The losses from the fire at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow five weeks ago are greater than initially thought, as the State Department says some Soviet firefighters walked off with U.S. government secrets.
A preliminary inspection showed that computer disks with classified information were stolen as well as items from open safes that were abandoned in the chaos that occurred after the fire erupted, officials said Thursday.State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler indicated that no highly sensitive material was purloined.
U.S. Ambassador John Matlock "has strongly protested efforts to misuse this tragic event," she said. "It is a shame that the real courage shown by some Soviet firefighters in battling this serious blaze has been blemished by such actions."
The spokeswoman denied reports that coding devices were taken from the building.