Friday, September 19, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Kremlin Denies Access to Soviet-Era Security Archives Another 30 Years

Paul Goble


            Staunton, September 19 – Moscow officials have confirmed that they will not declassify documents concerning the Soviet security services for another 30 years, a decision that was anticipated by a resolution of the Inter-Agency Commission on the Defense of State Secrets and one that means that it will remain impossible to research many key events in Soviet history.


            Moscow researchers Andrey Soldatov and Irina Borogan report that this extension will allow the current rulers of Russia, many of whom like Vladimir Putin spring from the Soviet security services to prevent anyone from making an accurate assessment of what they and their colleagues did for many years to come (

The two quote their own 2010 study of the subject in which they conclude that because of the continuing secrecy, “we do not have an exhaustive report about the mass repressions which the Soviet organs of state security carried out.  Any attempt at reporting historical facts inevitably involves the publication of the names of those who served in the Soviet special services” (

            “The archives from which such information could be extracted are closing. Officers of the FSB, many of which served in the KGB, want that this will continue,” they say, because that will allow them to “compose a more innocent version of the history of the organs of state security” and make people like Yury Andropov into heroes.


            The latest Russian government move will give them another generation to do so, the result of the success of Putin and the security officers around him in restoring Soviet-era myths about what they see as the positive contribution such agents made in struggling against "enemies of the people."

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