(Hey Sean, Mikka added and made some changes, they have been italicized.)
Both the United States and the Soviet Union were acquainted with the underground works of spying on each other in hopes of gathering intelligence either about one another’s weapons, invasion plans, or as a means of counter-intelligence. Espionage greatly increased after World War II, in the era of the Cold War. When the Soviets built an embassy in Washington, the US devised a plan of literally undermining the embassy that was positioned high above. Here’s what happened.
Beginning in the 1920s, the Russians had infiltrated the many facets of both the military and politics of the US. When World War II ensued, the Soviet intelligence agencies received direct orders from Moscow to gather all the information they could get about the US and British war plans, as well as the technological advances under development.
The Soviet spies were pretty good at their job and gained assess to numerous classified US plans, like the Manhattan Project, that led to the development of the Soviet atomic bomb, leading to the geopolitical tension of the Cold War. Perhaps one of the earliest and most remarkable known buggings of the Soviets was when they made a wooden, hand-carved, ceremonial seal of the USA to present to then US Ambassador to the Soviet Union William Averell Harriman in 1945 to show a gesture of camaraderie and friendship between the two world powers. As it turned out, the innocent-looking gift, called “The Thing,” had a listening device in it. The Thing was not discovered until six years later by a radio operator in the British embassy.