American conversations.”

Neighbors are not surprised, and some expressed anger, that the residents of the compound never bothered to reach out to them or invite them in for a tour.

“The only people who have ever been allowed in there were the police, fire department and the garbage collectors,” said Beth Zakar, a jewelry designer who lives across the street from the Russian Diplomatic Compound. “But there are spies everywhere here.”

What do you think? Do you think there are Russian spies lurking in The Bronx?

Read the full intriguing story at The New York Post.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.