SBU promises open access to archives of the Soviet punitive bodies


At a press briefing given on 27 January, the Acting Head of the Security Services [SBU], Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, stated that, in accordance with a Presidential Decree from 23 January, all criminal cases initiated by the Soviet punitive bodies from 1917 to 1991 will be declassified.

“From 23 January this year Ukraine no longer retains and protects secrets of the punitive-repressive regime of the Soviet Union. This means that the SBU as the main State body on ensuring protection of State secrets is removing the classified secret stamp from all criminal files, instructions, statistical documents from secret record-keeping and other documents connected with the Ukrainian liberation movement, political repression and Holodomor and the other famines in Ukraine from 1917 to 1991”.

In the SBU archives alone there were around 800 thousand volumes with the stamps “secret” and “top secret”, which concealed the fate of millions of people who were victims of the totalitarian communist regime. According to the President’s Decree, the SBU will also oversee the removal of the classified secret stamp and implementation of the Decree by other State bodies.

Volodymyr Vyatrovych, Head of the SBU Archives, presented a collection of documents, including “execution lists” of the Cheka (the first name of the Secret Police), map – plans for deportation, albums of resistance fighter photographs, KGB reports for the Central Committee of the Communist Party on the development of the dissident movement in Ukraine.

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko also promised that in the near future documents would be declassified and made public relating to the activities of NKVD agent fighting band in various regions, to the fight against the resistance movement in the 1940s and 1950s (the “Berloha Case”) and against the dissident movement from the 1960s to 1980s (the “Blok case”). A book is soon to be published entitled “The Pavlohradske uprising of 1930” about the mass peasant anti-Soviet movement in the Dnipropetrovsk region on the eve of Holodomor.

Based on information from the SBU Press Service

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