200 thousand classified documents un Ukraine’s archives


This figure was given at a press conference in Ivano-Frankivsk by the Head of the Ukrainian State Archive Committee Oleksandr Udod.  He said that the national archives contain 63 million files with 5 billion documents, the oldest dating from the twelfth and thirteen centuries.

Mr Udod stated that there were presently 198 thousand documents classified, this being 0.42% of all documents held in the archive. He stressed that this meant that 99.58% of documents were available for study. He considers that this is the lowest figure of secret documents among CIS countries.

The classified documents include material about the country’s defence capability, about Soviet military objects; about informers in various services, etc. He noted also that during Soviet times quite a number of documents were taken out of Ukraine or destroyed, for example, documents on creating the conditions for the artificial famine in Ukraine, the activity of the UPA [Ukrainian Resistance Army), the Head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists Stepan Bandera and others.

Mr Udod also said that the archives were presently working on improving access to information and democratization of the archive’s work. He rejected the common stereotype that the archives are the most secretive institutions, and cited the creation of an electronic archive freely accessible on the Internet.

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